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Countdown to 2012: Round 17 – AMA/FIM Supercross Series 2011 – Las Vegas

Published January 3rd, 2012

It’s this Saturday night. Angel Stadium in Anaheim California. The opening round of the 2012 Monster Energy AMA / FIM Supercross Series. As the 2012 season gets ready to start, let’s review the last race of 2011. It was in Las Vegas, and the championship was determined. Remember who won all the main events that night?

Ryan Villopoto wins the 2011 AMA Supercross Series Championship with a third place finish tonight in Las Vegas. Chad Reed wins the Main Event. The 250 West sees Ken Roczen win the Main – his first ever AMA win, and Broc Tickle finishes second to win West Lites Championship. 250 East – Blake Baggett has won the East Main! And Justin Barcia is the East Coast Lites Champion via a third place! Ryan Sipes wins East/West Shoot-out!

Sam Boyd Stadium

It’s all come down to this tonight – racing for all the championships in AMA Supercross. The premiere AMA Supercross Series Championship. The 250 West Regional Championship, and the 250 East Regional Championship. And, the Dave Combs Sr. East/West Shoot-out!

Today in Vegas it’s been very hot – over 92 degrees. Practice started at 12:30pm, and the track is a bit dry and dusty.

In the premiere Supercross timed practice, Kevin Windham on top with 1:02:46, James Stewart next with 1:02:67, Ryan Dungey 1:02:90, Chad Reed 1:02:96, Justin Brayton 1:02:96, Davi Millsaps 1:03:41, and Ryan Villopoto at 1:03:67 are at the top of the 53 riders in Supercross.

250 West timed practice – Kyle Cunningham 1:04:13, Eli Tomac 1:04:22, Broc Tickle 1:04:50, Cole Seely 1:05:10, and Ken Roczen 1:05:26 round out the top 17 riders in the West

250 East timed practice – Ryan Sipes 1:03:61, Malcolm Stewart 1:04:42, Dean Wilson 1:04:81, Justin Barcia 1:04:82, Blake Baggett 1:05:37, and Matt Lemoine 1:05:45 round out the top 14 in the East.

250 East Main – 15 laps

This place is electric. Sold out stadium. A unique start area that’s outside of the stadium, and then the riders rocket into the stadium at high speed. The promoter Feld Motor Sports has done a great job with the track, and it’s ready to go. This event is different from other Supercross races. This first race is the ‘main event’ for 250 East. There was no wasting of time after opening ceremonies, which included an Air Force fly-over. Justin Barcia came rocketing out of the start and into the lead. However, on lap four, Justin went down in a left hand corner. Taking over the lead – Ryan Sipes.

Remember, this is a ‘Main Event’. For the East Championship. The battle is between Justin Barcia, who is leading the series, and Dean Wilson, who is running second in points. It’s Ryan Sipes leading, Blake Baggett is second, Justin Barcia is third – knowing that the 2011 AMA East 250 Lites Regional Championship is his if he maintains his third place. Fourth is Dean Wilson! And Malcolm Stewart is running fifth out of 20 riders. The top nine riders in this main will qualify for the East/West shootout.

Last lap – Blake Baggett makes a run at Sipes for the lead – and makes the pass on the last lap! Blake Baggett has won the East Main Event! Ryan Sipes second, and Justin Barcia with a third place, has won the 2011 AMA East Coast Regional Supercross Championship!

Justin Barcia said – I’m at a loss for words right now. It hasn’t sunk in yet that I’ve won the championship. It’s been an awesome season. The racing has been crazy all year and I’ve had a lot of fun. I have an awesome team behind me that have given me 100% support every race. This is a moment I will remember forever.

250 West Main – 15 laps

It’s Kenny Roczen on the KTM with the holeshot here in the 250 West Main! As the start lap two, it’s Kenny leading, Cole Seely is second, Josh Hansen is third, Tyla Rattray is next, Eli Tomac is fifth. And Broc Tickle is sixth. Ken out front, series contenders Tomac fifth and Tickle sixth!

Roczen goes down. Seely takes over the lead! Roczen is second. But there is a crazy four way battle for second – Josh Hansen, Eli Tomac, Kyle Cunningham, and Broc Tickle are trading places … banging bars ….

Seely goes down while leading! Kenny Roczen takes over the lead! Kenny first, Seely is second, Kyle Cunningham has pushed his way into third, Eli Tomac in fourth. Broc Tickle is fifth. The rest doesn’t matter at this point as far as the winner, and the championship. Great race!

If Tomac and Tickle stay in their positions, they will tie on points for the series championship. And Tomac would be declared winner by virtue of two races wins, vs. Tickle’s one race win. But let’s see …

Lap 10 – with Ken Roczen heading towards his first ever AMA Supercross Lites victory, the West Championship is up for grabs between Tomac and Tickle. They are fourth and fifth. Fourth scores 18 points. Fifth scores 16 points. Tickle is about two seconds behind Tomac. Those two are in it for the championship, while Roczen has had such a quick learning curve in Supercross – he could win the main tonight in Vegas.

