Kawasaki: Supercross Shootout History
The odds in Las Vegas were on the side of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team last weekend, as the racing squad claimed the top-four positions in the Dave Coombs Sr. Memorial East/West Shootout, the first time ever in Supecross history.
The train of Kawasaki KX 250Fs was lead to the checkered flag by Jake Weimer, who was followed by Josh Hansen, Christophe Pourcel and Dean Wilson, respectively.
All four riders finished an impressive 10 seconds ahead of the fifth-place finisher, GEICO Powersports Honda rider Justin Barcia.
This success added to Kawasaki’s already dominating performance in the Lites Class – Weimer won the Western Regional Lites Championship, and Pourcel the Eastern Regional Lites Class.
During the East/West Shootout, Weimer would grab the holeshot, and lead all 15 laps of the race. Meanwhile, Wilson and Pourcel battled for second as Hansen had to work his way up from sixth after the first lap.
For the final 12 laps of the race, the team battled for position but still managed to pull away from the field.
Jake Weimer says: "I couldn’t be any happier than I am right now. This was my last supercross lites race and I wrapped up my career with a win. That No. 1 plate is heavy, and everyone handles it differently. I was fired up to come here. Since there are no points here, I was able to just concentrate on getting the win. I wanted to make a statement."
Hansen didn’t get the best start, but was soon aggressively picking off riders, moving from sixth to second. With his teammates up front, he knew the racing would be clean.
Josh Hansen says: "Tonight was sick. This team is the best team in the pits and we showed everyone that tonight. It was fun racing against my teammates because we all knew we would race each other clean. I battled with Chris (Pourcel) and Willy (Wilson) to get up to second, it was amazing."
Pourcel was the defending champ of the shootout, and had an early lead in his heat race, until crashing and going over the bars.
But this didn’t deter Pourcel, and although he started from the 12th gate, he shot to the front of the field, joining with his teammates.
Christophe Pourcel says: "It was a good night for the team. I really wanted to win my last supercross lites race so I am a little disappointed. I was sitting behind Jake and waiting to make a move to the lead but Dean kept pressuring me too so I had to change my plan."
Fourth-place finisher Wilson got a great start in the shootout, starting in second. He was passed by Pourcel on by the end of the first lap, but came back on lap five to secure second place. Hansen passed Pourcel on lap six, and wouldn’t overtake Wilson until the penultimate lap, and Wilson dropped to fourth.
Due to their success, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team was the odds-on favorite to earn the Team of the Year Award at the season ending banquet.
In the Supercross class, Chad Reed earned his first podium of the year finishing second, while Nick Wey battled a stomach flu and still earned a tenth-place finish.
And although the other Kawasaki rider in the premier class, Ryan Villopoto, didn’t compete since St. Louis due to injuries, he had a very impressive year, and was the only rider who could have challenged this year’s champion, Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Ryan Dungey. Villopoto won seven out of 17 races.