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2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, an FIM World Championship – LA Recap, Oakland Preview

Published January 27th, 2012

We are now three rounds deep into the 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Series, and things are beginning to heat up. Last weekend in Los Angeles, two riders rode off with solid wins – Chad Reed in the premiere 450 Supercross class, and Eli Tomac in the 250 Lites West Regional Supercross class.

There was a serious crash involving Trey Canard and Ryan Morais. We will continue to keep you updated as to their health status whenever we receive updates. Both Rick Johnson and Jeremy McGrath in their blogs of this past week commented about the crash:

Rick Johnson / RJ Says blog

Jeremy McGrath / King’s Korner blog

Chad Reed took his first win of the season in the Supercross class, while Eli Tomac did the same in Lites racing. But the way the two riders accomplished their feats was completely different.

In the initial gate drop for the 450 Supercross class, Ryan Dungey grabbed the holeshot, mere inches in front of Defending AMA Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto, but by the second turn, Villopoto had already taken over the lead. Considering his lap times in the heats and practice, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider looked to be on his way to another runaway victory. But then the red flag came out (because of the crash involved Trey and Ryan) which forced a restart. Before you continue below

Oakland 2011 Results, points and photos! (Remember who won?)

Last week’s race in Los Angeles – photos, results, points and more.

Got a question for JMB? (Jean-Michel Bayle). Tweet Supercross.com to get your question answered by the French motorcycling legend!

For the second gate drop, the first turn mayhem was much different, as Jake Weimer got the best start, with James Stewart and Dungey in tow. Villopoto, on the other hand, got a mid-pack jump and then got caught up on a tuff block after the first triple jump. By the time he got going again, he was second to last place.

Out front, Weimer had an excellent ride going, and actually began to put some distance between himself and Stewart, as the Toyota / JGR / Yamaha rider made numerous mistakes in the opening laps. This allowed Reed and Dungey to close the gap to Stewart. By lap four, Reed was directly on Stewart and was able to make the pass. From there it was only a matter of time before he would close on Weimer, and eventually go onto a very convincing win in the City of Angels.

Stewart continued to have problems, and after an off track excursion, would lose a position to Ryan Dungey. By the time the checkered flag came out, Villopoto had put on a similar charge as his come-from-behind ride in Phoenix, and would finish just a few feet behind Stewart for fourth place.

As the series heads into round four in Oakland, CA this weekend, the Red Bull / KTM and Ryan Dungey are now in charge of the points lead, four points ahead of Reed and Villopoto – who are tied for second.

Last year, Stewart was the first to the checkered flag at this Bay Area race, which had rain off and on throughout the night. The weather for this weekend looks good, but with cold nights..

Can Dungey hold onto the lead? So far he is the only rider to make the podium at every round, and is also the only one of the top riders not to crash in the main event. This season, a rider will be hard pressed to be able to crash a main event and still claim victory at the end of the night.

Villopoto will be looking to rebound from his last two main event fumbles, while Stewart is now the only former SX champ to not have a win so far this season. Expect the number seven machine to be refocused in Northern California, while Reed will be riding a wave of confidence.

If ever there was a dominating performance in 250 MX Lites this season, it was Eli Tomac’s ride on Saturday night in Los Angeles. From the drop of the gate, Tomac was clearly the most comfortable Lites rider on the track. In fact, the GEICO/Honda rider’s opening two laps were the fastest of the night … in both classes. His third lap was just .004 seconds slower than Villopoto’s best. In other words, Eli looked comfortable and in control. Behind the eventual race winner, Dean Wilson recovered from a mediocre start to take over second place from Zach Osborne in the closing laps.

Tomac now heads into Oakland with the points lead ahead of the Monster Energy Pro Circuit / Kawasaki duo of Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray. Round 1 winner, Lucas Oil/TLD/Honda’s Cole Seely, had a terrible race in L.A., dropping him to fourth in points.

Interestingly, two of the riders within the top ten, Zach Osborne (who placed third in L.A.) and Max Anstie, currently do not have plans to finish the entire Lites West championship – they will soon head back to Europe to get ready for the 2012 FIM World Motocross Championships. Their future absence could play a factor in the outcome of  the series. With several rounds left in the series, and three race winners in three rounds, it is anyone’s guess who will leave the Raider Nation in the points lead.

