EA SPORTS Supercross Event Notes: Anaheim, Round Three
Stewart On Fire: Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki’s James Stewart, 16, became theyoungest rider in supercross history to win a main event, as he dominatedthe second round of 125cc Western Regional Supercross competition lastweekend in San Diego. “I still can’t believe this happened,” said anexcited Stewart after the race. “I am so excited I almost want to cry.”
Six and Counting: Frenchman David Vuillemin just upped his 250cc career winrecord to six with his second consecutive win last weekend in San Diego.Vuillemin, who riders for Team Yamaha, won four 250cc main events in 2000.Vuillemin has an eight-point lead over Honda’s Mike LaRocco.
Australia Reps: Australia natives Chad Reed and Michael Byrne are in the top10 in 250cc points after two rounds. Reed, who is in his first year ofAmerican racing, is in third place with 31 points and Byrne, a second yearrider on the American circuit, is tied with Kevin Windham for fifth place.Reed is scheduled to race in the 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross seasonthat starts in Indianapolis. Many have asked: What if he (Reed) is in thetop three in the 250cc division when Indianapolis comes around? “He isscheduled to race on the Yamaha of Troy 125cc team,” said Terry Beal,Yamaha’s Public Relations Manager. “This is his first year of Americansupercross, and we had no idea that he would adjust to the tracks so easily,but regardless of how he does on a 250cc, he is slated to race in the 125ccdivision.” Last year Yamaha of Troy members Nick Wey and Nathan Ramseycompeted in the 250cc class before the 125cc Eastern Regional divisionstared and both were in the top 10 in 250cc points when their 125cc seasonstarted.
Ferry Returns: Just a few weeks after having knee surgery, Team Yamaha’s TimFerry returned to racing. In his 2002 début, Ferry finished in 12th place.This was his worst finish since the opening round of supercross last yearwhere he DNFed (did not finish). “I was a little tight at San Diego becausemy knee was sore,” said ferry. “I am just happy to be back racing.”
RC Rebound: Finishing fourth is better than not finishing at all. Aftercrashing hard in the whoops and not finishing the race at the opening round,Team Honda’s Ricky Carmichael, 22, returned to action in San Diego, where hefinished fourth. In 2001, Carmichael never finished worse than third; hecurrently sits 12th in points.
One More Lap: Not to take anything away from David Vuillemin, but TravisPastrana was making up plenty of time on him last weekend towards the end ofthe race and things could have been very interesting had there been a fewmore laps. Pastrana’s late-race charge showed his competitors that he is ingreat shape and can ride 20 consistent laps. “I can ride 20 laps hard,”said Pastrana. “I started off slow and progressively turned in faster laptimes. David (Vuillemin) was riding so smooth, so I followed his lines forthe better half of the race and before long I was getting very close tohim.”
LaRocco Figures Out How To Start: Mike LaRocco, long known for his inabilityto get a good start, has figured out what it takes to be a good starter. InSan Diego, he left the first turn in fourth place and finished the race inthird. “He practiced his starts and cornering speed religiously in the offseason,” said Honda PR Manager Greg Wright.
McGrath Works on Arm Pump: Never count Jeremy McGrath out. The seven-timesupercross champion has 72 wins, the sport’s record, but has failed to makeit to the podium in the first two rounds of EA SPORTS Supercross. “AlthoughI made adjustments after the Anaheim race, it seems that my timing is stilloff,” said McGrath. “I will be working hard again this week to correctthese issues and really look forward to being back at Anaheim again thisweekend.” McGrath’s Team Manager Larry Brooks added: “MC is in the bestshape he has ever been in and once his timing kicks in and his mind and bodystart working together all the pieces will fall right back into place. Weare suffering just a minor hiccup … he’ll be back on top in no time!”
