Seattle Supercross Insider

April 20, 2009
Coverage Provided by Vital MX

Ryan Villopoto returns after missing the past few rounds - 2009 ama Supercross - Seattle
Ryan Villopoto (2) takes charge of the lead and grabs win in his home state.

The Monster Energy Supercross season resumed Saturday night in Seattle after taking a week off following the highly competitive and very heated Jacksonville round. The top two in the Supercross class, James Stewart (San Manuel / Yamaha / JSE) and Chad Reed (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) were only five points apart headed into Qwest Field, and the were greeted by a very loose and sandy track that was also littered with rocks of all shapes and sizes. It was definitely not the average Supercross surface.

As for the racing itself, the script ran the opposite of Jacksonville, where the top two guys were up front and checked out. This time around, they were both at the back of the pack. Chad Reed went down on the start straight, and James Stewart was at the tail end of the group as the pack rounded the first turn. But while Stewart was able to blitz through the pack and make it to second spot at the finish, Reed was only able to muster a seventh-place finish. That means Stewart went from -5, to +3 in the championship chase, leading the series for the first time this season.

Afterwards, James said, “It was a crazy night. I didn’t know where Chad was until around the end of the first lap. I said, ‘If I can put points in between us, I might have a chance to even be tied,’ and I just want to give myself a chance in Vegas. Now I’ve got the points lead and it’s a long ways to go. I’ve got to try and win another race and we’ll see what happens after that.

So how did he get so far back in the pack at the start? “We all tangled in the first corner. He (Reed) went down, and I don’t even remember how I got so far back. I just remember being way back. I stalled the motorcycle, but I think that was like the third lap. I stalled right after the finish line but it was still rolling and I was able to get it kicked. Maybe that saved the championship right there. “

James Stewart blazes though the pack after trouble in the begining of the race - 2009 ama Supercross - Seattle
James Stewart charged back after an early fall to get second place and take the points lead.

“It was crazy. I was just trying to stay up and not make any more mistakes. I felt like any points I got, whether it was one point or two points, I was going to have a chance to take it in Vegas. That’s all I’ve been asking for after Anaheim and Daytona, just a chance to take it in. The series is still up in the air, obviously, but it definitely feels a little bit better to be in the position I’m in, and we’ll see what happens next week in Salt Lake. “

One of the frequently touted factoids used on the Speed TV broadcasts was that James had won 100% of the time that he didn’t fall, but after Saturday night, it was one record that he didn’t mind seeing broken. He laughed as he said, “Ryan just broke my streak, and no more 100 percent. So there you go, Jeff, Ralph…everybody can shut up and leave it alone. To be honest, this is the best second-place I’ve ever got. I’m happy with this, and for the championship I kind of learned a lot. With a championship on the line, I took what I needed to get and I was second.”

Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps was third on the night, making his third podium appearance of the season. Afterwards, was happy to note, “It was fun for me to get a good start finally and run up there with those guys. Those guys rode really fast and I can’t knock them. I’m pumped for Ryan. Congratulations to him on his first race win. I rode a consistent race, I thought. I just tried to be smooth and be smart and not make any stupid mistakes and not end up on the ground. I just rode at a comfortable smooth consistent pace and it worked for me.”

Davi Millsaps picks up a third place finish - 2009 AMA Supercross - Seattle
Davi Millsaps made his third podium appearance this season and currently holds ninth in points.

Regarding the loose and sandy racing surface, Davi said, “It wasn’t a fun track to ride. It would have been better muddy for sure. But that’s what they planned for, so you can’t knock Dirt Wurx down for that. They did plan for it to rain and it ended up backfiring. The track was way better than I thought it was going to be, and I’m really pumped with how they fixed it up for us. The track was really slick. It wouldn’t have been so bad except for the millions and billions of rocks lying across the ground. Other than that, it was all right. You run the same technique, you’ve just got to have traction control.”

But the man of the night was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who not only made a successful return to action after taking three rounds off due to illness, but he did it in the state where he grew up, much to the delight of the 50,000-plus fans in attendance. After getting a champagne shower from both Stewart and Millsaps, he said, “It feels awesome. It’s definitely not the season I wanted it to be. I rode pretty good in the beginning of the season and got sick. Obviously just a sickness from traveling and being on those planes. I raced through some races sick, and just had to call it quits and go back home and recover. Then I started riding the Thursday before Jacksonville and try to get as ready as I could for this. It obviously paid off, and there’s nothing better than winning in front of your hometown.”

Of course Ryan has had some success in his home state, but there have also been some missed opportunities. “Washougal, it’s snuck out of my hands three times. I won here in ’07 in the Lites class, but obviously there’s nothing better than winning in the Supercross class for my first win. It’s kind of a double whammy. “

Villopoto  2  passes Alessi as he falls down - 2009 AMA Supercross - Seattle
Ryan Villopoto capitalizes on Alessi’s fall to take the lead.

Early in the race, Mike Alessi was leading, and he lost the rear end of the bike as they headed out of a right-hander which led into a whoop section. Ryan explained, “I had just caught up to him, and I was trying to think about where I was going to get him on the track. It was tough because there were no whoops because that definitely separates riders. Here it was loamy in some spots and slippery in others, like where he just got on the gas too hard and slid out. I was able to capitalize on that. It was close (when he went down). It was a weird spot and I couldn’t go on the inside of him. To go around the outside, it slowed me down and Davi caught up a bit, and I had to put in some laps that were good. “
“I’m going to try and finish out these last two rounds strong. Put effort into them, but also try to be as safe as I can and my main focus is the outdoors. That’s where all my effort is going to right now. “

For now, all eyes will be on Chad Reed to see if he can mount a comeback in Salt Lake City next weekend.

