Ryan Villopoto wins Salt Lake City Supercross! Extends Supercross Series points lead! Chad Reed finishes second. James Stewart has two falls. Eli Tomac wins 250 West Regional. Broc Tickle maintains slim points lead. The 2011 AMA Supercross Series in Utah for round 16!
Rice-Eccles Stadium hosts Monster Energy Supercross, but it’s also hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Olympics, and is home to the University of Utah football team.
But today the entire two wheeled motor sports world is focused on the premier off road racing series in the world, and the ‘big’ Supercross race here in Salt Lake City! Villopoto, Reed, Dungey, Stewart!
A few details … the morning started off cold, with an occasional bit of snow! Ken Roczen returned to the USA to race in the 250 Lites Regional Series. Kenny leads the World Motocross Championships in the MX2 class. Also, word came out that Kevin Windham will race for American Honda during at least the first few races of the upcoming AMA National Motocross Series. And number 32 riding for Factory Kawasaki will be racing his first race of the season – that would be Jake Weimer.
Practice was delayed one hour, just to see how the weather would hold up for such an important race. But at 1:30pm, the first riders hit the track for the first practice session. Promoter Feld Motor Sports has the track in perfect condition, and, right now the weather looks like it will hold off from anything bad.
2:35pm – the sun has come out! At the end of the Supercross class timed practice, James Stewart is on top with the quickest lap – 42.6 seconds, Ryan Villopoto is next at 43.32, Ryan Dungey 43.37, Chad Reed 43.42, Andrew Short 43.58, and Kevin Windham sixth out of 45 riders, with his quickest lap 43.77 seconds.
The 250 West Coast Lites qualifying … and don’t forget, there is a big battle there for the Regional Championship between Broc Tickle, Josh Hansen, and Eli Tomac, Martin Davalos has the quickest lap at 44.2, Eli Tomac next with 44.24, Cole Seely 44.58, Josh Hansen 44.63, Kyle Cunningham 44.66, Ken Roczen 44.76 and Broc Tickle 44.9 out of the 36 riders trying to make it to the main.
As the ‘night-time’ program is getting ready to start, the sun is shining and the weather is substantially warmer as the stadium begins to fill up with eager fans. And the track is in great condition.
250 West Qualifying Heat 1
Ken Roczen leads down the start straight, but out of the first corner it’s Ryan Morais with the lead. Eli Tomac and Roczen battle, with Kenny settling into second, Tomac third. At the end of this six lap race, the top three are very close – but at the finish it’s Ryan Morais with the win, Roczen second, Tomac third, and Josh Hansen back a bit in fourth.
250 West Qualifying Heat 2
Cole Seely number 36 is the early leader. Cole’s been coming on strong this season in the West Region. A few seconds back in Martin Davalos. Then Kyle Cunningham, Travis Baker and West Series points leader Broc Tickle. At the end of six laps, Cole Seely is the winner. Second is Kyle Cunningham, followed Broc Tickle, Martin Davalos, and Travis Baker.
Supercross Qualifying Heat 1
Lots of action right from the start! Jake Weimer, in his first race of 2011, has the holeshot. Just a few moments later, Ryan Villopoto falls in a left hand corner. Chad Reed has taken over the lead. As they settle finally, the running order after two laps is Chad Reed first, Kevin Windham second, Villopoto has moved past team-mate Weimer into third, then Weimer is next, followed by Michael Byrne.
At the halfway point of this eight lap race, Reedy is leading by a nice distance over Windham in second, Villopoto is about four seconds behind Windham. Then Weimer, Kyle Regal, and Justin Brayton.
Chad Reed wins this race, Kevin Windham second, Villopoto third. Weimer fourth, with Kyle Regal fifth.
Supercross Qualifying Heat 2
James Stewart makes it look easy with a perfect hole-shot. Andrew Short is in second. Ryan Dungey is third. Then Davi Millsaps, and Chris Blose.
On lap three, with Stewart already pulling a nice lead, Dungey has moved past Short into second. Running order on lap three – Stewart, Dungey, Short, Millsaps, Blose, and Mike Alessi.
Stewart is out front and pulling away from Dungey in second. He’s got a nine second lead after only five laps over Dungey. Third is now Davi Millsaps, then Short, and Nick Wey.
At the finish of this eight lap race, Stewart wins it easily. Second is defending Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey. Davi Millsaps takes a third, then Andrew Short and Nick Wey.
250 West Main Event – 15 laps
9:06pm. The 250 West Main Event blasts off the gate. Ken Roczen has the lead coming down the long start straight, but exiting the first tight left hand corner, it’s Broc Tickle in the lead. And Eli Tomac takes away the lead! And series championship contender Josh Hansen falls in a right hand corner.
The running order now with three laps completed: Eli Tomac, Broc Tickle, Ken Roczen, Cole Seely, Kyle Cunningham, Tyla Rattray. Hansen is 19th – potentially his shot at the West Regional Championship has evaporated.
Seely is out front by three seconds, and then Tickle and Roczen are battling. Literally. They are side by side. On lap seven, Roczen makes the pass stick on Tickle! It’s now Tomac out front, Roczen second, Tickle third. Tomac could really close the points gap with a win, with Tickle now in third, and Hansen back in 16th.
Lap 10 – Eli Tomac is leading. Ken Roczen is second. Broc Tickle is third. Cole Seely is fourth, followed by Kyle Cunningham, Tyla Rattray, Ryan Morais and Martin Davalos.
With Tomac out front, you now have a four way battle for second! Roczen, Tickle, Seely, and Cunningham as they battle thru lapped traffic on lap 13. They are about three seconds apart.
