Supercross Salt Lake City Insider

April 27, 2009
Coverage provided by Vital MX

Chad Reed  1  and James Stewart  7  continue their battle for the championship - AMA Supercross - Salt Lake City
The Stewart-Reed battle continues as a questionable incedent with Kyle Chisholm could bring down some penalties.

With the high altitude and cool temperatures in Salt Lake City, you’d think things would be cool, calm and collected, right? Well, actually not so much. It’s getting down to crunch time in the chase for the 2009 Monster Energy Supercross series, and things actually seem to heat up a bit each week now.

High on that list was the final round of the Lites West championship, where Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) came into the event with a nine-point lead over the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki duo of Jake Weimer and Ryan Morais.

In the main event, it was Troy Lee Designs / Seaspan / PPG / Honda’s Jake Moss who led just nearly the entire first half of the main event, but a crash dropped him out of podium contention, and he eventually finished fourth. We’ll let Dungey take over the commentary from here:
“I felt like maybe I was going to get him, maybe I wasn’t. I was just letting it play out. Then he (Moss) fell, and I was riding in first for a while. I knew Trey (Canard) was behind me and I know he was gunning for the win so sooner or later I knew he was going to run it in on me and he did. Nothing bad, and I was like, ‘All right, let him go.’ Then I saw Weimer and I was like, ‘All right, I’m not gonna mess around with that.’ I knew where I had to be and I kind of rode solid. I really wasn’t riding conservatives…I guess a little bit, but just trying to put in a solid ride and do what I had to do. That was the big picture, and I knew I had to get fifth or better so that’s what the goal was tonight. Run like we know how. Just super-pumped in the end crossing the finish line. It was great.”

Jake Weimer  19  and Ryan Dungey  10  fight for the lead - AMA Supercross - Salt Lake City
Ryan Dungey (10) and Jake Weimer (19) battle for position in the last race of the Lites season.

So how was Ryan feeling, “It feels good, I’ll tell you that. All I can think right now is my family, and my team, and Rockstar and all my sponsors behind me, we did it 100 percent. All the way to the top. It just feels good.”

Was there any special satisfaction for him in winning this, after some missed opportunities in the past? Ryan said, “A lot of you guys know that there were a lot of hurts in the past, but it’s just a great feeling when I was able to conquer it. I’m super-pumped and enjoying it. Since I was little I’ve wanted this and it’s a great feeling to get that number one place and know that you’re the best…it’s a fight with a lot of guys and they didn’t make it easy out there. I think that’s why it’s even more special is that it was a fight to the end. We proved that no matter what came our way throughout this whole series we stayed solid and didn’t let anything throw us off key.”

Okay, that’s one battle out of the way, but the heavyweight slugfest over the last several rounds has been between Chad Reed (Rockstar Makita Suzuki), and James Stewart (San Manuel / Yamaha / JSE), and they added to that tale on Saturday night, battling from nearly start to finish in the main event. Let’s check in with Chad first.

The early lead went to Reed, and he said, “I finally holeshot my heat and the main. I just controlled it. I tried to get down in there clean and sneak around the inside. That was awesome. It hasn’t been showing most weekends, but I’ve been working hard on my starts, and trying to watch Mike (Alessi) and see what he does. We’ve made a lot of changes to the bike to try and make the starts easier and better for me, and it’s finally coming around.”

Chad Reed  1  leads James Stewart though the corner - AMA Supercross - Salt Lake City
“He just totally came in there and tried to clean my ass out. But if that’s the way they want to play the game, it kind of sucks, but what can you do? I’d much prefer to settle it between me and James. But it is what it is, and we’ll go into next week and give it all we’ve got. I think good things happen to good people, and karma has a thing of coming around and biting people in the ass. So we’ll see what happens” – Chad Reed

“I got out front and felt like I was riding good, and in a good position. James got by, I passed him back, and then he got back by and I just looked at the laps and saw where we were, and I felt good and confident with what I was seeing. Unfortunately I had a get-together with Chisholm, and I just lost contact with James and he’s obviously riding really, really well. So it was difficult to get back up there.”

Ah yes. The contact with Kyle Chisholm. The controversial move of the night was when the lead duo came up on Stewart’s San Manuel / Yamaha / JSE teammate, Kyle Chisholm. After letting Stewart get by easily, he quickly rejoined the race and unfortunately, he and Chad Reed tangled in the next turn, with Chisholm going down. That seemed to pretty much lock the win for Stewart, as Reed lost contact with him. It also prompted the AMA to throw the black flag to Chisholm, who later claimed that he was just trying to stay ahead of the guys he was racing with.

“You know, I’m out there racing,” said Chisholm. ”Those guys come up on us quick, obviously they’re the fastest two guys in the world in Supercross. I’d just passed Voss. Me, Voss, Wey, Carpenter and Boni…a bunch of us are all within about ten points. I’d just passed Voss and had him behind me, and had Carpenter right in front of me. Chad came around me and clipped my handlebar and actually took my bike right out from under me. I went down and got screwed, and then I got screwed out of a race because I got black-flagged.”

Depending on who you ask, it was either a blatant takeout move, or accidental (and incidental) contact. We’re still waiting on official word of additional penalties (if any). It will be interesting to see what kind of views Speed TV has of the incident, and we‘re sure Tivo rewind and slow-mo buttons will be working overtime following the race.

