2011 Seattle AMA Supercross Preview

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2011 AMA Supercross

Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returns to the West Coast this weekend as Seattle’s Qwest Field hosts the 15th race of the 2011 season.

After his fourth victory of the season in St. Louis last weekend snapped an eight-race winless streak, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart is one of five riders going bar-to-bar for the Supercross class title.

Currently, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto holds just a five-point lead in the standings heading into his hometown race in the Pacific Northwest. With a season-leading five wins to his credit in addition to back-to-back podium efforts, Villopoto is looking to get back on top of the box at the sight of his first career win in the class in 2009.

Behind him, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey and TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing’s Chad Reed sit less than 10 points from reclaiming a title they have both previously held.

Stewart’s convincing win last Saturday night brought back memories of his early-season efforts, moving into the lead early and never looking back, despite a consistent challenge from Dungey. The win was a boost to Stewart’s title hopes, moving him from fifth to fourth in the standings and 16 points out of the top spot.

James Stewart
(San Manuel Yamaha YZ450F) says: “It’s been a while since I have been up here,” said Stewart. “This feels great, and I am really happy for the team, who has been behind me 100% this year.”

For Dungey, the runner-up effort in St. Louis marked his eighth podium finish in the last nine races and by virtue of finishing one spot ahead of Villopoto, moved within two points closer of his rival in the standings, taking over second place, just five points out.

Following two consecutive weeks of misfortune, Villopoto has regained the form that put him over 20 points ahead of the field earlier this season. Consistency will be key over the final three races, but Villopoto also knows that there is no better way to defend his points lead than by winning and adding to his impressive total this season.

Ryan Villopoto (Rockstar Makita Suzuki RMZ450) says: “I’ll take a third place finish; it is much better than last year,” said Villopoto, who suffered a season-ending injury last year in St. Louis. “I am looking forward to going to my hometown race next weekend in Seattle.”

Since taking over the points lead for one race following Toronto, Reed has experienced some misfortune over the last two weekends. An incident with Stewart resulted in an eighth-place finish for Reed in Dallas two races ago and in St. Louis, an errant Tuff Block resulted in a stop of Reeds momentum and subsequently cost him a chance at a possible podium result. Despite the mishap, Reed still soldiered home to a fourth-place finish and is still only eight points from Villopoto in the championship.

American Honda’s Trey Canard was in fifth in the standings heading into Seattle, but he fractured his femur while practicing for the upcoming AMA Motocross season. Canard will be out for the rest of the Supercross season.

The final Supercross Lites Eastern Regional Championship race prior to the season finale in Las Vegas meant another strong showing for current points leader and GEICO Honda Rider Justin Barcia. The sophomore rider has finished no worse than second through eight races and holds a comfortable 20-point lead and three wins this season heading into Sam Boyd Stadium in four weeks.

Justin Barcia (GEICO Honda CRF250R) says: “Tonight was crazy. I know that this championship is coming down to the wire, and I look forward to the final race in Las Vegas.”

While their East Region counterparts take a break from the action, Seattle marks the return of the Supercross Lites Western Regional Championship. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen leads a highly-competitive field into its final three races of the season, but his teammate Broc Tickle sits just three points back. With four wins between them, it looks like the title will go down to the wire between the duo, but GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac isn’t far behind, just 12 points out of the lead coming off his first-career win in San Diego at the class’ previous race in February.

Last year in Seattle, GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham grabbed a popular victory, overcoming tricky conditions and lapping most of his younger competitors. While Windham took the honors for the night, Dungey became the second rookie in history to claim the championship with a fourth-place effort. In the Supercross Lites class, Tickle broke through for his first career win and will be looking to rekindle the magic on Saturday night.

Supercross Class Results: St. Louis
1. James Stewart, Haines City, FL., Yamaha
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN., Suzuki
3. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA., Kawasaki
4. Chad Reed, Tampa, FL., Honda
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, OK., Honda
6. Kevin Windham, Centreville, MS., Honda
7. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
8. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
9. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Yamaha
10. Andrew Short, Smithville, TX, KTM

Supercross Class Season Standings

1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA., Kawasaki – 275
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN., Suzuki – 270
3. Chad Reed, Tampa, FL., Honda – 267
4. James Stewart, Haines City, FL., Yamaha – 259
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, OK., Honda – 255
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, TX, KTM – 185
7. Kevin Windham, Centreville, MS., Honda – 165
8. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 143
9. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha – 141
10. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 127

Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class Results: St. Louis
1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, GA., Honda
2. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, KY., Yamaha
3. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, CA., Kawasaki
4. Dean Wilson, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
5. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, TX, Honda
6. Gannon Audette, Cairo, GA. Yamaha
7. Hunter Hewitt, Pilot Point, TX, Suzuki
8. Lance Vincent, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki
9. Les Smith, York, S.C., Honda
10. Tyler Futrell, Clinton, N.C., Honda

Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class Season Standings

1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, GA., Honda – 185
2. Dean Wilson, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki – 165
3. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, KY., Yamaha – 141
4. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki – 134
5. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, TX, Honda – 125
6. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, TX, Kawasaki – 105
7. P.J. Larsen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM – 80
8. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, FL., Suzuki – 73
9. Lance Vincent, Youngsville, LA., Honda – 69
10. Hunter Hewitt, Pilot Point, TX, Suzuki – 67

Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Results: San Diego

1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
2. Tyla Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki
3. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki
4. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda
5. Jimmy Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda
6. Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki
7. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM
8. Ben Evans, Garden City, Idaho, Kawasaki
9. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
10. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha

Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Season Standings

1. Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki – 128
2. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki – 125
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 116
4. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki – 96
5. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda – 88
6. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM – 83
7. Tyla Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki – 80
8. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha – 71
9. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki – 69
10. Jimmy Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda – 67

Past Winners in Seattle

Supercross Class
April 24, 2010: Kevin Windham
April 18, 2009: Ryan Villopoto
April 26, 2008: Kevin Windham
April 28, 2007: James Stewart
April 29, 2006: James Stewart
April 23, 2005: James Stewart
January 30, 1999: Larry Ward
January 31, 1998: Jeremy McGrath
February 1, 1997: Doug Henry
February 3, 1996: Jeremy McGrath
February 4, 1995: Jeremy McGrath
May 7, 1994: Mike Kiedrowski
January 30, 1993: Jeremy McGrath
February 1, 1992: Damon Bradshaw
February 2, 1991: Jean-Michael Bayle
February 17, 1990: Larry Ward
February 4, 1989: Rick Johnson
February 5, 1989: Rick Johnson
February 13, 1988: Rick Johnson
February 14, 1988: Ron Lechien
March 28, 1987: Rick Johnson
March 29, 1987: Rick Johnson
February 15, 1986: Jeff Ward
February 16, 1986: Rick Johnson
February 8, 1985: Ron Lechien
February 9, 1985: Ron Lechien
February 11, 1984: Jeff Ward
February 12, 1984: Rick Johnson
February 12, 1983: Bob Hannah
February 13, 1983: Bob Hannah
February 13, 1982: Donnie Hansen
February 14, 1982: Mark Barnett
February 14, 1981: Darrell Shultz
February 15, 1981: Darrell Shultz
February 9, 1980: Mike Bell
February 10, 1980: Mike Bell
February 9, 1979: Mike Bell
February 10, 1979: Bob Hannah
February 18, 1978: Jim Ellis

Supercross Lites Class
April 24, 2010: Broc Tickle
April 18, 2009: Ryan Dungey
April 26, 2008: Ryan Dungey
April 28, 2007: Ryan Villopoto
April 29, 2006: James Stewart
April 23, 2005: James Stewart
January 30, 1999: Nathan Ramsey
January 31, 1998: David Vuillemin
February 1, 1997: David Vuillemin
February 3, 1996: Kevin Windham
February 4, 1995: Damon Huffman
May 7, 1994: Ryan Hughes
January 30, 1993: Phil Lawrence
February 1, 1992: Jeremy McGrath
February 2, 1991: Jeremy McGrath
February 17, 1990: Ty Davis
February 4, 1989: Jeff Matiasevich
February 5, 1989: Jeff Matiasevich
February 13, 1988: Jeff Matiasevich
February 14, 1988: Jeff Matiasevich
March 28, 1987: Donnie Schmit
March 29, 1987: Kyle Lewis
February 15, 1986: Willie Surratt
February 16, 1986: Donnie Schmit
February 8, 1985: Bader Manneh
February 9, 1985: Mike Healey

Tickets available at the Qwest Field Box Office, SupercrossOnline.com, all Ticketmaster retail locations, online at ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Practice and qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m., and the main event begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets will also be available at participating Yamaha dealers. Gold circle tickets: $45; Mid-level tickets: $25; Treadhead tickets: $10. Fans can also get into the Pits for FREE from 12:30 – 6 PM Race Day when they recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).

SPEED will broadcast the Supercross class and the Supercross Lites class races live at 10:30 p.m. (EST).

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