Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, NV
May 3rd, 2008
The 2008 AMA Supercross Series came to close on Saturday night under the cool desert skies of Las Vegas, NV. Amidst a flurry of excitement, all three Redux Beverages/Brawndo Honda riders were looking to put an exclamation point on a very exciting and successful series.
Bob Kiniry was first out of the gate in the “Lites” West Region practice session. He isn’t a fan of the hard-packed conditions, but he looked comfortable and relaxed in both of his preliminary practice sessions.
Kyle Partridge was up next, jockeying for position in the East Region “Lites” prequalification practice session. He was looking great, setting seventh quickest lap time right off the bat. The second go around proved to be his downfall, however, as the very technical whoop section got the best of him, sending him to terra firma like a ton of bricks. Kyle lost consciousness momentarily, and was forced to retire early from the program.
Being one man down in the “Lites” class meant Bob Kiniry would have to work that much harder. When the gate dropped on the first heat race, it was none other than New York’s finest leading the way. Bob lead for almost a lap before succumbing to the pressure of Ryan Dungey and Austin Stroupe. A lap later, he would relinquish third to West Region Champ Jason Lawrence. A final mistake in the whoops dropped him back one more position, where he would finish in fifth.
The main event was another great start for Kiniry. Two turns in he was running fifth, but the whoops that bit Partridge were eating away at Bob as well. Though he never crashed, he struggled with them throughout the main event. Bob slipped back to 12th, still a respectable finish to an excellent season of Supercross.
Ryan Clark was the lone ranger in the “Supercross” class aboard his might steed, a 2008 Honda CRF 450R. The track seemed to suit his style, with a hard-packed surface and a smorgasbord of technical obstacles. The only glitch in his program was a fuel problem in the second practice session, which forced an early retirement.
Ryan gated horribly in the heat, but things got better before they got worse. He was up to 11th on the second lap when he lost his front end in a corner. When he remounted, his front brake was filled with dirt, causing a frozen front wheel. A little old fashion pushing and pulling freed things up, and Ryan continued on to 15th place. He was off to the LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier).
In the LCQ Ryan started mid-pack but wasted no time moving into the top five. The short race was a do-or-die situation, and Ryan responded to the pressure. In the final laps, he moved from fifth to third, then in the next-to-last turn made the pass into the final transfer. The crowd was on their feet to see this last ditch effort to make the pass.
The “Supercross” Main Event is 20 laps, and the long lap times would be either a blessing or a curse depending on your fitness level. Ryan gated around 15th, and slowly and methodically moved forward. By halfway he had moved by Jason Thomas for 13th and was setting his sights on 12th. In a high-speed chicane, Ryan caught his brake pedal on a tuff-block cover and bent it in a way that he could no longer access the rear brake. He took a detour off the track to kick the pedal back into a usable position and then resumed his charge. Ryan made it back to 15th by the final lap, solidifying a solid ride to cap off his season.
Summary: Not having Kyle competing in his hometown race was a real bummer. The good news is that nothing is broken and Kyle is recovering back home in So. Cal. He is sore, but should be back on the bike in a few weeks Congratulations to all three team riders for an excellent season.
The annual Supercross Banquet was on Sunday night, and the whole Redux Beverages/Brawndo Honda crew was on hand and dressed to the nines. Thank you to Live Nation for a great season and a great celebratory banquet.
The good folks at Redux Beverages threw a private party at the Empire Ballroom for the team on Saturday after the race. There was plenty of Brawndo on hand, along with other libations.
In the two weeks off between Las Vegas and Glen Helen, there is a lot to be done. Look for some announcements in the coming week regarding new and exciting things on the horizon for the team.
Team Solitaire/MB1 Racing is a privately owned professional Supercross and Motocross race team based in Phoenix, AZ. Our 2008 marketing partners include: Redux Beverages, Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator, MB1 Suspension, Kingdom Clothing, American Honda, FLY Racing, Dragon Optical, Pro Honda Oils and Chemicals, Factory Effex, DRD Exhaust, Vortex, ASV, Dunlop, WPS, Sidi, Rockwell Watches, DUS, OGIO, Applied, QTM/Brembo, RK Chain, EXCEL Rims, HoyFox.com, Boyesen, Hinson, Ready Filter, CoachSeiji.com, Cycra Plastic, Element Sports, Sano Systems, AIMMD, Pivot Works, Hot Cams, Hot Rods, Champion Tool Storage, Crank Works, CP Pistons, Cometic Gaskets, Ron Davis Racing Radiators, NGK Spark Plugs, Flyin’ Kolors, DC Auto Wraps, Leatt Brace, Dirt Pro, Mechanix Wear, JM Collision, Team Hawg Racing and Group D Manufacturing.