SX Pre-Race Report
Last season’s Supercross in Jacksonville’s Municipal Stadium in north Florida, the rivalry and tense emotions between title contenders James Stewart and Chad Reed boiled over, leading to a memorable inaugural race that set the tone for the remainder of the season.
Chad Reed provided an update this week about the status of his return, and says he hopes to be back in action in Houston in a couple weeks. With another exciting championship battle shaping up in 2010, Jacksonville will serve as a critical juncture in the premier SX class battle.
With a 24-point advantage and six races to go, Dungey now controls his own destiny to the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, crown. As Stroupe continues to close in on Christophe Pourcel in the Eastern Regional Championship, the final three races for the East Coast racers will come down to the wire.
A Rockstar Makita Suzuki stood atop the AMA Supercross class podium for the fourth time in 2010 as Ryan Dungey raced to a dominating victory, extending his points lead to 24 over Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto.
“Looking back at my past races and seeing where I could be better, one area was the start of the race. I needed to pick it up and get it going and put in fast lap times. I put myself in a good position in Dallas, and at the beginning part of my motos, I’m being more aggressive.”
“Looking forward to Jacksonville, I just want to put a solid week of practice in. We’re not that far from Jacksonville, so we don’t have to be rushing. I’m going to show up and have some fun. I went to Jacksonville last year to watch, so it’ll be good to go there and race.”
“For the supercross class, I feel really good going into Jacksonville. We had a 17-point lead coming into Dallas, and although Ryan Dungey was right there the last couple of races, getting second repeatedly could make him lose his confidence. With Ryan’s win, now we’ve stretched the points lead out to 24. I’m really happy.”
Villopoto is looking to get back on the top of the box in Jacksonville on his Kawasaki KX450F. After winning the previous two races, Villopoto finished fourth last weekend in Dallas and now faces a steeper climb to his first supercross class championship. However, his resilient ride through the field shows he still has all the speed necessary to regain the momentum in the title fight.
“I know what I need to do, it’s actually a really easy equation, I need to win. Jacksonville should be a good race for me. I’ve been living in Florida and I’ve had a lot of practice on the sandy dirt here so I should be ready for Saturday.”
At Honda Red Bull Racing, the Jacksonville Supercross marks fill-in rider Trey Canard’s final supercross race aboard Andrew Short’s Honda CRF450R before he jumps back onto his Geico Powersports Honda CRF250R and begins preparation for the conclusion of AMA Supercross Lites Western Regional competition.
“I’ve had an absolute blast over the last few weeks racing Shorty’s CRF450R race bike. Everyone at Honda Red Bull Racing has been so supportive and helpful, and this whole experience is something I will never forget. I’m ready to get back on my CRF250R and race the final two West Coast Lites rounds though. I’m second in the series points and I’ll be throwing all the experience and confidence I have gained over the past weeks into the final two rounds.”
Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps’ second place finish last weekend in Dallas carried the Honda CRF450R racer to within 18 points of third place in the championship points standing.
“I’m really happy that I was able to hold on and come away with second spot at the Dallas supercross. I’m really looking forward to the Jacksonville supercross event because it’s a local race for me. As I’m fourth in the series points and only 18 points away from being in third, my plan is to keep this momentum going throughout the final rounds. I’m definitely in contention for a spot on the championship podium and that’s where the Honda Red Bull Racing team deserves to be–on the podium.”
In the AMA Supercross Lites class, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel held on to the points lead after the Dallas race despite a seventh place finish. One of nearly 15 riders caught up in a first turn pileup, Pourcel managed to work his way up from 20th to seventh on a tight track salvaging the top spot in what could be a difference maker when the SX championship is decided.
“My goal is still winning the championship. Last weekend was tough, but getting as many points as possible is the way to win the title. I want to get back to winning and Jacksonville is a good place to start.”
Pourcel’s Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate Dean Wilson is hoping he can get back to racing after missing last weekend’s event in Dallas. Wilson is working closely with US Immigration officials to make sure he can continue to race every weekend.
“It was disappointing to miss Dallas. I think everyone knows I want to race, but I need to make sure everything is in place before I come across the border.”
Rockstar Suzuki’s Austin Stroupe also got caught up in a massive first turn pileup at the start of the AMA Supercross Lites main event that took out nearly the entire field and did his best to recover, finishing fifth and closing in on the Eastern Regional points lead.
Justin Barcia’s third place finish in the Supercross Lites class last weekend in Dallas was enough to elevate the Geico Powersports Honda racer from fifth in the series points up to third.
“I rode the entire race last weekend without a front brake after being caught up in the pile-up. It was a tough way to start the race and I’m definitely bummed that I couldn’t avoid the carnage because I know I could have won that race. There are three rounds to go and I’m third in the points, so I’m just going to give it everything I have at those last races.”
Tickets are available in advance at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets. Fans can also get into the Pits for free from 12:30 to 6:00 pm on Race Day when they recycle a Monster Energy Can at the stadium Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).
CBS will broadcast the AMA Supercross class at 12:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 28. SPEED will broadcast the AMA Supercross Lites class on Sunday, March 28 at 6:00 p.m. EST.
AMA Supercross Point Standings
1. Ryan Dungey. Belle Plaine, MN. 239 points.
2. Ryan Villopoto. Seattle, WA. 215.
3 . Josh Hill. Carlsbad, CA. 192.
4 . Davi Millsaps. Murrieta, CA. 174.
5. Kevin Windham. Centreville, MS. 161.
6. Justin Brayton. Murrieta, CA. 152.
7. Ivan Tedesco. Murrieta, CA. 143.
8. Nicholas Wey. Murrieta, CA. 122.
9. Kyle Chisholm. Valrico, FL. 105.
10 . Tommy Hahn. Alvord, TX. 100.
11. Michael Byrne. Park City, UT. 99.
12 . Trey Canard. Shawnee, OK. 83.
13. Chris Blose. Phoenix, AZ. 79.
14 . Andrew Short. Smithville, TX. 69.
15. Grant Langston. Murrieta, CA. 66.
16. Jason Thomas. Melrose, FL. 56.
17. James Stewart. Haines City, FL. 51.
18. Jason Lawrence. Carlsbad, CA. 40.
19. Matt Boni. Geneva, FL. 37.
20. Fabien Izoird. San Bernardino, CA. 32.
AMA Supercross Lites – East
1. Christophe Pourcel. Groveland, FL. 109 points.
2. Austin Stroupe. Lincolnton, NC .104.
3. Justin Barcia. Ochlocknee, GA. 84.
4. Ryan Sipes. Vine Grove, KY. 77.
5. Brett Metcalfe. Lake Elsinore, CA. 75.
6. Blake Baggett. Grand Terrace, CA. 71.)
7. Dean Wilson. San Jacinto, CA. 71.
8. Martin Davalos. Cairo, GA. 47.)
9. Nico Izzi. Albany, GA. 41.
10. Kyle Cunningham. Fort Worth, TX. 40.