Race Report – Atlanta SX 2012

By Brendan Lutes

Photos by Jeff Kardas 

After last week’s unforgettable race in Dallas, Texas, that ultimately took TwoTwo Motorsports/Honda’s Chad Reed out of the series and gave Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto his fourth win of the year, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series picked back up for round eight inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.

This weekend, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey was able to end Villopoto’s win streak by taking home his second win of the season. The win also closed the points gap down to 10 between RV and Dungey.

In the Lites class, Geico Honda’s Justin Barcia convincingly won after taking the holeshot and running away from the field. The win is his second in as many tries this season and establishes the defending champion as the man to beat this year.

SUPERCROSS LITES HEAT 1

Geico Honda’s Justin Barcia jumped out of the gate first to take the holeshot. Behind him, Rockstar Suzuki’s Blake Wharton followed closely with Eleven10 Mods/Honda’s Alex Martin in third, JDR/KTM’s Malcolm Stewart in fourth, and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett in fifth. On the second lap, though, Barcia washed out in a bowl turn, handing the lead over to Baggett. Barcia dropped back to sixth. One lap later, Wharton also went down, allowing Stewart to take over the lead. Less than one lap later, though, Stewart then went down very hard in a difficult rhythm section, going over the bars and slamming his head into the ground. From there, Baggett took over the lead with Barcia close behind and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Darryn Durham in third. When the checkered flag flew, Baggett took a close win over Barcia with Durham in third.

As a side note, Stewart got up and walked off on his own, “I just cased a triple and went face first. I kind of forgot what I was doing. I’m alright,” Stewart said of the incident.

Results:

  1. 1. Blake Baggett (Kaw)
  2. 2. Justin Barcia (Hon)
  3. 3. Darryn Durham (Kaw)
  4. 4. Blake Wharton (Suz)
  5. 5. Daniel Herrlein (Hon)
  6. 6. Austin Pollitelli (Hon)
  7. 7. PJ Larsen (KTM)
  8. 8. Angelo Pellegrini (Suz)
  9. 9. Brad Ripple (Hon)

SUPERCROSS LITES HEAT 2

The holeshot for heat two went to Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen followed by Geico Honda’s Justin Bogle and VMS/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Kyle Cunningham. On the fourth lap of the race, though, Bogle found his way around Roczen after the German rider went down in a turn. From there, Bogle began to open up his lead over Roczen, turning in a 53.5 lap while Roczen’s best was a 53.7. When the checkered flag flew, Bogle took his first-ever heat race win followed by Roczen, Cunningham, and a hard-charging Hunter Hewitt of the Rockstar Suzuki team.

Results:

  1. 1. Justin Bogle (Hon)
  2. 2. Ken Roczen (KTM)
  3. 3. Kyle Cunningham (Yam)
  4. 4. Hunter Hewitt (Suz)
  5. 5. Levi Kilbarger (Hon)
  6. 6. S Sewell (KTM)
  7. 7. Sean Rife (Hon)
  8. 8. Les Smith (KTM)
  9. 9. Matt Lemoine (Kaw)

SUPERCROSS LITES LCQ

KTM-mounted Lance Vincent took the holeshot ahead of fellow KTM rider A.J. Catanzaro. On the last lap, MotoConcepts Jake Canada passed Catanzaro for second, then in the last corner, passed Vincent to take the win. Meanwhile, JGR/KTM’s Malcolm Stewart was stuck back at the starting gate after experiencing mechanical issues.

Results:

1. Jake Canada (Hon)

2. Lance Vincent (KTM)

SUPERCROSS LITES MAIN EVENT

When the gate hit the dirt for the Lites main, Geico Honda’s Justin Barcia took the holeshot ahead of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates Darryn Durham and Blake Baggett. Behind them, Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Blake Wharton held down fourth with Geico Honda’s Justin Bogle in fifth. Meanwhile, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen was busy climbing his way back up from the back of the pack after getting hung up on the gate off the start.

As the laps clicked away, Barcia began to open up his lead over Baggett while Wharton and Bogle worked their way up past Durham for third and fourth respectively. At this point in the race, Roczen had already made his way up to eighth.

Midway through the race, Bogle started to put the pressure on Wharton for third until finally passing the Suzuki rider when Wharton made a mistake in a tricky rhythm section. Ahead of them, Barcia continued to hold onto a comfortable two-three second lead ahead of Baggett in second. As for Roczen, at this point in the race he had worked his way up to sixth.

When the checkered flag came out, Barcia crossed the line for his second consecutive win in as many tries. Behind him, Baggett took home second with Bogle third, Wharton fourth, and Durham fifth. Championship contender Roczen finished sixth.

Overall

  1. 1. Justin Barcia (Hon)
  2. 2. Blake Baggett (Kaw)
  3. 3. Justin Bogle (Hon)
  4. 4. Blake Wharton (Suz)
  5. 5. Darryn Durham (Kaw)
  6. 6. Ken Roczen (KTM)
  7. 7. Kyle Cunningham (Yam)
  8. 8. Hunter Hewitt (Suz)
  9. 9. Jake Canada (Hon)
  10. 10. Shane Sewell (KTM)
  11. 11. Lance Vincent (KTM)
  12. 12. PJ Larsen (KTM)
  13. 13. Matt Lemoine (Kaw)
  14. 14. Les Smith (KTM)
  15. 15. Shawn Rife (Hon)
  16. 16. Levi Kilbarger (Hon)
  17. 17. Daniel Herrlein (Hon)
  18. 18. Angelo Pellegrini (Suz)
  19. 19. Austin Pollitelli (Hon)
  20. 20. Brad Ripple (Hon)
Lites Class East Coast Championship Standings (After 2 of 9 rounds)

  1. 1. Justin Barcia (50/2 wins)
  2. 2. Darryn Durham (38)
  3. 3. Blake Wharton (36)
  4. 4. Ken Roczen (35)
  5. 5. Blake Baggett (28)
  6. 6. Justin Bogle (27)
  7. 7. Jake Canada (26)
  8. 8. Hunter Hewitt (22)
  9. 9. PJ Larsen (22)
  10. 10. Lance Vincent (21)

Top Lap Times:

  1. 1. Justin Barcia 52.125
  2. 2. Blake Baggett 52.172
  3. 3. Blake Wharton 52.404
  4. 4. Ken Roczen 52.450
  5. 5. Justin Bogle 52.510
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