During this weekend’s AMA National Grand Prix Championship event (NGPC) held just west of the California-Arizona border, SLR Honda rider Tallon LaFountaine clinched his second consecutive Pro II National Championship. The class is for 250cc machinery, and the Utah native has ridden his Honda CRF250RX to four wins in the nine rounds held thus far. (Although a final NGPC event will be run in two weeks, LaFountaine’s 40-point lead is mathematically insurmountable for his competition.)
The 2021 Pro II title is the second in a row for LaFountaine, who now lives near SLR’s headquarters in Yucca Valley, California. LaFountaine posted a second-place finish at the 2021 season opener, then clicked off three wins in a row, followed by another runner-up result. Although a mechanical issue hindered him at the next race, another victory at round 7 kept him in control, and despite encountering a problem at round eight, he came into Sunday’s Prospectors M.C.-hosted event with a 36-point lead. Although finishing one spot behind his main rival would have been enough to clinch the crown on the rough sand track at Shorty’s Sports Park, the former motocrosser passed that rider and finished second – more than enough to sew up the title.
“It was important for me to back up last year’s championship, so I’m stoked to get that done,” LaFountaine said. “I had the points lead for most of the year, and it was nice to be able to control things. It was a little different having that pressure and thinking about it more, whereas last year at the last couple races, I had to win. If you win a championship and race in the same class the next year, I think it’s just as important to back it up. I wanted to make sure I represented myself well and proved that I am the champion. The class was a little deeper this season, and I had a lot of good battles and wins. I was proud of that, and I think the main thing was I left it on the track every time. I made a lot of big improvements from last year to this year, and just knowing I can handle the pressure now is a big accomplishment.”
LaFountaine’s competiveness has also been evident in the WORCS series, where he currently enjoys a 12-point lead in the Pro 250 class with one round remaining.
“It’s pretty cool to have Tallon go back-to-back, and he had a solid season,” said SLR Honda owner Mark Samuels. “We’ve put a lot of effort into the 250 classes this season, and he had a pretty flawless year in NGPC to clinch it with one round to go. Now we’re hoping he can also wrap up the WORCS title next week.”
“It’s been exciting to see Tallon show so much improvement and maturity this season,” added Brandon Wilson, Manager of Sports & Experiential at American Honda. “Last year’s win was impressive, but he clearly grew from that and took another big step forward. Everyone at Honda is pleased for Tallon and Mark Samuels, who we also wish well ahead of SLR’s efforts at this week’s Baja 1000.”
In addition to LaFountaine’s accomplishment, his SLR Honda teammate Evan Stice clinched the NGPC Open A title this weekend.