AMA Supercross Update.
En route to winning his third AMA Supercross class race of the year at St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed extended his points lead to 11 over rival James Stewart as Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returns to Toronto’s Rogers Centre this Saturday night.
Nearly 56,000 fans at the Edward Jones Dome watched Team San Manuel Yamaha’s Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., crash on lap 14 while leading Reed in the premier class feature. Stewart, who has eight wins this season, won in Toronto in 2005, and Reed is the only two-time winner in Toronto.
Both Reed and Stewart found themselves inside the top ten but quickly asserted themselves by moving into the top three by the completion of lap 1. On lap 2, Reed made his move on Grant for the lead while Stewart followed into second. Just two laps later, Stewart worked by Reed with an impressive move and began gapping the field. In his heat race earlier in the evening, Stewart crashed on two occasions and snuck into the main event. He experienced similar problems on lap 14, over-ending his motorcycle and allowing Reed to get by and steal the victory. Stewart would hold on for second while Grant brought home third.
"I just hit neutral," explained Stewart. "I made a mistake in the whoops. Sometimes that’s the way it goes you know. I had a rough night with the heat race and stuff. I’m trying my hardest and that’s the best I can do. I just keep training so I can give it my best each week. I’ll never stop and I’ll fight until the end."
"Like I say every week, you got to be in it to win it and that’s what we’re doing," boasted Reed, who extended his advantage over Stewart to 11 points. "I’m having a ball out here. The track was just awesome tonight. Travis (Pastrana) designed a great track. I just love this St. Louis dirt. James started hitting his lines early on and pulled away, but I just kept my head down."
In the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class, GEICO Powersports Honda’s Blake Wharton, of Pilot Point, Texas, broke through with his first-career victory, ending the stranglehold by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki.
Wharton blasted out of the gates in the 15-lap main event to nip Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Stroupe, of Lincolnton, N.C., for the holeshot as Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi, of Murrieta, Calif., followed in third. The trio would remain at the front of the pack throughout the remainder of the main. Wharton fended off the advances of Izzi, who slipped past Stroupe on lap one, throughout the first half of the race and slowly began to pull away. A determined Stroupe reeled in Izzi on the final lap to take second.
"I’m excited," said Wharton, who turned pro last August. "I got the holeshot and just rode my own race. The track was great. My bike was great. It was just a great night. Getting the podium last week gave me the confidence I needed to ride up front. I just want to thank everyone that’s supported me this season and in my career."
Points leader, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel, of Corona, Calif., suffered from a bad start that placed him in second to last place on lap 1. He would work his way through the field to bring home an impressive fifth place finish and maintain his advantage over teammate Stroupe.
Last year at Rogers Centre, Chad Reed, of Tampa, Fla., won his seventh Monster Energy® Supercross race of the season before 36,888 fans at Rogers Centre, en route to the second AMA Supercross class championship.
Reed opened the AMA Supercross class main event by winning the holeshot, leading Yamaha’s Josh Hill, of Yoncalla, Ore., Honda’s Davi Millsaps, of Cairo, Ga., through turn one. Hill crashed on the opening lap and allowed Millsaps to move into second place.
Millsaps went down on the second lap and allowed Honda’s Kevin Windham, of Centerville, Miss., to move into second place. Windham crashed on lap seven and gave the number-two position back to Millsaps. On lap 15 Windham re-passed Millsaps for second place.
"I think this year we have been saying that each race gets tougher and tougher," said Reed. "I did not want to crash in the main like I have in the last few races. The track had a lot of ruts and you had to be smart. We had a great week off, and I flew home to Australia."
The AMA Supercross class race from Toronto will air on CBS Sports Sunday, March 29 at Noon EST. The Eastern regional AMA Supercross Lites class race will air on SPEED Sunday, March 29 at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Past Winners in Toronto AMA Supercross Class
December 4, 2004 Ricky Carmichael
December 3, 2005 James Stewart
December 2, 2006 Chad Reed
March 29, 2008: Chad Reed
AMA Supercross Class Results, St. Louis
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Suzuki
2. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
3. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha
4. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
5. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
6. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda
7. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki
8. Davi Millsaps, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda
9. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
10. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Kawasaki
AMA Supercross Class Season Standings
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Suzuki, 271
2. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 260
3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 197
4. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 172
5. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 165
6. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 163
7. Mike Alessi, Apple Valley, Calif., Suzuki, 160
8. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 158
9. Davi Millsaps, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 152
10. Josh Hill, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 108
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results, St. Louis
1. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda
2. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Kawasaki
3. Nico Izzi, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
4. Matthew Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., Suzuki
5. Christophe Pourcel, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki
6. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Yamaha
7. Steven Clarke, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki
8. Daniel Blair, Modesto, Calif., Honda
9. Darryn Durham, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha
10. Shane Sewell, Westville, Ind., Yamaha
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
1. Christophe Pourcel, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki, 131
2. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Kawasaki, 106
3. Nico Izzi, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 102
4. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda, 91
5. Branden Jesseman, New Brighton, Pa., Kawasaki, 73
6. Matthew Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., Suzuki, 68
7. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, KTM, 68
8. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, 66
9. Steven Clarke, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki, 65
10. Daniel Blair, Modesto, Calif., Honda, 63
Photos by Brian Robinette