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Supermoto: Las Vegas season finale preview

Ward Eyes Title at AMA Red Bull Supermoto A-Go-Go Star-Studded field set for season finale at Bally's Las Vegas PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Nov. 4, 2004) -- Jeff Ward headlines an impressive line-up of riders slated to compete at the AMA Red Bull ...

Ward Eyes Title at AMA Red Bull Supermoto A-Go-Go
Star-Studded field set for season finale at Bally's Las Vegas

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Nov. 4, 2004) -- Jeff Ward headlines an impressive line-up of riders slated to compete at the AMA Red Bull Supermoto A-Go-Go the AMA Supermoto Championship finale on Nov. 12-13 at Bally's Las Vegas. Ward, the 43-year-old multi-time AMA Motocross and Supercross Champion of the 1980s, is leading the AMA Supermoto Championship point standings coming into the final round. He needs only to finish fourth or better in the AMA Red Bull Supermoto A-Go-Go finale to secure the championship.

Ward built a 20-point series lead over Troy Lee Designs Honda teammate Doug Henry by finishing on the podium at all six rounds, including wins at the second leg of Copper Mountain and the Nashville rounds. He's overcome injuries to both legs through most of the season. His strategy coming into Las Vegas is to charge as hard as his injuries will allow.

"I'm going to go hard and try to stay with Henry," Ward explained. "I want to qualify on the front row. Hopefully I'll be 100 percent healed and just try not to hit my leg during the weekend. I'm going to rest for a week [after the Del Mar round] and then start testing and get ready for Las Vegas."

If "Wardy" manages to hang on to win the championship it would mark his eighth AMA Pro Racing title and his first since winning the now defunct AMA 500 Motocross title in 1990.

After a bike failure in the second race at Copper Mountain in August, Doug Henry has charged his way back into championship contention by winning the three rounds leading up to Las Vegas.

"We're definitely trying to at least keep Wardy honest," said Henry, a three-time AMA Motocross champ. "I go into Las Vegas just focusing on winning, that's all I can do. Realistically I don't have much of a chance to win the title unless something happens to Jeff at the final, but I'll try to do all I can."

Germany's Jurgen Kunzel is the only other rider besides Ward and Henry with a chance at winning the title. A crash at the most recent round in Del Mar dropped Kunzel from second to third in the standings, but the Red Bull KTM rider still remains hopeful coming into Las Vegas. "My Del Mar crash was unfortunate, but I still go into Las Vegas with a goal of winning," Kunzel said. "If I could finish the year with a victory in the Supermoto final I would view the season as a success."

In addition to series regulars, the AMA Red Bull Supermoto A-Go-Go will also feature last year's inaugural AMA Supermoto and X-Games Champion Ben Bostrom. Bostrom, who has a home in Las Vegas, has been chomping at the bit to race Supermoto all season. "I love Supermoto," Bostrom said. "I hoped we could work something out that would allow me to race in Las Vegas. I think it's the most fun you can have on a motorcycle so I'm really looking forward to it."

World S1 Supermoto Champion Eddie Seel and teammate Gerald Delepine will join Pacifico Husqvarna riders Mark Avard and Leo Bagnis for the final round in Las Vegas. Seel is best known in America for leading most of the X-Games Supermoto final before being passed on the last lap by Ben Bostrom.

Five riders still have a mathematical chance of winning the AMA Supermoto Unlimited Championship. Jurgen Kunzel is in control of his own destiny with a 13-point lead over teammate and boss Kurt Nicoll. Nicoll the racing team manager/rider joked that if Kunzel knew what was good for him he would let the boss win in Las Vegas. Micky Dymond, Ben Carlson and David Baffeleuf are the other riders still in the hunt for the Unlimited crown.

The Honda Red Riders Jr. Supermoto Challenge will run in Las Vegas as well. Motocrosser Mike Alessi won that title last year.

The AMA Red Bull Supermoto A-Go-Go at Bally's will feature practice and qualifying on Friday, Nov. 12 and heat races and finals on Saturday, Nov. 13. The race is open free to the public and pit passes are available for purchase. The races will be broadcast nationally on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) on Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information and much more, log onto www.amasupermoto.com.

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Series AMA
Drivers Jeff Ward , Jurgen Kunzel , Mark Avard , David Baffeleuf , Micky Dymond , Ben Bostrom , Mike Alessi , Doug Henry