AMA Supercross Anaheim 3, February 1, 2014
story and photos courtesy of AMA Supercross and GEICO
Old man Chad Reed is totally resurgent in 2014; photo by Simon Cudby
Monster Energy AMA Supercross hosted its third and final 2014 stop inside Angel Stadium on Saturday night in front of 42,139 fans. Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed led all 20 laps of the 450SX Class Main Event to capture his second win of the season and his second straight in Anaheim. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson won his first race of the year in the Western Regional 250SX Class.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award to begin the 450SX Class Main Event, edging out Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto with Reed close behind in third. Villopoto made a quick move to take over the lead in the second turn, bringing Reed with him. About halfway through the opening lap, Reed made his pass on Villopoto to begin a closely contested battle that spanned the entire Main Event.
Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen asserted himself into third place, but pressured Villopoto on Lap 3 to take over second. He would maintain the position throughout the race, often pressuring Reed but not able to gain enough ground to make a pass. Villopoto lurked in third place for the bulk of the Main Event, awaiting the opportunity to make a move if it presented itself, but ultimately settled into the final podium spot in the closing laps.
Reed fended off a last-lap charge by Roczen when a lapped rider got between the duo to secure his 43rd career victory and tie the all-time record at Angel Stadium with eight wins.
Reed takes the win and second in points; photo by Simon Cudby
“It was a tough racetrack tonight,” said Reed. “It was about making smart choices and putting yourself in a good position to ride 20 solid laps. This win means more to me than the last one [on January 18] where I came from behind because it’s tougher to go out there and lead all 20 laps. We had our bike dialed in tonight and it was one of those nights where it felt one with me.”
“I tried to make one last push on the last lap but a lapper got in the way. I don’t know if it would have mattered because Reed was riding well,” said Roczen. “It was a fun race and I’m glad to come out in second. The track was really hard in the end, but it made for great racing.”
Reed moved to within two points of Villopoto in the 450SX Class standings. Villopoto’s third-place finish was his third podium result of the season. “The track was super tough,” said Villopoto. “I got a great start but Chad was able to get by me. Ken was running similar lap times and was able to get by as well, but to end up on the podium is always a good thing.”
Fellow title contenders Ryan Dungey and James Stewart experienced misfortune in the Main Event. While battling with Dungey for the fourth position, Stewart went down in a turn and lost several positions. Just a lap later, Dungey lost control in the whoops and crashed out of the race. Stewart battled back to finish seventh, while Dungey finished in 20th.
The GEICO Honda team is happy to put Angel Stadium of Anaheim in its rearview mirror for the 2014 Supercross season as the group lost another rider Saturday in Round 5 of the AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series.
Zach Osborne, who leads the team with two podium finishes this year, was injured in the third round of practice, and although initial x-rays on his clavicle were negative, he was unable to ride in the evening program and his status moving forward is uncertain.
Teammates Wil Hahn and Eli Tomac were able to ride — Tomac for the first time since getting injured in this same arena on Jan. 4 at the season opener — but Hahn was limited by a hand injury suffered in the first practice session and Tomac wound up with a flat tire in the Main.
“I’ve always enjoyed Anaheim and the GEICO Honda team has won a bunch of races here over the years, but today I really couldn’t wait for this thing to end,” said Hahn, who finished 12th in 450SX action. “I had a spill in the whoops section earlier today and hurt my hand. I was doing as much therapy as possible between sessions, but it really started hurting by about Lap 15 in the Main. I was just counting down the laps from there.
“I was really expecting my best race of the year today. Training this week was awesome and I felt like I had some great momentum and confidence after Oakland (Calif.). I was ready to tear it up but I came off the bike and that changed the plans. Thankfully my hand’s not broken, so I’m fortunate in that regard.”
Tomac looked very strong in his first race of the season. He qualified for the Main in the first Heat race and was running ninth early in the race with room to advance. Unfortunately his rear tire went down and he was forced to abandon the race, officially finishing in 20th place out of 22 riders.
