Weimer Wins and Villopoto Grabs Podium for Monster Energy Kawasaki in San Francisco Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jake Weimer rode to his second win of the season at AT&T Park in San Francisco, moving him into second in the AMA ...
Weimer Wins and Villopoto Grabs Podium for Monster Energy Kawasaki in San Francisco
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jake Weimer rode to his second win of the season at AT&T Park in San Francisco, moving him into second in the AMA Supercross Lites West Region championship standings. Ryan Morais brought his Kawasaki KX250F home in fifth after riding a strong race on the tight track. In the supercross class Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto raced to his second consecutive podium to finish third. Contact on the first lap of both his heat and the last chance qualifier kept Timmy Ferry out of the main event.
With his victory in San Francisco, Weimer now has won two of the three races held in California this year. Through both his heat race and the main event , Weimer battled with Ryan Dungey. In the heat race, Weimer made a great pass on the inside of the second turn to take the lead and then held on for the victory. During the main, Weimer jumped out to the holeshot and then spent the next 15 laps working to stay in the lead. The slippery track made for some exciting moments, but Weimer was consistent and grabbed his second win of the season.
"There must be something about the Bay Area," said Weimer. "I got my first podium here and now a win. Ryan (Dungey) was riding really well all day and the track was slick with all the marbles. I wasn't very comfortable with the track, but I knew I could get a finish well if I got a good start. After getting the holeshot, I rode the best I could and came away with the win. I'm happy I'm back in the points chase and I've got the ball rolling again."
Back to Back
Villopoto grabbed a good start in the main event and rode with the leaders to finish third for the second straight week. As his rookie season progresses, Villopoto continues to find the speed he needs to run at the front of the field.
"Last weekend it felt good to finally get on the podium, and this weekend it feels even better," said Villopoto. "Getting a decent start and running right behind Chad (Reed) for 20 laps was definitely a step in the right direction. The Kawasaki KX450F is a great bike and we're getting it better every week. We've made a lot of progress and we're going to keep working to get better."
With his hometown just outside of San Francisco, Morais was excited to be racing in front of his family and friends and he started off on the right foot. He pulled the holeshot in his heat race and finishing second. During the main event, Morais didn't get a good jump out of the gate and had to work his way from the back of the pack. On the tight and slippery track, Morais chose his spots or lines? wisely and worked his way up to fifth by the checkered flag.
"I salvaged what I could out of the race," said Morais. "I think I was about 15th place on the first lap. I was trying really hard and the track made it hard to pass. It was a weird night; I think it was difficult for a lot of people. We can build off of this. I think I rode well and I was aggressive when I could be. I charged throughout the race."
Weimer is keeping his eye on the prize as his supercross lites season crosses the halfway point. With just four points separating him from the championship lead, Weimer knows he needs to keep riding consistently to claim the number one plate.
"It's big to make up points in the championship," said Weimer. "I want to stay right there and capitalize on mistakes. I made a mistake in Phoenix that cost me and he made a mistake tonight. It's all about being in the right place at the right time, staying smooth and riding smart to put yourself in a position to do well."
The 20-year-old Villopoto is still cutting his teeth on the supercross class and is using every session on the track as a chance to learn the best way to get his Kawasaki KX450F around the track.
"Running up front really helps with my confidence," said Villopoto. "I could see where those guys were fast on the track and I could learn where I need to improve. The track was so hard to make a pass on. With the speed Reed was running it would have been tougher, but in some sections I was faster than him."
With the West Coast supercross lites season at its halfway point, Morais is sitting third in the championship standings with three podium finishes and a worst finish of fifth. He and his team are going to keep pushing as the schedule moves back to Angels Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. where Morais has earned two runner-up finishes this season.
"I've had a great season so far," said Morais. "This is probably the best season I've ever had. I know how much work the guys here at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki put in, and how much work I put in. It's a shame because all of the work shouldn't add up to a fifth place finish. We can't win them all and things don't always go the way you want them to, so we're just going to keep working hard."
One of the oldest sayings in all of racing is the fastest rider doesn't always win the race. Though Weimer was one of the fastest on the track, he wasn't the fastest. After jumping to the lead out of the starting gate, Weimer rode a mistake-free race to hold onto the victory.
"(Dungey) was probably a little bit faster than me," said Weimer. "It was hard to make passes and I'm sure he was getting a little frustrated. He had to make a pretty aggressive move to get in the lead. The track was slick and it kind of got away from him. When he came in I thought for sure he had the pass made, but then I saw him sliding so I stayed really high on the berm. When he went down I took my time to make sure I got around him without clipping him."
When the gate dropped on the his heat race, Ferry looked to be in good position getting a quick start and coming through the first turn in third. When the track turned back 180 degrees in the second corner, the front pack got bottled up and Ferry was hit and went down. With the majority of the field still coming through the corner, Ferry's KX 450F was damaged. After fixing the damage, Ferry lined up for the last chance qualifier. In his second race of the night, Red Dog didn't even make it through the first turn before he was hit from behind and sent off the track.
"I was in third at the start and I was just trying to stay inside and (Andrew) Short came in and clipped my leg," said Ferry. "There was really nowhere I could go. We tried to squeeze four guys into the corner and I was just at a standstill and Short hit my leg and I went down. I don't know what happened after that, guys just kept hitting me. It was kind of a rough go there. I messed my bike up a little when it got run over in the heat so I had to come back and replace the fork guard on my brake side so I was a little nervous to ride. I had a bad gate pick and maybe with a perfect start I could have got the holeshot but it didn't work out and somebody clipped me from behind going into the first turn and I went off the track again. It was one thing after another, it seems it was a snowball effect. I had a crash during practice, and I just couldn't get out of my own way, or Short's way, I guess."