2011 AMA Supercross
It seems like yesterday we were waiting through the cold fog of the off-season for 2011 AMA Supercross to get started. Now, here we are approaching the grand finale. In between there have been 16 rounds of Supercross racing. At times brutal, controversial, questionable, heartbreaking, and always thrilling.
The wonderful anticipation in pre-season always has all the unknowns of who will do what, and how. Now, 17 rounds later, a lot of those questions have been answered.
Saturday night, May 7, at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, the Supercross Championship will be decided. The top three riders have gone through a great deal to come up to the finale with just twelve points separating them.
After a grueling season, it breaks down like this; Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto is leading the chase with 318 points. Nine points back is Chad Reed on his semi-privateer Two-Two Motorsports Honda with 309. And just three points off Reed’s fender is Rockstar Makita Suzuki-mounted Ryan Dungey, with 306.
Unfortunately, the great four-way battle for the 2011 Supercross title was dashed when James Stewart fell, and then cart-wheeled his San Manuel Yamaha YZF450R out of the lead in Salt Lake City, destroying his chances for a title shot in Sin City.
Stewart, with 284 points, sits comfortably in fourth, and is facing a long-shot at finishing any higher. Weirder things have happened, but unfortunately the most Stewart can hope for is a win for the night to steal some of the spotlight when they hand over the number one plate to one of the other three.
Vegas is a betting town, where long odds are played all the time. But a player would be hard pressed to realistically bet against Villopoto.
Having said that, look what happened a few rounds back when the points leader failed to the make the main. In the unlikelihood of that kind of catastrophic event, Chad Reed would be in a good spot to snatch a title it looked almost impossible for him to achieve a few rounds in. But then you’ve got the reigning champ, Dungey, sitting in third, ready to pounce on any opportunity the racing gods might have in store.
It’s a strange place to be in terms of the points cushion for Villopoto. When you have a nine-point lead over second, it doesn’t feel like any breathing room at all. But if you’re down by nine, it feels like an eternity to catch up.
The championship trail for the 2011 SX title has delivered one of, if not the best, racing ever in the series. Saturday night, it all gets decided. The action unfolds live on Speed TV. Check local listings for times.