Anaheim I: Series pre-event notes, quotes

This Week in Monster Energy Supercross: Anaheim 1 AURORA, Ill. (January 8, 2010) -- Tomorrow night the gate will drop on the 37th season of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, at the legendary Angel Stadium. Defending AMA...

This Week in Monster Energy Supercross: Anaheim 1

AURORA, Ill. (January 8, 2010) -- Tomorrow night the gate will drop on the 37th season of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, at the legendary Angel Stadium. Defending AMA Supercross class champion James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., will defend his championship against the likes of arch rival Chad Reed and up-and-comers Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey and Josh Grant.

The Rockstar Makita Suzuki team is ready for the start of the AMA Supercross season. Dungey will make his premier class debut and has been putting in fast lap times at the test track.

"I'm really looking forward to this year. It's my first time on the 450, so it'll be a big step up and a big challenge, but it's one I'm really looking forward to," said Dungey. "I've been looking forward to this my whole life, actually, and I'm glad to be continuing with the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team. My goal for 2010 is to be healthy and be up there on the box, to be consistent. It's a long season so it's my goal to be there every weekend and get my first win and be on the podium."

After a two-year stint on the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team, Austin Stroupe moved to the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team and will make contest the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship. As a pre-cursor to his Lites class run, he will race in the premier 450cc class on the West Coast.

"I'm definitely looking forward to racing and being on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team," said Stroupe. "Testing has been awesome, and the guys on the team are great. I'm looking forward to doing well and hopefully winning a Lites championship on the East Coast. And now that I'm racing the 450s on the West Coast, it's going to be great experience. My goal is to be healthy and race the whole season and do well for Suzuki. This will be my third year in the Lites class and I want the title, but if not I just want to win races and be there every round. In the 450 class, I just want to make the top 10 and make the main, and I think I can do that. I think just being on the 450 is going to build my confidence and be a great help for me when I move to the Lites on the East Coast. Getting to race a 450 for factory Suzuki is an awesome opportunity."

Rounding out the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team is Matt Moss, who was injured in December at the last stop of the Australian Supercross Series, so he'll miss the first few races but he will be competing in the 450 class when he's healed and ready to race.

GEICO Powersports Honda returns with a Blake Wharton and Trey Canard competing in the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship.

"I'm really looking forward to racing the AMA Supercross Lites West Coast again this season," said Canard. "Last year I got hurt at round three in Phoenix and had to miss a few races hindering my overall result in the season points. But I bounced back in San Francisco and finished on the podium, and then took the overall win at Salt Lake City supercross, which I was really happy about. I'm determined to have a strong and healthy 2010 with GEICO Powersports Honda."

As a rookie last year, Wharton earned one win and earned an additional two podium finishes.

"It's awesome to be back racing with GEICO Powersports Honda for my second season," said Wharton. "Last year I raced the AMA Supercross Lites class on the East Coast with the team, my first time racing supercross, and I went well. I won in St. Louis, which was great, and gave it me a lot of confidence. With Metcalfe injuring his ankle, I'm moving to race the West Coast series while he prepares to race East Coast. I'm not worried about which coast I race; the competition is equally tough. The opening Anaheim round is always an exciting event and I can't wait to go racing this weekend."

Justin Barcia and Brett Metcalfe will race in the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship for the GEICO Powersports Honda team.

Honda Red Bull Racing's Andrew Short is coming off the best AMA Supercross class season of his career, finishing third overall with two podium finishes.

"The first race of the supercross season is always exciting and I'm ready to get 2010 going. I finished this event in second spot on my Honda Red Bull Racing CRF450R last year and I'm confident I will again finish on the Anaheim one podium," said Short. "I'm also looking forward to racing in front of a packed Angel Stadium crowd. The first event of the year always attracts a lively and vocal crowd, which makes the event all the more exciting to race."

Millsaps is primed and ready for 2010 season. Last year he finished eighth overall in the AMA Supercross class and earned four podium finishes.

"I'm expecting 2010 to be an exciting year of supercross racing," said Millsaps. "Personally, I feel great because I know I have a great team and bike supporting me all the way. The Honda Red Bull Racing team worked hard throughout the off-season to develop and prep my CRF450R for Anaheim one. I am confident and strong, and ready for 2010."

Monster Energy Kawasaki is poised to be the top supercross team in 2010. After an injury riddled season in 2009, the team is back to full strength with sophomore rider Villopoto and his new teammate Reed.

Despite running a limited schedule in his rookie campaign, Villopoto still finished the season strong with wins at Seattle and Las Vegas. With the new season comes new and lofty goals.

"My goal this year is to win races and the championship," said Villopoto. "Last year was difficult with injuries and getting used to the new class. This year I've had a good couple of months preparing and testing and I think our Monster Energy Kawasaki team is ready to go. Anaheim 1 is a big deal because it is like our Super Bowl. Everyone is watching and it's the time to make a good impression."

Reed comes over to Monster Energy Kawasaki with a championship pedigree. The 2004 and 2008 AMA Supercross class champion also earned his first AMA Motocross Championship this past summer. Once he signed with Kawasaki he went to the Australia Supercross Series and successfully defended his title as he got used to the new bike.

"This is my third year with a new team at Anaheim," said Reed. "So far everything is great at Monster Energy Kawasaki. I rode the KX450F in Australia and won the title and we've been working hard to get the bike dialed in. it is going to be a long season, but I'm ready to try and get the #1 plate back."

-source: ama

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Chad Reed , Josh Grant , James Stewart , Ryan Dungey , Justin Barcia , Ryan Villopoto , Trey Canard , Andrew Short
Teams Red Bull Racing