(Top) Chad Reed finished third at Aanaheim II with his pinked-out TwoTwo Honda racing machine.
(Above) Breast cancer survivors and volunteers dressed in wild pink outfits to help create breast cancer awareness.
The scene was pretty in pink for Round 5 of the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. Anaheim II was filled with solid racing in front of a sold-out crowd in Angels Stadium. The pink-themed breast cancer awareness event made a huge impression on the Supercross community with San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart claiming the overall win in the Supercross class while Monster Energy Pro Circuit rider Josh Hansen claimed the win in the Lites class.
Fans enjoyed a visual spectacle of pink eye candy in the pits of Angels Stadium in an effort to support the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure and raise awareness of breast cancer in the United States and around the world. The Supercross community extended a helping hand for the second year in a row with the support of Feld Motor Sports, Monster Energy Supercross and the greatest fans in the world. Riders donned custom helmets painted in pink and wore custom gear with pink highlights showing their support. Every rider had a breast cancer ribbon on their front number plate as well as their jersey. Teams decked out their pit areas with pink accents. Fans came out in droves dressed in pink wigs, clothes and all kinds of pink accessories to support the breast cancer race for the cure cause. FMF Racing displayed a custom wrapped pink Toyota Tundra specifically for the Anaheim II round and also donated custom pink and black T-shirts with the coined phrase “keep the tits in the pits” making them popular among the fans.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto donated his time for a meet-and-greet before the race to help with the fundraising in advance. Twenty of Ryan’s biggest fans donated $100 each for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only meet him in person, but get a chance to chat with him in an intimate setting, get their picture taken together, receive an autograph and tour the Kawasaki rig.
Kyle Chisolm had a bad crash in practice but managed to race the main event and finished in 14th dressed in pink gear.
Supercross riders, teams and the motorcycle industry all donated products for a free drawing at the event. All the top riders also contributed autographed gear for the online eBay auction. Ryan Dungey and Chad Reed chipped in with signed custom painted helmets. One Industries and other gear companies donated items from the riders. More cool stuff will be auctioned off online on February 9, 20ll, and if you’d like more information, go to www.supercrossonline.com.
The track at Anaheim II was technical and precise making practice crucial for riders to get familiar with the course. Practice displayed some bad crashes that left everyone wondering what the night of racing had in store. MotoConcepts Yamaha rider Kyle Chisholm took a spill through a rhythm section that would have put most experienced riders out for the season, but he returned to contend in the main event and finished in a respectable 14th place. Chisholm explained his practice crash like this.
“In the second rhythm section I came up short on the first three-three and got out of the main line. The track is kind of shadowed during practice and a little bit wet making it difficult to keep traction and you have to have your timing down really good , which I didn’t pull off. I came up short on a jump putting me over the bars and the bike hit me on the way down. I’m OK for the most part but my left shoulder and upper back is kind of sore. In the end I feel good and I could be worse off, I’m just going to give it my all and work through the soreness,” said Chisholm.
Pro Circuit Kawaski’s Josh Hansen won his heat race and the main event with a broken hand he suffered during practice.
Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Josh Hansen also crashed during practice in a rhythm section and did not continue practice. Word spread through the pits that Hansen injured his hand and that his return was questionable due to the injury. Hansen lined up on the gate for his heat race and took first place, moving on to the main event where he lead the entire race, holding off Geico Honda rider Eli Tomac who challenged him toward the end of the race but could not make the pass as Hansen claimed his third overall victory of the 2011 Lites West Supercross season. Hansen confirmed his injury after the race and talked about the block pass he made on Tomac.
“I broke my hand and a couple fingers during practice. I ended up skipping a couple whoops and my foot came off sending me into a seat bounce into the big whoops, put me right on my face and broke my helmet and took out my hand, too. I ended up getting X-rays and they wrapped it up for me and put it back into place to ride the heat race. After the heat race, in the main event, I think it fell out of place sometime during the race but I didn’t notice and kept on going. In the main I just kept the pace and did what I had to. As far as Tomac goes, he jacked with me in practice some time back and I kind of kept that in my back pocket. I’m in this position to win a championship and so when he tried to pass me I got a little aggressive but it was nothing dirty or anything. He’s a good kid and he’s hungry but there is no bad blood between us. It’s been a really rough day and probably been one of the toughest races I have ever done. It’s awesome to get another win and especially in the circumstances that I’m in and I’m very happy to make the best of it,” said Hansen.
Cole Seely worked his way to seventh but made a mistake in the whoop section sending him back to finish in 11th place.
LA Supercross Lites class winner Cole Seely took to the track on his Troy Lee Designs Honda in hopes of another win but got a bad start in the main event. He worked his way up to seventh place when he made a mistake in the whoops section towards the end of the race, setting him back to 11th where he would eventually finish.
“I started in 11th or 12th and worked my way up to seventh but I was not gaining on anyone and started to get frustrated being stuck, so I tried to find some places to make up some time. I made a pretty good pass in the whoop section on one lap then tried again on the next and the back end kicked out on me sending me over the bars. I lost a lot of time on it and ended up finishing in 11th and just didn’t have time to catch up again,” said Seely.
Geico Honda’s Kevin Windham struggled all night with his starts and even tangled with Hart and Huntington rider Ivan Tedesco during his heat race that potentially could have ended both riders’ nights. When Windham and Tedesco came up on a lap rider, they both tried to pass. Tedesco left Windham with no room and he landed just to the left of Hot Sauce as they clipped bars and crashed. Both transferred to the main event where Windham pulled a bad start and finished eighth overall.
“I had a horrible start and it hurts deep sometimes. You feel that you work really hard all week and then you end up with an eighth place knowing you can do better and run up front. Starting back in 12th was really difficult and I had to work my way up through the pack. The night has just not gone good for me. For example, in my heat race Tedesco and I almost took each other out of the race but it was just one of those things where everyone went a way we didn’t anticipate and almost tangled up in a rhythm section. We talked about it and Tedesco thought it was him that made a mistake and I thought it was myself but it’s all good and we are both happy that none of us got hurt,” said Windham.
Anaheim II delivered another action-packed night of racing and better yet helped support breast cancer awareness. Round 6 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series heads to Houston, Texas this weekend and will mark the start of the East Coast Lites Championship.