SX Team Report
Some of the best dirt of the series is found at the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This year, the dirt and the layout at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium were both excellent and a great night of racing was had for the fans and Rockstar Makita Suzuki riders Ryan Dungey (#5) and Austin Stroupe (#45).
In the Eastern Regional Lites class heat race, Austin Stroupe’s Suzuki RM-Z250 powered him up into second before the end of lap one. On lap two, Stroupe moved into the lead and instantly pulled a sizeable gap for the win.
In the first 450cc Supercross heat race, Dungey got a fourth place start but passed up to second by the end of lap one. Although he closed down the gap on the leader of the heat, he was unable to pull off the win.
With the heats out of the way, it was time for the main event action. Dungey, having almost a full race points lead, was out to add even more. Stroupe, sitting five points out of championship lead in second, was looking to get a win and be the leader of the Lites pack.
Austin got a second-place start. By lap four, the top three riders were bunched up. While attempting to pass the leader, the leader bobbled and Austin collided with him briefly. This allowed the third place rider to pass both of them.
The next lap Stroupe passed back into second and started the tough job of trying to close down the gap to the leader. In spite of closing up to within one second, it was not to be and Austin had to settle for another second place. The good news is that he is still right there in the points hunt.
"I had a good start and got into second but Pourcel got past me and I tried to make a charge for the lead but couldn’t," Stroupe explained. "It was a good night though, winning my heat race and getting on the podium."
At the start of the Supercross Main, Dungey’s Suzuki RM-Z450 came out of the gate in fourth, bobbled and ended up fifth. After some solid racing, Dungey slowly closed in on second place, while the top three riders slowly started to form a group.
About midway through the race, Ryan caught and passed second. At the checkers, Ryan had to settle for second but still enjoys a commanding points lead.
"I went in to pass Windham, and my front end tucked a little," Dungey said. "We made some contact and I lost a ton of time. I finally passed him a few laps later, but by then it was a long way up to the lead. I rode hard, but tonight we’ll just have to settle for second."
Roger DeCoster reflected on the evening after the race.
"Of course, it would have been better to win. All of the fast guys in front of him, and when he got up to Windham he tried to make a pass and tangled a little with him a little and tweaked the front end. Then the bike was twisted in the front and that made him make more mistakes. Once that happened, I was happy with second. Austin did a really good job, especially considering that he has some tweaked thumb ligaments from his crash on the start last week. So with a sprained thumb, to finish a close second was good."
The series takes a break next weekend, and then picks up the action in Houston on April 10th.
450cc Supercross Class
1. Ryan D Villopoto
2. Ryan Dungey, Rockstar Makita Suzuki
3. Trey G Canard
4. Kevin Windham
5. Ivan Tedesco
7. Joshua R Hill
8. Thomas K Hahn Rockstar Energy Suzuki
9. Justin D Brayton
10. Michael Byrne
450cc Supercross Class Overall Points
1. Ryan M Dungey 261, Rockstar Makita Suzuki
2. Ryan D Villopoto 240
3. Joshua R Hill 206
4. David D Millsaps 189
5. Kevin W Windham 179
Eastern Regional LItes Class
1. Christophe Pourcel
2. Austin Stroupe, Rockstar Makita Suzuki
3. Brett Metcalfe
4. Justin L Barcia
5. James A Decotis
6. Troy K Adams
7. Kyle B Cunningham
8. Matthew J Lemoine
9. Steven J Clarke
10. Justin M Sipes
Eastern Regional Lites Overall Points
1. Christophe Pourcel 134
2. Austin L Stroupe 126, Rockstar Makita Suzuki
3. Justin L Barcia 102
4. Brett Metcalfe 95
6. Blake Baggett 66, Rockstar Energy Suzuki