In the Lites class action, this race was the resumption of the Lites West title chase, after a very long layoff. Ryan Dungey had been on the sidelines since February 14th, but it was apparent that he wasn’t knocking any rust off by coming back to the track, as he put in a polished 20-lap main event that boosted his points lead to nine with one round remaining.

“It was definitely a long time,” said Dungey. “I ain’t gonna lie. It felt like a whole year went by and I was just waiting. But I knew that soon enough this time was going to come and when it did get here, to grab hold of it. I think a lot of time, you’re waiting and waiting, and you show up and you don’t know what to think. But it was a good opportunity to take a little from the other guys and put myself up front a little more. I feel like I did that tonight. I’ve got a little more breathing room, but at the same time, it’s a whole race, and it’s not over until it’s over. But we know what we’ve got to do, and put in a solid week and put in a solid race. That’s the key. Just be smart about it.”

Ryan Dungey resumes the Supercross Lites West class with a win - 2009 ama Supercross - Seattle
Ryan Dungey takes a much needed win and currently holds a small lead over Jake Weimer in points.

When asked about the main, Dungey said, “I knew it was going to take a good start, and I was able to put myself In a good position. Get off the gate good, and make some good decisions going into the main, which helped out a lot. I was able to get in the lead and put in solid laps which was kind of the goal I had in mind. So it was nice.”

While Ryan had an error-free main event, things didn’t go so smoothly in the heat race, where he’d crashed. But he did show an amazing ability to work through the pack and he finished a strong second after being near last place. That gave him some extra motivation to get out front.

“I told the whole team this track’s going to be tough to pass as the race goes on,” said Dungey. “To get a good start and get out front and take advantage of that, I think was a good starting point. A lot could happen here. You saw how it was in practice. It really fell apart. Deep ruts, catching footpegs. With this track you really had to be on your game and stay focused. In our race as it went on, it started getting choppier and choppier. There were kickers everywhere. I feel for the 450 guys. They had a rough track. “

So what’s going to happen next week as we move to the thin air and likely cooler temps of Salt Lake City? We can’t wait to find out, but we’ll be bringing you the usual notes and inside scoop here with the Supercross Insider.

2009 Monster Energy Supercross Results: 
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Supercross Lites Heat 1
1. Ryan Morais
2. Jake Weimer
3. Dan Reardon
4. Ryan Sipes
5. Michael Hall
6. Jeff Alessi
7. Gray Davenport
8. Kyle Cunningham
9. Ryan Clark

Supercross Lites Heat 2
1. Jake Moss
2. Ryan Dungey
3. Jimmy Albertson
4. P. J. Larsen
5. Eric McCrummen
6. Trey Canard
7. Mike Horban
8. Alex Martin
9. Derek Costella

Supercross Heat 1
1. Ivan Tedesco
2. Chad Reed
3. Josh Grant
4. Davi Millsaps
5. Troy Adams
6. Heath Voss
7. Jason Thomas
8. Nick Wey
9. Kyle Chisholm

Supercross Heat 2
1. James Stewart
2. Ryan Villopoto
3. Kevin Windham
4. Mike Alessi
5. Matt Boni
6. Andrew Short
7. Tommy Hahn
8. Paul Carpenter
9. Tyler Bowers

Supercross Lites LCQ
1. Chris Blose
2. Sean Borkenhagen

Supercross LCQ
1. Billy Laninovich
2. Jake Marsack

Supercross Lites Main Event
1. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki)
2. Ryan Morais (Kawasaki)
3. Trey Canard (Honda)
4. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki)
5. Jake Moss (Honda)
6. Jimmy Albertson (Honda)
7. Kyle Cunningham (Kawasaki)
8. Chris Blose (Honda)
9. Michael Hall (Yamaha)
10. Jeff Alessi (Honda)
11. P. J. Larsen (Kawasaki)
12. Sean Borkenhagen (Honda)
13. Dan Reardon (Honda)
14. Alex Martin (Honda)
15. Derek Costella (Honda)
16. Mike Horban (Yamaha)
17. Ryan Sipes (KTM)
18. Eric McCrummen (Honda)
19. Gray Davenport (Kawasaki)
20. Ryan Clark (Honda)

Supercross Main Event
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
2. James Stewart (Yamaha)
3. Davi Millsaps (Honda)
4. Mike Alessi (Suzuki)
5. Andrew Short (Honda)
6. Josh Grant (Yamaha)
7. Chad Reed (Suzuki)
8. Paul Carpenter (Kawasaki)
9. Ivan Tedesco (Honda)
10. Kevin Windham (Honda)
11. Nick Wey (Yamaha)
12. Heath Voss (Honda)
13. Tommy Hahn (Kawasaki)
14. Matt Boni (Honda)
15. Jason Thomas (Honda)
16. Kyle Chisholm (Yamaha)
17. Tyler Bowers (Honda)
18. Jake Marsack (Honda)
19. Troy Adams (Honda)
20. Billy Laninovich (Kawasaki) 

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