Race Report: Seattle SX 2012

By Jordan Powell

Photos by Jeff Kardas

Round 15 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series headed back west to the Centurylink Field in Seattle, Washington. Rain haunted the seven day forecast, and it appeared that another mudder was going to take place. However, the Dirt Wurx crew got the track built and covered before the rain hit early on in the week, which ultimately paid off come race day. Saturday morning greeted all the Supercross fans with blue skies and warm weather, but most importantly, the track was dry when the tarps were removed. In the end, the perfect conditions made for some great racing in both classes! In the 450 class, Andrew Short took home his very first 450 win in front of thousands of Supercross fans, while Ryan Sipes took home his first win of the season in the Lites class. As far as the championship battle between Dean Wilson and Eli Tomac goes, let’s just say it was an exciting first few laps. During one of the numerous passes for second, the two riders collided, which sent the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider down to the ground. As a result, Tomac now has a four point lead heading into Salt Lake.

LITES HEAT 1
When the gates dropped for the first heat race of the night, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Dean Wilson rocketed out front and led the pack of riders into the first turn. Rockstar Suzuki's Martin Davalos quickly put himself on the rear wheel of the series points leader, followed by Matt Moss, Travis Baker, Eli Tomac, and Vince Friese. After three laps, Wilson had started to open the gap on Davalos by three seconds, while Tomac moved his way into fourth. The Geico Honda rider kept trying to find an open door to pass Moss, but the JDR KTM rider didn't allow the pass. At the end of the six laps, Wilson took the win, while Davalos, Moss, Tomac, and Friese--who snuck pass Baker on the final turn--finished within the top five.

Results:
1. Dean Wilson (Kaw)
2. Martin Davalos (Suz)
3. Matt Moss (KTM)
4. Eli Tomac (Hon)
5. Vince Friese (Hon)
6. Travis Baker (Hon)
7. Bryce Hudson (Kaw)
8. E. Meusling (Hon)
9. Preston Tilford (Hon)

LITES HEAT 2
After holding down the fastest lap time in the Lites class, Marvin Musquin had some confidence going into the second heat, and it showed as he grabbed the holeshot on his Red Bull KTM. As the riders rounded the first turn, Wil Hahn was right within striking distance, but went too wide, which allowed Billy Laninovich to move on in. As the riders completed the first lap, it was Musquin, Laninovich, Hahn, Cole Seely, and Jason Anderson. The Rockstar Suzuki rider started to make some moves on the TLD rider, and Anderson made the pass happen coming out of the whoops. Laninovich had fallen back to fifth, which allowed Hahn, Anderson, and Seely to advance. The battle between Anderson and Seely would not be over, as Seely got the Suzuki rider back in the same exact spot on the next lap. By the time the final lap flag came out, Hahn had closed the gap on Musquin, however, he was unable to make the pass by the end of the race. Musquin would take the heat race win while Hahn and Seely rounded off the top three.

Results:
1. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
2. Wil Hahn (Hon)
3. Cole Seely (Hon)
4. Jason Anderson (Suz)
5. Ryan Sipes (Suz)
6. Billy Laninovich (Hon)
7. Kyle Beaton (Kaw)
8. Topher Ingalls (Hon)
9. Myles Tedder (Kaw)

LCQ
Scott Champion ripped the holeshot at the beginning of the Lites LCQ, and never looked back. Killy Rusk jumped in right behind him, but never challenged him. In the end, Champion and Rusk advanced to the main.

Results:
1. Scott Champion (Hon)
2. Killy Rusk (Hon)

SUPERCROSS LITES MAIN EVENT

With two out of three titles wrapped up in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, all eyes were on Dean Wilson and Eli Tomac as only three points separated them for first. When the gates dropped, Ryan Sipes, Eli Tomac, and Dean Wilson flew into the first corner. Sipes, who just came back from a stage four shoulder separation, held off the two title contenders, and had an open track ahead of him. Meanwhile, the battle between Tomac and Wilson was fully engaged. For the next few laps, the two riders got aggressive with each other and swapped positions numerous times. The hard passes eventually caused Wilson to crash as the two riders hooked up after the finish line. After Wilson got his bike up and going, he had dropped back to eighth. Behind them, Wil Hahn, Cole Seely, and Martin Davalos ran up in the top five. The old teammates exchanged positions a few times, but Seely eventually made the pass for third. Heat number two winner Marvin Musquin suffered from a bad start, but he was quickly moving through the pack. By the halfway point, he had jumped into fifth, and he was quickly catching Hahn and Seely.

After eight laps, Tomac remain in second, but he wasn’t riding at the same speed as he was earlier in the race. This allowed Seely, Hahn, and Musquin to catch up. Musquin picked up Hahn and Seely one by one, and he eventually worked his way onto Tomac’s rear wheel by the end of the race. He made the pass stick, and finished the race in second while Sipes took the win. Tomac rounded off the podium and took the points lead back.