Last lap – Tomac is out front, and wins! Ken Roczen with his best finish in AMA Supercross, finishes second. Ken raced just last Monday at the Dutch Grand Prix of the MX World Championships. Broc Tickle finishes third. Then Seely, Cunningham, Rattray and Morais. Hansen scores 13th.
Going into the finale next Saturday in Las Vegas, it looks like Tickle leads Tomac by two points.
Winner Eli Tomac said “That was an out of control race for me. Me and Josh Hansen got together … I started casing a few jumps. You always dream of winning a championship, I’m a little bit closer, but there’s still a long way to go.”
Ken Roczen said “It feels awesome. I didn’t know how this weekend was going to go. The crowd was awesome too. My team is behind me 100%. I struggled a bit in the first races, but I’ll also come back next year and hopefully do better.”
Broc Tickle said “The track was technical. I just tried to get a good start. The podium is good, but I’m going for wins.”
Supercross Main Event – 20 laps
9:30pm exactly. The premiere Supercross class takes off and heads down the long start straight-away. Exiting the first corner it’s James Stewart with the hole-shot! Chad Reed is second, then Justin Brayton, followed by Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey.
Next lap, Villopoto goes past Brayton. So does Dungey and Short. Top five now – Stewart leading, Reed second, Villopoto, Dungey, Short. The top four in the series are running top four!
Lap five – Stewart leads Reed by about three second. Villopoto is close behind. Dungey is a few seconds back. Nothing else matters.
At the end of lap seven, on the right hand corner right before the finish line, Villopoto passes Chad Reed for second. Just a few seconds later, James Stewart goes down – low-slides in a left hander. He remounts, and just 30 yards further down the track – he cartwheels and crashes big time! He’s now off the track getting the bike looked at … and gets back on to the track again.
Ryan Villopoto, the Supercross Series points leader, is now in the lead! Chad Reed is second. Ryan Dungey is third. Andrew Short fourth. Stewart is running now in 14th.
Lap 13 – Villopoto leads Chad Reed by almost three seconds. Dungey is third, a ways back. Stewart is in 12th.
Lap 15 – Villopoto, Reed, Dungey, Short, Davi Millsaps, Justin Brayton, Kevin Windham, Jake Weimer, Thomas Hahn, Nick Wey, Kyle Regal, James Stewart.
Lap 17 – Villopoto is running into lappers. Reed is chasing. Villopoto is looking strong and aggressive, but Reed is closing a bit. Stewart is right behind Reed, although a lap down. Dungey is a ways back in third.
Two laps to go – Reed is closing on Villopoto! Last lap coming! Villopoto is heading to his sixth win of the season, and will extend his series points lead. Ryan Villopoto has done it! He’s won! Chad Reed finishes second, Ryan Dungey third. James Stewart finishes 10th.
Ryan Villopoto said “It was a great race. I got out to a good start. I was able to get by Chad … then I saw James slide out, and then he crashed hard. I just had to worry about Chad then. We’ve all done our work this year, it’s paying off going to Vegas. I still have to have a good race there. It relieves a little pressure by winning tonight. I just need to finish 20 laps next week and score some good points.”
Chad Reed said “Ryan rode great. I didn’t start off so aggressive, but got better as the race went on. It’s go time. I’ve had a blast the past two weeks, tonight I just didn’t ride aggressive enough. It’s a long shot in Vegas, but anything can happen and I’ll race my heart out.”
Ryan Dungey said “I got a great start … but I just couldn’t make it happen. I have to go for the win in Las Vegas.”
Ryan Villopoto could of put his stamp on this 2011 AMA Supercross Series by taking charge and taking the win tonight. But there is still one more race, and anything can happen – Reed and Dungey are still in the hunt. And James Stewart – crashing while leading – heartbreak for him.
All three series championships – the premiere Supercross class, the 250 West, and the 250 East will be decided next Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Stay tuned to Supercross.com as the 2011 Supercross Series Finale goes down on May 7th!
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Click on thumbnail images to view the larger photos. You’ll see number 20 Broc Tickle, number 36 Cole Seely, two photos of 250 Lites Main event winner number 19 Eli Tomac, number 100 Josh Hansen, 194 Ken Roczen, 35 Kyle Cunningham, Eli Tomac on top of the podium, Andrew Short 29, Chad Reed 22, Jake Weimer 32, James Stewart 7, Justin Brayton 10, Kevin Windham 14, close up action in corner, Ryan Villopoto on top of the Supercross podium, number 1 is Ryan Dungey, number 2 is Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Villopoto taking the win in the Supercross main event! 20 is Broc Tickle, 36 is Cole Seely, 19 Eli Tomac (twice), 100 is Josh Hansen, 194 Ken Roczen, 58 is Travis Baker, 28 is Tyla Rattray, 29 Andrew Short, 22 Chad Reed, 32 is Jake Weimer, 7 is James Stewart, James doing a nice whip, 14 is Kevin Windham, 800 is Mike Alessi, 1 is Ryan Dungey, 2 is Ryan Villopoto, the 32 bike of Jake Weimer (twice), Rice-Eccles stadium, Supercross Series points leader and winner at Salt Lake Ryan Villopoto’s Factory Kawasaki, Malcolm Stewart signing autographs, Malcolm and Kyle Regal signing (twice), a very pretty face, two shots of the ‘Toyota Girls’, Brad Simms doing some nice BMX tricks, overview of the pits, two shots of ‘yes it really was snowing during the day’, and the track before anyone got to ride on it, with the snow covered mountains in Utah in the background.
KTM’s Ken Roczen
|250 Lites West Results|
|250 Lites West Points
Series points leader and winner in Salt Lake City – Ryan Villopoto!