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

SUPERCROSS QUALIFYING

Heat 1

Rockstar/ Makita/ Suzui’s Mike Alessi took the holeshot, followed closely by Red Bull Honda's Andrew Short. Andrew Short made a move, but Alessi cut him off in the turn right before the finish while Monster Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto was right on Red Bull Honda’s Ivan Tedesco. The Running order for the first lap was Alessi, Short, Tedesco, Benjamin Coisy, and Villopoto. Tedesco went down right before the finish dropping him out of a qualifying position. Villopoto was already in third on the third lap, followed very closely by Reed. Villopoto went for the big combination through the rhythm to pass Alessi and Reed was on a mission clawing, his way from outside the top six at the start to third by the fourth lap. The three riders out front were all within one second of each other. Reed made the pass on Villopoto with the big combination on the fifth lap while Short remained in the lead.  Millsaps began creeping into fifth place, challenging Alessi with three laps to go. Short began to be pressured by Reed as they took different lines through the option. Over the finish they were almost side by side, with Short maintaining. Reed jumped the wall after first turn option, his bike popping, and after a bobble took Short before the rhythm. On the last lap, Tedesco was in qualifying position in ninth. At the finish, Reed threw a big whip and the fans went nuts.

1. Chad Reed
2. Andrew Short
3. Ryan Villopoto
4. Davi Millsaps
5. Mike Alessi

Heat 2

JGR/ Yamaha’s Josh Grant took the holeshot, with San Manuel/ L&M/ Yamaha’s James Stewart and Geico Powersports/ Honda’s Kevin Windham in tow. Stewart immediately began challenging for the lead and took control through the rollers after the finish. On the second lap, Stewart already had about a one- second lead, while further back Monster Energy/ Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry and Yamaha’s Sean Hamblin were all over Heath Voss.

Cernics Kawasaki’s Paul Carpenter held onto fourth with six laps to go and Boost Mobile/ ampm/ Troy Racing’s Nick Wey was in the final tranfer spot with four laps remaining. Stewart looked very comfortable with no challengers and about six seconds on Grant. Hill passed Hamblin right before the triple with three laps to go and Stewart eventually took an easy win and a confidence boost.

1. James Stewart
2. Josh Grant
3. Kevin Windham
4. Tim Ferry
5. Paul Carpenter
6. Heath Voss
7. Josh Hill
8. Sean Hamblin
9. Nick Wey

LCQ

Cernics Kawasaki’s Bobby Kiniry grabbed the holeshot, with Troy Lee Designs’ Steve Boniface closely behind and the positions would remain until the finish.

1. Bobby Kiniry
2. Steve Boniface

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

LITES MAIN EVENT

Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s Ryan Morais grabbed the holeshot followed by Geico Powersports/ Honda’s Daniel Reardon, Rockstar/ Makita/ Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey,  Morais’ teammate Jake Weimer, and Michael Lapaglia, with Boost Mobile/ampm/ Troy Racing’s  Jason Lawrence in ninth.  On the second lap, Troy Lee Design’s Chris Blose moved into fifth place and Dungey passed Reardon to take second as the two leaders began to pull away. Lawrence was already up to fifth by the end of the second lap and Dungey inched closer to Morais and switched up lines for an attempt at a pass. In the first turn option they took different lines, but Morais gained a few feet. Dungey attempted to square up in the right hander before the long rhythm section. Through the rhythm Dungey was right on Morais' wheel but failed to make the pass. One lap later they again went into the option at the same time but to no avail for Dungey, while Lawrence continued to close on the top four. The rhythm section worked for Dungey on the fourth lap and he made a very close mid-air pass for the lead, while Weimer took Reardon for third in the next turn before the finish line jump. Blose edged up on Reardon, with Lawrence closing in.

Further back Justin Brayton and Ryan Sipes had a good battle going for sixth. Blose and Lawrence both passed Reardon, and Sipes went off the track before the finish line giving Canidae/ Motosport/ Kawasaki’s Kyle Cunningham eighth place. Lawrence took Blose at the end of the rhythm while Weimer closed in on his teammate, Morais. Lawrence finally passed Blose with a long way to third place Weimer.  Weimer continued to close on Morais with three laps remaining, but Weimer got caught in some lap traffic slowing his charge on Morais.

On the final lap, the top five were fairly spread out with no real challeges and the crowd roared as Dungey whipped it over the finish for the win.

