Anaheim 1 Supercross Insider

January 5, 2009
Coverage provided by Vital MX

The Reed/Stewart battle ended earlier than expected when Stewart suffered a big crash in the whoops.
The Reed/Stewart battle ended earlier than expected when Stewart suffered a big crash in the whoops.

It usually follows that just about the time you think you’ve figured out what’s going to happen with the riders of the Monster Energy Supercross series, something happens to completely throw a wrench into your predictions. That’s how it was on Saturday night for the season opener of the Monster Energy Supercross at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA.

Of course, a new season is always good for mixing things up, and it’s particularly true this year, with quite a few new riders either coming to the U.S. to compete (like Aussie Daniel McCoy; Frenchmen Benjamin Coisy and Cedric Soubeyras), or it could be riders graduating up to a class like Josh Grant, Ryan Villopoto, Matt Boni, and Robert Kiniry.

When the gate dropped for the Supercross main event, it looked like the usual script. James Stewart (San Manuel Yamaha) jumped out front early with Chad Reed (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) close behind, and the two of them stretching their lead from the pack. But then Reed passed Stewart and led for a handful of laps, and Stewart re-took the lead. But that’s when things took an interesting turn.

Exiting a 180-degree bowl turn, James Stewart’s Yamaha seemed to lose drive for a moment, and Chad’s front wheel rammed into the rear wheel of Stewart’s bike, putting them both onto the ground hard. Stewart was very slow to remount, and there was a secondary crash as he rolled in front of Kevin Windham (Geico Powersports Honda). That ended Stewart’s night.

Josh Grant (33) takes the inside line agianst Chad Reed (1)  and the rest of the field to take the win despite losing his rear brake only a few laps before the finish.
Josh Grant (33) takes the inside line agianst Chad Reed (1)  and the rest of the field to take the win despite losing his rear brake only a few laps before the finish.

While Reed, and Windham worked to return to action, they’d been passed by Josh Grant (JGRMX Toyota/Yamaha) and Andrew Short (Honda Red Bull Racing). Grant led 11 laps without a miscue, but three laps from the end, things suddenly got very dramatic. An errant Tuf-Blok cover ended up in the rear wheel (and rear brake) of Grant’s Yamaha. That rendered the brake useless, while at the same time robbing him of power. It seemed that the stadium held its collective breath as Grant tried to complete the final three laps as increasingly large quantities of smoke trailed from the rear brake. With the fans urging him on, he pumped his fist while crossing the line, scoring his first 450 main event win ahead of Short and Reed.

In the Lites class, most of the pre-season hype surrounded Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, and last year’s Lites West champion, Monster/Yamaha of Troy’s Jason Lawrence. A mechanical in the heat race for Ryan forced him to qualify for the main event via the LCQ, and also forced him to near the outside of the gate for the start. On the other hand, Jason Lawrence easily won his heat race, but a crash in the main event dropped him back to 15th in the field. He charged back to fourth at the finish, though he was eventually docked a position for a course infraction.

So who won? It was a 1-2 finish for the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki squad, with Jake Weimer taking the second main event of his career, and his teammate, Ryan Morais taking second. Ryan Dungey scored the final podium spot.

Next weekend the series moves to Phoenix, AZ, for round two of the 2009 Monster Energy Supercross series.

Monster Energy Supercross
Anaheim, CA

Ryan Morais rode to a strong finish in the Lites class on his KX250F.
Ryan Morais rode to a strong finish in the Lites class on his KX250F.

Supercross Lites Main Event

1. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki)
2. Ryan Morais (Kawasaki)
3. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki)
4. Chris Blose (Honda)
5. Jason Lawrence (Yamaha)
6. Ryan Sipes (KTM)
7. Justin Brayton (KTM)
8. Jeff Alessi (Honda)
9. Ben Evans (Honda)
10. Chris Gosselaar (Kawasaki)
11. Ryan Clark (Honda)
12. Sean Borkenhagen (Honda)
13. Adam Chatfield (Honda)
14. Trey Canard (Honda)
15. Shaun Skinner (Honda)
16. Cedric Soubeyras (Yamaha)
17. Michael Sleeter (KTM)
18. Mike Horban (Yamaha)
19. Dan Reardon (Honda)
20. Kyle Cunningham (Kawasaki)

Supercross Main Event

1. Josh Grant (Yamaha)
2. Andrew Short (Honda)
3. Chad Reed (Suzuki)
4. Timmy Ferry (Kawasaki)
5. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
6. Ivan Tedesco (Honda)
7. Heath Voss (Honda)
8. Benjamin Coisy (Honda)
9. Nick Wey (Yamaha)
10. Paul Carpenter (Kawasaki)
11. Mike Alessi (Suzuki)
12. Davi Millsaps (Honda)
13. Cole Siebler (Honda)
14. Matt Boni (Honda)
15. Kevin Windham (Honda)
16. Josh Hill (Yamaha)
17. Steve Boniface (Honda)
18. Robert Kiniry (Kawasaki)
19. James Stewart (Yamaha)
20. Charles Summey (KTM)

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