Round 9 – AMA/FIM Supercross Series 2012 – St. Louis
Round 9 of the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in St. Louis. In the premier class, Ryan Villopoto increased his championship points lead by taking his fifth Main Event win of the season. In 250 Lites East racing, Justin Barcia took his third win in a row and now sits well ahead in the points chase.
|250 Lites East Results|
|250 Lites East Pts
Edward Jones Dome
250 East Lites qualifying – The Lites class never fails to surprise as rookie rider, Justin Bogle took the fastest qualifying lap of the day (51.63). His teammate and current points leader, Justin Barcia was second (51.76). Ken Roczen (51.97), Darryn Durham (52.42), and Kyle Cunningham (52.57) rounded out the top five.
450 Supercross Class qualifying – Ryan Villopoto took the pole position (50.44), just one tenth of a second ahead of last week’s race winner, Ryan Dungey (50.57). Kevin Windham, a former St. Louis race winner was third (50.83), followed by Justin Brayton (51.52), and Marvin Musquin in his premier class regular season debut (51.58). On a side note, James Stewart looked to be on his way to setting a top qualifying time before he crashed after the second whoop section only 20 feet from the finish line. He appeared to be healthy following the crash, but never got back up to full speed.
250 East Heat 1 – Justin Barcia hopped out to yet another great start and immediately was able to open a small gap back to second. For a moment, Blake Baggett had second place secured, but his teammate, Darryn Durham took over shortly thereafter. Recovering from a disappointing second round, Phil Nicoletti found himself back in the mix and was riding in fourth place just ahead of PJ Larsen in fifth. Further back, Malcom Stewart recovered from a terrible start to find his way into a qualifying position. Back out front, Barcia rode off to an unchallenged win ahead of Durham in second and Baggett in third. Nicoletti and Larsen rounded out the top five.
250 East Heat 2 – Blake Wharton has been getting good start all year long, and he managed another one in this second heat race. With clear track ahead of him, Wharton was able to lay down some great laps, but was soon feeling the pressure of the fastest qualifier, Justin Bogle. Riding in third for the first few laps was privateer, Alex Martin, who would battle and eventually be displaced by Jake Canada. Ken Roczen did not have a very good start and was forced to work his way through the pack and into qualifying position. Out front, Wharton and Bogle continued to gap the rest of the field. At the finish it was Wharton in first with Bogle and Canada in second in third. Roczen and Martin finished out the top five.
450 Supercross Heat 1 – Brett Metcalfe got the best drive out of the gate, taking the holeshot ahead of James Stewart, Ryan Dungey, and Cole Seely. While Metcalfe would go onto lead the first two laps, Seely managed to get around Dungey on the first lap to sneak into third place. Stewart took his time working his way into the lead, but eventually forced the issue in the final turn before the finish line, cutting to the inside and taking over first place. Meanwhile, Seely and Dungey began to put the pressure on Metcalfe. For several laps, the Suzuki rider was able to hold both the Honda and KTM at bay. However, Seely was able to get his front wheel in on Metcalfe heading through the first turn section. The move allowed Seely to get into the front, and Dungey soon made a similar move before the tunnel. Stewart would win the heat, followed by Seely in second, Dungey in third, Metcalfe in fourth, and Broc Tickle in fifth.
450 Supercross Heat 2 – Bobby Kiniry took the holeshot but was quickly over taken by both Justin Brayton and Ryan Villopoto. Just as Villopoto was working his way into the lead, Ben Lamay had a very hard crash in the rhythm section before the tunnel, forcing a red flag. Lamay was able to get up but did not restart the race.
450 Supercross Heat 2 (restart) – The second time around, Davi Millsaps was able to improve upon his first try, taking the holeshot. Justin Brayton began in second but this time was not able to hold off Ryan Villopoto for quite as long. It was also not long before Villopoto was able to work his way up to challenge and pass Millsaps while heading down the start straight on the third lap. Brayton also soon began challening Millsaps, eventually passing him in the turn before the whoops. Jake Weimer was the next rider through and began to open a comfortable third place ride. At the finish it was Villopoto in first, Brayton in second, and Weimer in third. Millsaps and Windham completed the top five.
250 East 15 lap Main Event – The three top qualifiers of the day all began out front. Justin Barcia took yet another holeshot followed closely by Ken Roczen and Justin Bogle. With clear track ahead of him, Barcia was able to lay down some blazing laps, opening up a three second lead within the first three laps. Roczen, beginning his race far better than the previous two rounds, also had clear track but began to lose Barcia, inch by inch, as Bogle began pressuring the KTM rider for the number two position.Ã‚Â
Further back, Jake Canada was having his best ride of the season, and possibly of his career, while running in fourth ahead of Blake Wharton and Darryn Durham. As the laps wore on, Wharton was slowly able to close on Canada and by lap 11, made the pass to take over fourth place.
Back out front, Barcia continued to put in the fastest laps of the race, and by the last lap had an eight second lead on Roczen. Bogle continued to pressure Roczen until the last lap, when the Honda rider made a mistake just before the step-over jump, falling in the tight right hander. Upon trying to remount, he dropped his bike again, getting passed by Wharton in the process before getting going again. At the finish Justin Barcia took his third win in a row. Roczen, Wharton, Durham, and Bogle completed the top five.
On the podium, Barcia said, “What a great night it was. The dirt was awesome tonight and to have the three-peat is just amazing. It just doesn’t get much better than being on the GEICO/Honda team.”
Supercross 20 lap Main Event – Davi Millsaps grabbed the holeshot just ahead of Kevin Windham, Justin Brayton, and Ryan Villopoto. On the opening lap, just before the first triple, James Stewart went down on his own, dropping all the way to last place. Millsaps was able to hold Villopoto off for the first two laps before succumbing to the defending champ’s speed. Behind Millsaps were Brayton and Ryan Dungey, who had worked his way up from a mid-pack start.
Meanwhile, Stewart had already put in an incredible charge to come up to ninth place by lap six. He was soon threatening Metcalfe and Weimer.
Again in the battle for second Brayton and Dungey both managed to make their way around Millsaps just before the step over jump. Brayton put in some excellent laps, but Dungey seemed to have a bit more speed in certain sections of the track. Soon enough, Millsaps had dropped several positions, being displace by Windham as well and was suddenly being pressured by his own teammate, Stewart who had worked his way into sixth place. In the closing laps, Stewart was finally able to make the pass on Millsaps, moving up to fifth place.
Out front, Villopoto slowed significantly in the closing laps, allowing Dungey to get well within striking distance had Villopoto made a mistake. But the mistake never came, and Villopoto took his fifth win of the season. Dungey finished a close second, with Brayton, Windham, and Stewart rounding out the top five.
On the podium, Villopoto commented on his slower lap times towards the end of the race, “It was tough. With the ruts, there was a lot of pavement showing. I was trying to be careful because the lap was really deteriorating.”
250 East podium, L – R, Blake Wharton, Justin Barcia, Kenny Roczen