Reed and Tomac Storm L. A. Monster Energy Supercross

2012-01-23 01:15


By Jon Row

Honda riders Chad Reed and Eli Tomac break through with their first wins of the season.

Dodgers Stadium’s round #3 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship got off to a late start thanks to a morning-long rain delay. The weather cleared up but riders only had a single 12-minute practice session before having to qualify. Ryan Villopoto and his Monster Energy Kawasaki edged James Stewart on the JGR Yamaha for fastest time of the day. Ryan Dungey on the factory KTM was 0.7 seconds back in third. Positions 4 through 12 were tightly bunched with less than one second behind the top three. The Dirt Wurx track prep team had mixed in a lot of powdered cement to soak up rainwater which had seeped past the tarps overnight. Despite the track crew’s efforts, a dry, loose start straight contrasted with hard, slick sections and made a tough night for many riders. Tire choices were reconsidered more than once as the conditions kept changing.

Supercross Class

In supercross heat one, James Stewart’s JGR Yamaha blasted past hole shot leader Mike Alessi on the his Moto Concepts Suzuki. En route to the win, Stewart survived a hard, mid-turn wheel tag from teammate Davi Millsaps. Andrew Short on the Supercross.com Honda took third. Chad Reed got a bad start on the Two-Two BelRay Honda, caught a foot peg and went down. His eighth place finish left him with a less than ideal main event gate pick.

Eager to put his come-from-behind 4th place Phoenix result behind him, Ryan Villopoto smoked past team mate Jake Weimer on the first lap to win heat two by over 11 seconds. RV’s heat was also 10 seconds faster than Stewart’s which did not go unnoticed. Team Honda’s Trey Canard took third holding a determined Dungey to fourth despite several pass attempts. Team Honda Muscle Milk’s season got tougher though when Justin Brayton finished 10th. Brayton was forced to ride the Last Chance Qualifier where he fell again and failed to make the main, leaving L.A. with no points.

Red Flagged

The supercross class main initially saw Villopoto and Dungey launching side by side with Stewart in third. In the first turn though, Trey Canard clipped a Tuff Blox cover which snagged his rear wheel causing him to come up short on a triple jump. Canard went down hard in a tight group of riders and Ryan Morais landed on him. The gut wrenching accident stopped the race as the Asterisk medical team worked first on Morais and then on Canard. Both riders were stabilized and ambulanced out after about 20 minutes. Twitter feeds indicated Canard was moving OK but may have broken vertebrae. Morais is said to have sustained jaw and neck fractures.

Restart

On the restart, Jake Weimer vaulted into the lead with Stewart and Reed in tow. Villopoto’s restart did not go well. RV slid off the track in the same place Canard and Morais had just crashed. For the second week in a row, the #1 plate holder got underway dead last putting on another valiant ride up through the pack. With Weimer leading, Reed prodded Stewart several times in the corners before storming by for good on lap four and dispensing Weimer on lap six. A lap later, Stewart knocked Weimer to the dirt with a hard block pass. Reed pulled steadily away while Dungey pressured Stewart for second. On lap 12, Stewart miscued, overshooting a double, tipping over and handing Dungey second place to the crowd’s delight. James was up quickly still in 3rd but watching his pit board inform him Villopoto was running him down with every lap. With precious points at stake against Stewart, Villopoto turned the race’s fastest lap on the final loop but missed 3rd place by just .6 second. Reed looked like a new man on top of the podium and his confidence is sure to carry over to Oakland next week. He’ll need it. Dungey’s second overall let him leave L.A. with a four-point series lead. Villopoto and Reed are now tied for second with Stewart and Weimer tied for 4th at 19 points down.

Supercross Lites Class

The Western Regional Supercross Lites Class racing was red hot once again at L. A. Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes and Suzuki’s Martin Davalos won the heats. Series point leader Dean Wilson and runner up Eli Tomac wisely took seconds, saving their best efforts for the final. When the main event gate dropped, fast qualifier Tomac and his Geico/Factory Connection Honda ran off and hid from the field. No one else even got close to the wide whipping, Colorado rider who coasted home with a 15 second margin at the finish. Phoenix winner Dean Wilson on his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki grabbed second but had to work past a very determined, Yamaha-mounted Zach Osborn who ended up third. The win gives Tomac the Western Regional Supercross Lites Class series lead by a single point over Wilson. Tyla Rattray’s 4th place finish on the Pro Circuit Kawasaki now puts him 3rd in the series. Only two points separate the three front-runners. Anaheim One winner Cole Seely bit the dirt twice, ending up 15th and knocking him back to fourth in the series.

With just three events in the books the season has already produced six different winners on five different brands. More surprises are expected.


Supercross Class Final
1. Chad Reed (Honda)
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
3. James Stewart (Yamaha)
4. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
5. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki)
6. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha)
7. Josh Hansen (Kawasaki)
8. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki)
9. Kevin Windham (Honda)
10. Mike Alessi (Suzuki)

Supercross Lites Class Final
1. Eli Tomac (Honda)
2. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki)
3. Zach Osborne (Yamaha)
4. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki)
5. Jason Anderson (Suzuki)
6. Max Anstie (Honda)
7. Michael Lieb (Honda)
8. Matt Moss (KTM)
9. Martin Davalos (Suzuki)
10. Billy Laninovich (Honda)


Rain in L.A. --- say it isn’t so







L.A. attracts interesting fans







Who can we text next?











Not a common sign so far















So this is what it feels like!



Teetering for tie downs with Toyota







Tire choices and pressures got plenty of attention



The Dunlop crew kept busy











Far from a sell out crowd in rain shy L.A.





The lighting crew predicted Honda’s double class dominance











Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story

Tags: 2012, la, supercross

In Our Forums


Headlines



Bikeland on TwitterBikeland on YouTubeBikeland news on RSS
Bikeland gear
Cox Racing Group
Burnaby Kawasaki