Round 13 of the 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Series at Reliant Stadium; home of NFL’s Houston Texans. Ryan Villopoto was not only able to walk away with yet another win this season, but the 2012 Supercross Class title as well. In the East Lites, an upset win saw Ken Roczen claim the checkered flag for the first time this season.
|250 Lites East Results|
|250 Lites East Pts|
250 East Lites qualifying – Blake Baggett managed to step up his game in the closing laps of practice to take the pole (46.94) edging out Justin Barcia (47.43) and Darryn Durham (47.46). Ken Roczen (47.88) and Matt Lemoine (48.18) completed the top five.450 Supercross Class qualifying – Never count Kevin Windham out. The GEICO/Honda rider captured the quickest lap in timed qualifying (46.16) just ahead of Ryan Villopoto (46.19). James Stewart is back to racing from his Indy injury and took the third spot (46.89) ahead of Justin Brayton (47.10) and Davi Millsaps (47.23).
250 East Heat 1 – Right off the start, Tyler Bowers, who was one of the fastest qualifiers of the day, went down hard while heading towards the first turn and the red flag was thrown before the first lap had ever been completed.
250 East Heat 1 (restart) – Justin Barcia took the holeshot just ahead of Alex Martin and Ken Roczen. On the first lap both Barcia and Martin were able to do a tricky triple-triple-step-on, but on the second only Barcia was able to pull it off. The difficult combination allowed him to slip away from the rest of the pack while Roczen and Martin battled for second. Roczen would eventually take over the runner up postion on the final lap. At the finish it was Barcia taking the win ahead of Roczen and Martin. Teammates Kyle Cunningham and Kyle Peters rounded out the top five.
250 East Heat 2 – More chaos ensued off of the second heat start, with a huge pile up taking down several riders including Darryn Durham. But Blake Wharton was able to escape with a clean holeshot with Justin Bogle not far behind. However during the opening laps, Wharton was running strong out front but mis-timed the big rhythm section and went down. Bogle inherited the lead and Blake Baggett took over second. Although Wharton crashed, he was still able to remount for a qualifying position. At the finish Bogle took the win followed by Baggett and Malcom Stewart. Tommy Weeck and Les Smith were fourth and fifth.
450 Supercross Heat 1 – Ryan Villopoto snuck to the inside of Justin Brayton to grab the lead off the start. From there the current points leader went on to set a blistering pace slowing gapping Brayton in second. Jeff Alessi had a third place start but was qucikly overtaken by Broc Tickle and Nico Izzi. At the finish Villopoto would go onto win by more than 12 second over Brayton (meaning he was more than a second faster per lap than the number 10 machine). Tickle, Izzi, and Kyle Chisholm completed the top five.
450 Supercross Heat 2 – James Stewart took the holeshot followed very closely by Kevin Windham and Jake Weimer. Stewart would lead for the first few laps but Windham found some extra speed in a tricky quad out of the first turn that allowed him to carry more speed into the first whoop section. The two would trade positions several times in the next few laps. Windham used the previously mentioned section to his advantage, while Stewart had his own part of the track that he was faster in. The battling allowed Weimer to creep up on the duo, which reinvigorated Stewart. He was eventually able to force a pass on Windham and make it stick.
On the final lap, Windham was able to close back in on Stewart with the crowd going crazy. Heading towards the second triple, Windham was within two bike lengths of Stewart, but as the veteran rider scrubbed the face of the jump, he caught his foot on the ground, throwing off his balance and ripping his right foot off the pegs. This resulted in a high speed endo that send Windham cartwheeling to the ground. While the crowd favorite eventually got to his feet, he looked to be in pain. Stewart went on to take the win ahead of Weimer, Davi Millsaps, Brett Metcalfe, and Matt Goerke.
*Windham did not continue racing for the day. He apparently hurt his thumb and shoulder in the incident but there is no official word yet on the severity of Kevin’s injury.
250 East 15 lap Main Event – Barcia once again took the holeshot followed by Roczen and Wharton. Roczen was not ready to let Barcia go this time around, as he was able to overtake first place briefly until Roczen made a mistake going through the rhythm section which allowed Barcia to retaliate. The defending champ took advantage of the opportunity by putting some distance between himself and the German rider.
Meanwhile Wharton began to lose ground to Baggett, who was the fastest qualifier of the day. The Kawasaki rider was eventually able to take over third place and set his sights upon Roczen in second. As the laps wore on the lead grew and shrunk but Roczen was able to hold his ground.
On the final lap, Barcia was clearly well out in front and looked to have his sixth win of the season locked up until the number one machine had a run in with a lapped rider, Lance Vincent, and went down with only three turns remaining. Roczen inherited the lead while Barcia was able to remount for second. Baggett rounded out the podium and Wharton and Phil Nicoletti completed the top five.
450 Supercross 20 lap Main Event – Millsaps was able to secure another great start ahead of Villopoto and Mike Alessi. James Stewart meanwhile did not get the greatest of starts and seemed to struggle with other riders in the opening laps. While Villopoto quickly began to put distance between himself and Millsaps, Stewart slowly began to make his way through the pack.
But just after getting around Matt Goerke, a mistake going into the rhythm section nearly sent Stewart to the ground. After regaining his composure and repassing Goerke a few laps later, another and much bigger mistake at the end of the same rhythm section caused Stewart to endo and sent the Yamaha rider to the ground hard. He was able to get up, but did not rejoin the race.
Meanwhile, Weimer had worked his way into third place. But out front Villopoto remained unchallenged and would go onto take the win. The victory, allowed the Kawasaki star to officially move more than 100 points ahead of Millsaps in the points and thus claim the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship title four rounds before the finale.