San Diego Supercross | Pre Race Rundown
2012 AMA Supercross
Defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto won his 17th-Carreer Supercross Class win last weekend at Angel Stadium and established a three-point lead in the Supercross Class standings as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship heads to Qualcomm Stadium tomorrow in San Diego.
En route to his second win of the 2012 season, Villopoto became the first two-time winner of the season.
Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki Supercross) says: “Our bike looks way better with the red plate. I have never won in San Diego, so I’d love to get a win there. San Diego has some unique dirt that gets hard and slippery. It’s been muddy the last few years but if it stays dry it should be good.”
Despite a rough crash in practice, two-time Supercross Class champion James Stewart earned his 63rd podium finish; Stewart led 11 laps this season.
James Stewart (JGRMX Yamaha Supercross) says: “Anaheim was rough. The crash was big, and I got beat up pretty bad. But I’m thankful that I didn’t get ‘really’ hurt. Also because the team came together and we got our focus back in time for the LCQ.
“Hats off to my team for getting that bike back together, Pat (Barker) and those guys were awesome. We all know that this isn’t going to be an easy season. But we got dealt a bad hand in Anaheim and even with that, we made the most out of it. We’re getting stronger and that’s good to see.”
Villopoto’s teammate Jake Weimer started his race in Anaheim by regrouping after a crash in the first turn. He’s proved that he can win in San Diego back in 2010 when he captured the Supercross Lites Class Main Event victory.
Jake Weimer (Monster Energy Kawasaki Supercross Lites) says: “I won there before on the Supercross Lites Class bike, so I’m looking forward to going back there and getting back to where I want to be. I’ve put last week behind me and am ready to have a good weekend and do battle in San Diego.”
TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed finished in third at Anaheim and is now in second place in the points chase.
Chad Reed (Two-Two Motorsports Honda Supercross) says: “It was a tough week for me, with myself and family being sick. Despite not feeling 100 percent, I am happy with my third- place finish. I fought as hard as I could for a podium. We are ready to move forward and go into the next round positive and ready to take back the points lead and that red plate.”
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey finished in fourth place for the second consecutive weekend and is currently third overall.
Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM Supercross) says: “I don’t think I rode to my full potential last weekend but I’m determined to turn it around and be back on the box at San Diego. We’ve had a good week testing and made some solid progress developing the new bike. I’m really looking forward to a solid race result this weekend.”
After posting the fastest lap time in practice, Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton finished fifth overall.
Justin Brayton (Muscle Milk Honda Supercross) says: “The day went really great for me, starting with a successful practice, which was able to set the tempo for the rest of the night. After the last few weeks of not placing where I know I belong, it was a great step in the right direction. We have been working really hard, especially on my starts because that is key to having a great race. This weekend was a confidence booster for me, but more than anything it was a relief knowing that all my hard work is starting to pay off.”
GIECO Honda’s Kevin Windham has continued to have a consistent season, finishing sixth-place at round five. “The day was good for me. I’m still trying to come to terms with having a great ride, or what feels like a great ride but finishing in sixth place,” said Windham.
Kevin Windam (GEICO Honda Supercross) says: “I’ve had great battles every main just for the wrong position. I really want to get the GEICO Honda on the podium, and I feel close but I need to get better starts. There are so many guys riding really strong right now and I can’t run them down from behind so I need to focus on starting within the top five.”
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe captured another top-10 finish in Anaheim. Metcalfe has been the epitome of diligence and consistency this season and this recent race was no different.
Although the Australian Metcalfe admitted he was a little underwhelmed by his performance in Anaheim, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider still put in some impressive laps in both his heat race and in the Main Event. Metcalfe overcame a rough start to card an eighth-place result in his heat race and transfer to the main event. In the 20-lap main, Metcalfe again struggled at the start but then charged hard on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and brought home a ninth-place finish.
Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki Supercross) says: “I had a rough weekend last week. I went down and didn’t have a good result. So I was really determined to put in my best effort at Anaheim. I was feeling good on the track, but I was a little bit off all day, so that was kind of a bummer.
“Going into the heat race, I felt good on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and things were looking up. But I wheelied off the gate and got a bad start and ended up finishing eighth. In the main, I got another bad start and was never able to get it going. But now, I’m looking forward to getting back into it this week, and working hard on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and coming out for San Diego and trying to get things back on track.”