Lap 13. Roczen is leading by a good margin! Seely is second. Tomac is third. Cunningham has moved into third. Then Tomac, then Tickle.

Lap 14. Tickle has moved past Tomac! He will win the championship if he holds position! What a crazy race! Cunningham has moved into second!

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Kenny Roczen!

The checkered – Ken Roczen wins! Kenny has won his first ever AMA Supercross! Broc Tickle, after 15 laps, has moved into second! And wins the 2011 AMA West Regional Lites 250 Supercross Series! Kyle Cunningham third, Eli Tomac fourth, and Cole Seely fifth.

Ken Roczen said after-wards: This is awesome. I’ve had so much fun racing supercross this season and competing in front of the U.S. fans. It feels great to finish the year off with a win. I feel like I’ve learned so much this year and I have a great team behind me. The best part about all of this is seeing how happy Team Manager Roger De Coster was.

Supercross Qualifying Heat 1

James Stewart literally blasts off the gate and rockets into the stadium! It’s the first eight lap Qualifying heat for the Supercross class – right after two main events for 250 Lites, which determined two Regional series championships already!

Lap five – Stewart leading, Jake Weimer is second, Davi Millsaps third, Tye Simmonds next, Mike Alessi next, Andrew Short, Chad Reed. Andrew Short has pulled off the track.

At the end of this eight lap heat, it’s James Stewart winning. His best lap is a 1 minute 1 second. Jake Weimer in his second race of this season takes second, Davi Millsaps holds off Chad Reed for third, Reed is fourth, followed by K Regal, M Alessi, and T Simmonds.

Supercross Qualifying Heat 2

This will be another eight lap race. Coming into the stadium from outside the high speed starting area, it’s Kevin Windham flying into the stadium with the lead! But at the end of the long straight, Windham can’t brake hard enough to make the corner and goes off to the outside of the track! The first lap leader -  Justin Brayton! It’s been non-stop action all day and night.

Lap four – Brayton is leading, Austin Stroupe 74 is second. Third is Ryan Villopoto. Then Ryan Dungey. Villopoto makes the pass on Stroupe and moves into second.

Villopoto is closing on Brayton. On lap seven, Villopoto slips by and into the lead.

At the end of this race – Ryan Villopoto emerges the winner! Ryan Dungey finishes second. Brayton third, then Stroupe, and Kevin Windham recovers to fifth.

Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shoot-out – 10 laps

Rocketing into the stadium, riding with his new number 1 plate, it’s Justin Barcia with the early lead! But just in, Justin goes down. Ryan Sipes number 25 on Yamaha inherits the lead.

At the halfway point – just five laps, it’s Ryan Sipes with the lead, then Cole Seely, Ken Roczen, Dean Wilson, Martin Davalos, and Kyle Cunningham. Tickle is 11th. Barcia 17th.

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Ryan Sipes!

The winner of the 2011 Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout is Ryan Sipes! Second goes Cole Seely, third Ken Roczen. Champions Tickle and Barcia finish 10th and 16th respectively.

Supercross Main Event – 20 laps

Four riders have a shot for the 2011 AMA Supercross Series Championship. But the odds go like this – Ryan Villopoto has a nine point lead. Chad Reed is second – those nine points back. In third, Ryan Dungey, who would need both Villopoto and Reed to have some problems in order to retain his championship. Fourth in points, still technically with a chance, is James Stewart, although he’s going to need a miracle.

Reed, Dungey, and Stewart have all won Supercross titles. Ryan Villopoto has not. But he’s in a good position to win his first tonight!

10:06pm Vegas time. The Main Event comes into Sam Boyd Stadium! It’s Mike Alessi and Kevin Windham … with Windham taking the lead. After one lap – it’s Kevin Windham leading, followed by James Stewart, then Ryan Villopoto, Mike Alessi, Chad Reed, and Ryan Dungey.

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Stewart and Windham in Supercross Main Event

Mike Alessi crashes. On lap four, it’s Stewart and Windham side by side for the lead! Stewart makes the pass stick! Barely. Stewart leading, but Windham right on his rear. And Ryan Villopoto is right behind in third, and Chad Reed is right behind Villopoto in fourth. Dungey is a ways back in fifth.

Lap 7 – James Stewart crashes while leading! And then Windham hits Stewart and his bike as they are on the ground, and Windham cartwheels to the ground! Both riders look hurt. Both Stewart and Windham need help getting off the track.

Guess who has the lead now? Ryan Villopoto! It’s the top two in the series in the top two positions as the 2011 Supercross season is going to determine a champion! The top five on lap ten – Villopoto, Reed, Dungey, Davi Millsaps, and Chris Blose.

Windham ends up riding his bike off the track – he looked upset. Stewart is also back on his bike … but on the side of the track. Stewart pulls off track to watch.

Top three in points are top three now on lap 11 – Villopoto first, Reed second, Dungey third. Reed makes pass on Villopoto lap 12! Villopoto passes right back! And Dungey is closing on the two of them!

At the end of lap 12, Reed makes another pass on Villopoto for the lead! And Dungey is right on Villopoto’s back tire! Reed, Villopoto, Dungey – one second apart.