Monster Energy Supercross Notes, stats, quotes – courtesy Feld Motorsports

  1. The first race was held on January 18, 1979, and Jimmy Weinert won on a Kawasaki
  2. ?This will be the fifth time the gate will drop in Oakland?In 1980, Kent Howerton won on a Suzuki?In 1984, Ron Lechein won on a Honda; it was his first ever Supercross Class race on a Honda?In 1979, Jimmy Weinert used paddle tires to win on an all sand track in Oakland; the AMA would later outlaw the use of the paddle tires. Later that year he won the last race of his career at Daytona.??
  3. Supercross Class Wins by Brand in Oakland: Kawasaki 1, Suzuki 1, Honda 1, Yamaha 1
  4. Chad Reed earned his 41st Supercross Class win
  5. Reed has now won a Supercross Class race in nine career seasons and is tied with Jeremy McGrath on the all-time list
  6. Ryan Dungey is the only rider to be on the podium at all three races; he’s finished 3-1-2.
  7. For the first time ever, KTM has been in the Supercross Class points lead (this doesn’t include last week’s tie)
  8. For the 11th time in Supercross class history, there have been three different winners in the first three rounds
  9. Three different brands, Kawasaki, KTM and Honda have now won a Supercross Class race this year. If Yamaha and Suzuki can get a win, it will be the first time in Supercross class history that every manufacturer has won a Supercross Class Main Event.
  10. James Stewart broke his four race non-podium streak with a third in Los Angeles. He can break his five-race non-win streak with a win this weekend.
  11. All five brands were in the top five in Los Angeles: Honda: KTM, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki. On March 19, 1977, there were seven different brands in the top 10: Can-am, Honda, Maico, Yamaha, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, and Suzuki.
  12. There has been a different winner at each of the first three races in the Supercross and the Supercross Lites classes: Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed, Cole Seely, Dean Wilson, and Eli Tomac. This is the third time this has happened since the Lites class started in 1985. (1986 & 1993)


Supercross Class: Honda Stats:

  1. Honda won their 200th Supercross Class race in Los Angeles
  2. In 39 seasons of Supercross Class racing, Honda has at least one win in 31 seasons
  3. From 1982-1996, Honda won 138 Supercross Class races, along with 13 Supercross Class championships
  4. Win #1: Marty smith 3/27/1976 in Pontiac, Mich.
  5. Win #50: Rick Johnson 6/7/1986 in Los Angeles
  6. Win #100: Jean-Michael Bayle 3/28/1992 in Tampa, Fla.
  7. Win #150: Ezra Lusk 4/25/1998 in Dallas
  8. Win #200: Chad Reed 1/21/2012 in Los Angeles
  9. Honda is the first brand to win 200 Supercross Class races


24 different riders have won a Supercross Class race on a Honda: Marty Smith 1976, Jimmy Ellis 1978, Marty Tripes 1978, Steve Wise 1979, Chuck Sun 1980, Donnie Hansen 1982, Darryl Shultz 1982, David Bailey 1983, Bob Hannah 1983, Johnny O’Mara 1984, Ron Lechien 1984, Rick Johnson 1986, Jeff Stanton 1989, Jean-Michel Bayle 1990, Jeremy McGrath 1993, Doug Henry 1995, Ezra Lusk 1998, Kevin Windham 1999, Mike LaRocco 2002, Ricky Carmichael 2002, Nate Ramsey 2002, Davi Millsaps 2008, Chad Reed 2011, Trey Canard 2011

?Supercross Lites Class Oakland stats:

  1. ?This will be the second time the gate will drop for a Supercross Lites Class race in Oakland
  2. Broc Tickle won the inaugural Supercross Lites Class race in Oakland

 

  1. Supercross Lites Class Wins by Brand in Oakland: Kawasaki 1?
  2. Supercross Class Laps Lead: Ryan Villopoto 20, Ryan Dungey 20, Chad Reed 15, Jake Weimer 5
  3. Supercross Lites Class Laps Led: Dean Wilson 15, Eli Tomac 15, Cole Seely 12, Tyla Rattray 3

 

Ryan Dungey “We’re making good inroads testing and developing the new 450, and that progress is translating into podium finishes on the racetrack. Our 3-1-2 podium results so far this season have earned us the red plate, which is a great way to start the season. After getting KTMs first win in Phoenix, I was happy to back it up with second overall last weekend in Los Angeles. Everything is definitely heading in the right direction and our goal is to keep putting the new KTM 450 SX-F on the podium throughout the season.”

