Houston Supercross: Yoshimura SX Report
Yoshimura-backed teams dominated the sixth round of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship season at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Rockstar Energy Suzuki, and Honda racing teams all proved the performance advantage of their Yoshimura products with their strong Supercross results.
Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey put his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450 back on the box, scoring a second-place podium finish in an action-packed main Supercross event. Teammate Brett Metcalfe rode a strong race on his Suzuki, scoring an eighth-place finish in the 20-lap race.
Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki Supercross) says: "Overall, we had a real solid day. The bike felt great all day. I really owe a lot to Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki because they worked hard. We need to keep pushing and start winning these races.
"I’m really thankful for the day – coming off of last weekend was a real tough one for the whole team and myself, but this is a step in the right direction and we’ll keep building from here. It will be good to get a good solid week in and show up in San Diego with my RMZ ready to go."
Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki Supercross) says: "I’m happy with the way I rode tonight. The team made some good changes this week. We made some big improvements to the engine and I have to thank Yoshimura for all their help and everybody on the team.
"I think myself and Ryan both got great starts. I came out strong in the heat race and the main event was going good right ‘til the end. I made a couple mistakes, and a couple guys got me at the end there and I threw it away in the whoops trying to get a position back on the last lap. I’m happy for next week because San Diego is close to home. I should have a good week riding and each week my riding has been improving. We just need to improve the result."
American Honda Racing’s Trey Canard won the supercross main event, scoring his first-ever supercross class win in his rookie season aboard his Honda CRF450R. Canard got away to a good start in the main event and managed to stay clear of a pile-up in the first turn that claimed a number of top riders.
Riding a strong race, Canard moved into second place on lap six before inheriting the lead from Windham, who crashed on lap eleven. Once out front, Canard held off reigning champ Ryan Dungey to record the first-ever supercross victory of his young career.
Trey Canard (American Honda Supercross) says: "I’m so excited. Winning a supercross is something I have dreamed of doing my entire life and to finally get the win feels amazing. It was a crazy race full of ups and downs for a lot of riders, so to be on top at the end is something I’m really happy about.
"I can’t thank the American Honda Racing team enough for all their support and for having faith in me. Seeing how much hard work and dedication everyone on the team puts in each and every week, I’m just glad I could give them the win they deserved. I’m also incredibly grateful to my family for all their unwavering support. The win puts me third in the series points, which is a great spot to be in at this early stage in the season."
Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s east coast rookies scored fifth- and seventh-place finishes Saturday night. In their first-ever pro supercross event, 18-year-old Ian Trettel rode strong and powered his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z250 to a fifth-place finish and 17-year-old teammate, Jason Anderson, finished just behind Trettel in seventh in the 15-lap lites main event.
Ian Trettel (Rockstar Energy Supercross) says: "I really had no idea what to expect coming into Houston," said Trettel. "I qualified my Suzuki RM-Z eleventh fastest which I feel is pretty good because there are a lot of fast guys here in the east. I got a pretty good start in my heat race but got pushed around a bit in the first lap and ended up sixth.
"I got a pretty good jump on the start of the main, but there was a lot of bumping and pushing; I felt I just had to be patient. I put my head down and put my RM-Z250 to work and was able to get my Suzuki up to fifth.
"I’m really happy with a fifth-place finish in my first race – that was my goal, but you never know if you’re going to be able to put everything together for the first night. I’m going to study this race and figure out what I need to do to improve my results for Atlanta."
Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Suzuki Supercross) says: "I’m excited with my first pro race ever," said Anderson. "I wasn’t really used to the timed qualifying and I started off a little slow but got better throughout the end of qualifying. I got into my heat and had a good first few laps and ended up in third at one point, which was cool.
"I made it to the main and got a decent start and my Rockstar Energy Suzuki RM-Z250 powered me up to seventh, which is where I stayed, and that was good. I’m excited with the result and I want to build on that for Atlanta."
The next stop of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship for the Yoshimura-backed teams is Saturday, Feb. 19 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. You can meet all of the Team Suzuki riders on Friday, Feb. 18, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Escondido Cycle Center, 1415 Montiel Road, Escondido, Calif.