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle earned his third top-10 finish and continues to gain confidence every weekend. The reigning Western Regional Supercross Lites Class champion knows the tracks well and looking forward to heading back to San Diego.
Broc Tickle (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki Supercross) says: “I’ve done well in San Diego the past couple years when it was muddy so I’m hoping there is a chance of rain again this weekend. I’d be stoked for some rain; a mud race would just change it up a bit!”
For a third weekend in a row GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac dominated the Western Regional Supercross Lites Class and carries a 22-point lead heading into San Diego.
Eli Tomac (GEICO Honda Supercross Lites) says: “Going into the next race it is definitely nice having those 22 points as a cushion. I am going to try and keep getting good starts and try not to make any mistakes throughout the rest of the rounds. I am looking forward to San Diego since it is where I got my first Supercross Lites Class win and is the home to my favorite football team.”
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson sits second in points, but has his sights on nothing but the championship. After a disappointing finish in the season opener in Anaheim, Wilson came back the next weekend to win. Following last weekend second race in Anaheim, Wilson is looking to come back swinging once again.
Dean Wilson (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki Supercross Lites) says: “I worked really hard last week and didn’t have the finish to show for it, so this weekend our work should pay off. At this point I’m focused on nothing but getting the win in order to make up some ground in the points before we take a break.”
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Martin Davalos was one to watch at Anaheim. The Supercross Lites Class rider was in the hunt for his heat race and carded a third-place finish. In the main, Davalos went down at the start but rallied quickly and worked his way through the pack to finish up in 10th.
Martin Davalos (Rockstar Energy Suzuki Supercross Lites) says: “I felt pretty good out there and got a good start. But it felt like someone hit me from behind and I went down. Then, I was coming through the pack and Jason (Anderson) lost his front end or rear end, and I went down with him, so I had to come from last to 10th. I kind of rode my own pace and there was definitely an improvement there. Now, I’m going to try and work on some starts and come back strong for San Diego.”
Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Jason Anderson had a tough weekend and struggled a bit as he was feeling remnants of his crash last weekend in Oakland. Although Anderson made it to the main event, he went down with Davalos early on and was unable to recover.
Star Valli Yamaha’s Nico Izzi rode strong in Anaheim and carded a top-five result in the Supercross Lites Class.
Nico Izzi (Star Valli Yamaha Supercross Lites) says: “This was a good race for us. We had the fastest lap in practice and I felt really strong. I finished fourth in my heat race and then, in the main, I finished fifth. I wasn’t pushing out there because the track was super-slick and I didn’t want to do anything dumb and fall, I just wanted to try and come out with a top-five finish and I ended up doing that. San Diego should be a good one, I’ll just keep on working on my weaknesses and come back fighting.”
Star Valli Yamaha teammate Ryan Sipes also impressed at Anaheim, although his final results didn’t do justice to his concentrated efforts. Sipes was lightning-fast in his heat race and came from behind to finish second. In the Supercross Lites main, he turned fast, smooth, consistent laps for most of the race before he made a few mistakes that saw him finish 11th.
Ryan Sipes (Star Valli Yamaha Supercross Lites) says: “I feel like I rode really good all day. In practice I was either first or a tenth off being first. In the heat race, I came from about 16th to second, and I felt like my speed was really good. In the main event, I rode 13 really good laps. I was as fast as the leaders or faster… Then, I had a mistake in the sand and went down. I got up and had another mistake and went down again. Now, all I can do is look forward to San Diego and try to get better.”
Rounding out the Star Valli Yamaha squad in Supercross Lites Class is Gareth Swanepoel, who finished second in the LCQ. In the main, Swanepoel was running in the top 10 when a get-off resulted in him finishing 15th.
Gareth Swanepoel (Star Valli Yamaha Supercross Light) says: “I was going good for the first five or six laps. Then I made a stupid mistake and went down, and got up completely lost. But before that, I’d made some big improvements so I’m happy overall. My goal for San Diego is to get a solid top-10 result.”
Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda’s Cole Seely made his way to the podium once again at Anaheim Race two after taking the win at the season opener just a few weeks earlier.
Cole Seely (Troy Lee/Lucas Oil/Honda Supercross Lites) says: “The day went well. I came out of practice in third which was nice because I normally struggle in qualifying but it helped boost my confidence going into the night.
“I got a great start in the main and lead until I washed out coming onto the start straight but I was able to get up and stay in second. I always want to win but my main focus is staying consistent.”