New Orleans Supercross Results 2012

April 14, 2012
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
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Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA’s Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn’t matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

Ryan Villopoto crossing the finish line at New Orleans  2012.
Ryan Villopoto already claimed the championship but extended his season win record with a victory in New Orleans.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto claimed the championship in Houston and then took a week off during the Easter break, but the KX450F rider showed no signs of slowing down as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series resumed in New Orleans. The champ collected another victory, easily outpacing his competitors in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. He was joined on the podium by Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki rider Josh Grant, who made his first appearance on the box, and Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton.

“The track was tough, so the bike was a big key,” said Villopoto. “The track was breaking down and it had a lot of ruts, so it was easy to get caught off guard. You had to stay on toes and try to log consistent laps. I’m looking forward to returning home next week.”

Villopoto jumped off the gate and raced to another holeshot. In typical fashion, he roosted away to a comfortable margin and then cruised easily through the 20-lap main. Grant also gated well which allowed him to run in second for the e ntire race. This is the first time the Jeff Ward Racing program has scored a podium finish in its inaugural year of racing. Grant’s history of bad luck has followed him into the 2012 season but New Orleans was a return to form for the former Supercross race winner.

“It’s been amazing,” said Grant. “The stuff I went through the last couple years have just been really hard on me. I’m just glad that I can get up here and finally break through that bad luck streak. I’m excited.”

Justin Brayton  New Orleans 2012.
Mike Alessi  New Orleans 2012
Justin Brayton (top) was happy to be gifted third place when
Mike Alessi (above) crashed late in the race.

Mike Alessi has been riding well lately and his MotoConcepts Suzuki circled in third for 15 laps. Unfortunately he tangled with a lapped rider, crashed and was unable to start his RM-Z450. He eventually finished 13th. It’s a disappointing result for the Californian rider who has been struggling in vain all season to hoist a trophy. Brayton happily took advantage of the mistake and moved his CRF450R into third, holding on through the checkers.

Australian import Brett Metcalfe was the highest-placing Suzuki in fourth. The factory pilot is another who has been fighting valiantly all season and is starting to show up more often in the top-five with James Stewart, Ryan Dungey, Trey Canard, Kevin Windham and Chad Reed all on the sidelines. Andrew Short scored fifth in the Superdome. This was his first race back from injury and the Honda rider came though big time for his team.

2012 New Orleans Supercross Results:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
2. Josh Grant (Kawasaki)
3. Justin Brayton (Honda)
4. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki)
5. Andrew Short (Honda)
6. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha)
7. Weston Peick (Yamaha)
8. Kyle Chisholm (Kawasaki)
9. Wil Hahn (Honda)
10. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki)
11. Nick Wey (Kawasaki)
12. Jimmy Albertson (Suzuki)
13. Mike Alessi (Suzuki)

Andrew Short  New Orleans 2012.
Andrew Short returned to score fifth – a great outing for the Honda rider.

14. Justin Sipes (Kawasaki)
15. Gavin Faith (Honda)

2012 AMA Supercross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 321
2. Davi Millsaps, 206
3. Justin Brayton, 201
4. Ryan Dungey, 192
5. James Stewart, 178
6. Brett Metcalfe, 172
7. Jake Weimer, 171
8. Kevin Windham, 166
9. Mike Alessi, 162
10. Broc Tickle, 133

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