News 6 Feb 2010

AMA SX: Suzuki's Dungey leads Supercross into San Diego

Dungey is still the man in AMA SX, but Villopoto is coming on strong.

Dungey is still the man in AMA SX, but Villopoto is coming on strong.

Not since 2003 has Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, seen three different riders in four races earn victories in the premier AMA Supercross class.

As Monster Energy Supercross heads into San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium tomorrow night several riders will look for the opportunity to join 2010 AMA Supercross class winners James Stewart, Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto as the fifth stop of the championship unfolds in sunny Southern California.

Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki’s Dungey carries an 11-point lead over San Manuel Yamaha’s Josh Hill into Qualcomm Stadium. Dungey, who is competing in his rookie year of AMA Supercross class racing, leads the field in wins with two. Hill is the lone rider for the San Manuel Yamaha team after his teammate and defending AMA Supercross class champion James Stewart underwent surgery to repair a broken scaphoid in his right wrist last week. Hill has back-to-back second place finishes and is eager to pick up his first win of 2010.

Last weekend in San Francisco, Dungey, who has led 54 of 80 laps this season, threw away a 9-second lead after a rut caught his toe, ripped it off the foot peg and sent him flying to the ground. He did salvage the race by earning fourth place, which was good enough to keep him in the points lead.

“I came out and got a great holeshot in the main, and then I caught my foot and threw it away,” said Dungey.” I salvaged it for fourth, which is not too bad. I’m thankful that I’m alright and healthy. I’m going to work on just bits and pieces this week in practice. Just try to come back and be ready for San Diego.”

Fortunately, the scary moment for Dungey and his team manager Roger DeCoster turned out much better than it looked.

“What happened was he caught the rut with the tip of his foot and it pulled him under,” said DeCoster. “His foot went under the foot peg and he grabbed a handful (of throttle) because it was pulling him off the bike. We didn’t have any issues with the bike, so we’ll go home and try to figure out why he caught his foot and we’ll work on that and make sure he’s healthy for San Diego. This week we will probably have more to do with a chiropractor than a mechanic.”

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto earned the first win of the 2010 season and is now focused on closing the gap to the current championship leader.

“San Diego is the next place I can make up those 13 points,” said Villopoto. “My goal since the start of the season has been to win the championship and that hasn’t changed. The easiest way to achieve that is to win as much as I can.”

Villopoto, who now has three AMA Supercross class wins in his career, is third overall in point standings with 77.

Joining Villopoto under the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent is Nick Wey. The Michigan native made his debut with the team last week at San Francisco and scored a top-10 finish.

“My race in San Francisco is one of the best I’ve had in the last couple of years,” said Wey. “My Kawasaki is awesome and everyone on the team is ready to help out where ever they can. As I get more comfortable on the bike I think I can get a top five.”

Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps recorded his best result of the 2010 AMA Supercross class season on his CRF450R, finishing third in the action-packed 450 race—his first podium finish in 2010.

“Personally, I really needed that podium finish last weekend,” said Millsaps. “In San Francisco I rode well in the heat race though I felt I needed to make a few set-up changes for the main, which we did, and it worked out well. I got a good start and rode pretty well to get third.

“I want to keep my momentum from last weekend going and hope it’s not too muddy in San Diego this weekend because I’d love to be able to race on the same track conditions as last round. But if it’s muddy I will do the best I can; I usually go good in the mud.”

In the AMA Supercross Lites class, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer leads the championship standings as the tour passes its halfway point. Weimer has won three of the four races and is looking to return to the top step of the podium after finishing runner-up last weekend.

“I want to start winning again,” said Weimer. “I didn’t have the best race last week, but I was still able to finish second. I’m going to work hard to avoid some of the mistakes I made and try and get back on top.”

Weimer’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Josh Hansen has looked good the last two races, but his results don’t show how well he has been riding.

“I need to just put a whole race together,” said Hansen. “I’m working hard to get up on the podium because this team works so hard around me. I want to do everything I can to get the good finishes Mitch (Payton) expects from me.”

GEICO Powersports Honda’s Trey Canard dominated the entire AMA Supercross Lites class main event in San Francisco aboard his CRF250R, taking his first race win of the 2010 season. Canard cranked off a hot start and took control of the race within the first few turns and never relinquished control—maintaining his lead position for the entire 15 laps.

“Getting the win in San Francisco means the world to me,” said Canard. “I know there are guys who’ve had it worse, but for me, it was very hard being injured most of last season—not being able to ride. But to be able to come back and win on Honda’s new CRF250R—for the team and for Honda—is awesome. I absolutely love the new bike and knew it could win. The fuel injection, chassis— everything about it makes it a great package. I know this win means so much to a lot of people.

“Last year I just missed out on a podium spot in San Diego, but with last weekend’s win, I’m very confident I will be on the box this Saturday night.”

Fellow Honda racer Cole Seely is having a career-best AMA Supercross Lites season aboard his Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s CRF250R. He grabbed the holeshot in San Francisco and equaled his best showing of the season, finishing fifth.

“It’s been a great season so far,” said Seely. “Before this year I was a privateer racer who barely ever made it into the top ten. With the support of Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda, I’ve finished as high as the top five and last weekend I even got the holeshot, which is awesome! I have high expectations for myself and my confidence is sky-high right now. I’m learning a lot and grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given with the Honda team.”