VILLIPOTO RECLAIMS RED PLATE WITH A FLAWLESS WIN IN OAKLAND
Monster Energy Supercross took the stage Saturday night at O.CO Coliseum in Oakland, California. The venue hosted a packed stadium of fans and the most colossal field of talented Supercross racers in the world. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s three-time Supercross title champion, Ryan Villipoto set the pace early in the main and rode flawlessly to take his second win of the season and reclaim the points lead. Jason Anderson rode the wheels off his Rockstar Energy Racing KTM to earn his third win of the season in his hunt for the championship in the 250SX class.
Factory Metal Works/Honda’s Vince Friese led the pack into turn one, taking the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot in the 450SX class. Friese was followed into turn one by Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX’s Justin Brayton, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villipoto, TwoTwo Motorsports/Discount Tire’s Chad Reed and Red Bull/KTM’s Ryan Dungey. Yoshimura/Suzuki’s James Stewart and GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia went to work early to make their way through the stacked pack of heavy hitters, all hungry for a spot on the podium.
“Bam-Bam” Barcia resurged in Oakland and was on a mission to prove a point, putting teammate Wil Hahn into the tough blocks in lap three to take over sixth position.
Stewart made quick work of Dungey and Brayton, making his way into third and setting his sights on last week’s race winner, Chad Reed. Following pace with Stewart, Dungey also made the pass on Brayton, to settle into fourth position.
Rookie and points leader, Ken Roczen settled back in seventh, seemingly lacking the hunger for a win. Unlike Roczen, youngster “Bam-Bam” Barcia was possibly pushing too hard for the win when he went down after coming up short in the rhythm section and taking a digger in lap nine.
Yoshimura/Suzuki rider James Stewart made a methodical and respectable pass for second on Reed in lap twelve. While Stewart went to work on closing the five second gap up on race leader Ryan Villipoto, Dungey closed the gap on Reed.
Unfortunately, time ran out for Stewart to close the gap on Villipoto’s flawless ride, but the last two weeks have turned some surprisingly consistent results for James Stewart.
GEICO Honda’s rookie Wil Hahn made his way back up to seventh after getting tangled up with teammate Justin Barcia. Red Bull/KTM’s rookie and points leader Ken Roczen found some drive in the closing laps to make a pass on Brayton, but Brayton returned the favour to take fifth place at Oakland.
Ryan Villipoto’s favourite soil conditions certainly turned out to work in his favour as he walked away with his second back to back win in Oakland to reclaim the red plate for Anaheim three. Stewart took second place in Oakland to maintain the consistency he has been working towards since the gate dropped at Anaheim one. Last week’s race winner Chad Reed earned his second back to back podium in the 2014 Supercross race season.
In 250SX action, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson lead the pack into turn one taking the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot award. However, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s rookie Justin Hill made a quick pass on Wilson to take the lead from his teammate. Anderson made an easy move to second while Wilson was recovering from a simple rhythm mistake.
After regaining his rhythm, Wilson knuckled down to put Anderson and Hill into a wheel to wheel to wheel battle early in the main.
Last week’s race winner Cole Seely made an effortless move from sixth to fourth, when Cooper Webb and Malcolm Stewart got tangled up in an all out battle for fourth position. After a confrontation both riders remounted and re-entered the race at the back of the pack.
In the closing laps Wilson made his way back to the front but had to settle for second after a strange mechanical malfunction with his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. While Wilson rolled the last section before the finish line, Anderson took the lead to claim his third win of the season. Dean Wilson took second while his rookie teammate Justin Hill took the final podium position.
Although Eli Tomac was unable to race this weekend in Oakland due to the left shoulder injury he sustained at the opening round, we will be looking forward to seeing him next week at Round Five in the 450SX class.
Josh Hill was out of the mix once again this weekend with another broken bone to add to his long list. Hill tweeted, “busted collarbone tonight, but luckily I’m still pretty”. With his positive attitude it is likely we will see Hill back before the end of the Supercross Season.
GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia brought “Bam-Bam” back in Oakland to show that he’s not afraid to lay it all on the line for a spot on that podium. With Barcia hungry and long overdue for a win, race fans will be sure to see some exciting battles with this kid in the weeks to come.
Yosimura/Suzuki’s James Stewart has seemingly found his comfort zone where he can produce consistent results week by week. But as long-time race fans surely know Stewart is never happy with second best. Now that he has surpassed the illness that he rode through for the past weeks, Stewart will surely be pushing for a win next week in Anaheim.
Last week’s race winner, Chad Reed didn’t seem, “to be in it to win it until the end”, as he stated, this week in Oakland. Race fans will be looking for the hero they witnessed at A2 to resurface at A3 next weekend.
Dean Wilson, seemingly cursed by bad luck will definitely be reviewing tape this week and looking for a win in Anaheim next weekend.
250SX class privateer, Topher Ingalls definitely turned some heads this week taking sixth in his heat race and a respectable fifteenth in the main event. Ingalls is definitely a rider to keep an eye on as he’s putting in the hard work to turn some results this year.
With a disappointing weekend for many riders in Oakland, next week at Anaheim three will be sure to be exciting as the 2014 Supercross Race Season continues to unfold.
