Round 17 – AMA/FIM Supercross Series 2009 – Las Vegas NV – May 2
Ryan Villopoto wins Las Vegas Supercross … James Stewart clinches 2009 AMA/FIM Supercross Series Championship! Christophe Pourcel wins 250 East/West Supercross Shoot-out!
|450 Supercross Results|
|450 Point Standings
Sam Boyd Stadium
Saturday’s practice sessions were very warm, and the track was dry. We didn’t see any ‘sparks’ between the top two contenders for the 450 Supercross Championship James Stewart and Chad Reed. Ryan Dungey, Austin Stroupe, and Christophe Pourcel looked good in the 250 East/West Shoot-out class.
As the night-time show started, the energy in the stadium, and excitement level was very high. And the stadium was completed packed!
The first race of the night was the 250 West riders Heat 1. Ryan Morais emerged out of the long start area and into the main stadium with the lead … but fell a couple of corners in. Up stepped West Coast Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey, riding with the red “1w” number plates. A rejuvenated Trey Canard was running in second, with third position belonging to Jake Weimer. At the end of the six lap race, it was Dungey first, followed by Canard, and then Weimer.
The second race of the night was the 250 East Coast riders, trying to qualify for the ’250 East/West Shoot-out’ Main Event – the one time a year riders from east and west regions get to battle it out. Austin Stroupe emerged as the leader as the pack entered into the stadium from the outside starting area. As they settled, the leaderboard is Stroupe, Blake Wharton, Matt Lemoine, Broc Tickle, and East Coast Supercross Champ Christophe Pourcel. At the end of the race, the finishing order: Stroupe, Pourcel, Lemoine, B Wharton, and Tickle.
450 Supercross Heat 1 saw Chad Reed emerge with the holeshot! He was followed by Kevin Windham, Lots of fast guys in this race, but that didn’t deter Reed. He won the eight lap race convincingly, Windham finishes second, about 10 seconds back, followed by Davi Millsaps, Andrew Short, and Mike Alessi.
The next race – 450 Heat 2. Ivan Tedesco emerged from the start area and into the stadium with the lead, but (again), that didn’t deter the other main main for the 2009 Supercross Championship – James Stewart. Even with a less-than-stellar start, Stewart was in the lead by the beginning of the second lap. At the finish, it was James Stewart winning, Ryan Villopoto second, Josh Grant third, Ivan Tedesco fourth, and Heath Voss fifth.
The top two (Reed & Stewart) are into the main, with a 20 lap race to determine who will be the 2009 AMA/FIM Supercross Series Champion!
9:25pm: The 250 East/West Shoot-out Main Event takes off! It’s Blake Wharton the early leader, followed by Trey Canard. Fastest 250 rider of the night Austin Stroupe falls a few corners into the race, and restarts third from last. On the second lap, Trey Canard moves into the lead, followed now by Christophe Pourcel and Blake Wharton. Ryan Dungey is fifth.
At the ten lap mark, it’s 2008 East Supercross Champion Trey Canard leading by about two seconds over 2009 East Supercross Champion Chris Pourcel. 2009 West Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey is third, about 1.5 second behind Pourcel. Jake Weimer is a ways back in fourth.
On lap 13, Canard bobbles exiting a tight left hand corner. Pourcel moves into the lead, Dungey goes past Canard as well and is now second, with Canard third!
What a race! It is a shoot-out! It’s the best in the East (Pourcel) leading the best in the West (Dungey) as they go for it on the final lap! At the checkered – it’s Pourcel by a couple of bike lengths over Dungey! Carnard finishes third, Jake Weimer is fourth, and Austin Stroupe makes a great comeback to fifth place.
9:55pm: The 20 lap 450 Supercross Main Event takes off! It’s Mike Alessi with a huge holeshot! But by the end of the first lap, it’s James Stewart in the lead! Ryan Villopoto is second, Alessi is third, and Chad Reed is fourth.
But hold on! Ryan Villopoto goes past Stewart and into the lead on lap three! It’s Villopoto out front and flying! Stewart is second, and Chad Reed is third!
On lap eight, it’s Villopoto leading, Stewart is second, Chad Reed is about two seconds behind Stewart. Kevin Windham is fourth, Ivan Tedesco is fifth.
At the halfway point, it’s still Villopoto out front and looking good! Stewart is running second, Reed third, then Windham, then Tedesco. Can Reed close in on Stewart and apply pressure?
On lap 12, with Villopoto out front, Reed has caught Stewart. They are battling lappers as well as each other. There is opportunity for Reed to challenge James’ racing lines.
On lap 15, on the outside area of the track, Reed moves inside of Stewart and bumps him off the track (momentarily)! Reed makes the pass – but Stewart retains third position. It’s now Villopoto leading, Reed is second, and Stewart is third.
At this final supercross race of the 2009 AMA/FIM Supercross Season, and at the end of the 20 lap main event tonight, it’s Ryan Villopoto coming away with his second ever 450 Supercross win! Chad Reed finishes second, James Stewart is third. And with that third place finish, and a sky full of confetti & fireworks, James Stewart clinches the 2009 AMA/FIM Supercross Series Championship!
