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San Diego: Round four preview

Reed looking for back-to-back San Deiego supercross victories. PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Jan. 20, 2004) -- Yamaha's Chad Reed comes into Saturday's (Jan. 24th) round four of the 16-race THQ AMA Supercross Series trying to become the first rider to win...

Reed looking for back-to-back San Deiego supercross victories.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Jan. 20, 2004) -- Yamaha's Chad Reed comes into Saturday's (Jan. 24th) round four of the 16-race THQ AMA Supercross Series trying to become the first rider to win in consecutive years at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium since Jeremy McGrath accomplished the feat eight years ago. Reed, 21, of Australia, leads the series after winning two of the three races so far in this young 2004 season.

After splitting wins with Factory Connection Honda's Kevin Windham in the first two rounds of the series, Reed came back and broke away late in the race from Windham and teammate David Vuillemin last Saturday in Anaheim to earn his 10th-career AMA Supercross victory. The win moved Reed into a tie for 13th on the list with none other than area hero Broc Glover, an El Cajon native who is now a member of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Glover twice won the San Diego Supercross in the early 1980s.

"The races have been fun battles so far this year," said Reed, who's fashioned a 16-point lead over Vuillemin and LaRocco, each tied for second in the standings. "I enjoy a good race and we've been having them this year. The season is starting to fall into a good mode for me and I'm looking forward to the challenges this year will bring me. I'm going to try and stay on top of my game and get as many wins as possible." Vuillemin has earned two podium results this season and might have had another, but for a controversial run-in with Windham in the second round that knocked the Frenchman off the track. Vuillemin, 26, is a two-time winner at San Diego, but is looking for his first win in the series in nearly two years.

It's been over two years since Hoosier Mike LaRocco has won in the series, but no one would be overly surprised if the 17-year AMA racing veteran managed to break through to win this weekend in San Diego. Even though he's one of the oldest riders in the series, LaRocco is still considered a serious contender for the championship.

Phoenix Supercross winner Kevin Windham is happy with progress in his comeback to the series after missing all of last year and most of the 2002 series due to injury and a subsequent short-lived retirement. After leading much of the race last weekend and eventually finishing second to Reed, fourth-ranked Windham has a positive outlook on the first three rounds.

"I feel like I'm having a great season so far," said the likeable rider from Mississippi. "I plan on going to work in practice and continue to try to close the gap on Reed in the point standings."

Kawasaki's Michael Byrne is fifth in the series after three consecutive top-10 finishes.

The motorcycling press is already asking Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Ivan Tedesco if he thinks he can sweep the AMA 125 West Supercross Series after winning the opening three races.

"I'm just going to race and try the best I can each race," said the realistic Tedesco. "If I could go the entire way and win them all that would be great, but I'm just concentrating on winning the championship."

Saturday night will be round four of the eight-race 125 West series and with a victory Tedesco could find himself halfway home to a perfect season. The only rider even in the same ballpark with Tedesco at this point of the season is his teammate Stephane Roncada. Roncada is 13 points down to Tedesco even though he's scored podium finishes in every race. Amsoil Chaparral Honda's Travis Preston is a distant third in the 125 West standings. He was a close runner-up to Tedesco last weekend after having lead much of the race.

Tickets for San Diego are available through Ticketmaster. Call (630) 566-6100 for additional race information. Both the main Supercross race and the 125 West event will be taped for later broadcast on ESPN2. Check your local listings or visit www.espn.com for broadcast times.

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Series AMA
Drivers David Vuillemin , Kevin Windham , Jeremy McGrath , Chad Reed , Stephane Roncada , Mike LaRocco