We provide direct links to the things we think you’ll find interesting and helpful on Supercross.com, as the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross goes to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for Round 8 of the AMA Supercross Series.

But first, info courtesy Feld Motor Sports:

As the annual Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, heads to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome Saturday night, just three points separate Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Team San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart in the championship points race.

Last weekend before 53,342 fans TwoTwo Motorsports Chad Reed, of Dade City, Fla., captured his first win of the season and his sixth-career win in San Diego. GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, of Cortez, Colo., captured his first career win in the Western Regional Supercross Lites class.

“This is incredible,” said Reed. “I’ve put so much work into this team to make it the best it can be. To win with your name on your chest makes everything so much better. This one is emotional. I just followed Trey because he was showing me some lines. When he went down, it became just about putting together 20 clean laps.”

Supercross class points leader Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., crashed on the opening lap, but fought through the field to secure a seventh place effort aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen, the class points leader, finished sixth. The Elbert, Colo., native is still on the mend from a hand injury suffered at the Anaheim 2 stop. His advantage over teammate Tickle dwindled to three points as the Western Regional Supercross Lites class Championship takes a mid season break until April 16 in Seattle.

After a week off, the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class championship resumes with Geico Honda’s Justin Barcia leading the championship points race. Barcia scored the first win of the season at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, beating rival Dean Wilson of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team.

Defending Supercross class champion Ryan Dungey won last year’s main event in Atlanta in a hotly contested 20-lap main event.

Past Winners in Atlanta

Supercross Class: February 27, 2010: Ryan Dungey, February 21, 2009: James Stewart, February 23, 2008: Davi Millsaps, February 24, 2007: James Stewart, February 25, 2006: Ricky Carmichael, February 26, 2005: Ricky Carmichael, February 28, 2004: Chad Reed, February 22, 2003: Ricky Carmichael February 23, 2002: Ricky Carmichael, February 24, 2001: Ricky Carmichael, February 26, 2000: Jeremy McGrath, February 20, 1999: Jeremy McGrath, February 21, 1998: Jeremy McGrath, February 22, 1997: Damon Huffman, February 24, 1996: Jeremy McGrath, February 25, 1995: Mike LaRocco, February 26, 1994: Jeremy McGrath, February 20, 1993: Damon Bradshaw, February 22, 1992: Damon Bradshaw, February 23, 1991: Damon Bradshaw, February 24, 1990: Jeff Ward, February 25, 1989: Jeff Stanton, February 22, 1986: Rick Johnson, February 23, 1985: Mark Barnett, February 25, 1984: Johnny O’ Mara, March 5, 1983: Mark Barnett, February 27, 1982: Bob Hannah, February 28, 1981: Mark Barnett, March 01, 1980: Chuck Sun, March 03, 1979: Bob Hannah, March 04, 1978: Marty Tripes, March 05, 1977: Bob Hannah

Supercross Lites Class: February 27, 2010: Christophe Pourcel, February 21, 2009: Christophe Pourcel, February 23. 2008: Trey Canard, February 24, 2007: Ryan Dungey, February 25, 2006: Josh Grant, February 26, 2005: Grant Langston, February 28, 2004: James Stewart, February 22, 2003: Brock Sellards, February 23, 2002: Chad Reed, February 24, 2001: Nathan Ramsey, February 26, 2000: Stephane Roncada, February 20, 1999: Ernesto Fonseca, February 21, 1998: Ricky Carmichael, February 22, 1997: Ricky Carmichael, February 24, 1996: John Dowd, February 25, 1995: Mickael Pichon, February 26, 1994: Ezra Lusk, February 20, 1993: Doug Henry, February 22, 1992: Brian Swink, February 23, 1991: Brian Swink, February 24, 1990: Denny Stephenson, February 25, 1989: Damon Bradshaw, February 22, 1986: Keith Turpin

The first supercross race ever held in Atlanta was March 5, 1977, and Bob Hannah won on a Yamaha. On February 22, 1986 Honda rider Keith Turpin won the first-ever Supercross Lites main event. Ricky Carmichael is first on the Supercross class all-time win list with five. Carmichael, Brian Swink and Christophe Pourcel share the Supercross Lites class all-time win record with two.