James Stewart takes the win in Utah and contiues to lead the championship - AMA Supercross - Salt Lake City
“He wanted to win tonight, and I wanted to win tonight, and I think I just got lucky enough and I was able to pull it off, so I feel great,”  – James Stewart

Stewart continued on to win the main, followed by Reed, and for the second week in a row, Davi Millsaps scored a podium finish. Davi said, “It was a good weekend. I ran with those guys for a little bit and they were running a really fast pace and I couldn’t do it for the whole 20 laps…at least on this track. It was pretty brutal. So I just rode my own pace, rode comfortable, pulled away from the guys behind me and got a comfortable cushion. I looked up at the board and saw 17, and I was like, ‘Yes…three more.’ I knew that if I backed it off a little bit Villopoto wasn’t going to catch me. That’s what I did, and I’m really pumped. “

After the conclusion of the main, Reed seemed pretty confident he knew what happened in the contact with Chisholm.

“He just totally came in there and tried to clean my ass out. But if that’s the way they want to play the game, it kind of sucks, but what can you do? I’d much prefer to settle it between me and James. But it is what it is, and we’ll go into next week and give it all we’ve got. I think good things happen to good people, and karma has a thing of coming around and biting people in the ass. So we’ll see what happens.”

The racing seems to have gotten more aggressive among the frontrunners, but Reed said, “It’s hard to compare it. Honestly, the way that the Internet is and whatever, I don’t really want to comment on it. There are reasons why some races go the way they do and it’s been a tough year. I felt tonight that I was closer than I had been all middle-to-end of the season, and that’s all that matters.”

Reed had also had a tough race at the previous round in Seattle, where he’d finished in seventh place. “Last week was a hard week. It’s one of those things. Not everyone knows the facts. I knocked myself out on the Wednesday before that, plus I wasn’t really feeling that great. Then I made it really difficult on myself and crashed in the start. That’s why we race 17 races, and you’ve got to be there every week. You’ve got to be as strong as you possibly can be, and that’s why we go racing.”

Davi Millsaps works to make it to the podium - AMA Supercross - Salt Lake City
Davi Millsaps scored his second podium finish in a row.

For his part, James Stewart seemed pretty satisfied after the race, but with his race result, and as the first race with the points lead. “It definitely feels good. All I want to do is try and hold on to it after Vegas. If I can do that I’ll be happy. I felt really good tonight. Chad got the holeshot. I definitely had to work for it and was able to squeak it out.

When we quizzed him about the aggressiveness of the racing, he said, “On my part, I’m trying to race to win. Everybody forgets, he claimed he was going to try and do this a couple weeks after Jacksonville, try to put me in Row F. He almost did it, but kind of already knew it was coming. But at the end of the day we’re trying to race fair and square and see what happens. I was able to get a win tonight and he passed me a few times and I passed him, and it was all good.”

One thing that was not good was seeing a mostly full water bottle flying out of the stand with James as its intended target. When asked about it, James laughed it off, saying, “I thought I was in Europe again, getting water bottles thrown at me. That guy was so kind. He knew I was thirsty and threw a water bottle at me. Unfortunately I was battling with Chad and couldn’t stop. Maybe next week, we’ll see what happens.”

Ryan Dungey takes the 2009 Western Supercross Lites title - AMA Supercross - Salt Lake City
““Winning the championship feels good, it’s been a long time in the making – the past two years have been tough. This whole year, it was a fight.” – Ryan Dungey

When asked for a Las Vegas preview, Reed said, It’s going to be interesting. I want to get out front, and I’m going to ride strong. I’m going to do everything in my power to win this title. Whatever it takes to do that, I’ll do it. Hopefully we’ll have a yellow 800 in the race as well.” 

2009 Monster Energy Supercross Results:
Salt Lake City, UT

Supercross Lites Heat 1
1. Jake Weimer
2. Jake Moss
3. Chris Blose
4. Ryan Morais
5. Michael Hall
6. Michael Sleeter
7. Jeff Alessi
8. Ryan Clark
9. Ben Lamay

Supercross Lites Heat 2
1. Trey Canard
2. Ryan Dungey
3. Justin Brayton
4. P. J. Larsen
5. Cole Seely
6. Sean Borkenhagen
7. Kyle Cunningham
8. Adam Chatfield
9. Gray Davenport

Supercross Heat 1
1. Chad Reed
2. Davi Millsaps
3. Andrew Short
4. Ryan Villopoto
5. Tommy Hahn
6. Heath Voss
7. Kyle Partridge
8. Nick Wey
9. Paul Carpenter

Supercross Heat 2
1. James Stewart
2. Ivan Tedesco
3. Tyler Bowers
4. Matt Boni
5. Kyle Chisholm
6. Broc Hepler
7. Troy Adams
8. Kevin Windham
9. Jake Marsack

Supercross Lites LCQ
1. Brady Sheren
2. Ben Evans

Supercross LCQ
1. Billy Laninovich
2. Josh Grant

Supercross Lites Main Event
1. Trey Canard (Honda)
2. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki)
3. Ryan Morais (Kawasaki)
4. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki)
5. Justin Brayton (KTM)
6. Chris Blose (Honda)
7. Jake Moss (Honda)
8. Kyle Cunningham (Kawasaki)
9. Michael Hall (Yamaha)
10. Ben Evans (Honda)
11. Sean Borkenhagen (Honda)
12. Michael Sleeter (KTM)
13. Jeff Alessi (Honda)
14. Adam Chatfield (Honda)
15. Ryan Clark (Honda)
16. Cole Seely (Suzuki)
17. Ben Lamay (Honda)
18. Gray Davenport (Kawasaki)
19. Brady Sheren (Suzuki)
20. P. J. Larsen (Kawasaki)

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

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