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SuperX: Series Phoenix round two preview

Monster Energy Supercross Heads Back to Chase Field
Villopoto and Hansen lead their deeply talented divisions heading into Phoenix

AURORA, Ill. (January 10, 2011) -- Following an exciting start to the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, at Anaheim's Angel Stadium, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Josh Hansen, of Elbert, Colo., lead their respective divisions as the championship heads into Phoenix's Chase Field this Saturday for the second race of the season.

Media day is Thursday, January 13 from Noon-2:00 p.m. in the outfield club seating area at Chase Field, featuring Phoenix's own Ryan Clark, San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart and Kyle Regal, and Troy Lee Honda's Travis Baker, Cole Seeley, and Christian Craig.

Villopoto opened the 2011 season last weekend in front of a sold out crowd at Angel Stadium to lock in his 10th Supercross class career victory. Villopoto kicked off the main event trailing holeshot victor and Dodge/Hart & Huntington Kawasaki's Ivan Tedesco. With three laps in, Villopoto managed to muscle his way to the front and held this leading position for the remaining 17 laps.

"This is a nice way to start out the season," said Villopoto. "Starting out this way makes things much easier. I hope I can start putting together some more wins and a championship this year."

Defending Monster Energy Supercross champion Ryan Dungey of Belle Plaine, Minn., finished second overall, two seconds ahead of San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart. Despite a rough mid-pack start, Stewart charged through the field and by lap 12 had worked his way from 15th place to third, eventually moving on to secure a podium position.

"I got off to a decent start and had to play some catch up out there," said Dungey. "During the week, I'm going to work hard to get ready for Phoenix. I'm glad that I put my Suzuki up on the box tonight."

"I almost went down a few times," said Stewart. "Next week, I'll work on my starts and be prepared for Phoenix. I tried my best to get up there. Once I got into third, I tried to make up some time on Ryan (Dungey) but ran out of laps."

As the gates dropped on the Western Regional Supercross Lites class championship, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's newest addition, Broc Tickle, of Holly, Mich., opened the main event by capturing the holeshot. Tickle held the lead for eight laps, but his teammate Hansen stalked closely, eventually making a firm pass on lap nine at the finish line. Hansen seized the lead and went on to bring home a season-opening victory for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki squad. His teammates, Tickle and Tyla Rattray, of Wildomar, Calif., followed suit by securing second and third overall, respectively. Hansen's victory brought Kawasaki's overall Supercross Lites class wins in Anaheim to 22.

"I'm happy to be here and get back on my feet and head down the right path," said Hansen. I have a great crew around me, and I am really excited about tonight. I have a lot of people to thank for sticking by me. I'm excited for the season."

Last year during the 2010 Monster Energy Supercross Phoenix stop, Dungey won his first career Supercross class victory en route to taking the points lead. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Jake Weimer, of Rupert, Idaho, captured his second straight AMA Supercross Lites Western Regional victory.

The first Supercross class race was held at this venue on January 23, 1999, with Jeremy McGrath winning on a Yamaha. Nathan Ramsey won the first Supercross Lites class race in Phoenix while riding for Kawasaki. Five-time Supercross class champion Ricky Carmichael holds the all-time win record in Phoenix with four. With a win this weekend, Stewart can tie Carmichael's record in Phoenix.

SPEED will broadcast the AMA Supercross class and the AMA Supercross Lites class live at 9:30 p.m. EST/6:30 p.m. PST

Tickets are available at the Chase Field Box Office, all Ticketmaster retail locations, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000, SupercrossOnline.com, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Practice and qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m., and the main event begins at 7:00 p.m. Club Level tickets are $65 Adult/Child; Gold Circle $42 Adult/Child; Mid-Level $30 Adults / $10 Child; SuperValue $22 Adult / $10 Child; Treadhead $10. Fans can also get into the Pits for FREE from 12:30 -- 6 PM Race Day when they recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).

-source: ama

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