Two-Time Winners Reed and Villopoto Lead Monster Energy Supercross into San Diego Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Battle Tightens Up
Monster Energy AMA Supercros will return to San Diego for its final Southern California stop inside Qualcomm Stadium this weekend. The sixth race of the 2014 season will honor the over one million service men and women in the armed forces with the first ever Military Appreciation Race, in support of Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families with a focus on wounded veterans who served on or after 9/11. Feld Motor Sports will make a monetary donation to the Operation Homefront.
Last weekend at the third and final race from Anaheim, Calif., and Angel Stadium for 2014, Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed won his second 450SX Class Main Event of the season by leading all 20 laps and fending off a steady challenge from Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen throughout. The victory was the 43rd of Reed’s illustrious career, his second in three races, and his second in Anaheim this season, which tied him for the most wins all-time at Angel Stadium with eight.
“It was a tough racetrack tonight,” said Reed from the podium. “It was about making smart choices and putting yourself in a good position to ride 20 solid laps. This win means more to me than the last one [on January 18] where I came from behind because it’s tougher to go out there and lead all 20 laps. We had our bike dialed in tonight and it was one of those nights where it felt one with me.”
With his win, combined with a third-place finish from Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, the current 450SX Class championship leader, Reed moved to within just two points of claiming possession of the red number plate to signify the current points leader. For Villopoto, the 2014 season marks the first time in four seasons that he failed to win a race in Anaheim. Historically, every rider that has won a championship in the new millennium has also won at least one race inside Angel Stadium.
“The track was super tough,” said Villopoto on Saturday night. “I got a great start but Chad was able to get by me. Ken was running similar lap times and was able to get by as well, but to end up on the podium is always a good thing.”
Reed’s fourth podium finish of the season gives him the most in the championship this season, while both Roczen and Villopoto each have three podium finishes apiece. Thanks to their consistency, this trio carries an 11-point advantage over the rest of the division heading into San Diego.
After the first five races of the season, the success of Reed, Roczen, and Villopoto, combined with finishes outside the top 10 this season for fellow title contenders James Stewart, who rides for Yoshimura Suzuki, and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, means the latter has a difficult road to get back into the title fight.
With Reed on a roll and heading to one of his favorite venues in Monster Energy Supercross, below are some key stats headlining this week’s return to San Diego:
· Chad Reed earned his 43rd career 450SX Class victory. It was his 54th career AMA victory.
· Reed is one of only eight riders to have 50 or more total AMA wins.
· Reed is the only racer in the sport’s history to have two wins in his 13th season.
· Reed is the winningest rider ever at San Diego with six wins, including five in six years from 2003 to 2008.
· James Stewart tries to break a 14-race winless streak.
· Dean Wilson can win the 250SX title if he wins the remaining four Western Regional 250SX Class Championship races.
Through the first four races of the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship, the competition has been some of the most captivating in the 40-year history of Monster Energy Supercross. Last Saturday in Anaheim, the drama intensified as the championship points experienced a shakeup. With just one race remaining until the Western Region takes a midseason break from competition, San Diego will prove to be a pivotal stop in the title fight.
Just one week after missing out on his first win of the season on the final lap of competition, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson rebounded to take a wild victory of his own in Anaheim. Wilson and Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely asserted themselves in the top two positions throughout the 15-lap Main Event and opened a large gap over the field. After taking the lead on the opening lap, Seely led the first 12 laps of the race only to crash while navigating his way through lappers with three to go. Wilson, who had paced Seely throughout the race and began a late charge to the front, was able to slip by his rival and steal the victory.
“This win really means a lot to me,” said Wilson on the podium. “The race was shaping up to be exciting during those last few laps, but I received a break. This is really emotional for me. I gained some good points and we still have some races left. I am going to come out and do my best at those races.”
In three Anaheim races this season Seely led 38 of 45 laps, but has just one win to show for it. Despite that, his win combined with a pair of runner-up efforts at Angel Stadium gave him an average finish of 1.6 and now have Seely positioned in a tie for the Western Regional 250SX Class points lead following a fifth-place finish by Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson, who has three wins this season and entered Anaheim as the points leader.
