AMA/FIM Supercross Returns to New Orleans
2009 Supercross Series returns to New Orleans this Saturday – the last race there was in 2002.
Courtesy Feld Motorsports
In just two races, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed stopped San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart’s seven race win streak and began a two-race win streak of his own, setting the stage for the return Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship to New Orleans Superdome, this Saturday, March 14 for the first time since 2002.
A press conference will be held Thursday, March 12 from Noon – 2:00 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Room at the Superdome. The featured riders will be Louisiana’s own Kevin Windham and the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team, featuring Reed, Michael Byrne, Mike Alessi and Nico Izzi.
Last Saturday at the Daytona International Speedway, Reed, who is the defending AMA Supercross class champion, moved into the lead with four laps left in the main event, passing Yamaha rider Jason Lawrence and picking up his second win of the season. Heading into Daytona, Reed and Stewart were locked at 199 points in the championship. Stewart suffered from a first-turn crash and finished a disappointing seventh place and now trails Reed by 11 points.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel cushioned his Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class points lead to a comfortable 15 as he picked up his third win of the season Saturday night in Daytona.
“The return of the Monster Energy Supercross to the Superdome is great news for all of fans throughout the Gulf region” said Alan Freeman, general manager, Superdome. “This is another of the big sports events that keep coming back, because they love New Orleans and they want to be in the Superdome.Ã‚Â We’re glad they’re back and we can’t wait for March 14.”
Windham, a 14 year veteran on the Monster Energy Supercross tour, won the AMA Supercross class main event at the Superdome in 1998. In 2008, he earned four wins en route to finishing second overall in the point standings. He began racing professionally in 1994 and won the 1996 Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship. He has 16 career AMA Supercross class wins.
“In my long career of 14 years there are some races that will always stick in my mind” said Windham. “One of these those is my win in New Orleans in ’98 in front of my friends and family.”
Since hosting its last supercross in 2002, the Superdome has undergone dramatic changes due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. As part of the city’s rebuilding process, Monster Energy Supercross will return to the Superdome March 14. After reopening on September 25, 2006, the Superdome’s increasingly busy schedule is synonymous with its rich heritage in the French Quarter. In February this year Monster Jam set an attendance record by selling out the Superdome with 60,362 fans attending only the second motorsports event at the venue since 2005. Adding Monster Energy Supercross to the list of the Superdome’s premier events is part of the developing economic growth taking place in New Orleans as the city returns to business as one of the country’s most popular destination cities.
Five-time AMA Supercross class champion Ricky Carmichael holds the class’ all-time win record at the Superdome with two and is the only rider to win at the venue in both racing divisions. Defending AMA Supercross class champion Chad Reed won the AMA Supercross Lites class race at the Superdome in 2002 as a rookie and can join Carmichael as the only riders to win in both classes.
AMA Supercross Class Stats:
Ã‚Â The first race in New Orleans was held June 4, 1977, and Marty Smith won on a Honda. That was Smith’s last AMA Supercross class win. On that night, there were eight different brands of motorcycles on the gate: Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Bultaco, Maico, Husqvarna, and Can-Am
Ã‚Â From 1977-1980, the AMA Supercross was held in New Orleans. In 1980 the race was a double header and it was the last race in New Orleans until 1998
Ã‚Â From 1998-2002, AMA Supercross took place in New Orleans
Ã‚Â This will be the 11th time the gate will drop for an AMA Supercross race in New Orleans
Ã‚Â In 1979, Jeff Ward competed in his second-career AMA Supercross start and finished 9th. It was the first of many top ten finishes
Ã‚Â Suzuki hasn’t won in New Orleans since 1980 when Mark Barnett won one of the double headers
Ã‚Â AMA Supercross Class Wins by Brand in New Orleans: Honda (4), Yamaha (4), Kawasaki (1), Suzuki (1)
Ã‚Â AMA Supercross Class First Time Winners in New Orleans – Steve Wise, 1979 on a Honda
Chad Reed #1 – Defending Supercross Champion, and current points leader