Supercross: Bad Luck Brings Tight Racing

2011 AMA Supercross

Jacksonville Supercross brought bad luck for two of the series’ top riders: Ryan Villopoto, who didn’t qualify for the main event, and James Stewart, who was carried off the track on a stretcher.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Villopoto had some crashes last weekend, but the major one came at LCQ. This placed Villopoto in the Supercross history books; he is now the only points leader to ever not qualify for the main event.

But Villopoto was equally lucky. The Fortuna, Calif., native walked away from the crashes uninjured, and still has a seven-point lead over the second-placed rider.

Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki) says: “I can’t change the past, but I’m hoping to have a good weekend in Toronto. After all the crashes in Jacksonville, I’m very lucky to have left that race uninjured. I want to look forward and hopefully make back the points at the next race.”

Things weren’t as lucky for Stewart regarding the points battle. His DNF dropped him from second to fourth in the championship, now 23 points behind Villopoto.

But he was lucky on the injury status. The stretcher was only used as precautionary measures in case the Haines, Fla., native sustained any major injuries. Initial reports began filtering through the Supercross world, saying Stewart broke his pelvis after the first-lap crash with Matt Goerke.

But under further examination, Stewart didn’t break any bones, the Supercross Champoion only receiving a heavy bruises from the first-lap wreck.

James Stewart (San Manuel Yamaha) says: “I was definitely banged up pretty good in Jacksonville, but I’m feeling a lot better now and ready for Toronto. At this point it’s all about the championship and every race counts. I want to thank my fans, my team and my sponsors for all of their support this week and every week of the series. It really means a lot to me.”

Although Villopoto and Stewart may be upset with last weekend’s performances, the Jacksonville Supercross events created a much tighter points’ race up top, one that’s sure to keep SX fans on edge tonight in Rogers Centre, Toronto.

Due to last weekend’s results, Reed moved into second after his seventh consecutive podium finish. The Two-Two Motorsports Honda rider is now seven points behind Villopto.

The reigning Supercross Champion, Ryan Dungey, finished third last weekend behind Reed and race-winner Trey Canard (American Honda). Dungey moved into third in the points race, 11 behind Reed and five ahead of Stewart.

Expect some intense action at Toronto this weekend, especially due to the history at the track. Stewart and Reed have two wins each in Toronto, and Villopoto won the race there last year.

SPEED will broadcast the AMA Supercross class at noon (EST) and the AMA Supercross Lites class at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, 2011.

Supercross Class Season Standings (after 11 rounds)

  1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 221
  2.  Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda – 214
  3.  Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 203
  4.  James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 198
  5.  Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 194
  6.  Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 145
  7.  Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 121
  8.  Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 121
  9.  Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 118
  10.  Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki – 107