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Jeff Ward Takes Supermoto Season Opener

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
AMA Supermoto - Jeff Ward takes the lead at the season opener in Fontana.
Fresh out of retirement, Jeff Ward takes the lead at the season opener of AMA motocross at Auto Club Speedway. 
It was only a month ago that Jeff Ward learned he would be racing Supermoto in 2009. The team was in need of a rider as the season approached and Jeff was called out of retirement to go after yet another title. The nine-time AMA champion didn't disappoint. Wardy pulled the holeshot in the main event at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA and never looked back. He faced challenges from Mark Burkhart and Brandon Currie during the final but held on to grab the win and the early points lead in the series.

"I'm just shocked to even be on the podium," said Ward after his victory. "I only had a month to prepare and I hurt my wrist at a motocross race in Argentina a few weeks ago so I had my doubts. I just really want to thank the Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / PPG / Honda team for putting together a great program for me again."

AMA Supermoto - Joey Pascarella tries to take first from Jeff Ward at the Season opener in Fontana.
Despite fracturing his right hand in practice Joey Pascarella ends up competing for first place with teammate Jeff Ward.
His teammate on the 250, rookie Joey Pascarella, had a rough start on the weekend. During a wet practice session early in the day, Joey hit a water puddle and high-sided in a fast sweeper just after the finish line. The crash resulted in a small fracture in his throttle hand. Initially we thought his day, and his championship hopes, might be over. But Joey taped up his swollen hand, gritted his teeth and went to the start line for the final.

He started third and looked to be settling into that position. At about the halfway point a rider fell in front of him, handing him second. At that point Joey's adrenaline must have kicked in because he started going after the leader. As he closed the gap he lost his front end in a turn but quickly remounted, holding second place to the finish. 

AMA Motocross - Jeff Ward takes first and teammate Joey Pascarella second in Fontana.
Jeff Ward (center) was happy with his performace, making it known on the podium.
"I'm happy to come away from this race with a podium finish," said Pascarella. "I was worried that I had thrown the championship away before the season even got started. I've got time to heal up now and be 100% for the next round. Hopefully I can get a win at the next round and get some points back."

The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/PPG/Honda team now has some time to focus on the second round of the series in Sonoma, CA on May 17th. 

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Steve Scutt UK -HERO WARDY!  December 6, 2010 12:35 PM
I was always a big fan of Jeff through the 80's, and watching him as I myself was a young schoolboy motorcrosser. Loved the trick factory bikes he RJ, D.Baily the O.Show and co used to ride awesome times.
Even painted my helmet in Wardy clours.
I was lucky enough to see Jeff race at the 1986 Bell vue Supercross where he had a great battle with a 17 year old Rob Herring.
Then went over to see him race the Guidon D'or supermoto in Paris 2005 nearly 20 years later. Indy car racer motorcrosser supermoto racer = LEGEND.

respect JEFF..

S.Scutt Manchester UK.
Jamie Hartley -Supermoto  January 2, 2010 11:13 AM
Yes very unbelievable & all of the above.I,we watched Ward race the 1st time @ Washougal,(1980) & he was super fast & super smooth the only rider that I know of that has won all three classes + super cross.Ward is the best US MX racer of all time!
Eric Frankson -Awesome Genes!  December 22, 2009 08:58 AM
I watched 'Wardy' in passadena in 1985! His carrer was on fire (for those old enough to remember!) and it is really amazing to me how well he has held up! Winning in 2009?! Indy 500? Talk about a racer?! Very cool!
SAMXR-L -Wardy  March 27, 2009 08:56 PM
Jeff Ward is-da-man!! He never fails to amaze me with his riding skill and ability to rise to any occasion. He is a great story and adds interest to a very competitive series. I find it interesting that he is riding on cast wheels instead of the spoked ones. I hope the media, racing community, and riding public give the series the credit its due. With the crappy roads out there, supermotards are a great option.