2011 AMA Supercross Championship Round Eight
A near-sellout crowd of 69,517 fans packed inside the Georgia Dome on Saturday night as Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, began the eastern portion of its 2011 season. A wild final lap helped Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto grab his third win of the season and extend his points lead. In the second race of the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson captured his first career Monster Energy Supercross win.
As the Supercross class riders came out of the gates for the 20-lap main event, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart grabbed the holeshot with TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing’s Chad Reed and Justin Brayton in tow.
On the second lap of the race, Stewart made a slight bobble, allowing Reed to get by and lead for the next 15 laps. On Lap 18, a lapped rider allowed Stewart to close in on his rival before reclaiming the lead as the pair came to take the white flag. As they entered the whoops, Reed dove to Stewart’s inside and the two collided, falling to the ground. That allowed Villopoto to assume the lead and take the victory after holding down the third position for nearly the entire race.
“Sometimes it’s not about being the fastest. You’ve got to be smart too,” said Villopoto. “I figured (Stewart and Reed) would do that, but not with a lap-and-a-half left. We still have a lot of racing though. I’ll just go back home and keep my program going and take it one race at a time.”
Behind him, Stewart and Reed remounted in second and third, respectively. However, their battle wasn’t done yet. As the duo came to the final turn before the finish, Stewart attempted to block Reed, forcing them to make contact again, which allowed Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey to pass both and grab his third consecutive runner-up finish. Reed moved past Stewart to take third.
“James put a hard pass on me earlier in the race, so I just put one right back on him,” said Reed. “I’m just happy to be up there racing for podiums and challenging for the lead.”
Villopoto now holds a 10-point lead over Stewart heading into next weekend’s race.
At the start of the Supercross Lites class main event, GEICO Honda’s Blake Wharton was the first to the line for the holeshot with his teammate Justin Barcia and Eleventen Mods Honda’s Alex Martin in tow. Wharton quickly opened up a gap over the field while a stellar battle for second ensued behind him. On Lap 11, Wharton appeared to be en route to his second career win, but fell, giving the lead to Wilson and eventually remounting in fourth. For the final four laps, Wilson held onto the top spot while Barcia and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett completed the podium.
“It (was) hard to pass out there,” said Wilson, who moved into a tie atop the standings. “I’ve been trying so hard and I’m so happy to get this win. It’s kind of like a monkey off my back. Last year I wasn’t able to get a win so I’m just so happy. Getting my first supercross win is a dream.”
|Rnd 8 Open Results|
1 Ryan Villopoto Kawasaki USA 15’50.894
2 Ryan Dungey Suzuki USA 0’03.339
3 Chad Reed Honda AUS 0’03.997
4 James Stewart Yamaha USA 0’04.102
5 Trey Canard Honda USA 0’19.076
6 Andrew Short KTM USA 0’19.547
7 Justin Brayton Yamaha USA 0’24.637
8 Kevin Windham Honda USA 0’30.590
9 Ivan Tedesco Kawasaki USA 0’31.720
10 Brett Metcalfe Suzuki AUS 0’36.072
11 David D Millsaps Yamaha USA 0’40.851
12 Nicholas Wey Yamaha USA 0’47.956
13 Kyle Regal Yamaha USA 0’50.539
14 Chris Blose Kawasaki USA -1Laps
15 Tye Simmonds KTM AUS -1Laps
|Open Series Standings|
1. Ryan Villopoto Kawasaki USA 171
2. James Stewart Yamaha USA 161
3. Chad Reed Honda AUS 150
4. Trey Canard Honda USA 146
5. Ryan Dungey Suzuki USA 145
6. Andrew Short KTM USA 110
7. Brett Metcalfe Suzuki AUS 104
8. Justin Brayton Yamaha USA 90
9. David D Millsaps Yamaha USA 88
10. Ivan Tedesco Kawasaki USA 78
11. Kevin Windham Honda USA 75
12. Nicholas Wey Yamaha USA 63
13. Kyle Regal Yamaha USA 60
14. Chris Blose Kawasaki USA 48
15. Mike Alessi KTM USA 46
|Rnd Lites Results|
1. Dean Wilson, Kawasaki
2. Justin Barcia, Honda
3. Blake Baggett, Kawasaki
4. Blake Wharton, Honda
5. Ryan Sipes, Yamaha
6. Hunter Hewitt, Suzuki
7. P.J. Larsen, KTM
8. Malcolm Stewart, Suzuki
9. Jason Anderson, Suzuki
10. Matt Lemoine, Kawasaki
|Lites East Series Standings|
1. Dean Wilson, Kawasaki – 47
2. Justin Barcia, Honda – 47
3. Blake Baggett, Kawasaki – 40
4. Ryan Sipes, Yamaha – 34
5. Blake Wharton, Honda – 33
6. Jason Anderson, Suzuki – 26
7. Lance Vincent, Honda – 23
8. Matt Lemoine, Kawasaki – 23
9. Malcolm Stewart, Suzuki – 20
10. Alex Martin, Honda – 20
– Reed Report
A dramatic last lap clash between Chad Reed and rival James Stewart has seen the Australian finish third, despite leading 16 of the 20 ‘Main Event’ laps at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome tonight.
On Lap 2 of the race Reed forced Stewart to make a mistake and passed the Yamaha rider to take the lead, a position he held until the second last lap of the race.
