Round 4 – AMA/FIM Supercross Series 2009 – Houston – January 24
James Stewart wins third 450 Supercross in a row! Chad Reed maintains points lead! Christophe Pourcel takes opening round of 250 East Supercross!
|250 East Results|
|250 East Points|
Here’s what we know so far. Reliant Stadium is a nice, big, new, stadium. You can see a photo below of the overview of the track. The dirt is nice, tacky, soft in places, with lots of lines in the corners. And the track definitely has some high speed sections too. Fast lap times are around 51 seconds for the 250s, and just under 50 seconds for the 450 class. In the first practice, James Stewart had the quickest lap, followed by Chad Reed, Ivan Tedesco, Andrew Short, and Josh Grant.
This race marks the start of the first ‘East’ coast regional series – with a new group of 250cc class riders, including Nico Izzi, Austin Stroupe, Brett Metcalfe, and from France – Christophe Pourcel.
In the 450 class, Ryan Sipes, normally a 250 ‘West’ rider for KTM, will be racing. And Travis Preston, another KTM rider, is out of action for at least a couple of weeks because of a hand injury from last weekend’s race in Anaheim.
The Reliant Stadium is literally right next door to what used to be ‘One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World’, the Houston Astrodome. In the second 450 practice, it was Stewart, Villopoto, Reed, Ferry and Tedesco as the fastest qualifiers. Reed fell three times in practice though.
After ‘opening ceremonies’, the first race of the night (250 heat 1) got under way at 7:37pm. It was Christophe Pourcel number 377 on the Pro Circuit Kawasaki coming out of the first turn in the lead, but Tyler Wharton took over the lead by the second corner. At the end of six laps though, when the checkered flag waved, it was number 24, Brett Metcalfe, riding for the Geico Powersports Honda team, winning the heat, with Pourcel second, and Suzuki’s Nico Izzi third.
At 7:47, the second 250 heat took off, and it was Austin Stroupe on his Pro Circuit Kawasaki leading. Austin is using his old amateur number in 2009, number 981. Austin was the winner of the heat, with Matt Lemoine riding a Yamaha second, and KTM’s Martin Davalos third.
At 7:49, Chad Reed led the charge into and out of the first corner, and won the eight lap race. Second was Josh Grant, followed by Heath Voss. Ryan Villopoto was sixth.
8:11pm and the 450 Supercross heat 2 takes off – James Stewart has the lead, but there is a massive pile up of bikes and rider in the first corner. At the finish, it’s Stewart first, Ivan Tedesco second, Kevin Windham third, Mike Alessi fourth, and Andrew Short fifth.
The 15 lap 250 East Main Event takes off with Christophe Pourcel on the Kawasaki in the lead! Next is Nico Izzi, followed by Brett Metcalfe. A few laps later, it’s Pourcel nicely in front, Izzi a ways back in second, with Metcalfe closing in third. Austin Stroupe 981 is in fourth.
On lap 7, Metcalfe and Izzi are battling, and Metcalfe passes Izzi to go into second. It’s Pourcel out front, then Metcalfe, Izzi, and Stroupe.
At the end of the 15 lap Main Event, Pourcel holds on for the win over Metcalfe. Izzi is third, Stroupe fourth, and Blake Wharton fifth!
9:40pm and the 450 Supercross Main event blasts away, with Mike Alessi first into the first corner. But a couple corners in, Ryan Villopoto shoots past Alessi and into the lead. On the second lap, it’s Villopoto, James Stewart already into second, Andrew Short third, Alessi fourth, Josh Grant fifth, and Chad Reed sixth.
Right before the end of lap four, Stewart passes Villopoto in a tight right hand corner. At the end of five laps, it’s Stewart out front, then Villopoto, followed by Short, then it’s Chad Reed and Josh Grant.
At the halfway point, riders are starting to stretch out a bit. James Stewart out front, Ryan Villopoto in second, Andrew Short third, Chad Reed is fourth, and Josh Grant is fifth.
On lap 13, in a tight right hand corner, Reedy goes inside of Short and into third. A few seconds later, Villopoto falls, so Reed gets into second!
On lap 16, it’s Stewartl leading by a large margin, Reed is second, Villopoto in third, Andrew Short is fourth, and Josh Grant fifth.
At the end of the 20 lap main, it’s James Stewart with a comfortable win – his third win of the season. Chad Reed motors into second, still maintains his points lead, and has been on the podium every race. Ryan Villopoto has his best finish of his 450 career with third place. Andrew Short continues his season’s consistency with fourth, and Josh Grant continues his consistency so far of 2009 with a fifth place finish.
Houston 2009 Photo Gallery