Two Two Motorsports Chad Reed takes the podium at A2 Supercross
Anahiem, California’s Angel Stadium played host to the “40th Anniversary Celebration Race” of Monster Energy Supercross and one of the best races the sport has witnessed to date. Former Supercross Champion and team owner Chad Reed claimed victory in front of a crowd of former Supercross Title Champions and 40,682 fans. In the 250SX class Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Cole Seely set the pace early on in the main and set a gap too big for Jason Anderson to close. Seely walked away with his first Supercross win of the year after two close second place finishes to Anderson in the first two rounds.
Ryan Dungey took the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot on his Red Bull KTM, followed by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Wiemer, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart and last year’s Supercross Title Champion Ryan Villipoto on his Monster Energy Kawasaki. After winning a hard fought battle with Villipoto in Heat Race one, Justin Brayton had a lot of work set out for himself with a mediocre start alongside Justin Barcia and Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsport’s Chad Reed.
Dungey set the pace early on in the moto, but not far behind him was a crowd thrilling wheel to wheel to wheel battle in lap 3 between Stewart, Villipoto and Red Bull KTM’s, Ken Roczen.
German rider and 450SX class rookie Ken Roczen stuck a pass for third on former champ, Ryan Villipoto, trading some paint with his fellow training buddy.
Coming out of the whoops section the slippery track conditions got the best of race leader Ryan Dungey and after picking up his bike he re-enters the race in 6th place just behind Reed.
Going into lap 8, Roczen closes the gap on Stewart to 1.3 seconds but Ryan Villipoto shuts the door on Roczen, taking the inside line and taking second place.
With sights set on a win in Anaheim, Villipoto tries to take the inside on Stewart but Stewart manages to get his foot stuck in the front tire of Ryan Villipoto’s bike. Villipoto goes down and Stewart manages to ride it out and holds onto the lead.
Turning the fastest lap time in lap 12, Reed is on the move with a spell of determination, claiming the back and forth battle with Ken Roczen in lap 13.
Reed manages to close up the gap on Stewart and makes a clean pass on the inside to take the lead.
After getting out front and taking a breath from the hard fought battles of one of the most exciting Supercross races of all time, Reed puts a few seconds between himself and the rest of the pack to take the win in Anaheim.
Stewart and Roczen take second and third.
In the final corner before the finish line Dungey slams Villipoto taking both riders out and allowing Justin Brayton to take 4th . Villipoto takes 5th and Dungey finishes in 6th.
In celebration of what was obviously a very emotional win for Chad Reed, he jumps onto the stands as the crowd roars and not long after finds himself in tears of joy amongst his family and race team on the top of the podium. In his 42nd career win, Reed admits, “I had to work way too hard for this one. I’ve had 41 of these [wins] before tonight and they came a hell of a lot easier than this one”.
Rookie Ken Roczen reclaims the points lead with 60 points followed by Villipoto with 59 points, Reed and Dungey tied for third with 57 points and Justin Brayton within 5 points of the leader with 55 points.
In the 250SX class Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Cooper Webb grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot out the gate, followed by Cole Seely, Dean Wilson and Malcolm Stewart.
Jason Anderson, the winner of the previous two rounds goes to work on his disappointing start early in the race making a pass on Malcolm Stewart for 4th in lap 2 and setting his sights on Dean Wilson, sitting in third.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson gets a little sideways in the whoops managing to get tangled up with Geico Honda’s Zach Osborne, once again, after battling it out last week in Phoenix for the last podium spot. Both riders re-enter the race at the back of the top ten.
As Wilson and Osborne go to work on making their way back through the pack, Anderson makes the pass for second on Cooper Webb in lap 7, 9 seconds behind race leader Cole Seely.
Unfortunately time ran out for Jason Anderson, as Seely set the pace early in the moto, putting some time between himself and last week’s race winner Jason Anderson.
Seely takes the win in Anaheim, Anderson holds onto the points lead and Cooper Webb celebrates his first ever career podium.
Broc Tickle was unable to race the 450SX main after coming up short on a triple in Semi two. Hopefully we see Tickle back next week, as he is absolutely a contender in the 450SX class.
After getting together with Jake Weimer in the first lap of his Heat Race at A1, Eli Tomac has been out with a left shoulder rotator cuff contusion. He said he will return for Oakland next week, at the earliest.
Unfortunately Australian rider Matt Moss had a disappointing start in the main event, however, after leading some laps and picking up the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot at Phoenix he is definitely on the radar and one to watch next week in Oakland.
Coming in as the Series points leader after a win in Phoenix, Ryan Villipoto definitely walked away this week with some disappointing results, but as seven-time Supercross Champion Jeremy McGrath stated, “Ryan Villipoto is a fierce competitor and in order to beat him you have to do everything better than he does. It’s not impossible but it’s hard”. Ryan Villipoto will be sure to put on a show next week for fans in Oakland with a clear point to prove that he is here to win.
Dungey also walking away from A2 with some things to work on for Oakland. It will be exciting to see if he brings his new aggression to Oakland, or if he will return to his modest, consistent style.
As the sport continues to get faster, the field continues to get deeper and the stakes continue to get higher, the 2014 Supercross Season promises to be the most exciting season yet. Round 4 in Oakland promises to hold some exciting battles as the top 5 remain within 5 points of each other and the emotion of victory becomes sweeter and more heart-felt with every round.
We are saddened to hear the news today of yet another young and talented rider has been taken to early from us. Danish rider Kasper Lynggaard wrecked earlier today in the whoop section while practicing for the Dortmund supercross. Lynggarrd suffered from cardiac arrest upon impact. Medical crews on the scene did everything they could to revive him but were unsuccessful.
Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.