“Today I just wanted to get back in the groove as much as I could and learn things about the bike,” Tomac said. “I was shooting for a top-five (finish) in the Main but I ended up getting a flat, which is something that is just so rare with these things. I can’t even remember the last time I had a flat tire.
“Overall it was a good day of learning, and I did some stuff on the track that the other guys weren’t doing so it was fun. I think my shoulder probably is 80 to 90 percent strength-wise. I did feel it getting a bit weak there in the Main before the flat, so I know I still need to build strength back so I can attack the whole time.”
Osborne’s crash was a doozy as he separated from his bike and landed hard in the home plate area of the arena. He immediately began favoring his left arm and shoulder and was rushed to the Asterisk medical trailer for evaluation and x-rays. Initial tests and images showed no breaks, although doctors on-site recommended he seek further tests at a full-service hospital. He was given a shot for pain and left early.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely led the field of 22 riders through turn one with the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award in the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event. Wilson quickly moved into second place with 51Fifty Honda’s Jake Canada in third place.
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson, who came into tonight’s race with a six-point lead in the season standings, was working his way through the field when he collided with Troy Lee Designs/MAVTV Honda’s Malcolm Stewart, who won his Heat Race earlier in the night, on Lap 2. Anderson dropped several positions and by Lap 8, had moved into eighth place.
On Lap 12, Seely ran into lapped traffic in a corner and crashed. This allowed Wilson to move into the lead and ride to victory. It was Wilson’s seventh win of his career and his first since last year’s season opening race of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship in Arlington, Texas.
“This win really means a lot to me,” said Wilson. “The race was shaping up to be exciting during those last few laps, but I received a break. This is really emotional for me. I gained some good points and we still have some races left. I am going to come out and do my best at those races.”
The third race in Anaheim also signified the beginning of the Toyota Triple Challenge, which will continue at Race 7 in Arlington, Texas, and concludes at Race 16 in East Rutherford, N.J. With the win tonight Reed is in line to win a brand new Toyota Tundra and is the only rider eligible to win $250,000 if he were to win all three Toyota Triple Challenge races.
Monster Energy Supercross heads to San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium next Saturday, February 8.
250SX Class Results: Anaheim
Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki
Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha
Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki
Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM
Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda
Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda
Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda
Dakota Tedder, Surfside, Calif., Kawasaki
250SX Class Season Standings
Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM, 109
Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 109
Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki, 97
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 85
Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 82
Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 69
Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda, 69
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 61
Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 55
Dean Ferris, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 52
450SX Class Results: Anaheim
Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki
Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki
Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
450SX Class Season Standings
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 104
Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 102
Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 97
Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha, 86
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 80
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 76
Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 74
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 61
Wil Hahn, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 52
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 50
Toyota Triple Challenge Standings
Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 25
Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 22
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 20
Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 18
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki, 16
Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha, 15
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 14
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 13
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM. 12
Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 11
KTM Junior Supercross Challenge
1. Lux Turner, Gardnerville, Nev., KTM
2. Parker Ross, Galt, Calif., KTM
3. Luke DeRoche Castle Rock, Colo., KTM
4. Kayleb Persel, Bakersfield, Calif., KTM
5. Luke Simpson, Aliso Viejo, Calif., KTM
6. Hudson Romfo, Clear Lake, Minn., KTM
7. Travis Long, Parachute, Colo., KTM
8. Carter Cooper, Capistrano Beach, Calif., KTM
9. Bryton Bluth, Mesa, Ariz., KTM
10. Destry Lanza, Beaumont, Calif., KTM
11. Cole Wagner, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM
12. Kaden Clark, Marshall, Minn., KTM
13. Taylor Mooney, Selah, Wash., KTM
14. Triston Alverez, Pinon Hills, Calif., KTM
15. Chad Fikstad, San Jacinto, Calif., KTM