Race Report: San Francisco SX

Race Report: San Francisco Supercross

Ignited by Ballpark

By Steve Matthes

Photos by Donn Maeda

As the riders headed into round four of the Monster Energy Supercross series in San Francisco, they feared that they would have to face the usual rain, slop and mud that the bay area usually throws at them. But, just like last week in Anaheim, the Dirt Wurx track crew did a fantastic job with the soil and despite the rains that fell the night before, the racers had a pretty good track to put  on a show. And what a show it was! Former Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Champion Trey Canard came away with his first win of the season, as did Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto.
Of course, the big news came on Friday night when a press release came out telling us that defending series champion, San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart, elected to get surgery on his damaged wrist and would be sitting out the San Francisco race and most likely, quite a few more. His absence, along with Chad Reed’s, blew the series wide open and assures us that we would have a first-time 450 Supercross champion in 2010.

SUPERCROSS LITES QUALIFYING

It was a holeshot and wire to wire win for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit's Jake Weimer in heat one. Jake, who had an undefeated season going on so far this year, was untouchable as he rode a perfect race and showed why he's gone three for three so far. Behind him the action was fast and furious as privateers Ryan Clark, Phil Nicoletti and Antonio Balbi fought it out for the second spot. Lucas Oil/TLD Honda riders Cole Seely and Will Hahn had to work their way up the front after poor starts. Seely would go on to get second and Hahn fifth. Balbi was third in a good ride with Rockstar Suzuki's Hunter Hewitt, Motoconcepts Yamaha's Travis Baker, Chris Gosselaar, Clark and Nicoletti getting the final transfer spots.

DNA Energy/Star Racing's Jake Anstie grabbed the holeshot in the second heat, but was immediately punted by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit's (and fast qualifier) Josh Hansen in the second turn. The impact shot Anstie off the track and allowed GEICO Honda teammates Trey Canard and Blake Wharton to move into the first and second spots. Hansen made up for his lost spots by passing Wharton on lap two and chasing after Canard. Behind those three, DNA Energy/Star Racing's Broc Tickle once again had a terrible start and was back in the pack with Anstie and those two had to work forward from there. Wharton went down late in the race and was forced to the LCQ along with BTOSports.com/BBMX's Bobby KIniry. Canard would go on to take the win with Hansen, Motoconcepts Yamaha's Jeff Alessi, Daniel Hendrix, Anstie, Tickle, Jake Canada and Jason Potter taking the top nine spots and a berth into the main event.

GEICO Honda's Blake Wharton was the man in front around the first turn and he would go on to an uncontested win in the Lites LCQ. Finishing second was Northern California's Eric McCrummen and those two would go onto the main event.

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SUPERCROSS LITES MAIN EVENT

Cole Seely shot out with the holeshot in the main event, series points leader Jake Weimer was right behind going into the second turn when there was some contact. What ended up happening after that was Josh Hansen spilled out off the track and Trey Canard raced into the lead. Canard would put down some heavy sprint laps and pull away from Weimer, something that no one has been able to do all year. Broc Tickle finally was in a position worthy of his speed and settled into third while Blake Wharton's bad luck continued with another crash and more work ahead of him.
Up front, Canard would slowly pull away from Weimer when Jake cased a few jumps. It was a perfect performance by the Oklahoman as he led all 15 laps and won his first race of the year. Weimer finished second and Broc Tickle got his first podium of the year. Will Hahn came from the back in a great ride to finish fourth with Seely getting fifth.
Travis Baker rode a strong race to sixth; Hansen worked his way to seventh from almost dead last followed by Max Anstie and then a fading Jeff Alessi. Rounding out the top ten was privateer Phil Nicoletti.