On the outside of the stadium part of the track, Dungey makes his move past Villopoto. Villopoto knows he’s can win the championship by finishing third – easily.

Reed is starting to pull away a bit from Dungey, who is pulling away from Villopoto. Smart riding by Villopoto.

Lap 16 – Dungey has now closed right up to Reed! The track is getting a bit slick. Villopoto is about eight seconds back.

Reed and Dungey are getting into lappers with three laps to go.

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Chad Reed winning Supercross Main Event!

Dungey is going for it on the last lap! Chasing Reedy! But Chad Reed holds on, and wins the Supercross Main Event! Ryan Dungey second. And with his third place finish – Ryan Villopoto has won the 2011 AMA Supercross Series Championship! His first ever!

Chad Reed says “I had a blast. So thankful to everyone behind me. Huge thanks to the fans – this year has been unbelievable. I feel totally blessed this season. Congrats to Ryan Villopoto. He earned the championship. He had the most wins this season, and to come back form what he went through last year he has my respect. We did all we can and sometimes you just come up short.”

Ryan Villopoto says “I can’t thank everybody at Monster Energy Kawasaki and the team enough. They believed in me. We’ll enjoy this one. Luckily I was able to go around Kevin and James. At the beginning of the year I was able to hire Aldon Baker as my trainer, probably the best move of my career. My fitness has greatly improved, we are a good team, along with Monster Energy Kawasaki. I just have to thank everyone at Kawasaki. The team believed in me through thick and thin. It was a hard-fought battle. I wasn’t pulling away form Chad, so I just let him by and Ryan Dungey was right behind him, so then I let him by. I just cruised from there.”

Click on thumbnail images to view the larger photos.

250 East 15 Lap Main Event Results:

1. Blake Baggett – KAW

2. Ryan Sipes – YAM

3. Justin Barcia – HON

4. Dean Wilson – KAW

5. Malcolm Stewart – SUZ

6. Matt Lemoine – KAW<

7. L Vincent – HON

8. H Hewitt – SUZ

9. L Smith – HON

10. J. Sipes – KAW

11. Chris Gosselaar – SUZ

12. T Futrell – HON

13. L Kilbarger – HON

14. T Bright – HON

15. A Catanzaro – HON

250 West 15 Lap Main Event Results:

1. Ken Roczen – KTM

2. Broc Tickle – KAW

3. Kyle Cunningham – YAM

4. Eli Tomac – HON

5. Cole Seely – HON

6. Tyla Rattray – KAW

7. Ryan Morais – SUZ

8. T Baker – HON

9. M Davalos – SUZ

10. Josh Hansen – KAW

11. B Rutherford – KAW

12. Nick Paluzzi – YAM

13. Jake Canada – KAW

14. Ben Evans – KAW

15. Casey Hinson – KTM

250 East/West 10 Lap Shoot-out:

1. Ryan Sipes – YAM

2. Cole Seely – HON

3. Ken Roczen – KTM

4. Dean Wilson – KAW

5. Martin Davalos – SUZ

6. Eli Tomac – HON

7. L Vincent – HON

8. K Cunningham – YAM

9. T Baker – HON

10. Broc Tickle – KAW

11. Tyla Rattray – KAW

12. Blake Baggett – KAW

13. Nick Paluzzi – YAM

14. Matt Lemoine – KAW

15. Ryan Morais – SUZ

Supercross 20 Lap Main Event Results:

1. Chad Reed – HON

2. Ryan Dungey – SUZ

3. Ryan Villopoto – KAW

4. Chris Blose – KAW

5. Andrew Short – KTM

6. Jake Weimer – KAW

7. Austin Stroupe – YAM

8. Nick Wey – YAM

9. Kyle Regal – YAM

10. Tye Simmonds – KTM

11. T Bowers – KAW

12. W Peick – YAM

13. Davi Millsaps – YAM

14. Michael Byrne – SUZ

15. James Stewart – YAM

250 West Points (unofficial):

1. Broc Tickle – 187

2. Eli Tomac – 181

3. Josh Hansen – 162

4. Cole Seely – 147

5. Ryan Morais – 138

6. Ken Roczen – 130

7. Tyla Rattray – 126

8. Kyle Cunningham – 125

9. Martin Davalos – 107

10. Ben Evans – 75

250 East Points (unofficial):

1. Justin Barcia – 205

2. Dean Wilson – 183

3. Ryan Sipes – 163

4. Blake Baggett – 159

5. Blake Wharton – 125

6. Matt Lemoine – 120

7. Malcolm Stewart – 89

8. Lance Vincent – 83

9. P.J. Larsen – 80

10. Hunter Hewitt – 80

Supercross Points (unofficial):

1. Ryan Villopoto – 338

2. Chad Reed – 334

3. Ryan Dungey – 328

4. James Stewart – 301

5. Trey Canard – 255

6. Andrew Short – 230

7. Kevin Windham – 207

8. Davi Millsaps – 180

9. Justin Brayton – 155

10. Nick Wey – 152

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2011 AMA Supercross Series Champion Ryan Villopoto!

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