The first race was held on March 5, 1977, and Bob Hannah won on a Yamaha. This will be the 33rd time the gate will drop for a Supercross class race in Atlanta. Yamaha won the first race in Atlanta, which was at Fulton County stadium. In 1992, Yamaha’s Damon Bradshaw won the last ever Supercross class race held at Fulton County Stadium. In 1993, Bradshaw won the first ever Supercross class race at the Georgia Dome. Bradshaw became the first rider to win three consecutive races in Atlanta.

First-Time Winners in Atlanta: Bob Hannah: 1977, Chuck Sun: 1980, Jeff Stanton: 1989, Damon Huffman: 1997, Davi Millsaps: 2008

Riders to Win Atlanta in Both Classes: Damon Bradshaw, Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed, James Stewart, Ryan Dungey

Seasons with at Least One Win: Jeremy McGrath: 9, Chad Reed: 8, Kevin Windham: 8, Jeff Ward: 8, Mike LaRocco: 7, James Stewart: 7

Supercross Laps Led: James Stewart 66, Ryan Villopoto 29, Chad Reed 17, Trey Canard 13, Kevin Windham 10, Ivan Tedesco 3, Ryan Dungey 1, Brett Metcalfe 1

Supercross Lites Class Laps Led: Josh Hansen 34, Broc Tickle 22, Eli Tomac 18, Cole Seely 15, Justin Barcia 13, Dean Wilson 2, Ken Roczen 1

Holeshot Award (Supercross Class) Ivan Tedesco (Anaheim 1), James Stewart (Phoenix), Brett Metcalfe (Los Angeles), Ryan Villopoto (Oakland), James Steward (Anaheim 2), Kevin Windham (Houston), Chad Reed (San Diego)

Holeshot Award (Supercross Lites Class), Broc Tickle (Anaheim 1), Broc Tickle (Phoneix), Cole Seely (Los Angeles), Eli Tomac (Oakland), Josh Hansen (Anaheim 2), Malcolm Stewart (Houston), Eli Tomac (San Diego)

As the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, nears the halfway-point of the season, four different riders have earned main event wins in the Supercross class, including James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, Trey Canard and Chad Reed. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., carries a three-point lead into Atlanta’s Georgia Dome this weekend over Team San Manuel Yamaha’s Stewart.

“I’ve always liked the dirt in Georgia with the red clay and I’m really looking forward to racing in domes for a while,” said Villopoto. “I didn’t have the best weekend last week and did what I could to make up points. I hope this next weekend is better than that.”

While Villopoto may enjoy the Georgia clay, he is winless in Atlanta. Stewart won in Atlanta in 2009 and 2007, and Ryan Dungey, the defending Supercross class champion, won last year in Atlanta.

“The track was gnarly out there,” Stewart said, who earned is sixth podium of the season last weekend. “I tried my best, but my best just wasn’t good enough. I’ll be back with some Bubba Scrubs at Atlanta though and hopefully will get it done.”

Dungey, who has five podium finishes, is 23 points out of first place and sits fifth overall in the Supercross class season standings. Following a DNF at Anaheim, the 21-year-old Minnesotan has been climbing his way back to the top of the standings.

“The track was actually in pretty decent shape at the start of the main in San Diego,” said Dungey. “I got a great start right up with the front guys and really tried to put my Rockstar Makita Suzuki in a good position and make no mistakes because the rain was coming down. The track was getting greasy so I just tried to keep my lap times good and not make any mistakes. To finish off with a second was good, a great step in the right direction and one step closer to that win. I’m looking forward to Atlanta. Atlanta has been really good to me, I really enjoy going back there. The fans are great and it’s always one of the biggest crowds.”

After winning the first Supercross class main event of his career, American Honda Racing’s Trey Canard finished fourth in San Diego and is fourth overall in season standings. Canard led until lap five when he suffered a crash and allowed Reed to move into the lead.

“I’m really excited for this weekend’s Atlanta race because I earned my first podium with the American Honda Racing team at this race last year,” said Canard. “I want to be on the podium again there this weekend. I actually think last weekend’s San Diego race was my personal best race of the season. I know I won in Houston, but in terms of being in the right place mentally and physically, and me actually racing well, I think I put all the pieces together last weekend. It was just a shame it was so slippery and wet because my confidence was high and I was in the zone to win.”