Evans to Husky: Former Suzuki support rider Tyler Evans, who entered thefirst two rounds of EA SPORTS Supercross after taking a break from racing,will ride for factory Husqvarna in place of injured rider Steve Lamson, whobroke his leg in San Diego. Evans made the 250cc main event at the openinground and missed making the main in San Diego by one spot; however, he didearn the $250 Racer X Gas Card. Known by many as a ‘bad boy,’ Evans haslearned form his mistakes in the past, which include on-track altercationswith riders and the AMA. In an interview with Racer X Editor, Evans said:”I make mistakes every day, but I am going to learn from them. I amlearning to keep a level head and not get upset when things go wrong.”
Bum Arm: Team Honda’s Ernesto Fonseca, who is the reigning 125cc WesternRegional Supercross champion, watched San Diego’s main event from the sidelines last week after tearing a ligament in his arm. Although he missedlast weekend’s race, Fonseca is still in the top 10 in points, thanks to histhird-place finish at the opening round.
250cc Rookies: Three 250cc rookie riders, Travis Pastrana, Nick Wey, andErnesto Fonseca, have a presence in the top 10 in points. Fonseca (10th)and Pastrana (seventh) won 125cc Regional Supercross championships lastyear, while Wey finished fourth in the 125cc Eastern Regional division.
250cc Laps Led After Two Rounds
36 David Vuillemin, Yamaha3 Travis Pastrana, Suzuki1 Michael Byrne, Honda
125cc Laps led After Two Rounds
13 James Stewart, Kawasaki4 David Pingree, KTM2 Rodrig Thain, Yamaha
1 Brock Sellards, Brock Sellards9 Chris Gosselaar, Honda
San Diego Recap
125cc Event Standings1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kaw2. Rodrig Thain, France, Yam3. Ivan Tedesco, Albuquerque, N.M., Yam4. David Pingree, Temecula, Calif., KTM5. Travis Preston, Hesperia, Calif., Hon6. Chris Gosselaar, Juniper Hills, Calif., Hon7. Craig Decker, Palm Desert, Calif., Yam8. Travis Elliot, Alvin, Texas, Hon9. Danny Smith, Middleton, Idaho, Suz10. Keith Johnson, Albuquerque, N.M., Yam
125cc Season Standings1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kaw, 47 pts2. Travis Preston, Hesperia, Calif., Hon, 41 pts3. Rodrig Thain, France, Yam, 38 pts4. Chris Gosselaar, Juniper Hills, Calif., Hon, 35 pts5. Ivan Tedesco, Albuquerque, N.M., Yam, 34 pts6. David Pingree, Temecula, Calif., KTM, 33 pts7. Travis Elliot, Alvin Texas, Honda, 26 pts8. Brock Sellards, Sherrodsville, Ohio, KTM, 249. Keith Johnson, Albuquerque, N.M., Yam, 2310. Michael Brandes, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suz, 19
250cc Event Standings1. David Vuillemin, France, Yam2. Travis Pastrana, Annapolis, Mary., Suz3. Mike LaRocco, South Bend, Ind., Hon4. Ricky Carmichael, Havana, Fla., Hon5. Chad Reed, Australia, Yam6. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Suz7. Ezra Lusk, Acworth, Ga., Kaw8. Nathan Ramsey, Corona, Calif., Hon9. Damon Huffman, Valencia, Calif., Yam10. Jeremy McGrath, Encinitas, Calif., Yam
250cc Season Standings1. David Vuillemin, France, Yam, 50 pts2. Mike LaRocco, South Bend, Ind., Hon, 42 pts3. Chad Reed, Australia, Yam, 31 pts4. Ezra Lusk, Acworth, Ga., Kaw, 305. Michael Byrne, Australia, Hon, 28 pts6. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Suz, 28 pts7. Travis Pastrana, Annapolis, Mary., Suz, 24 pts8. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Hon, 22 pts9. Damon Huffman, Valencia, Calif., Suz, 2210. Ernesto Fonseca, Costa Rica, Hon, 20