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Overall
1. Ryan Sipes
2. Marvin Musquin
3. Eli Tomac
4. Cole Seely
5. Wil Hahn
6. Jason Anderson
7. Dean Wilson
8. Billy Laninovich
9. Travis Baker
10. Vince Friese
11. Scott Champion
12. Kyle Beaton
13. Killy Rusk
14. Martin Davalos
15. Topher Ingalls
16. Bryce Hudson
17. Matt Moss
18. Eli Meusling
19. Preston Tilford
20. Myles Tedder
250 Class West Coast Championship Standings (After 7 of 9 rounds)
1. Eli Tomac (134pts)
2. Dean Wilson (130)
3. Cole Seely (119)
4. Marvin Musquin (111)
5. Ryan Sipes (78)
6. Nico Izzi (78)
7. Matt Moss (77)
8. Travis Baker (75)
9. Jason Anderson (73)
10. Billy Laninovich (70)

SUPERCROSS HEAT 1
At the start of the first nine lap 450 heat race, Ken Roczen led Ryan Villopoto into the first corner aboard his Red Bull KTM 350SX-F. Roczen looked strong on that first lap, but the 2012 SX champion moved his way into the lead soon after. Right behind the young German rider was Muscle Milk Honda's Justin Brayton, Andrew Short, and Brett Metcalfe. Jeff Alessi held the number six spot, while Josh Grant and Broc Tickle fought to advance in their positions. Tickle ended up making the pass on both riders, and that move allowed Grant to pass Alessi, too. Soon after, the MCR rider hit the ground hard and was carted away by the Asterisk Medical crew. Villopoto continued to open up his gap on Roczen, and he eventually took an easy win.

Results:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Ken Roczen (KTM)
3. Justin Brayton (Hon)
4. Andrew Short (Hon)
5. Brett Metcalfe (Suz)
6. Broc Tickle (Kaw)
7. Josh Grant (Kaw)
8. Tyler Bowers (Kaw)
9. Chris Blose (Kaw)

SUPERCROSS HEAT TWO
Jake Weimer grabbed the holeshot on his Monster Energy Kawasaki, but Ryan Dungey quickly moved into the lead soon after. Dungey, who had been out of the 450 class for a couple of months due to a broken collarbone, came out swinging and slowly started to pull away from Weimer. Right behind them were Izzi, Millsaps, Kiniry, and Regal. Millsaps would make the pass on Izzi after four laps and move into third. By that time, Dungey and Weimer were far gone for him to catch up to the front. Right before the finish line jump, Izzi stalled his bike, and he fell way back by the time he got it running. When the race came to a close, Dungey took the heat race win with Weimer and Millsaps in tow.

Results:
1. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
2. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
3. Davi Millsaps (Yam)
4. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
5. Mike Alessi (Suz)
6. Kyle Regal (Kaw)
7. Bob Kiniry (Yam)
8. Matt Goerke (Suz)
9. Justin Sipes (Kaw)

LCQ
Nick Paluzzi and Weston Peick had a drag race down the start straight at the beginning of the DC Refuse to Lose 450 LCQ. Paluzzi would drop back to third, though, as he drifted wide in the first corner. This allowed Nick Wey to move into second. By the end of the race, Peick and Wey would transfer into the main.

Results:
1. Weston Peick (Yam)
2. Nick Wey (Kaw)

SUPERCROSS MAIN EVENT

Andrew Short edged Ryan Dungey for the holeshot in the 20 lap main event and never looked back enroute to the first main event win of his lengthy career. Short and close friend Ken Roczen battled cleanly for numerous laps before Roczen settled in after a mistake and Short motored away. Short rode a calculated and smooth main event and did not falter after pulling away from the KTM racer, and on the final laps slowed his pace to avoid any mistakes. Short was thrilled to take the top step of podium just one week after his return to the 2012 season, a year that has been marked with various difficulties.

The night was not without issue for other racers, including Josh Grant, Ryan Villopoto, and Ryan Dungey. All three suffered from incidents involving contact with other riders, with Villopoto’s being the most serious. The recently crowned champion pulled a lackluster start and was buried deep in the pack, forcing the Villopoto to mount yet another come from behind charge. The Kawasaki rider blazed down the smooth straightaway and into the left hand turn, but lost the front end as he slammed the brakes. Villopoto’s left leg was awkwardly pinned beneath his bike, and the fall did obvious damage to the leg. He hobbled off of the track and rode on the back of his bike to the pits. Josh Grant and Robert Kiniry slammed into one another early in the race, which damaged Grant’s rear brake system and forced him to withdraw. As Ryan Dungey clawed to the front in his first race since St. Louis, he tangled with Justin Brayton mid-turn while attempting to overtake the lone factory Honda racer and had his front end knocked away from him. Dungey would come back to finish sixth place overall.

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Overall
1. Andrew Short
2. Ken Roczen
3. Jake Weimer
4. Justin Brayton
5. Davi Millsaps
6. Ryan Dungey
7. Mike Alessi
8. Broc Tickle
9. Weston Peick
10. Nick Wey
11. Kyle Chisholm
12. Robert Kiniry
13. Justin Sipes
14. Chris Blose
15. Matt Georke
16. Tyler Bowers
17. Kyle Regal
18. Josh Grant
19. Ryan Villopoto
20. Brett Metcalfe
450 Class Championship Standings (After 15 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto (323)*
2. Davi Millsaps (222)
3. Justin Brayton (219)
4. Ryan Dungey (207)
5. Jake Weimer (191)
6. James Stewart (178)
7. Mike Alessi (176)
8. Brett Metcalfe (173)
9. Kevin Windham (166)
10. Broc Tickle (146)
(*clinched title)