Rockstar teammates Jason Anderson & Martin Davalos bring home 2nd & 3rd
The Rockstar Energy Racing teams celebrated their first double podium of the season at round 16 of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT, on Saturday night. Rockstar Energy Racing teammates Jason Anderson and Martin Davalos put everything on the line, racing for all they were worth and finishing a spectacular second and third, respectively, in the Supercross Lites class.
Photos by Jake Klingensmith
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Anderson’s results at this penultimate round were not only his career best, but also his first career main event podium. Anderson’s night started with his six-lap heat race, where he got up front right off the bat and finished second. Then, he went on to holeshot the 15-lap main event, and led the first 10 laps before eventually finishing second.
“My race was good,” said Anderson. “I grabbed the holeshot and I’m pumped about that. I was a little nervous about running up front, but I came out a solid second and I can’t thank my Rockstar Energy Racing team enough. They’ve stuck by me through thick and thin. Going into Las Vegas, I have some good momentum and I’m motivated after this weekend, so I just want to keep progressing.”
Similarly for Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Davalos, this past weekend’s race marked both his best finish of 2012 and first podium of the season. Dicing aggressively with his teammate, as well as everyone else in his heat and the main event, Davalos followed Anderson home in third place in both races.
“It was definitely a great night for our team, with Jason getting second and me getting third,” said Davalos. “I feel like I rode really good and I’m just proud to be on the podium. It’s been a rough season for me, and this was a great way to come back and put it on the box for the team. They’ve worked so hard and I’m so proud to be a part of the Rockstar Energy Racing team.”
Rounding out the Rockstar teams’ Supercross Lites effort is Star Valli Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes. Coming off a win last weekend, Sipes got a great start in his heat race, only to go down while leading. The Star Valli Yamaha rider quickly recovered to finish fourth. In the main, unfortunately, Sipes suffered some bad luck and wound up 16th. Already looking ahead, Sipes is focusing on the East/West Shootout in Las Vegas. He won the season-ending event last year and is eager to defend his title next weekend.
“This was not the weekend I was hoping for,” admitted Sipes. “But I feel like I was riding good. I should have had the heat win, but I had a little tip-over. In the main, it was the craziest thing, I got taken out pretty hard on the parade lap. The bike was all bent up and there was no back brake, but by the middle of the race I was putting in some good laps. Then I mistimed a section and made a mistake that hurt me. Now, I’m just looking forward to defending the East/West Shootout in Las Vegas next weekend. I’ll be there and I’ll be strong.”
In the Supercross class, Star Valli Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry continues to charge hard. After transferring to the main by winning the LCQ, Kiniry made the most of his gate pick and gave 100 percent for all 20 laps. The Star Valli Yamaha rider put his head down and worked his way through the field to finish ninth and pick up his third top-10 result of the year.
“I got the Rockstar Yamaha out to a pretty bad start in the main event, due to my qualifying,” said Kiniry. “Then I just chugged along and came from about 18th to ninth. So I got a solid top 10 for the night, and I moved us up a spot in points. My Rockstar Yamaha felt great and I’m just trying to stay in the top 10. Las Vegas is next weekend and I’ve done well there in the past, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Star Valli Yamaha teammate Weston Peick turned in a respectable performance at Salt Lake City. The Supercross rider overcame a fraught first lap in his eight-lap heat race to pick up the final transfer spot to the main. There, Peick rallied after a less-than-optimal gate pick and worked his way through the field to 12th.
“In the heat race, I got a great jump off the gate but then I spun really bad right past the finish line and got pinched off,” said Peick. “Then I worked my way from about 17th to ninth. Obviously, in the main, I had almost the last gate pick so I was basically last off the start. But I just worked my way up the best I could with how fast the track was. For Las Vegas next weekend, I’ve got to have my game going. I’ve got to walk out of there close to the top five to get up in the points. But anything can happen, it’s Supercross.”
Rockstar’s Nick Wey struggled with ongoing back pain at Salt Lake City, but still finished eighth in his heat race. Unfortunately, the cool night air exacerbated Wey’s back troubles and he struggled more and more as the evening wore on. In the end, Wey wound up finishing 13th in the main.
“Salt Lake went OK,” said Wey. “I qualified fifth, which was cool. But then it got cold out and I struggled with my back. It just got worse even though I was trying to exercise between riding. I just had a bad night, so I’ll go home and try to rest my back and finish out strong in Las Vegas. Then I’ll regroup and maybe have back surgery so I don’t have to deal with it anymore, and come back strong for Supercross next year.”
Rockstar’s Brett Metcalfe also had a rough time at Salt Lake City. Although Metcalfe had a good showing in his heat race with a sixth-place finish, the main saw him get tangled up with another rider who crashed right in front of him. Unfortunately, Metcalfe was forced to retire for the evening.
Finally, Star Valli Yamaha’s Supercross Lites rider Gareth Swanepoel is still recovering from injury and did not race in Salt Lake City. Nor did Star Valli Yamaha’s Supercross rider Nico Izzi, who qualified well but suffered a practice crash and was unable to race.
The next event for the Rockstar Energy Racing teams is the 17th and final round of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, May 5th, at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, NV.