The winds blew through Jacksonville today, but they could not stop the 250 and 450 classes from racing inside Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. The tight points battle in the Lites class came to a head tonight, as Christophe Pourcel set out to defend his narrow lead over Austin Stroupe. Meanwhile, the strong class of rookies did their best to stoke the fire. The drama started early in the premiere 450 when Ryan Villopoto went down in the first practice, and then did not come out for the second. Could he bounce back from the wad-up in practice? Could he keep Ryan Dungey from running away with the poiints lead?
Brett Metcalfe and Austin Stroupe battled for the top spot in the first heat, but Stroupe Dogg eventually took over where Metcalfe left off. Blake Baggett battled his way into third place, while Ryan Sipes, who nearly took a main event win last week, suffered a poor start and had to battle to qualify, but he was forced to the LCQ. Christophe Pourcel returned to his smooth winning ways, easily taking the second Lites heat of the night. Kyle Cunningham put his Valli Motorsports Yamaha into contention, taking a second-place finish. Justin Barcia, on the other hand, got caught up in the first turn and had to sift his way through the pack in order to catch a qualifying spot. Ryan Sipes, who came off a great performance in Dallas, suffered yet another poor start in the LCQ, and though he was on rails, he didn’t have enough track to score the final qualifying spot. Instead, Decotis took the win, followed by Steve Clarke.
Lites Main Event
The start straight was proving to be a bit tricky for some guys as the hump in the first turn caused some riders to bobble but surprisingly, in the main event, everyone made it through. Privateer Kelly Smith won the holeshot, and it's worth noting that Jacksonville was Smith's first race since breaking his leg in the Arenacross series and has always been known as a strong starter. Smith's lead was short-lived though, as Geico Powersports Honda's Brett Metcalfe jetted into first, followed by championship contenders Christophe Pourcel and Austin Stroupe. Pourcel and Stroupe tenaciously chased down the Aussie. The Frenchman, however, was the first to strike, picking off Stroupe and Metty on the 7th lap. Stroupe wasn’t about to let Pourcel get away, and he made the pass on Metty to keep him in his sights. From there, it was a battle for podium spots. Pourcel looked to be running a way with it, but the Pro Circuit rider bobbled a bit allowing Stroupe to make up some ground. Justin Barcia, meanwhile, revved his way through some traffic after a dismal start to make it up to fourth by the time the checkers flew. The bad luck tracked two others down when a collision before the first triple which left Blake Baggett and Vince Friese on the ground. Friese actually needed medical attention and wouldn't be able to finish the race. When the torches blasted, Pourcel took the win, and Stroupe and Metcalfe rounded out the podium. Privateer Jimmy Decostis, who had a good showing in the LCQ, ran a good race the entire 15 laps and held on for fourth, which was a career best finish for the Honda rider.
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results
1. Christophe Pourcel, Groveland, Fla., Kawasaki
2. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Suzuki
3. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
4. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
5. Jimmy Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda
6. Troy Adams, Homosassa, Fla., Suzuki
7. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Honda
8. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Suzuki
9. Steven Clarke, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki
10. Justin Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Kawasaki
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
1. Christophe Pourcel, Groveland, Fla., Kawasaki, 134
2. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Suzuki, 126
3. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 102
4. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 95
5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 80
6. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha, 77
7. Dean Wilson, San Jacinto, Calif., Kawasaki, 71
8. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Honda, 54
9. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha, 49
10. Troy Adams, Homosassa, Fla., Suzuki, 47
Ryan Villopoto jumped out to an early lead in the first 450 heat with Ryan Dungey nipping at his toes. Ivan Tedesco also enjoyed a decent start, and ran third-place block duty on Kyle Regal and Justin Brayton. Tedesco, however, lost his position to both riders, but regained it back late in the last lap. Villopoto took the win with Dungey in tow, while Hot Sauce rounded out the top three with Regal at his heels.
Davi Millsaps grabbed the early lead in the second fofiddy heat of the night, with JGR’s Michael Byrne and San Manuel’s Josh Hill clawing away at him. Kevin Windham and Trey Canard didn’t want to be left out of the party, though. And the two of them reeled in Hill. Windham, picked Hill off, then made his way after Byrne. Canard followed suit, and went to war with Hill for the final two laps. All said and done, Millsaps took the win with Windham second, and Byrne third.
Supercross Main Event
Valli Motorsports Yamaha’s Ivan Tedesco scored the Spike Holeshot award, but he wasn't in the lead very long before Ryan Villopoto glided his KX450F underneath the Yamaha rider and into the lead. RV2 would start stretching out his lead on Kevin Windham (who had found second place) as the veteran held off Ryan Dungey, who was the victim of a bad start. Early on in the race, Valli's newest 450 rider Kyle Regal went down at the end of the tabletop section and would be knocked out of the race. As well, Jason Lawrence went down early and was forced to try and come back from the back before eventually being forced to pull out.
With Villopoto pulling away, Dungey was forced to try to limit the damage, and he worked on Windham throughout the race. He eventually pulled alongside the Honda but clipped a jump and was almost sent over the berm. Ryan managed to save it but that allowed Windham to pull away again, and Dungey's work was cut out for him.
Further back, teammates Davi Millsaps and Trey Canard swapped aluminum when the 450 rookie (Canard) made an aggressive move on Big Treat. With that, Canard was the man on the move and got into the battle with Dungey and Windham.
It was those three riders that captivated the crowd as Dungey caught back up to Windham and eventually made the pass. From there the laps wound down, and the pressure on Windham got hotter as Canard got close. It was an all-out battle the last couple of laps and eventually, in the last straight before the finish, Canard slipped underneath Windham to grab the last podium spot. It was the fifth straight podium for Canard.
But it was Ryan Villopoto's night as he grabbed his sixth win of the season in a dominating performance that didn't start out that well. He gained three points on Dungey in the championship battle but time will tell if it's enough.
AMA Supercross Class Results
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
4. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
5. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
6. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
7. Josh Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
8. Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Suzuki
9. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
10. Michael Byrne, Newnan, Ga., Yamaha
AMA Supercross Class Season Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 261
2. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 240
3. Josh Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 206
4. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 189
5. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 179
6. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 164
7. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 159
8. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 131
9. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha, 115
10. Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Suzuki, 113