Stewart breaks through while Barcia maintains

By Michael Antonovich
Photos by Brendan Lutes

After thirteen weeks of traveling back and forth across the United States and a brief weekend in Canada, the Monster Energy Supercross Series made it's way to the St. Louis, Missouri, for round fourteen at the Edward Jones Dome. The massive floor space, always technical track, and what many riders cite as the best dirt of the tour, the annual stop in the Midwest did not disappoint those in attendance. The Supercross Lites championship nail biter between Geico Powersports/Honda's Justin Barcia and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Dean Wilson did not materialize as many hoped, as Barcia rode away with a win while Wilson rebounded from a midpack start to fourth place. In the Supercross class, the constant struggle for the top raged on, as San Manuel/Red Bull/Yamaha's James Stewart claimed his first win since Anaheim 2 over Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto.

Supercross Lites
DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing/Yamaha's Ryan Sipes posted the fastest laps throughout the day, as he looked to rebound after last week's struggles in Arlington, Texas. When the gate dropped for the main event, it was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett taking the holeshot, with Justin Barcia sneaking past him on the outside of the whoops on the opening lap. Barcia was not alone out front, as Sipes locked onto his rear fender for the opening stages of the race, and the pair quickly began exchanging passes for the lead. Just after the halfway point, Baggett inched closer to Sipes and allowed Barcia to ease away with the lead. Meanwhile the battle for second was just as intense, as Sipes and Baggett desired the exact same airspace, coming within inches of one another. Baggett eventually settled back for third and the running order finished that way after 15 frantic laps.
As for championship contender Dean Wilson, he was shuffled back off the line, but made quick work of many riders, including Barcia's teammate Blake Wharton for the fourth spot where he remained until the checkered flag flew. The title will be decided in three weeks at the finale in Las Vegas.

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Main Event
1. Justin Barcia (Hon)
2. Ryan Sipes (Yam)
3. Blake Baggett (Kaw)
4. Dean Wilson (Kaw)
5. Blake Wharton (Hon)
6. Gannon Audette (Yam)
7. Hunter Hewitt (Suz)
8. Lance Vincent (Hon)
9. Les Smith (Hon)
10. Taylor Futrell (Hon)
11. Darryn Duham (Hon)
12. Matt Lemoine (Kaw)
13. Brad Ripple (Hon)
14. Tyler Bright (Hon)
15. Levi Kilbarger (Hon)
16. Justin Sipes (Kaw)
17. Hunter Clements (Hon)
18. Kurtis Mccabe (Hon)
19. Nicholas Myers (Hon)
20. Jason Anderson (Suz)
Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Series Point Standings (After 8 of 9 rounds)
1. Justin Barcia (185/3 wins)
2. Dean Wilson (165/3 wins)
3. Ryan Sipes (141/1 win)
4. Blake Baggett (134/1 win)
5. Blake Wharton (125)
6. Matt Lemoine (105)
7. PJ Larsen (80
8. Malcolm Stewart (73)
9. Lance Vincent (69)
10. Hunter Hewitt (67)

Supercross
Hart and Huntington/Dodge Motorsports' Ivan Tedesco had ridden stellar all night, leading for the majority of his heat race, grabbing the holeshot in the main, and then holding off the pack of James Stewart, Ryan Dungey, and Ryan Villopoto for the opening laps before succumbing to a charging Stewart. Stewart carried speed down the end-zone length rhythm section and made the pass for the lead before the triple jump, then sped off to his first main event win since Anaheim 2. His gap over second place, defending champion Ryan Dungey was up to over four second at the midway point, but the Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki rider maintained a consistence pace for all twenty laps and knocked it down to an even three seconds by the end. Monster Energy Kawasaki and point leader Villopoto kept last year's season ending accident and practice crash off his mind as he rode to a quiet third place finish.
Factory Honda's Trey Canard came around the first turn in 17th position, but the fastest rider of the day in the premier class worked up to the top five by race end, just behind TwoTwo Motorsport's Chad Reed. Reed held third over Villopoto until landing on a Tuff Block that had been dragged on the track, breaking his momentum, and handing the position to Villopoto.
The series makes its way to what looks to be a rainy weekend in Seattle, Washington before a weekend off. The plot thickens as many ponder who will raise the number one plate when the season concludes at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Main Event
1. James Stewart (Yam)
2. Ryan Dungey (Suz)
3. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
4. Chad Reed (Hon)
5. Trey Canard (Hon)
6. Kevin Windham (Hon)
7. Davi Millsaps (Yam)
8. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw)
9. Austin Stroupe (Yam)
10. Andrew Short (KTM)
11. Tommy Hahn (Yam)
12. Chris Blose (Kaw)
13. Nick Wey (Yam)
14. Kyle Regal (Yam)
15. Michael Byrne (Suz)
16. Bobby Kiniry (Kaw)
17. Mike Alessi (KTM)
18. Tye Simmonds (Hon)
19. Fabien Izoird (Kaw)
20. Weston Pieck (Yam)
Supercross Series Point Standings (After 13 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto (275/5 wins)
2. Ryan Dungey (270/1 win)
3. Chad Reed (267/1 win)
4. James Stewart (259/4 wins)
5. Trey Canard (255/3 wins)
6. Andrew Short (185)
7. Kevin Windham (165)
8. Davi Millsaps (143)
9. Justin Brayton (141)
10. Ivan Tedesco (127)