SX Race Preview
Saturday night is the 10th round of the, an FIM World Championship, and the race moves to north to Toronto’s Rogers Centre. As riders such as Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto battle it out in the Supercross class, there’s going to be a local here in the class.
Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson, 18, grew up racing in Alberta where he earned several amateur national championships in both Canada and the United States before turning pro. On February 20, Wilson made his professional debut at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, finishing sixth place in the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class.
The following week at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, Wilson improved, taking his KX250F fourth place before nearly 70,000 fans. Then, at Daytona International Speedway, Wilson took the first podium finish of his career, finishing third. After three rounds, Wilson sits in third position, behind teammate and defending champion Christophe Pourcel and Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Austin Stroupe.
Dean Wilson Speaks…
After the podium at Dayton, Wilson said, “I learned a lot and I’m taking what I learned and I’m going to work hard during the week to correct some mistakes.”
“This is going to be a great race,” Wilson predicts. “There will be a lot of fans cheering for me and I hope I give them something to cheer about. Getting on the podium was good last week, and that’s where I want to be every week.
Christophe Pourcel Speaks…
Pourcel, who has a three-race win streak, is positive. “Toronto should be a good event for me,” said Pourcel. “It is the biggest stadium floor we race on so there are a lot of obstacles which usually means a technical track. I think the more technical track the better so I can keep riding well and keep getting on the podium.”
Austin Stroupe Speaks…
Stroup has a run of his own–three 2nd-place finishes in the first three races. “Being consistent is building my confidence as we head into Toronto,” said Stroupe. “It (finishing second) is getting a little old, but I’d rather be here than DNFing. I’m building on a lot of things I’ve lacked the last two years, so the team is helping me and we’re working together. I’m ready to race every weekend.”
Geico Powersports Honda racers Justin Barcia and Brett Metcalfe are going strong aboard their Honda CRF250Rs in the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class, and week after week are continue to be in the thick of the racing action.
Justin Barcia Speaks…
“I definitely have the speed to be up front and I have shown that at every race this season,” Barcia boasts. “I just have to put it all together come race day. (Former AMA Motocross Champion) Mike LaRocco works really hard to help me get accustomed to the whole pro racing scene and I know it’s only a matter of time before I get that win. We are quietly confident it will happen; it’s just a matter of me piecing everything both on and off track together and finding what works for me.”
In the AMA Supercross class, Dungey, who has three wins and three additional podium finishes, has a 20-point lead over Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto. Villopoto has four wins on the season but a crash-caused 19th-place finish in Atlanta hindered his overall position in point standings. Last weekend in Daytona, Villopoto scored his fourth victory of the season.
Ryan Villopoto Speaks…
“The championship is still in reach,” Villopoto says. “I just need to keep getting good starts and riding strong throughout the race. You never know what is going to happen, so I have to put myself in position to capitalize on my competitors mistakes.”
Dungey’s consistency has helped keep him head of the pack. Through the first nine races of the season, he has finished inside the top 10.
Ryan Dungey Speaks…
“I feel confident going into Toronto,” Dungey says. “I think we just have to keep racing one race at a time and just enjoy the season.”
Dungey’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Matt Moss is injured, and his spot on the time will be filled by Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class rider Ryan Morais to fill in for the open position. In his first AMA Supercross class race of his career, Morais finished 10th.
Ryan Morais Speaks…
“I feel like I could’ve done better in Daytona, but I’ll build off of it and get better,” said Morais. “I think now that my first-race jitters are gone, I can relax a little going into Toronto.”
Morais isn’t the only moonlighting Western Lites rider. Trey Canard has keeping injured Andrew Short’s seat warm on the Honda Red Bull Racing CRF450R. Impressively, he nailed down a podium finishes at Atlanta and Daytona, following up a win in the Western Lites at Anaheim 3.
Tickets are available at the Rogers Centre Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 416-870-8000 and at Ticketmaster.ca. Gold Circle tickets $40.00; Extreme seats $25 and Treadhead seats $15. Pizza Pizza kids seats are $15.
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