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Los Angeles: Supercross Returns Home

LA Supercross

The AMA Supercross returns to Los Angeles, for the first time since the SX series left the Coliseum, for the inaugural Monster Energy motorcycle racing event at Dodger Stadium.

The term "Supercross" was coined as the event name for the first organized motocross race that was successfully held inside a stadium in the United States.

It was 1972 when racing promoter Michael Goodwin staged what he called the "Super Bowl of Motocross" inside the Los Angeles Coliseum in LA, Calif.

The original motorcycle racing event was won by Marty Tripes at the age of 16. That initial motorcycle contest featured many of the top AMA Pro Motocross riders of the time.

It was such a commercial success that it spawned many imitators, and the term "Supercross" was coined to identify the stadium-based style motocross events.

Fast forward to 2011, the third round of the AMA Supercross series kicks off this Saturday night as rider Ryan Villopoto on the Kawasaki KX 450 F and Pro Circuit rider Josh Hansen on the Kawasaki KX 250 f lead the Supercross and Supercross Lites classes respectively.

The process of converting the legendary baseball stadium into a Monster Energy Supercross track is now complete for the third stop of the 2011 schedule, much like the old races held at the Los Angeles Coliseum and the more recent events held in Anaheim, Orange County.

Media day was held today, Thursday, from Noon-2:00 p.m. inside the stadium club at Dodger Stadium and featured Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Two Two Motorsports, American Honda and the JGR Yamaha teams. Riders were available for interviews and rode the track for the media.

"This marks a historic time not only for Monster Energy Supercross, but Dodger Stadium as well," said Todd Jendro, senior director of two-wheel operations, Feld Motor Sports.

"This venue has a historic past and will now welcome 150 of the best riders on the planet. We feel that given the iconic image of Dodger Baseball and Dodger Stadium that it is the perfect fit to host an event of this caliber."

Never before in the 48-year history of Dodger Stadium has an event of such a unique nature and logistic complexity been held at Chavez Ravine. Known for being the home of one of the most prominent Major League Baseball franchises of all time, 550 truckloads of dirt will sit on the Dodger Stadium floor for the first time ever, signifying a new era for the venue.

"I’m very excited for this," said Michael Young, chief revenue officer for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I’m excited to expose this venue to millions of supercross fans across the world that have never had the opportunity to come to Dodger Stadium and hopefully convert them into baseball fans. This is an amazing sport and the growth of supercross is staggering, particularly in a time when many sports are shrinking."

Last weekend at Phoenix’s Chase Field, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart (YZ450F) earned his first Supercross class main event win of the year, leading from wire-to-wire.

Week one winner, Ryan Villopoto, finished second and Supercross class rookie and American Honda rider Trey Canard (CRF450R) , of Shawnee, Okla., finished third.

James Stewart (Yamaha YZ 450 F) says: "I really wanted to pull that holeshot," explains the world fastest man on a motocross bike.

"This track was tough tonight but I haven’t won in over a year so I really wanted this one. I was even a little nervous out there but I want to thank everyone on my team for giving me such an awesome bike. This feels great."

On Lap 9, Villopoto, who was mere bike lengths behind Stewart, fell but was able to remount in seconds and carry it to the finish.

Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki KX 450 F) says: "That section has been tough all night," explains the hard-charging rider, aka RV2, who intends to challenge for the 2011 SX championship.

"(All the riders) were pushing the limit on it and it got me. I was pushing James (Stewart) and waiting for a mistake, but I ended up being the one (to make one). I still was able to do what I came here to do and leave with some valuable points. Now it’s on to Dodger Stadium."

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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