Rockstar’s Blake Wharton wins Supercross Lites & Metcalfe cards first heat win of 450 career at Indy
The Rockstar Energy Racing teams tasted victory in Indianapolis, and it was sweet! Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton gave the Rockstar Energy Racing teams their first Supercross Lites main event win of the season at round 11 of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Series at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night.
Not only did Wharton capture his and the team’s first Supercross Lites victory of the season, the charismatic rider also put a halt to another racer’s winning streak in the process. En route to victory, Wharton grabbed the holeshot in his six-lap heat race and finished second before going onto the 15-lap main event and bringing home the win.
“It feels good to get the win,” said Wharton. “It’s been a while since I’ve won, but I never stopped thinking I could. I know it’s not easy to win, but at the same time, what we’re doing during the week, we’re doing to win. I happened to win tonight, but it’s so tough with the competition because everyone’s so fast. But this weekend, I won it, and I just want to go into next weekend and carry this over. Toronto should be good, I like going to Canada.”
Unfortunately, Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Hunter Hewitt suffered some bad luck in his heat race. In the first turn, Hewitt got tangled up with some other riders and went down. As a result, he did not race the main event.
“I want to congratulate my teammate Blake and the whole Rockstar Energy Racing team,” said Hewitt. “They won their first race and that’s really cool. I felt like I rode good in my heat race and practices, but I just had bad luck. I got hit from behind in my first heat and went down, and then I went to the LCQ but couldn’t pull it together. I rode good, but I’ve got to work on my starts. Now, we’re off to Toronto next weekend, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Also in Supercross Lites, Star Valli Yamaha’s Kyle Peters struggled but pulled through in the end. The young rookie carded a ninth-place finish in his heat race and transferred to the main, where he finished 12th. Meanwhile, Star Valli Yamaha teammate Kyle Cunningham finished eighth in his heat race, but crashed out of the main and was taken for medical evaluation.
“It was a rough race in Indy,” said Peters. “The track was really gnarly and I tried to get through it the best I could. My goal is to just keep pushing and working on improving, and I know I’ll get there. Now I’m looking forward to Toronto and hopefully getting a better result there.”
In the Supercross class, Rockstar’s Brett Metcalfe enjoyed the best ride of his season so far. The Australian holeshot his eight-lap heat race, then held on to the lead to take his first-ever Supercross-class heat race victory. In the 20-lap main, Metcalfe continued to ride aggressively and battled for a podium position for the entire race, running as high as second before finishing fourth.
“We came in with a different approach with bike setup this weekend,” said Metcalfe. “We got great starts and qualified the best we have all year. In the heat race, we ripped the holeshot and it felt awesome to get out there in front. I was able to hold on and get my first heat win of my 450 career, and that was a big achievement for me. In the main, I got another good start and I was able to charge through and get up to second. Then I dropped back a few positions because I got tired holding everybody off. I’m looking forward to carrying this on to Toronto next weekend.”
Star Valli Yamaha’s Nico Izzi is also racing the Supercross class, but only on the East Coast, because officially he’s campaigning West Coast Supercross Lites. But in the Supercross class at Indy, Izzi had an excellent showing, finishing fourth in his heat race and 10th in the main.
“It was a good night here in Indy,” said Izzi. “I had a solid heat and got fourth, and then a solid main. I was running in seventh when I fell on about the 12th lap. My goal was to come in and get a top 10 and I did that, even with the fall. This is the ‘big boy’ class, I was just going out there to get experience. I had fun and I’m ready to move on to Toronto.”
Also in the Supercross class, Star Valli Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry continued to improve his overall performance and picked up his best results of the season. Kiniry finished his heat race in eighth and brought home 13th in the main event.
“I had a decent night overall,” said Kiniry. “I felt quite a bit faster today, and I kept it off the ground when a lot of people were laying it down. Now, I’m just looking forward to Toronto. That’s really my home race because it’s so close to where I’m from in New York, and I’ve got a lot of family and friends coming out. So I’m looking forward to having a good week and some good racing next weekend.”
Also, Rockstar’s Nick Wey crashed hard on the first lap of his Supercross heat race and was unable to participate in the rest of the night’s racing, although he plans to race at Toronto. Finally, Star Valli Yamaha’s Ryan Morais and Austin Stroupe remain out due to injury.
The next event for the Rockstar Energy Racing teams is the 12th round of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, March 24th, at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.