LITES MAIN RESULTS

1. Ryan Dungey
2. Ryan Morais
3. Jake Weimer
4. Jason Lawrence
5. Chris Blose
6. Dan Reardon
7. Justin Brayton
8. Kyle Cunningham
9. Michael Hall
10. P.J. Larsen
11. Ryan Sipes
12. Jeff Alessi
13. Eric McCrummen
14. Ben Evans
15. Ryan Clark
16. Michael Sleeter
17. Scott Champion
18. Shaun Skinner
19. Michael Lapaglia
20. Sean Collier

WEST COAST LITES STANDINGS

  1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 70
  2. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 64
  3. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 63
  4. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 50
  5. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Honda, 50
  6. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ken., KTM, 39
  7. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 34
  8. Ben Evans, Boise, Idaho, Honda, 31
  9. Dan Reardon, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 28
  10. PJ Larsen, Stanley, N.C., Kawasaki, 26

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

SUPERCROSS MAIN EVENT

Rockstar/ Makita/ Suzuki’s Mike Alessi nabbed the holeshot but his teammate, Chad Reed went down with Cernics Kawasaki’s Bobby Kiniry, remounting in second to last.  Geico Powersports/ Honda’s Kevin Windham took over the lead after the finish line and Monster Everygy/ Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto quickly moved into third.  San Manuel/ L&M/ Yamaha’s James Stewart was in sixth at the end of lap one with the top four order being Windham, JGR/ Yamaha’s Josh Grant, Villopoto, and Red Bull Honda’s Ivan Tedesco. Grant caught up to Windham on the third lap with Villopoto close behind. Villopoto tried a different combination in the rhythm section but did not get Grant and Reed had already moved up to 11th by the third lap.

Windham remained in the lead with about two seconds back to Villopoto in third, while Stewart was slowly closing in on the leaders on the fourth lap and Reed was up to eigth tailing his teammate, Alessi, by one second. The top four were all evenly spaced but Stewart began to put the pressure on Villopoto going into the rhythm but did not make the pass before the finish line.

Stewart made the pass on Villopoto in the whoops and went to work on Grant, while Windham had a little breathing room now. In the option they all went to the outside. Again Stewart’s pass attempt on Grant failed before the rhythm. Reed moved up to sixth place on the eigth lap.

Stewart finally made the pass on Grant in the right-hander before the rhythm which must have thrown him off as Villopoto also passed him at the end of the section.

Reed was catching Tedesco for fifth place and Stewart started to pressure Windham and he passed him right after the finish, going through the turn into the rollers as the crowd went crazy. Reed had about five seconds behind Grant on the 11th lap. Stewart mistimed the rhythm, almost throwing it away, but recovered with Windham and Villopoto right on his tail. One lap later, Stewart regained a more comfortable lead on Windham. Reed was starting to pressure Grant for fourth as they headed past the mechanics area. The crowd continued to cheer for Stewart every lap around and were on their feet. With six laps to go, Reed finally passed Grant for fourth as Villopoto continued to pressure Windham and Andrew Short began to make some time on Grant for fifth.

Reed caught Villopoto and was trying everything to get around him. Taking the inside over the triple, Reed tried to make a move but it did not stick. Through the rhythm, Reed looked very strong and made the pass on Villopoto for third. Next, he went to work on Windham with one lap remaining. Windham knew he was there, but Reed was putting lots of pressure on as they dealt with lapped traffic. Through the whoops and out, Reed made the final pass for second with the crowd on its feet and Stewart took an enthusiastic win.

SUPERCROSS MAIN EVENT RESULTS
1. James Stewart
2. Chad Reed
3. Kevin Windham
4. Ryan Villopoto
5. Josh Grant
6. Andrew Short
7. Ivan Tedesco
8. Timmy Ferry
9. Mike Alessi
10. Davi Millsaps
11. Paul Carpenter
12. Josh Hill
13. Nick Wey
14. Heath Voss
15. Troy Adams
16. Steve Boniface
17. Ben Coisy
18. Sean Hamblin
19. Bobby Kiniry
20. Matt Boni

AMA SUPERCROSS CLASS SEASON STANDINGS

  1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Suzuki, 64
  2. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 61
  3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 53
  4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 52
  5. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 48
  6. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahasse, Fla., Honda, 47
  7. Tim Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki, 43
  8. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 41
  9. Mike Alessi, Apple Valley, Calif., Suzuki, 32
  10. Davi Millsaps, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 31

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