SX Indy Commentary
It’s musical chairs in 2010 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series this year, and it’s hard to tell if it will be Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey or Yamaha’s Josh Hill sitting on the throne at the end of the 2010 season.
As the Supercross series headed east to Indianapolis, there was a tie between Dungey and Hill for first place in the standings. At the end of the night, there was still a tie for the top spot, but Villopoto had replaced Hill in the deadlock. While everyone is missing Yamaha’s James Stewart, Kawasaki’s Chad Reed and Honda’s Andrew Short-three injured factory riders-there is no shortage of exciting competition.
The technical track at Lucas Oil Stadium promised some unpredictable results, and that’s exactly what was delivered. Heat One had the added interest of bad-boy Jason Lawrence (J-Law) and West Coast Lites competitor Trey Canard (filling in for Short in the East). Villopoto and Honda’s Davy Millsaps came together in the first turn, taking Villopoto out (broken water pump cover) and Millsaps down.
Hill took the lead and never looked back. Millsaps and Canard were in an inglorious battle for the final transfer spot when Jason Partridge went down, ensuring that they both made the Main. Honda-mounted Matt Boni and Kawasaki’s Nick Wey (filling in for Reed) filled out the podium, and neither was challenged. A happy Hill said, “I just rode around and had fun!” J-Law made the Main, setting up a possible confrontation with Dungey, who unwisely tangled with his long-time nemesis in practice.
Yamaha’s Justin Brayton grabbed the Heat Two holeshot, with Honda’s Kevin Windham and Dungey in hot pursuit. Both passed Brayton, and although Windham was the fastest in practice, everyone expected a charge from series co-leader Dungey. However, that never materialized as Windham surprisingly stretched out his lead and checked out. Dungey finished a comfortable second, with Brayton rounding out the podium.
Having not completed a lap in his heat, Villopoto had the worst gate pick in the LCQ and was almost taken out at the start. Working from 12th place, he cleanly worked his way through the pack, passing Suzuki’s Jason Thomas for the lead with two laps remaining. Thomas graciously gave Villopoto a wide berth, almost as if he thought he was being lapped! Still, Thomas made the Main.
Millsaps powered to the holeshot in the main, followed by Windham, Dungey and Villopoto (who had the 19th gate pick). When Millsaps has won races, he has done it from the front (rather than coming from behind), so things were looking good. However, by the second lap, Windham was looking to take the lead, as the two battled back and forth. Finally, Windham took Millsaps on one of the triples (a common passing point), and he was looking strong.
Nearing the midway point, the top four–Windham, Dungey, Villopoto and Millsaps–were all within striking distance of each other, until Millsaps started to fade. On lap 9, Windham and Villopoto were bar-to-bar, but Windham was holding on to the lead with Dungey waiting to pounce at the sign of any errors. You could have thrown a blanket over the three riders. Interestingly, series co-leader Hill was in a battle for 10th with Lawrence, rather than part of the leading group.
On lap 11, Dungey makes a move on Villopoto, but can’t get by, while Windham retains the lead. But, on the next lap, Villopoto passes Windham on the flat turn in front of pit board lane. Dungey goes after Windham and passes him on lap 13. By lap 15, Windham had lost touch with the leaders. Three laps later, Dungey is charging toward Villopoto. But, a bobble in the whoops by Dungey and lapper Kyle Chisholm blocking him in the track’s tightest turn, ended Dungey’s run. Dungey settled for second, keeping him in a tie for first in the standings, and Windham took the final podium spot. Farther back, Canard crashed out and Hill finally got past Lawrence, finishing far back in 9th place, after a nice run of runner-up finishes.
2010 AMA Supercross Class Results: Indianapolis
1) Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
2) Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
3) Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
4) Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
5) Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
6) Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Honda
7) Grant Langston, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
8) Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
9) Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha
10) Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
2010 AMA Supercross Class Season Standings
1) Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 145
2) Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 145
3) Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 135
4) Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 114
5) Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 106
6) Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 105
7) Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 97
8) Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 74
9) Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 69
10) Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Suzuki, 61