The forecast called for rain during Round 3 in L.A., but So. Cal weather prevailed to create great racing conditions for the main.
This past weekend’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross came very close to being the first rain race of the 2012 season. With a lot of precipitation the night before it really looked like riders would be playing in the mud on race day. Thanks to the expertise of the Dirt Wurx crew, the track was not just dry but it was too dry, which made the racing surfaces slippery.
Instead of the regular 11 a.m. practice time, officials delayed the start of everything to 3:45 p.m. to make sure the track stayed dry. That meant riders would only have a single 12-minute qualifying practice to make it into the night’s program.
Chad Reed and the rest of the Two Two Motorsports stable had a successful night at Dodger Stadium. After taking the lead early on in Saturday’s main event, Chad sailed to his first victory of 2012. At the end of the night Reed stated:
“It started out as a rough day, the heat race didn’t really go to plan. I went back to the truck and made it a gamble and changed front tires to a tire I had a lot of success with last year and in the end it paid off. Winning feels good.”
The serious collision between Canard and Morais left both riders unconscious. As the riders were being attended to by medical crews, Supercross Live announcer Lerch inappropriately played techno music while trying to entertain the crowd.
Phoenix winner, Ryan Dungey got off to a decent start in fourth place. RD grabbed third position when Stewart, who had qualified second with only four laps of qualifying due to a crash, took out Weimer then aimed his attention on Stewart until pressuring him to fall. Stewart quickly got up and held onto third position while Dungey would eventually finish the main event in second.
“Being second on the podium was good,” said the 2010 champ. “I think we’ll just carry the momentum from here. Everyone on the team is doing a great job and we all just have to keep pushing.”
The dry surface made it difficult for all riders, including defending champion Ryan Villopoto:
“The track is really dry and slippery which makes it difficult but it’s the same for everyone so it’s all good,” stated Villopoto after qualifying in the number one spot. RV had a bit of bad luck in the main event after getting caught on a tuff block off track. A hard charge from dead last would give Ryan a fourth-place finish at the checkered flag.
The nasty Trey Canard/Ryan Morais crash that brought out a red flag after the first start was a scary ordeal. As both riders were being attended to for serious back and neck injuries, Supercross Live announcer, Lerch, was pumping the crowd up and trying to keep them entertained. This pissed off a lot of people, causing Lerch to lose a lot of fans Saturday night. We wish Trey and Ryan a speedy recovery!
On a final note, on Sunday morning, Hart and Huntington rider Josh Hansen revealed through Twitter that he had been dealing with a staph infection during the week and had not been on a bike since Phoenix. Brownie points for No. 100 for
Chad Reed: “I changed front tires to a tire I had a lot of success with last year and in the end it paid off. Winning feels good.”
riding through his injury and putting his Kawasaki in the main event and finishing seventh!
Meanwhile in the Lites main third-place podium finisher Zach Osborne had a solid night for sure. He held on to second until passed by Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson, then kept Wilson honest all the way to the checkered flag. For a guy that doesn’t ride much supercross, that is downright impressive! Here is what Zach had to say:
“Tonight was awesome. It started out good and I was second fastest in qualifying practice. The track was awesome tonight and I really enjoyed it. I’m building every weekend, this is a really good experience for me. I’m doing what I came here to do, showing the people I have the talent to ride supercross.”
Geico Honda‘s Eli Tomac put in an impressive main event ride, leading every lap in the fifteen-lap race for the win. Tomac was the only rider in the Lites class doing a triple before one of the step-on step-off sections. This may have given him the advantage over the rest of the field.
“I started out with a little bit of a funky day only having one practice,” said Tomac. “I’ve been practicing my starts all week and I finally made one happen. I didn’t get the holeshot in the main but everyone went flying by on the outside doing 100 mph and I just hugged the inside and made it happen around that second corner.”
Fast qualifier Wilson put in a solid ride and edged out Osborne for a second-place finish in the Lites class main event.
Honda’s Eli Tomac is beginning to figure out his starts and has been the fastest in the field for the past three weeks.
“My day was pretty good,” Wilson said. “I got second but once you take a win there’s really nothing better than that. I wasn’t quite satisfied with it and I had to come through the pack because I didn’t get the greatest start but by the time I got to second Tomac was gone. He’s going fast right now but I know I can do it.”
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil team rider and Anaheim 1 winner, Cole Seeley, didn’t have the greatest night. Cole grabbed the holeshot then ran wide off the track where he ended up crashing. Cole would remount in last place only to charge and crash again a few laps later. Tough luck for Cole, hopefully we’ll see him up front in Oakland.
Round 4 of the Monster Energy Supercross Series will be held in Northern California this weekend at the Oakland Coliseum. Stay tuned for a preview later this week.