As the nine-race Western Regional 250SX Class Championship enters one of its most crucial points of the season, just 12 points separate Anderson, Seely, and Wilson.
Wilson has been in a similar position before entering San Diego, facing a 22-point deficit during the 2012 season. That year, he went on to win inside Qualcomm Stadium while point leader Eli Tomac recorded a DNF and gave Wilson a two-point lead heading into the midseason break.
Last season in San Diego, Davi Millsaps captured his second win of the 2013 championship to extend his lead in the 450SX Class standings. In the Western Regional 250SX Class, Tomac grabbed his fourth win of the season, outdueling Roczen in their spirited battle for the title.
The first race held in San Diego was October 25, 1980, and Mike Bell won on a Yamaha. Reed has the most wins of any rider in San Diego, winning six races in 11 career starts. Jeremy McGrath, James Stewart, and Ryan Villopoto are the only riders to win at San Diego in both the 450SX Class and 250SX Class. A rider hasn’t won a 450SX Class race inside Qualcomm Stadium over consecutive years since Reed did it in 2007 and 2008. In the 250SX Class, it hasn’t been done since Stewart back in 2002 and 2003.
Previous race results: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif. February 1, 2014
Western Regional 250SX Class Results: Anaheim
Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki
Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha
Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki
Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM
Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda
Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda
Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda
Dakota Tedder, Surfside, Calif., Kawasaki
Western Regional 250SX Class Season Standings
Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM, 109
Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 109
Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki, 97
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 85
Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 82
Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 69
Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda, 69
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 61
Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 55
Dean Ferris, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 52
450SX Class Results: Anaheim
Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki
Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki
Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
450SX Class Season Standings
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 104
Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 102
Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 97
Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha, 86
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 80
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 76
Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 74
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 61
Wil Hahn, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 52
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 50
Past Winners in San Diego 450SX Class
February 9, 2013: Davi Millsaps
February 11, 2012: Ryan Villopoto
February 19, 2011: Chad Reed
February 6, 2010: Davi Millsaps
February 14, 2009: James Stewart
February 9, 2008: Chad Reed
February 17, 2007: Chad Reed
February 11, 2006: James Stewart
February 19, 2005: Chad Reed
January 24, 2004: Chad Reed
February 8, 2003: Chad Reed
January 12, 2002: David Vuillemin
January 13, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
January 22, 2000: David Vuillemin
January 16, 1999: Ezra Lusk
February 7, 1998: Jeremy McGrath
February 10, 1996: Jeremy McGrath
February 11, 1995: Jeremy McGrath
February 5, 1994: Jeremy McGrath
February 6, 1993: Jeremy McGrath
February 8, 1992: Damon Bradshaw
February 9, 1991: Jean-Michael Bayle
February 10, 1990: Jeff Stanton
February 11, 1989: Rick Johnson
February 14, 1987: Rick Johnson
February 8, 1986: Rick Johnson
January 26, 1985: Johnny O’Mara
November 16, 1982: Broc Glover
November 14, 1981: Broc Glover
October 25, 1980: Mike Bell
Past Winners in San Diego 250SX Class
February 9, 2013: Eli Tomac
February 11, 2012: Dean Wilson
February 19, 2011: Eli Tomac
February 6, 2010: Jake Weimer
February 19, 2009: Ryan Dungey
February 9, 2008: Jason Lawrence
February 17, 2007: Ryan Villopoto
February 11, 2006: Andrew Short
February 19, 2005: Nathan Ramsey
January 24, 2004: Ivan Tedesco
February 8, 2003: James Stewart
January 12, 2002: James Stewart
January 13, 2001: Justin Buckelew
January 22, 2000: Greg Schnell
January 16, 1999: Casey Johnson
February 7, 1998: John Dowd
February 10, 1996: Jeff Wiloh
February 11, 1995: Damon Huffman
February 5, 1994: Ryan Hughes
February 6, 1993: Mickael Pichon
February 8, 1992: Jeremy McGrath
February 9, 1991: Jeremy McGrath
February 10, 1990: Ty Davis
February 11, 1989: Jeff Matiasevich
February 14, 1987: Kyle Lewis
February 8, 1986: Donny Schmit
January 26, 1985: Todd Campbell
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