This Week in Monster Energy Supercross: Indianapolis Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Championship Opener AURORA, Ill. ( February 19, 2010) -- For the second consecutive season of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship,...
This Week in Monster Energy Supercross: Indianapolis
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Championship Opener
AURORA, Ill. ( February 19, 2010) -- For the second consecutive season of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, the AMA Supercross class points race is tied heading into Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium. Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., and San Manuel Yamaha's Josh Hill, of Yoncalla, Ore., are tied at 103 points apiece headed into Lucas Oil Stadium. This weekend also marks the opening race of the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship.
Last weekend in Anaheim, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., captured his second AMA Supercross class win and the fourth of his career as he moved within three points of leaders Dungey and Hill. While Hill remains winless this season, Dungey, who has led 54 laps, and Villopoto, who has led 30 laps, each own two wins this season.
Dungey's Rockstar/Makita Suzuki teammate Austin Stroupe will battle for the title in the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class. Also, Matt Moss is still being evaluated on a week-by-week basis, and his participation this weekend is still up in the air.
"I felt good after practice at Anaheim 3, and I feel like we had a good set up on the bike," said Dungey. "But the track was tough. Right from the beginning it was really rutted and it made for some good racing. We made a couple changes on the bike and a couple tire adjustments for the night show, I felt good and confident."
"I was able to win my heat," he added. "I didn't get a great start in the main, which put me back and I couldn't really make the passes stick, was struggling in that area, and just did it to myself. Overall it was good, I had one little mishap that set me back, but I salvaged points which is important."
"We're really going to work on the bike this week. I think there's always room for improvement, and then head to Indy. It'll be exciting. I'm really looking forward to it. I love, love the East Coast. It'll be good to see the whole other side of the nation where there are big stadiums and domes ... the whole nine yards."
Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Team manager Roger DeCoster emphasized the importance of getting Dungey's bike set up earlier in the day and expects a win in Indianapolis.
"Ryan was a little hesitant at A3 in his riding," said DeCoster. "I think we need to do a better job of adjusting the bike earlier in the day. We cannot back ourselves into the main event making changes. We need to be better with that. We made a good change, but we should've done it earlier. This coming week is going to be good weather-wise and we can do some good testing and get back on track for Indy.The plan for Indy is we need to win."
Villopoto is riding a wave of momentum as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series heads east and nears its halfway point. En route to his win last weekend, Villopoto led all 20 laps of the main event.
"I'm just going about my business," said Villopoto. "I still working hard during the week and I'm concentrating on getting good starts. The championship is our goal this season and the best way to win the title is to win races."
Villopoto isn't the only rider under the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent carrying momentum. Nick Wey has scored three-straight top-10 finishes and with Indianapolis being the closest race to his Dewitt, Mich. home, he feels his best is yet to come.
"I'm just getting comfortable on the bike," said Wey. "I think I can get into the top five or maybe even sneak up on the podium. Indy is a big race for me and it is going to be loud in the stadium when I'm running near the front."
In the supercross lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki will see three new faces in the semi as the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship takes over for the next eight races. Defending East Coast Lites champion Christophe Pourcel is looking to get his season started on the right foot.
"I want to win," said Pourcel. "I'm feeling good after my surgery and I've had some time on the bike so I think I can go out and do it."
Joining Pourcel will be Canadian Dean Wilson and South African Tyla Rattray who will both be making their AMA Supercross Lites debut this season. Wilson will be on track in Indianapolis while Rattray will have to wait while he recovers from a broken shoulder.
Honda Red Bull Racings Davi Millsaps feels in top shape heading into Indianapolis this weekend. Millsaps has one win and one additional podium finish. He's currently fourth overall in points standings.
"It was my birthday earlier in the week so I've had a fun week with family and friends. I'm really looking forward to the series heading back east. I like racing on the softer East Coast soil and I'm pumped for the Indy Supercross this weekend."
With teammate Andrew Short out injured, GEICO Powersports Honda rider Trey Canard joins Millsaps in the Honda Red Bull Racing team pit at Indy. The 19 year-old is stepping up to race Short's CRF450R at select rounds while the Red Bull athlete recovers from his ankle injury and as the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites championship takes a break.
"I'm so excited to have this opportunity to ride Shorty's CRF450R for the next few rounds," said Canard. "I expect to learn a lot from this experience and I'm really honored that American Honda thought of me when it came to finding a fill-in rider. The next few rounds will give me a taste for things to come and I'm sure the confidence I'll get racing the big bike class will really help me when it comes time to get back on my CRF250R and race the final two Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class races at Seattle and Salt Lake City supercross'."
Last weekend at the final Anaheim race in the series, GEICO Powersports Honda's Kevin Windham scored his second podium of the season aboard his CRF450R, taking third place.
"Finishing on the box last week was awesome," said Windham. "I rode well, felt good and it's a result I'm really happy with. I still have a big fire and the will to win in me, and that's why I'm out there racing. GEICO Powersports Honda gives me a great race bike week after week and for that they deserve to enjoy success."
GEICO Powersports Honda's Justin Barcia blasted onto the professional racing scene last year when he finished on multiple AMA Motocross podiums and scored a win in his rookie season as a professional. This weekend the young Honda racer makes his professional AMA Supercross Lites debut.
"I've never been to Indianapolis so I'm really excited to go there this weekend," said Barcia. "I can't wait to start racing supercross, and I'm excited that I get to race the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites. Indianapolis will be my first time ever racing inside a big stadium, and I'm really excited to experience that big crowd atmosphere. I have a lot of confidence in my GEICO Powersports Honda CRF250R and I'm pumped with the support I've received from my team in preparation for my pro supercross lites debut."
Last year, Brett Metcalfe put GEICO Powersports Honda second on the podium at the opening round of the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites competition before injuring his collarbone at the second race, ending his season early. The CRF250R racer is out to make amends in 2010.
"I have a lot to prove this year after getting hurt early on in the series last year," said Metcalfe. "More than anything I want to put the GEICO Powersports Honda team up on the podium in Indianapolis as repayment for all the support they have given me over the last two seasons. I kicked last season off with a podium finish and that's my plan for the 2010 season opener this weekend."