Geico Honda’s Kevin Windham, who crashed while leading in Houston, suffered another crash in San Diego.

“I’ve taken some really hard hits the last two weeks and I feel pretty lucky I haven’t broken anything,” said Windham. “My longevity in the sport is a direct result of avoiding these kinds of problems. This is not typical of the way I ride at all. It’s been a very trying time for me. I can’t even practice like normal during the week because I need to rest my body. Trying to push the limits to stay up front this year puts you on the edge.”

Red Bull/KTM’s Andrew Short earned his seventh top-10 finish in San Diego with a sixth place. Short has improved his results since the season opening race in Anaheim, where he finished 10th.

“I put myself in contention for a great finish at San Diego after almost nailing the holeshot,” said Short. “I made a few mistakes at the end of the race and lost a few positions. I came real close to passing Millsaps back at the end but eventually finished 6th.”

As the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class returns to action, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki welcomes back their two podium finishers from Houston in Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett. Wilson was very close to the win in Houston and has been working hard to get back up to speed after sitting out with an injury most of January.

“It’s not easy to just jump back into racing after being off the bike for over a month,” said Wilson. “It was mostly about my endurance in the main event and I think that with each week, I’ll only get stronger.”

Baggett looked comfortable in his first race and looks to Atlanta to show he is win material.

“I felt really good in Houston, but just didn’t do well off the start,” said Baggett. “Atlanta should be a longer start and I think I can really put the Kawasaki out front. I’m really looking forward to racing every weekend again and hopefully go after a championship.”

Current points leader GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia rocketed off to a great start to his 2011 campaign by winning the first race of the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class championship in Houston. The Honda racer will now look to build on his early success at his hometown race this weekend at the Georgia Dome.

“I can’t wait to ride again,” Barcia said. “I didn’t want to take last week off after winning in Houston. I wanted to ride again the next day. You have the whole off-season to think about that first race. I knew I needed to be strong and I wanted to get off to a good start. I know a lot of people are pointing to me as one of the favorites in the (Lites) East so I wanted to show everyone I was worthy of all the attention. Now that race is done and it’s time for Atlanta.”

Barcia’s teammate, Blake Wharton, also had a strong opening race and stayed in Barcia’s shadow for most of the Houston race before finishing sixth.

Red Bull/KTM’s Ken Roczen will take a break from competing in the premier class this weekend before contesting the Daytona Beach race in the Supercross class.

Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s east coast rookies Ian Trettel and Jason Anderson scored fifth and seventh-place finishes respectively at the opening race of the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites championship.

“I really had no idea what to expect coming into Houston,” said Trettel. “I qualified my Suzuki RM-Z 11th fastest, which I feel is pretty good about because there are a lot of fast guys here in the east. I got a pretty good start in my heat race but got pushed around a bit in the first lap and ended up sixth. I got a pretty good jump on the start of the main, but there was a lot of bumping and pushing; I felt I just had to be patient. I put my head down and put my RM-Z250 to work and was able to get my Suzuki up to fifth. I’m really happy with a fifth-place finish in my first race, that was my goal, but you never know if you’re going to be able to put everything together for the first night. I’m excited for Atlanta because it’s always a big crowd and a cool track. I’m going to study the Houston race and figure out what I need to do to improve my results for Atlanta.”

Anderson hopes to build off his finish in Houston now that the rookie jitters are gone.

“I was excited for my first pro race ever in Houston,” said Anderson. “I wasn’t really used to the timed qualifying and I started off a little slow but got better throughout the end of qualifying. I got into my heat and had a good first few laps and ended up in third at one point, which was cool. I made it to the main and got a decent start and my Rockstar Energy Suzuki RM-Z250 powered me up to seventh, which is where I stayed, and that was good. I’m excited with the result and I want to build on that for Atlanta. Atlanta always seems to be a good event and I’m excited to get out there after getting that first race out of the way.”

Tickets are available at the Georgia Dome Box Office, participating Yamaha dealers, all Ticketmaster retail locations, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000. Practice and qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m., and the main event begins at 7:00 p.m. Club Level tickets are available for $50 Adult/Child; Gold Level $45 Adult/Child; Mid-Level $35 Adult/Child; Upper Deck $10 Adult/Child. Fans can also get into the Pits for FREE from 12:30 – 6 PM Race Day when they recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).

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