TLD Honda's Cole Seely put on an impressive display at Angel Stadium to claim the first round of the season.
After months of speculation and bench racing the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross
Lites class lifted the curtain at Anaheim with TLD Lucas Oil Honda
’s Cole Seely landing the opening win. The podium was rounded out by Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray
and Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac, with Scotsman Dean Wilson
losing a top-three finish after crashing in the last few turns before the finish.
The action in the Lites West series began with MotoConcept’s Vince Friese nabbing the holeshot ahead of Rattray and Geico Honda’s Wil Hahn
. Wilson quickly moved into third as Seely darted ahead to challenge Rattray for the lead. Meanwhile Tomac secured a poor start and was running mid-pack after having to qualify for the main through the LCQ. In the opening laps Seely began to show a wheel on Rattray, but the South African was putting up some stiff defense to hold the lead.
Rattray couldn’t hold on forever though as Seely was laying down the fastest laps on the track. By Lap 4 Seely had moved into the lead as Hahn pressured Wilson for third. The following lap Tomac was on a charge to pass Red Bull KTM
’s Marvin Musquin while Rattray remained less than a second behind the leader. By the halfway point Rockstar Suzuki’s Martin Davalos
was sidelined with an electrical issue on his bike, ending his night prematurely.
Pro Circuit's Tyla Rattray had a strong start to 2012 after taking runner up in the opening Lites race at Anaheim.
As Seely began to open his lead up Tomac continued making headway toward the front by completing a huge triple to pass Star Valli Yamaha
’s Ryan Sipes for fifth. In the final laps the top order was Seely, Rattray, Wilson and Hahn with Tomac coming on strong. Hahn suffered a hard crash after losing the front end off a double, forcing him back to eighth while putting Tomac within striking distance of Wilson. The checkered flag was already waving for Seely as Tomac went to work on Wilson. Just when the Scotsman came under pressure, however, the Team Green rider lost control and crashed into a tuff block, giving Tomac the final spot on the box.
This is Seely’s second win in the West Coast Lites series after winning the inaugural race at Dodger Stadium in 2011.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to start the season,” said Seely. “To get a win here tonight in front of my family and friends is huge. I learned last year that consistency is key, and I hope to be on the podium at every race.”
Rattray, meanwhile, had a great showing by finishing runner up to start his second season in Supercross. Musquin crossed the finish line more than 17 seconds after Seely in fourth, with Sipes managing a decent ride to round out the top-five. Following his crash at the end, Wilson salvaged a sixth-place result for the opening round.
Anaheim 1 Supercross Lites Results:
1. Cole Seely (Honda)
2. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki)
3. Eli Tomac (Honda)
Geico Honda's Eli Tomac overcame a poor start in the opening round with consistent speed to finish on the podium.
4. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
5. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha)
6. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki)
7. Jason Anderson (Suzuki)
8. Wil Hahn (Honda)
9. Zack Osbourne (Yamaha)
10. Travis Baker (Honda)
11. Matt Moss (KTM)
12. Nico Izzi (Yamaha)
13. Teddy Maier (Honda)
14. Billy Laninovich (Honda)
15. Vince Friese (Honda)
2012 AMA Supercross Lites Championship Points:
1. Cole Seely, 25
2. Tyla Rattray, 22
3. Eli Tomac, 20
4. Marvin Musquin, 18
5. Ryan Sipes, 16
6. Dean Wilson, 15
7. Jason Anderson, 14
8. Wil Hahn, 13
9. Zack Osbourne, 12
10. Travis Baker, 11