SUPERCROSS LITES RESULTS

1. Trey Canard (Hon)

2. Jake Weimer (Kaw)

3. Broc Tickle (Yam)

4. Wil Hahn (Hon)

5. Cole Seeley (Hon)

6. Travis Baker (Yam)

7. Josh Hansen (Kaw)

8. Max Anstie (Yam)

9. Jeff Alessi (Yam)

10. Phil Nicoletti (KTM)

11. Phil Nicoletti (KTM)

12. Jake Canada (Kaw)

13. Blake Wharton (Hon)

14. Ryan Clark (Hon)

15. Antonio Balbi (Kaw)

16. Dabiel Hendrix (Kaw)

17. Hunter Hewitt (Suz)

18. Chris Gosselaar (Hon)

19. Joshua Clark (Kaw)

20. Jason Potter (Hon)

WESTERN REGIONAL SUPERCROSS LITES POINT STANDINGS

1. Jake Weimer (97/3 wins)

2. Trey Canard (81/1)

3. Wil Hahn (74)

4. Broc Tickle (62)

5. Blake Wharton (59)

6. Cole Seeley (54)

7. Josh Hansen (46)

8. Max Anstie (45)

9. Ryan Morais (42)

10. Jeff Alessi (40)

SUPERCROSS QUALIFYING

Makita/Rockstar Suzuki's Ryan Dungey continued his hot streak by getting the start in the first heat but it was short lived as Honda Red Bull Racing's Andrew Short tucked underneath Ryan and took off. It was a great race with Dungey stalking Short and trying to get close enough to make the move. Right before the last lap, Dungey cross-rutted and landed on top of a tuff block. He tumbled off the track but he did manage to salvage a qualifying position. Behind those two was Short's teammate Davi Millsap, Rockstar/Hart & Huntington's Chris Blasé, Jarred Browne, Valli Yamaha's Ivan Tedesco, Dungey, Jesse Casillas, Tommy Hahn and Cyrille Coulon grabbing the last spot into the main event. J-Law Racing's Grant Langston was forced to the LCQ as he had trouble off the start.

Monster Energy/Kawasaki's Nick Wey got off to a great jump in the second heat but his new teammate Ryan Villopoto got by and immediately checked out. Wey had a first lap problem somewhere and dropped into 10th with San Manual Yamaha's Josh Hill going after Villopoto. RV would have no problem as he grabbed the easy win. Behind him there was some chaos as Muscle Milk Yamaha teammates Justin Brayton and Michael Byrne went at it for third before Brayton went down. GEICO Honda's Kevin Windham was the man on the move as he grabbed third behind RV and Hill. They were followed by Frenchman (and team Le Top member) Fabien Izoird, Wey, Brayton, BTOSport.com/BBMX's Jason Thomas and Red Seven's Kyle Partridge. Motoconcepts Yamaha's Kyle Chisholm was off to the LCQ when he crashed while in qualifying position.

Factory Service KTM's Mike Sleeter was the early leader in the 450 LCQ with Manuel Rivas following close behind. Rivas put an aggressive move on Sleeter and knocked him to the ground. This allowed Kyle Chisholm to grab the last qualifying spot into the 450 main event.

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SUPERCROSS MAIN EVENT

The gate dropped and like so many other races this season, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey grabbed the holeshot. The Suzuki rider was certainly showing why he was the current points leader as he put the hammer down. The riders trying to close the gap were Josh Hill, Davi Millsaps, Andrew Short and Ryan Villopoto. Short and Villopoto diced back and forth in the opening laps for fourth when Andrew went down in a berm. Meanwhile, up front Ryan Dungey was pulling away and looking good for his third win in a row.
RV was on the move however and got by Millsaps and stalked Hill around the track. These two riders put on a great show with numerous passes between them and even some contact was made. This was great racing but also allowed Dungey to pull out even more of a lead. Eventually Villopoto made the pass stick on Hill and settled into second.
But then disaster struck as Dungey got his foot ripped off in the same rhythm section that he crashed in during the heat and he went down hard. By the time he re-mounted, RV, Hill and Millsaps were all right there to capitalize on the crash and they all moved by the number 5 Suzuki. The four riders freight-trained together in positions one through four with Villopoto pulling away a bit near the end of the race. Dungey, probably shaken by his crash, lost a bit of time to Millsaps and was probably counting his lucky stars that he got fourth.
Ryan Villopoto crossed the line first for his third career Supercross win with Josh Hill close behind. Millsaps recorded his first podium of the season and the points leader Dungey finished fourth. Fifth after his early fall was Short with a charging Justin Brayton in sixth. Seventh was Ivan Tedesco, eighth was early front-runner Nick Wey with Tommy Hahn and Michael Byrne rounding out the top 10.

SUPERCROSS RESULTS

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)

2. Josh Hill (Yam)

3. Davi Millsaps (Hon)

4. Ryan Dungey (Suz)

5. Andrew Short (Hon)

6. Justin Brayton (Yam)

7. Ivan Tedesco (Yam)

8. Nick Wey (Kaw)

9. Tommy Hahn (Suz)

10. Michael Byrne (Yam)

11. Kevin Windham (Hon)

12. Kyle Chisolm (Yam)

13. Jason Thomas (Suz)

14. Cyrille Coulon (Kaw)

15. Fabien Izoird (Kaw)

16. Chris Blose (Hon)

17. Manuel Rivas (Kaw)

18. Jesse Casillas (Kaw)

19. Jarred Browne (Kaw)

20. Kyle Partridge (Kaw)

SUPERCROSS SERIES POINT STANDINGS

1. Ryan Dungey (90/2 wins)

2. Josh Hill (79)

3. Ryan Villopoto (77/1)

4. Andrw Short (68)

5. Kevin Windham (61)

6. Davi Millsaps (57)

7. Ivan Tedesco (57)

8. Justin Brayton (56)

9. James Stewart (51/1)

10. Tommy Hahn (42)