St. Louis AMA Supercross: 2011 Preview

Edward Jones Dome SX

With four rounds remaining in the 2011 AMA Supercross Championship, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto has the points lead – but only a slim one.

After taking second last weekend in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Villopoto regained the lead from Two-Two Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed. But Villopoto only holds a six-point lead over the Australian, who was on a nine-race podium finish streak until finishing eighth last weekend in Texas.

But as the series heads into Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis this weekend, it’s not only a battle between Villopoto and Reed; it’s a battle between five riders, with only 21 points separating first through fifth.

In third only a point behind Reed is Rockstar Makita’s Ryan Dungey, who finished third last weekend. In fourth only nine points behind Dungey is Trey Canard; the American Honda rider took his third victory of the 2011 Supercross season last weekend in Texas.

And in fifth, 21 points behind Villopoto is the man who stirred up more than just Supercross news lately, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart. The 25-year-old finished fourth last weekend after having another contact incident with his rival Reed. Stewart has also been in the news after he was arrested for allegedly impersonating an officer in Florida following Toronto Supercross two weeks ago.

During last weekend’s race, Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi took the holeshot, but lost positions soon as Canard passed him, followed by Reed and Dungey. Once out front, nobody could touch Canard.

Trey Canard (American Honda CRF450R) says: “I’m so grateful. I knew I needed another good start and it happened again. I tried to put in (20) solid laps, (but) the whoops were really tough. We’ll see (about the championship). I’m just going to keep doing the best I can. That’s all I can control.”

After having some trouble in the two events leading up to Arlington, Villopoto ended his night on the podium, allowing him to regain the points’ lead that he held for most of the 2011 SX season.

Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F) says: “(Saturday) was crazy. I got an OK start. There was a little problem with my bike, but nothing major. I just kept plugging away and things worked in my favor. The track was really tough for 20 laps, so sometimes you just got to sit back and let things happen.”

Dungey followed Villopoto to the line. As for Stewart and Reed, they were in a battle for second before Stewart ran into Reed midway through the race. Both lost some positions, but Stewart battled back to fourth, Reed to eighth.

In the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class series, points’ leader GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia got the holeshot at Arlington, but would finish second behind Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson. Taking third was Barcia’s teammate, Blake Wharton.

Dean Wilson (Monster Energy Kawasaki KX250F) says: “This (win) means so much. It wasn’t an easy race. I’ve been battling the stomach flu all day. I just kept pushing and didn’t give up. It went all the way to the last lap, which was fun for everyone here. I made a pass on him and he got me back, then I got by again, he stuffed me and I stalled. I had one last chance to get him and I stuck it.”

In last year’s event at St. Louis, Dungey took his fifth win en-route to winning the title in his rookie year. In the Supercross Lites class, Barcia took the win. Villopoto was injured at St. Louis last year, which ended his season.

The first AMA Supercross race was held inside the Edward Jones Dome April 27, 1996, and Kawasaki’s Jeff Emig, a Missouri native, won the main event, snapping Jeremy McGrath’s 13-race win streak. In front of his hometown crowd Emig notched his first Supercross class win for Team Kawasaki. Reed and Carmichael are tied on the all-time win list in St. Louis with four. Windham, Carmichael, and Reed have all won in both classes at St. Louis.

St. Louis Supercross TV Schedule

CBS will broadcast the AMA Supercross Class at noon (EST) on Sunday, April 10. SPEED TV will broadcast the Supercross Lites class race at 6 p.m. (EST).

AMA Supercross Class Season Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 255
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda – 249
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 248
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 239
5. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 234
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 174
7. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 150
8. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 141
9. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 129
10. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 114

Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda – 160
2. Dean Wilson, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki – 147
3. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha – 119
4. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki – 114
5. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda – 109
6. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Kawasaki – 96
7. P.J. Larsen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM – 80
8. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki – 73
9. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 59
10. Lance Vincent, Youngsville, La., Honda – 56

Past Winners in St. Louis

Supercross Class

  • April 17, 2010: Ryan Dungey
  • March 21, 2009: Chad Reed
  • April 19, 2008: Kevin Windham
  • March 3, 2007: Ricky Carmichael
  • February 18, 2006: Chad Reed
  • March 5, 2005: Ricky Carmichael
  • March 13, 2004: Chad Reed
  • March 22, 2003: Chad Reed
  • April 06, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
  • March 31, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
  • March 18, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
  • March 27, 1999: Jeremy McGrath
  • March 28, 1998: Kevin Windham
  • April 05, 1997: Jeremy McGrath
  • April 27, 1996: Jeff Emig

Supercross Lites Class

  • April 17, 2010: Justin Barcia
  • March 21, 2009: Blake Wharton
  • April 19, 2008: Trey Canard
  • March 3, 2007: Ben Townley
  • February 18, 2006: David Millsaps
  • March 5, 2005: Grant Langston
  • March 13, 2004: James Stewart
  • March 22, 2003: Branden Jesseman
  • April 06, 2002: Chad Reed
  • March 31, 2001: Travis Pastrana
  • March 18, 2000: Travis Pastrana
  • March 27, 1999: Ernesto Fonseca
  • March 28, 1998: Ricky Carmichael
  • April 05, 1997: Stephane Roncada
  • April 27, 1996: Kevin Windham