After being presented with the championship by Dr. Wolfgang Srb of the FIM, James tearfully thanked everyone that has supported him and befriended him all year and more.
Check out James Stewart’s Rider Profile, and post a message for him
Friday: Race of Words The Day Before
On Friday, May 1, the day before the final supercross of 2009 in Las Vegas, there was a race of words in effect, directly and indirectly, between the two main contestants for the Supercross Championship, Chad Reed and James Stewart.
First, there was a press conference at Sam Boyd Stadium, the venue of the race. Here is the text provided by event promoter Feld Motor Sports, and part of it is what Chad Reed had to say coming into the final round tomorrow.
Chad Reed: “It’s been a tough but fun year and unfortunately I’ve been on the short end of the stick most of the time. But we’re here. It’s Vegas and I still got a shot at this thing and I’m going to give it all I have. It’s heated and I’m excited. I’m really enjoying it to be honest with you. I’m in a great position. Every other time that I’ve been in this situation, I’ve been a leader. Now, I’m six points down and I’ve got nothing to lose. It’s pretty much going to be checkers or wreckers.”
Series points leader James Stewart rides for the San Manuel Yamaha team and carries a six-point lead over Reed heading into this weekend. In a typical season six points would be a nice cushion, but this season has been anything but typical. The fierce Stewart/Reed rivalry was brought to a new level last weekend at Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium when Stewart’s teammate Kyle Chisholm, who was being lapped by Reed, made an uncalled-for block on Reed. Subsequently Chisholm was black flagged and disqualified from the race, a call that FIM Race Director John Gallagher has never in his 33 years of professional officiating.
The rivalry which had cooled mid-season has reignited as a result of allegations of a deceitful strategy. Stewart claims that his actions speak for his words denied the opportunity to clear the air face-to-face at today’s conference. Stunned fans await the latest chapter to unfold in this bitter rivalry tomorrow night.
“Who can deny that it wasn’t intentional” said Reed. “His line, the fact that he was a lap down, and the obvious being he is James’ teammate. It was a shame. I don’t believe Kyle (Chisholm) is a bad person. I don’t know him personally, but I’ve heard he’s a good kid. It’s weird that a good person should have to go through that. There is a paper trail a mile long of what (Larry Brooks) has done in the past. I find it to be quite amusing but I truly believe everyone in this room knows what really happened.”
Chisholm violated the AMA Supercross an FIM World Championship rulebook which prohibits “failing to immediately respect and comply with the operational or warning flags/lights or other signals from Racing officials” when he remained on track after being shown the black flag and will be suspended from this weekend’s race.
But wait … there’s more ….
Later in the day, this Press Release below came from the San Manuel Yamaha team:
Statement from Team San Manuel Publicist
Re: May 1st Press Conference
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas – Supercross Event
Los Angeles CA: It is imperative that media and others associated with the sport, be apprised that James Stewart’s non-participation in today’s press conference, in advance of the final race of the 2009 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, an FIM World Championship, was a decision made by L&M Racing’s Team Management, not by James Stewart personally.
Additionally, it was communicated to those organizing the press conference, both written and verbally, that any media requests stemming from press day, for James, should be directed to my attention, so that we may respond and/or schedule accordingly.
Media outlets with requests for James, may still contact me directly at [email protected] or phone me directly at 818-694-6942. I will be on-site Saturday, starting at noon, at the Team San Manuel semi, for any subsequent race-day media requests.
Thank you – Cheryl Lynch – L&M Racing – Team San Manuel Publicist
Supercross.com would like to take the opportunity to thank Feld Motorsports, Todd Jendro, Dave Prater, Denny Hartwig, Daytona International Speedway, Brandon Short, and all the others that have assisted us to do our jobs during this 2009 Supercross season.
Click on the thumbnail to view the larger photos: James Stewart as the new, 2009 AMA/FIM Supercross Series Champion, Christophe Pourcel winning the 250 East/West Supercross Main Event, James Stewart & Ryan Villopoto dicing, Ryan Dungey number 1w, Christophe Pourcel 1e, Chad Reed number 1, 450 Supercross Main Event winner Ryan Villopoto #2, Ryan Dungey’s jersey with the #1 from the West Supercross Championship, Ryan Villopoto on his way to winning, James Stewart with the number 1 plate, Ivan Tedesco 9 leading Kevin Windham 14, the 450 podium, Ryan Dungey, Christophe Pourcel 1e, Chad Reed 1, James Stewart 7, Ryan Villopoto 2, Ivan Tedesco 9, Jake Weimer 19, Josh Grant 33, James Stewart 7, Kevin Windham 14, Mike Alessi 800, Davi Millsaps 18, Alley with Geico (hope we spelled your name right!), Ryan Dungey 1w pit area, Austin Stroupe 981, Chad Reed 1, Chris Pourcel 1e, James Stewart whip, Josh Grant 33, Ryan Villopoto, Jimmy Albertson 47, Andrew Short 29, Stroupe 981, W Hahn 50, Broc Hepler 60, Chad Reed 1, Ryan Dungey 1w, Josh Grant, James Stewart twice, Justin Brayton, Kevin Windham 14, Ryan Villopoto 2, and Trey Canard 39.
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