2012 AMA Supercross
For the first time since 1990, the AMA Supercross grid will contain four past champions. And each rider’s name evokes a threat to one another – Chad Reed, James Stewart, Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto.
These four riders have talent, considering each won an AMA SX championship in the past four years – Reed in 2008, Stewart in 2009, Dungey in 2010 and Villopoto in 2011.
And as these riders grid up, it will make for yet another exciting season, as the AMA Supercross Championship enters its 38th year. And the wait is finally over – all the action will begin this Saturday in Angel Stadium for Anaheim 1, the first race of 17.
The man who will be sparking much attention will be Dungey. While competing with the Rockstar Maktia Suzuki team, the Minnesota native had won every major AMA Supercross/Motocross championship and became the first rider to win the coveted Supercross class and 450cc Motocross class championship as a rookie in 2010.
In the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross championship, Dungey earned one win and 12 podium finishes en route to third place overall. He has a career seven Supercross class wins and 17 podium finishes.
But for 2012, Dungey joins his former team manager and mentor Roger De Coster on the Red Bull KTM team, contesting aboard the SX-F 450.
Speaking of the switch, Ryan Dungey says: “I like the way that KTM has backed Roger since he made the switch last year, and I appreciate KTM’s goal of working hard to develop their race team to earn championships. I am making this switch to win races and work toward getting that (first) championship for KTM.”
But many challenges will be present, including one from the reigning champion, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto.
In 2011, Villopoto became the second rider in history to take both the AMA Supercross and Motocross championship, and then followed that up with leading Team USA to a seventh-straight win at the Motocross of Nations and taking the million-dollar purse in the inaugural Monster Energy Cup.
Villopoto, who joined the Supercross class in 2009, will be looking to become the first rider since Ricky Carmichael to win back-to-back Monster Energy Supercross titles (Carmichael did this in 2005 and 2006).
For the second consecutive year, the Australian Reed will contest aboard his self-owned team, Two-Two Motorsports. Reed will have additional support in 2012 AMA Supercross from American Honda (CR450F) and Bel-Ray, the American lubrication manufacturer, as he contests for a second AMA Supercross title.
And of course, Reed’s largest rival, James Stewart, will be back once again in attempt to gain yet another Supercross title, with a different team. Following three years aboard the San Manuel Yamaha team, Stewart has moved to Joe Gibbs Racing aboard the JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha YZ-F 450.
Speaking of the switch, James Stewart says: “I am excited about joining the Gibbs racing family. My goal in supercross is to pass Jeremy McGrath’s record of 72 supercross wins. I am more than half way there, and look forward to realizing that dream during my time with JGR.”
Another huge threat arrives from the only other rider to win in 2011 AMA Supercross besides Dungey, Villopoto, Reed and Stewart – American Honda’s Trey Canard. His rookie Supercross season was highlighted by three impressive victories, but injury sidelined him.
And once again Canard was plagued by injury; the Honda CRF450R rider will miss the opening rounds of the 2012 AMA Supercross Championship due to breaking his collarbone during practice for the upcoming season. It has not been reported when Canard is expected to return, but if he hits the tracks early enough, he’ll be a major threat to the riders at top in points.
Speaking of the upcoming championship, Feld Motor Sports says: “Combine these five superstars with the long list of talented challengers like Andrew Short, Kevin Windham, Davi Millsaps, Justin Brayton, Ivan Tedesco, Mike Alessi, Brett Metcalfe, Jake Weimer and Josh Grant, to name a few, and you have what is arguably the most talented field of riders to ever line up on a starting gate.”
And all the action gets underway this Saturday, Jan. 7, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.
During last season’s Anaheim I, Villopoto began his championship-winning season with a dominating victory, taking a wire-to-wire win aboard the KX450F.
The Poulsbo, Wash., native was joined on the overall Supercross podium by then-defending Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z 450) and James Stewart (San Manuel Yamaha YZ-F 450).
Feld Motor Sports reports that the first supercross race held in Anaheim was December 4, 1976, and Marty Smith won on a Honda. This weekend will mark the 56th time the gate will drop for a race in Anaheim and the 22nd the city has played host to the season opener. Stewart Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath are tied on the all-time Supercross Class win list in Anaheim at 8.
Anaheim 1 Supercross TV Schedule:
SPEED TV will cover Anaheim 1 live, with coverage beginning at 10 p.m. (EDT).
Past AMA Supercross Winners in Anaheim
- February 6, 2011: James Stewart
- January 9, 2011: Ryan Villopoto
- February 13, 2010: Ryan Villopoto
- January 23, 2010: Ryan Dungey
- January 9, 2010: James Stewart
- February 7, 2009: James Stewart
- January 17, 2009: James Stewart
- January 3, 2009: Josh Grant
- January 5, 2008: Chad Reed
- January 19, 2008: Chad Reed
- February 2, 2008: Chad Reed
- January 6, 2007: James Stewart
- January 20, 2007: James Stewart
- February 3, 2007: James Stewart
- January 07, 2006: James Stewart
- January 21, 2006: Ricky Carmichael
- February 04, 2006: Ricky Carmichael
- January 8, 2005 Kevin Windham
- January 22, 2005 Ricky Carmichael
- February 5, 2005 Ricky Carmichael
- January 3, 2004 Chad Reed
- January 17, 2004 Chad Reed
- January 31, 2004 Kevin Windham
- January 04, 2003: Chad Reed
- January 18, 2003: Ricky Carmichael
- February 01, 2003: Ricky Carmichael
- January 05, 2002: David Vuillemin
- January 19, 2002: Mike LaRocco
- February 02, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
- January 06, 2001: Jeremy McGrath
- January 20, 2001: Jeremy McGrath
- February 03, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
- January 8, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
- January 15, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
- January 09, 1999: Ezra Lusk
- February 06, 1999: Ezra Lusk
- January 27, 1996: Jeremy McGrath
- January 28, 1995: Jeremy McGrath
- January 29, 1994: Jeremy McGrath
- January 23, 1993: Jeremy McGrath
- January 25, 1992: Damon Bradshaw
- January 26, 1991: Jeff Stanton
- January 27, 1990: Damon Bradshaw
- January 28, 1989: Rick Johnson
- January 31, 1987: Jeff Ward
- January 18, 1986: David Bailey
- February 02, 1985: Broc Glover
- January 28, 1984: Johnny O’Mara
- January 29, 1983: David Bailey
- January 30, 1982: Donnie Hansen
- January 31, 1981: Kent Howerton
- November 17, 1979: Kent Howerton
- November 11, 1978: Gaylon Mosier
- November 12, 1977: Bob Hannah
- December 04, 1976: Marty Smith