Chad Reed “It feels awesome to get a win, especially at the third race. We are early in the season, so I am trying to stay consistent to hopefully get more wins.”

Ryan Villopoto “After coming from the back of the pack the past two rounds, this week I really concentrated on my starting technique. Saturday night, I’d just like to get out front right away and minimize any chance of mistakes. The track will be dry this year so it should have a better result.”

Jake Weimer “I really felt comfortable running the pace up front last Saturday and had I not gone down, I feel I would have been on the podium. I’ve never raced in Oakland before, but I always liked San Francisco, so I hope to be right back up front.”

James Stewart “You know, the podium last week was definitely a positive, especially after what happened in practice. I’m really happy we got up there, I think we all were. But we want more, we want to win.  And that’s what we’re working towards. There’s a lot of work that goes into this and we haven’t stopped working yet. But it feels like we’re starting to build some good momentum. That’s exciting, now we need to stay focused and push forward.”

Brett Metcalfe “The whole day was the best we’ve had so far. The Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was working awesome. I think I had one of the best bikes on the track all day. The heat race went well, and I ended up fifth. But I rode really well and I think it’s the best ride I’ve had all year. Going into the main, the RM-Z450 was working great out on the track. I got a better start on the re-start, and I was up there early. After being sick, I knew I was going to be short of breath, so I just wanted to hit 20 laps consistently, and ride hard – but not to the point where I’d push myself to the limit and start going downhill. So I just maintained myself the whole race and came home fifth, which was by far the best result of the year.”

Broc Tickle “Each weekend we’re making steps towards the front and I’m excited to keep progressing. I won in Oakland last year in the Supercross Lites Class and the dirt up there is awesome. I’d like to have a certain stadium that I look forward to every year and since I already have a win in Oakland, I’m feeling good going into this weekend.”

Eli Tomac “I was finally able to get out there, ride like myself and ride how I should. I’m excited for the win tonight (in Los Angeles) and I’m happy to be leading the points going into round four. If I can get consistently good starts, I believe I can win like I did tonight. I am comfortable out front and plan to stay there.”

Dean Wilson “This is my first time riding the Western Regional Supercross Lites Class, so it’s a little bit different going to a new stadium every weekend. This weekend, I’d like to just get a good start and if I can get that, I feel my chances of getting a win in Oakland are much better.”

Tyla Rattray “I made too many mistakes last weekend. So this week, I concentrated on keeping focused and hitting my lines every lap. I’m looking forward to going to Oakland. The dirt is always good there and it will be dry so it should make for a good track.”

Marvin Musquin “Crashing out of the main last weekend in the final stages of the race while in third spot was definitely not the way I wanted to finish the race. I had good speed and was setting up a pass for second when I landed in a soft wet spot which just sent me flying. The Asterisk guys did a good job taking care of me at mobile medical center and tests clarified I didn’t break anything. I just winded myself and suffered bruising to my chest. The Lites championship is only eight races long so a DNF kind of squashed my chances at winning the title. However, it does mean I have nothing to lose going forward so I will just turn my focus toward trying to get my first win in the USA. That’s purely my goal now.”

Jason Anderson “Although I had to go to the LCQ, I won that. In the main, I just tried to put my laps in and I got into fifth. The Rockstar Energy Racing bike is working great and I’m feeling good, and that’s an awesome combination that we’ve got going. I’m just trying to keep improving and I feel like I’m doing that every weekend. Oakland should be fun and I’m just excited to get out there and race again.”

Martin Davalos “We got great starts all night. We got the heat race win and in the main event, I was running second. But then I made a stupid mistake and lost my front end. After that, I tried to get into a rhythm but I couldn’t get going because my front end was twisted. But overall, I feel really positive about the night. Now I’m just looking forward to Oakland and hoping for good weather there.”


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