While Reed had pulled out to a five second gap, lapped riders held him up over the closing laps of the race, allowing Stewart to catch the TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing rider.
The duo battled bar-to-bar over the final laps and as they entered the whoops on the final lap, Reed dove to Stewart’s inside and the two collided, falling to the ground.
Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey slipped past to take the first two spots while Reed remounted and salvaged third place.
“James put a hard pass on me earlier in the race, so I just put one right back on him,” said Reed.
“Lappers cost me a lot of time but it was my fault. I made the wrong call going through the whoops and ended up on the left side of him (Blose) and there was nothing I could do it was the wrong move.
“I am happy to be on the podium but knowing I had a win in my sights and threw it away – that sucks,” Reed admitted
“At the end of the race with 25 points on the line I would expect James to put it up the inside of me just as I put it up the inside of him. Unfortunately we both went down and gave these two kids (Villopoto and Dungey) a one-two.
“I put myself in the position to win and I made mistakes like everyone else did,” Reed continued. “It was a good race, we all made mistakes but we all recovered and we were all fighting at the end.
“Every-time I ride this bike I learn something. My fitness is great and the bike is set up well it is just a matter of doing more and more riding and figuring out the character of how the bike reacts.”
Daytona International Speedway will host the next installment of the Monster Energy Supercross, and FIM World Championship on Saturday 5th March, which also marks the halfway point in the 17-Round series.
San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart finished 4th at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta after an exciting and frantic eighth round of seventeen in the AMA Supercross series (also an FIM World Championship). The Floridian engaged in a fight for the win with Chad Reed throughout the twenty lap main event watched by over 69,000 spectators and a thrilling finale was denied on the final circulation when the two collided and crashed trying for the same line and both Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey were able to capitalise.
Stewart and Reed were clearly the fastest competitors around a tight course inside the Atlanta venue for the first meeting away from the west coast of the country. Both were vying for track space with small mistakes limiting their capacity to make a break away. Stewart moved past the Australian with one lap remaining but Reed hounded the back of the YZ450F and attempted an aggressive block pass several corners before the chequered flag, despite entering the turn several bike-lengths behind. In the ensuing chaos both were able to remount and Reed found a way to gain the last step on the podium.
Disappointed, Stewart – who has finished off the podium only twice in 2011 – could only mention on his Twitter account that he ‘never saw it coming’ and also added ‘now I am just looking forward to Daytona. The bike and team were great. I’ll be back for another day of racing.’
JGR Yamaha’s Justin Brayton crossed the line in 7th position while team-mate Davi Millsaps was 11th. Stewart now stares at a 10 point deficit to standings leader Villopoto while Reed is 11 adrift of the Yamaha man in third spot. Round nine will take place next weekend at the Daytona International Speedway.
– Rockstar Makita Suzuki
Team Rockstar Makita’s Ryan Dungey charged to second place in Saturday night’s AMA/ FIM Supercross eighth round in Atlanta Georgia and closed the points-gap in the series lead.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s defending Champion lies fifth on his RM-Z450, just five points from third place with nine rounds remaining.
Team mate Brett Metcalfe raced to 10th position in the Supercross Main Event – held in front of 69,000 fans – and currently lies seventh in the series standings.
Dungey looked strong all day, starting off with the fastest time in the afternoon’s timed practices. After a tough start in his heat race, he pounded out eight strong laps to cross the line in sixth. In the Main, he quickly found himself in fourth place in the extremely fast-paced race, but he rode a strong and consistent 20 laps and took advantage of a last lap incident by the leaders to grab second place.
“My Rockstar Makita Suzuki team really did a good job on the bike today,” said Dungey. “I ended up having the fastest time in practice, which was cool. I had a bad start in my heat race and that wasn’t all that good, but it’s the main that counts. I got off to a pretty good start, but I got shut off a little. I was sitting in fourth most of the time but then was able to move my way into second at the end of the race, which is good. I’m right below the top step of the podium and consistent. I just ‘gotta keep my head down and keep plugging away. I’m looking forward to Daytona. I like Daytona; it’s always fun. It’s a tough track and it’s different – It’s Supercross, but it’s a bit rougher and the layout is different. I’m going to get back home, work on the track, and get ready for Daytona.”
After his best practice sessions of the season, Metcalfe looked strong and was running third in his heat race when he crashed hard at the end of the whoops, resulting in a trip to the last chance qualifier (LCQ). A last lap pass for second in the LCQ put him and his RM-Z through to the Main Event with the last gate pick. In the Main, Metcalfe blasted out of the poor gate choice with a strong start and rode a heroic race to finish in 10th place.
“It was a long day,” said Metcalfe. “It had its really good points and its really low points. The whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team worked really hard this week and got me feeling really comfortable so I was really looking forward to tonight. Practice went great – I hadn’t felt that good all year. Things were really looking up. In the heat race, I got a great start and was in third, then I made a big mistake in the whoops and went down hard. I didn’t get up too quick from that one. Going into the LCQ, I was just trying to get out there and make it in and I was able to make a pass on the last lap and made it through. I wasn’t feeling well going into the Main Event. My goal was to just finish the 20 laps with no big mistakes and I was able to get 10th. I’m looking forward to Daytona. It’s an outdoor track; Supercross style, but still an outdoor track. I always like going there to race.”