RV added his third win to his 2011 statistics ahead of Suzuki's Ryan Dungey and TwoTwo Motorsports' Chad Reed.
A move to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome brought major rewards for Monster Energy Kawasaki
’s Ryan Villopoto
in Round 8 of the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross
Championship. Villopoto claimed win number three this season ahead of Rockstar
’s Ryan Dungey
and TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed
, and in doing so increased his lead in the series. In the East Coast Lites division Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson
acquired his first AMA Supercross win while snagging the 200th race victory for team green ahead of Geico Powersports Honda
’s Justin Barcia
and Wilson’s Kawasaki teammate, Blake Baggett
San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart clawed his way out of the gates in ATL to secure the holeshot ahead of Reed and Villopoto. However, just a few short minutes into the bout Stewart made a blunder which allowed Reed to charge ahead. Most of the 69,000 fans were on their feet and roaring as Reed claimed the lead and began pulling a gap over the rest of the field. Behind Stewart, Canard was holding back RV and Dungey as the defending champ kept distance over Red Bull KTM’s Andrew Short, JGR Yamaha’s Justin Brayton, Honda’s Kevin Windham and Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe. Canard was one of the first riders to meet misfortune as he struck dirt, giving Villopoto third in the order. At the same time Stewart began making advances on the rear wheel of Reed, and by the halfway mark a terrific battle was shaping up between Reed, Stewart and Villopoto.
Ryan Dungey sealed another podium result in Atlanta.
But as we’ve already seen many times before this season, the tension couldn’t last. On Lap 16 and with less than a second between Reed and Stewart, lapped traffic caused Reed to slow. The moment provided the perfect opportunity for Stewart to put his front wheel ahead of Reed’s – but the battle was far from over. With Stewart out in front, Reed attempted a harsh block pass to regain the lead, but it ended in disaster. Both Stewart and Reed hit the deck, allowing Villopoto to scrape by untouched for his third win of the season.
“Sometimes it’s not about being the fastest,” said Villopoto. “You’ve got to be smart too. I figured (Stewart and Reed) would do that, but not with a lap-and-a-half left. We still have a lot of racing though. I’ll just go back home and keep my program going and take it one race at a time.”
Dungey also managed to pass the two downed riders to collect second across the finish line. It was a tough night for Reed, who recovered to finish on the podium in third after his aggressive pass attempt.
“James put a hard pass on me earlier in the race, so I just put one right back on him,” said Reed. “I’m just happy to be up there racing for podiums and challenging for the lead.”
Stewart also collected himself quickly and earned fourth behind Reed. Despite his early fall, Canard regained some positions in the final laps to finish fifth and minimize damage in the championship standings. Further back, Short posted another top-six finish with his Austrian team as he continues making good progress this season.
2011 AMA Supercross Atlanta Results:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
Chad Reed (above) put an aggressive pass attempt over James Stewart (below) which left both riders on the ground.
2. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki)
3. Chad Reed (Honda)
4. James Stewart (Yamaha)
5. Trey Canard (Honda)
6. Andrew Short (KTM)
7. Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
8. Kevin Windham (Honda)
9. Ivan Tedesco (Kawasaki)
10. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki)
11. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha)
12. Nick Wey (Yamaha)
13. Kyle Regal (Yamaha)
14. Chris Blose (Kawasaki)
15. Tye Simmonds (KTM)
2011 AMA Supercross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 171
2. James Stewart, 161
3. Chad Reed, 150
4. Trey Canard, 146
5. Ryan Dungey, 145
6. Andrew Short, 110
7. Brett Metcalfe, 104
8. Justin Brayton, 90
9. Davi Millsaps, 88
10. Ivan Tedesco, 78
Geico Powersports Honda’s Blake Wharton was hard on the throttle and first off the line to snag the $1000 Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award. Barcia and Suzuki City’s Malcolm Stewart took up positions immediately behind the frontrunner, but Stewart became caught in traffic and went down. Baggett, Ryan Sipes and Wilson all settled into the
Dean WIlson secured his first win in AMA Supercross while reaching a major milestone for his Kawasaki team.
top-five order as Sipes began applying pressure to Baggett for third. Meanwhile, Wharton continued pulling away and had more than a two-second gap over Barcia as Wilson kicked it into high gear and made the pass on Sipes for fourth. Just when Barcia and Baggett were trying to get things worked out for second place, Wilson came through the order and positioned himself directly behind the leader on Lap 11 of the contest.
With nothing but open track in front of him and a sizeable lead, Wharton had a costly fall to the mat. The mistake allowed Wilson to move into the lead with ease as Wharton recovered to take fourth just ahead of Sipes. Also recovering from his earlier crash in the main was Stewart, who won steady progress to reach eighth in the final laps of the race. Wilson continued to ride smoothly, making few errors and notching the first AMA Supercross win of his career.
“It (was) hard to pass out there,” said Wilson. “I’ve been trying so hard and I’m so happy to get this win. It’s kind of like a monkey off my back. Last year I wasn’t able to get a win so I’m just so happy. Getting my first Supercross win is a dream.”
Baggett was relentless in his attack on Barcia for second, but despite his persistence the Honda rider’s defense held until the checkers. Wharton rode to fourth across the finish line jump following his crash, with Sipes rounding out the top-five order.
2011 AMA Supercross Lites Atlanta Results:
1. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki)
2. Justin Barcia (Honda)
3. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki)
4. Blake Wharton (Honda)
5. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha)
Wild Child Justin Barcia followed his win in Houston with runner-up status in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
6. Hunter Hewitt (Suzuki)
7. PJ Larsen (KTM)
8. Malcolm Stewart (Suzuki)
9. Jason Anderson (Suzuki)
10. Matt Lemoine (Kawasaki)
11. Lance Vincent (Honda)
12. Alex Martin (Honda)
13. Justin Sipes (Kawasaki)
14. Levi Kilbarger (Honda)
15. Bradley Ripple (Honda)
2011 AMA Supercross Lites Championship Points:
1. Dean Wilson, 47
2. Justin Barcia, 47
3. Blake Baggett, 40
4. Ryan Sipes, 34
5. Blake Wharton, 33
6. Jason Anderson, 26
7. Lance Vincent, 23
8. Matt Lemoine, 23
9. Malcolm Stewart, 20
10. Alex Martin, 20