News 8 May 2010

AMA SX: Las Vegas finale set for this Saturday night

Pourcel will enter the East/West Lites Shootout as a favourite this weekend.

Pourcel will enter the East/West Lites Shootout as a favourite this weekend.

The historic 2010 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season comes to an exciting conclusion inside Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium tomorrow night, and the sport’s top racers were in attendance today for the pre-race press conference to discuss the finale.

Ryan Dungey, Kevin Windham and Davi Millsaps were on hand to discuss the AMA Supercross class and Jake Weimer and Christophe Pourcel represented the Western and Eastern Regional Supercross Lites classes, respectively.

While all the 2010 titles have been decided, pride is on the line and a large number of riders are looking to end the year on a high note.

Newly-crowned AMA Supercross class champion Ryan Dungey sits comfortably ahead of the pack with 338 points. Windham, who sits in second place, trails Dungey by 65 points, with an overall 273 points.

After a pair of intense regional battles, the AMA Supercross Lites class converges to take center stage for the only time all season in the annual Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout. Eastern Regional champion Christophe Pourcel along with Western Regional title holder Jake Weimer, head one of the most talented fields in series history.

Dungey and his Rockstar Makita Suzuki team have yet to reach the top step of the podium since claiming the championship in Seattle and there isn’t a better way to cap off one of the most historic rookie season’s in the history of the sport than a win heading into the summer.

“I’m doing some testing for outdoors this week,” said Dungey. “So going into Las Vegas I just want to have fun and enjoy it. I’ll get to race without a whole lot of pressure and just enjoy the AMA/FIM Supercross Championship, which is pretty cool.”

“We’ll talk during the week and discuss what we need to do,” added Rockstar Makita Suzuki team manager Roger DeCoster. “We need to be more aggressive. On the other end, Ryan won the championship by being cautious at times, and he’s probably already thinking about the outdoor series. Ryan already won the championship, and that’s a big accomplishment. We need to focus on winning in Las Vegas and then working on the outdoors.”

Monster Energy Kawasaki is ready to wrap up the 2010 supercross season in Las Vegas on Saturday night. To say “Lady Luck” hasn’t been on the team’s side this year would be an understatement as both Chad Reed and Ryan Villopoto missed significant time this season due to injuries. Reed is back on the #22 Monster Energy Kawasaki and after the birth of his son, he is looking forward to a distraction-free race weekend.

“Getting on the plane to come to the race is one of the toughest things I’ve had to do,” said Reed. “My son is awesome and I hate leaving him right now, but I have a job to do and that’s win this weekend. “

Joining Reed under the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent is Nick Wey, who continues to fight near the front. Wey has been riding the factory bike and is ready to step up on the podium in Las Vegas.

“Las Vegas is always a good event,” said Wey. “Because it’s the last race of the season you know you can relax afterwards. I want to finish on a high note and build some momentum heading into the motocross season.”

In AMA Supercross Lites competition, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Weimer will debut his newly-earned red number one plate representing the Western region while his teammate Pourcel will once again sport the number one plate of the Eastern region in his effort to defend the shootout title.

The pair will also be joined by their stable mates – Josh Hansen, who is coming off of a victory in Salt Lake City, and Dean Wilson, who will look for his first career win against some strong competition.

The American Honda squad enters Las Vegas with more momentum than any other manufacturer in the field. After sweeping the AMA Supercross class podium last weekend in Salt Lake City, GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham, along with fellow podium finishers Davi Millsaps and Andrew Short, of Honda Red Bull Racing, head into the final round full of confidence.

“2010 has been a great year for me,” said Windham. “To be second in the series points with a round to go and to score back-to-back race wins is an awesome achievement for me at this stage in my career. My plan for Vegas is to really enjoy myself out on the track. The track layout is very different from any other tracks we race on throughout the season and I always have a great time at this event.”

“My goal for this weekend is to score the 14 points I need to end-up third in the championship standing,” said Millsaps. “Obviously it would be nice to finish the year off with another win and it would be nice to help Honda get another podium sweep like last weekend. I’m confident I can score well at Vegas this weekend.”

The GEICO Powersports Honda AMA Supercross Lites team will be out in full force on Saturday night, with all four of its riders looking to capture one of the most prestigious wins in the sport. Two-time Eastern Regional winner Justin Barcia along with Western Regional runner-up Trey Canard lead the way for the red riders, along with fellow teammates Brett Metcalfe and Blake Wharton.

“I’m pumped to be racing the East/West Shootout event,” said Barcia. “This is a standalone race so I’m going at it with everything I’ve got. I’ve watched the race each year on TV – ever since I can remember – and to finally have the chance to race it is just awesome.”

“This year I’m hoping to better my third place finish of last year,” said Canard. “It’s a cool race and a lot of fun, and I’m just excited to race it. On the night what will be, will be but I’m really hoping I can finish my Supercross Lites season off on a high note.”