2008 Monster Energy AMA Supercross – Atlanta

CANARD AND MILLSAPS ROCK HOTLANTA SX

By Donn Maeda

Photos by Garth Milan

It was a night for firsts in Atlanta as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series rolled into the Georgia Dome, as homestate hero Davi Millsaps emerged with the first Supercross win of his career aboard his Red Bull Honda, and Oklahoma’s Trey Canard won in his very first try, earning the victory in the Eastern Region Supercross Lites series kickoff.

For Millsaps, his hugely popular win got the crowd of 67,429 on hand fired up in a big way, as he stalked series point leader Chad Reed from the drop of the gate, finally forcing the Australian into a mistake that sent him over the handlebars of his Yamaha. Once Millsaps inherited the lead, he was never challenged and went on to win handily aboard his Carlos Rivera-tuned Honda CRF450R over Kevin Windham and Andrew Short, who completed a Honda sweep of the Supercross podium.

In the Eastern Region Supercross Lites main event, Canard turned in the race of his life as he led every single lap of the first Supercross Lites main of his young career. The rookie from Elk City, Oklahoma, rode like a future champion as he turned in 15 flawless laps aboard his Brent Presnell-tuned Honda CRF250R, leading Martin Davalos and Ryan Sipes of the MDK KTM team across the finish line.

SUPERCROSS LITES HEAT 1

When the gate dropped at the start of the first six-lap Supercross Lites heat race, Team Torco Race Fuels Honda’s Trey Canard led the way, but he was passed on the first lap by MDK KTM’s Ryan Sipes. Ryan Villopoto made contact with the rear of Canard’s Honda and went down in the sandy section before the finish line jump and found himself near last by the time he remounted. Meanwhile up front, Canard glued himself to the KTM rider’s rear fender and the lead duo began to pull away from Martin Davalos and Ryan Morais. Canard settled into a groove by the third lap and began to pressure for the lead, finally making his way past over the front-side triple. Once he had a clear track ahead of him, Canard began to pull away with relative ease. At the start of lap four, Villopoto had worked up to a remarkable seventh, and looked to be the fastest rider on the track. At the finish, the order was Canard, scoring the win in the first Supercross Lites heat race of his career, followed by Sipes, Davalos, Phillip Nicoletti, Morais, Tyler Bowers and Villopoto. Canard pumped his fist into the air as he crossed the finish line, oiously elated with his win.

“I had fun out there in front and just tried to do the best I could,” said Canard. “This is my first one, and I have been working really hard for this. It’s great to see the hard work paying off.”

1. Trey Canard, (Hon)

2. Ryan Sipes (KTM

3. Martin Davalos (KTM)

4. Phillip Nocoletti (Kaw)

5. Ryan Morais (Yam)

6. Tyler Bowers (Yam)

7. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)

8. Kyle Partridge (Hon)

9. Nathan Skaggs (Hon)

10. Tyson Hadsell (Hon)

SUPERCROSS LITES HEAT 2

Canard’s Torco Race Fuels teammate Josh Grant led the way at the drop of the gate in heat race two. Red Bull Honda’s replacement rider Benjamin Coisy held down second, ahead of Chad Ward and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi. Ward caught fire on lap two and passed the French Supercross Champion, but up front, Grant was already long gone. Coisy lost control in a rhythm section and went over the bars and was pinned under his bike for several seconds, his arms and legs flailing wildly as he tried to gain the attention of a flagger to help him get free. Izzi made the most of lap three, working past Ward and into second. Jake Moss moved into third shortly thereafter, with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Branden Jesseman following suit into fourth. Up front, Grant made the track look smooth and easy as he increased the distance between himself and his pursuers, lap after lap. At the finish, it was Grant, well ahead of Izzi, Moss, Kyle Chisolm and Ward. After the race, Grant was docked one position, however, for jumping the triple while the red warning lights were flashing on the last lap.

“I got the holeshot and just rode the best I could,” said Grant. “I rode awesome. I was out front and feeling good and out of the corner of my eye I saw a red light but I was already powering out of the corner and committed to jumping. At least I am still in the main.” 

1. Nico Izzi (Suz)

2. Josh Grant (Hon)

3. Branden Jesseman (Kaw)

4. Jake Moss (Yam)

5. Kyle Chisolm (Kaw)

6. Chad Ward (Kaw)

7. Matt Boni (Hon)

SUPERCROSS HEAT 1

Last week’s main event winner Kevin Windham led the way at the start of the first Supercross heat, making it three for three for Torco Racing Fuels Honda team holeshots. Andrew Short, Eric Sorby and Tarvis Preston gave chase, but Windham looked fluid and smooth as he negotiated the Atlanta track and began to inch away. Preston dove beneath Sorby after the finish line to take over third, but the Frenchman tried to stuff his way past in the next 45 degree corner and took them both down.

“I got the holeshot and just rode the best I could,” said Grant. “I rode awesome. I was out front and feeling good and out of the corner of my eye I saw a red light but I was already powering out of the corner and committed to jumping. At least I am still in the main.” 

1. Nico Izzi (Suz)

2. Josh Grant (Hon)

3. Branden Jesseman (Kaw)

4. Jake Moss (Yam)

5. Kyle Chisolm (Kaw)

6. Chad Ward (Kaw)

7. Matt Boni (Hon)

SUPERCROSS HEAT 1

Last week’s main event winner Kevin Windham led the way at the start of the first Supercross heat, making it three for three for Torco Racing Fuels Honda team holeshots. Andrew Short, Eric Sorby and Tarvis Preston gave chase, but Windham looked fluid and smooth as he negotiated the Atlanta track and began to inch away. Preston dove beneath Sorby after the finish line to take over third, but the Frenchman tried to stuff his way past in the next 45 degree corner and took them both down.

This left Troy Adams in third, ahead of a hard-charging Josh Hill, who had suffered a horrible start in spite of all the start practice he and his trainer Ryan Hughes put in this week. Hill worked past Adams with relative ease and took over third, but found himself with lots of real estate between himself and second-placed Short. At the checkers, Windham enjoyed a seven second-lead over Short, who was followed home by Hill and Adams at a distance.

  “When I got the holeshot, I knew it would be a fun one from then on out,” said Windham. “I’ve been having the time of my life out there this year and I think you can see it in the way I am riding.”

1. Kevin Windham (Hon)

2. Andrew Short (Hon)

3. Josh Hill (Yam)

4. Troy Adams (Hon)

5. Bryan Johnson (Hon)

6. Josh Sumney (Yam(

7. Paul Carpenter (Hon)

8. Nick Wey (KTM)

9. Ryan Clark (Hon)

10. Antonio Balbi (Hon)

SUPERCROSS HEAT 2

All eyes were on series points leader Chad Reed at the start of Supercross heat two, but it was Red