Race Report – Anaheim 2

Words by Bayo Olukotun

Photos by Brendan Lutes

With three rounds already in the books for the 2009 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, things have already become interesting. Last week San Manuel/ L&M/ Yamaha’s James Stewart collected his first win of the season, but was visibly upset that his rival and current series champ, Rockstar/Makita/ Suzuki’s Chad Reed caught up to him twice during the main event (the second time after a small bobble). This week, the series returned to its unofficial home at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA, and the story is a bit different. Stewart, although he crashed hard during practice and was seen holding his wrist, had the fastest afternoon lap times, and was the only rider to drop below the one-minute mark with 59.77 seconds. Reed was very close behind with his fastest time being a 1.00.02-second lap. However, judging by the last two rounds, this main event was to be anything but predictable.

In the Lites class, series leader Rockstar/ Makita/ Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey had the fastest lap in practice by more than one second over defending champion Boost Mobile/ ampm/ Troy Racing’s Jason Lawrence. At this point, although we are only two rounds deep, something disastrous would have to happen with Dungey, and the Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s teammates, Jake Weimer and Ryan Morais, for Lawrence to have any legitimate chance at the title. Unfortunately he is the one who so far has proven inconsistent with a fifth place at the season opener, and a DNQ last week in Phoenix. But Lawrence is ready to prove that he can go it alone without OEM support, while Dungey has the confidence from a win last week. Throw in the always strong Pro Circuit Kawasaki team with Jake Weimer and Ryan Morais, and this Lites main was bound to be exciting.

SUPERCROSS LITES QUALIFYING

Heat 1

Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer got the holeshot followed by Geico Powersports Honda’s Daniel Reardon and Pro Circuit teammate Ryan Morais. Morais made a quick pass for second after the whoops, while Jason Lawrence was running 15th place. At the end of the second lap, the running order was Weimer, Morais, Reardon, Sean Collier, and SVM’s McCrummen while Lawrence continued to charge through the pack in an effort to qualify. Morais and Reardon were having a good battle, taking alternate lines in the first turn option. Morais went for different timing through the rhythm section, tripling onto the backside of the small table-top, then tripling out, making some time on Reardon. With a few laps remaining, Lawrence hit a tuff block kicked up by Cole Seeley, slowing his progress. The gap from third to fourth was almost 10 seconds at the end of the fourth lap. On the final lap, Lawrence fell down just before the whoop section, keeping him from qualifying. The top-three riders remained within one second of one another at the finish.

1. Jake Weimer
2. Ryan Morais
3. Daniel Reardon
4. Sean Collier
5. Eric Mcrummen

Heat 2

Heading into the first turn, it was Division Seven/ Star Racing/ Yamaha’s Michael Hall with the holeshot in his bright orange No Fear gear with Muscle Milk/MDK/KTM’s Ryan Sipes in second, Rockstar/ Makita/ Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey in third, and Sipes’ KTM teammate Justin Brayton in fourth place. Sipes squared off and dove under Hall to take the lead before the rhythm. Troy Lee Designs’ Chris Blose moved into fifth on the second lap. Dungey passed Hall in the same place before the rhythm section one lap later. Sipes had about a two-second lead on Dungey that was slowly shrinking. With three laps remaining, the running order was, Sipes, Dungey, Brayton, Blose, and Hall. Dungey continued to close in on Sipes, and going past the mechanics area, he was one bike length behind. Right before the rhythm section, Dungey dove under Sipes with the crowd cheering. Sipes continued to hold Dungey off on the last lap. With a small bobble at the wall after the first turn, Dungey lost a few seconds handing Sipes the win.

1. Ryan Sipes
2. Ryan Dungey
3. Justin Brayton
4. Chris Blose
5. Michael Hall

LCQ

Boost Mobile/ampm/ Troy Racing’s Jason Lawrence grabbed the holeshot, with KTM’s Michael Sleeter, and Cole Seeley following closely behind. On the second lap, Seeley blew out of the bowl turn before the rhythm and off the track, giving Alex Martin third place. Martin began to close in on Sleeter, with Troy Lee Designs’ Sean Borkenhagen right behind. Going into the first turn option they all took the same line. Sleeter managed to hold off Martin for second and a ticket to the main. Alex Martin took home the $250 Asterisk Medic Card.

1. Jason Lawrence
2. Michael Sleeter

PAGE ONE: Lites Qualifying PAGE TWO: SX Qualifying PAGE THREE: Lites Main PAGE FOUR: SX Main