Star Valli Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes gets his first win of 2012
Photos by Jeff Kardas
The Rockstar Energy Racing teams got their ride on in Seattle, WA, on Saturday night for round 15 of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship at CenturyLink Field. As the series switched back to Western Region Supercross Lites rounds, Star Valli Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes returned from injury and made the most of the opportunity by capturing his first win of the season.
Star Valli Yamaha’s Sipes took advantage of the recent down time afforded the Western Region Supercross Lites riders to fully heal from his early-season injuries. As a result, Sipes came back stronger, healthier and faster than ever. Sipes finished fifth in his six-lap heat race, and then dominated the main by getting out front immediately and leading all 15 laps to take the checkers.
“I’m happy to get the win,” said Sipes. “I ended up in first coming around the second corner, and I just put my head down and tried to focus on the track. I just kept bringing my focus back to race the track, tried not to look back, and tried not to think about anything. I’m so happy for the Star Valli Yamaha team. We’ve all been working hard and it’s all been worth it. Now I just want to try and get another one at Salt Lake City next weekend.”
Coming in a few positions behind Sipes was Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson. Turning in aggressive-yet-controlled laps all night, Anderson nabbed a fourth-place finish in his heat race. In the main, Anderson got a mid-pack start but put his head down and picked his way through the field to eventually card a sixth-place result.
“Seattle was pretty good, though I had some trouble with my starts,” said Anderson. “But my speed was good and sixth isn’t a bad way to end the night, considering how my start was. The Rockstar Energy Racing bike’s working great and I’ve been to Salt Lake City before and I like racing there. So, hopefully I’ll be able to rip some good starts and get up on the podium there.”
The Seattle race was a rough one for Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Martin Davalos. The evening started out well, with Davalos turning in a spirited ride in his heat race and taking second. Then, in the main event, he was running sixth when he stalled his bike and wound up finishing 14th.
“It was a tough night,” said Davalos. “I feel like I was riding pretty smooth, but then I stalled my bike with four laps to go, sitting in an easy sixth. I gave it away. It’s been a tough year… and I’m disappointed for the team because they’ve worked so hard on the bike and everything. But I still have two races left, so I need to keep putting my head down and do my best.”
In the Supercross class, Star Valli Yamaha’s Weston Peick just keeps getting better. Seattle saw him continue to focus on consistency and he was well rewarded. Peick won the LCQ and transferred to the main, where he clicked off 20 solid laps to finish ninth. This marks Peick’s fourth-consecutive top-10 result.
“I had a good weekend at Seattle,” said Peick. “I’ve had some bad luck with crashes here in the past, but this weekend I turned it around and had a solid race. I ended up having to go to the LCQ, but I pulled the holeshot and won. I went into the main event around 13th, but stayed consistent and worked my way up to ninth place. I’m pumped on that and looking to take that momentum into next weekend at Salt Lake City.”
Star Valli Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry struggled a bit at the Seattle event. He finished seventh in his heat race and transferred to the main, where he suffered some bad luck and wound up 12th. Likewise, Star Valli Yamaha teammate Nico Izzi fell victim to bad luck, stalling his bike while running in a transfer spot in his heat race and ultimately missing the main.
Said Kiniry: “This was just an off day. I got in the main and got a mediocre start, and was battling with some people. Then another rider endo’d in front of me and I had nowhere to go, so I went right into him and his bike. We both got up OK, and I salvaged 12th out of the night. I’ve got two more rounds and I’m looking forward to that. I just need to put it together for 20 laps and get back in the top 10 again.”
Also in Supercross, Rockstar’s Nick Wey continues to improve as he recuperates from injury. Like some of his Rockstar counterparts, Wey suffered from bad luck in his heat and had to race the LCQ. But he put his head down and finished second and transferred to the main event, where he came in a solid 10th.
“The track was pretty tough because of all the ruts and I kind of struggled with the track all day,” said Wey. “But I was quite a bit stronger than I was last week. Unfortunately, I had a crash in the heat race and had to go to the LCQ, but I was able to get a top 10 in the main. Hopefully, I’ll do better at Salt Lake City next weekend.”
Rounding out the Supercross class is Rockstar’s Brett Metcalfe. The optimistic Australian picked up a fine fifth-place result in his heat race. Unfortunately, he had mid-air contact with another rider on the first lap of the main and had to retire for the evening with a damaged bike.
“It was actually a good day for me,” said Metcalfe. “Practice went pretty good and I liked the track. The heat race came round and I got fifth. I put some good laps together and I was feeling good. In the main event, I came through the first corner OK, then I got together with another rider and we collided in mid-air. My bike got smashed up. That was the end of my race and I had to DNF, which was sad because this was the first DNF we’ve had all season. We’ll just come back strong for next weekend at Salt Lake City.”
Finally, Star Valli Yamaha’s Supercross Lites rider Gareth Swanepoel did not race at Seattle. He had minor surgery during the break and unfortunately developed an infection that delayed his recovery.Ã‚Â He hopes to be back before the season’s end.
The next event for the Rockstar Energy Racing teams is the 16th round of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, April 28th, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT.