Ryan Villopoto Passes Eight Riders To Claim First Win Of 2014 Season
Jason Anderson Uses Last-Lap Pass For Second-Straight 250SX Class Victory
In front of 49,834 fans inside Chase Field, reigning three-time 450SX Class Champion Ryan Villopoto won his first Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race of the season aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki. For the second consecutive week, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson used a last-lap pass to post back-to-back victories in the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Jake Moss grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award to start the 20-lap 450SX Class Main Event, with Toyota/Yamaha/N-Fab/JGRMX’s Justin Brayton and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey in tow. Villopoto started in ninth, behind the likes of Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia, and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen.
Brayton took over the lead after the second corner, bringing Dungey and Barcia with him. Barcia surged towards the front, passing Dungey for second and then setting his sights on the lead. Barcia briefly passed Brayton, but the Yamaha rider countered back, which allowed Dungey to reclaim second from Barcia. A six-rider battle ensued with Brayton, Dungey, Roczen, Barcia, Villopoto, and Stewart all within just a few seconds of one another.
On Lap 7, Barcia and Roczen made contact while battling for third, sending Roczen to the ground. Villopoto pressured Barcia shortly thereafter and made the pass for third. As Dungey looked to make a move on Brayton, Villopoto closed in and made the pass for second on Lap 11. On Lap 13, Villopoto passed Brayton and fended off a late charge to win in Phoenix for the first time in the 450SX Class.
“Justin was riding a hell of a race,” said Villopoto. “I have to give it to him, he made it tough. I didn’t get the start I wanted because the (starting) gate was slippery, but I just needed to be patient. The Phoenix (track) gets really slick so I had to take my time and make sure my passes stuck.”
Brayton’s runner-up effort tied his career-best finish, which came in Toronto in 2012.
“This feels so good,” Brayton exclaimed. “The new Yamaha is unbelievable. We did our homework this year. It’s been a lot of hard work, but being up [on the podium] pays off. I was trying to pay attention to what was going on behind me but still look ahead. I did all I could to stay up front, but Ryan (Villopoto) got by me.”
Dungey finished third, giving him back-to-back podium results.
“That was a good opportunity to get a win,” said Dungey. “I kept making mistakes. I couldn’t get through the whoops, but all in all it was a good ride. The track was super slippery and it caught us off guard but we still put in on the box.”
With his win, the 35th of his career, Villopoto moves into the 450SX Class points lead. He holds a one-point advantage over Dungey.
MyPlash/Metal Mulisha/Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb raced to the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award to start the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event. Webb held onto the lead for most of the opening lap until Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely moved into the lead by passing both Webb and Anderson, who started in second. Webb went down moments later and lost several positions.
Seely and Anderson opened a comfortable lead on the field, with Seely extending his advantage over Anderson for most of the 15-lap Main Event. As the leaders approached lappers in the late stages, Anderson reduced his deficit to mere bike lengths. On the final lap, Seely made a slight mistake, which allowed Anderson to challenge for the lead, making the pass with about a half lap remaining.
“I was out for redemption tonight,” said Anderson, who failed to qualify for the Main Event in Phoenix the year prior. “I got a good start on my KTM, like I have been all season. I don’t plan on those last-lap passes, but it was there and I needed to take it. My goal is to keep control of the red number plate (signifying the points leader) so I’ll do whatever it takes to do that. I really want it.”
“I’m bummed,” said Seely. “I’ve been battling stomach issues all week, so was struggling with that. I felt (my stomach) tighten up late in the race and I just made a mistake and Jason got me again.”
GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson battled for the third position for the bulk of the Main Event, with Osborne eventually getting the edge to grab his second podium finish of the year.
With Anderson, Seely, and Osborne on the podium, it duplicated the finishing order from last week’s opening race. Anderson’s lead in the championship sits at six points.
Monster Energy Supercross returns to Anaheim, Calif., and Angel Stadium for the third race of the 2014 season. The race will be the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the championship.
Source: Feld Motor Sports
Justin Brayton Valiantly Takes Second In Phoenix
Aboard his new 2014 Yamaha YZ450F, Toyota Yamaha JGR MX Team’s Justin Brayton led most of the AMA Supercross main event at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. before finishing a close second to defending champion Ryan Villopoto on Saturday night, Jan. 11. The bLU cRU rider tied his best-ever finish in the premier class as he grabbed the lead almost immediately, led 13 of 20 laps, and then challenged Villopoto up until the last corner.
With several past champions in the field, the 450 class was as stacked as any in recent history. After finishing third in his heat, Brayton shot into the lead of the main event after two corners, building up a sizable gap as battles waged behind him. This early lead slowly evaporated though, as first Justin Barcia and then Villopoto advanced.
He was able to defend against Barcia, but Villopoto’s repeated pass attempts eventually succeeded. Brayton didn’t give up though. Riding with tremendous heart, he kept Villopoto in sight, closed the gap on the final lap, and then re-attacked before the finish, missing his first Supercross win by just 1.03 seconds.
“This feels so good!” Brayton said afterwards. “The new Yamaha is unbelievable. We did our homework this year, and it’s paying off.” Yamaha Supercross team manager Jim Perry added, “It was a great night of racing in both classes, and I’m glad to see the new YZs showing promise.”
Yamalube/Star Racing rookie Cooper Webb thrilled the huge crowd of 49,834 in the 250 Supercross West Region event, taking the holeshot on his new 2014 Yamaha YZ250F before making a couple of mistakes and finishing sixth.
In the 250 class, Webb put in the sixth-fastest qualifying practice time, and then transferred straight to the main event with a third-place finish in his heat race. When the gate dropped for the 15-lap final, he shot his YZ into the lead exiting the first turn and built up a small gap as the pack fought behind him.
Soon though, the bLU cRU rider was challenged by eventual winner Jason Anderson and Cole Seely and put a wheel off the track, losing several positions in the process. But the former amateur national champion rebounded, holding down fifth place before falling on the seventh lap. He then rallied once again, climbing back on his bike and advancing to sixth by the finish.
Source: Yamaha Racing
Ryan Dungey Earns 3rd At Phoenix Supercross!
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ryan Dungey earned 3rd overall after a hard fought battle for the lead for the majority of the twenty-lap main event at the second round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series held at Chase Field.
Ryan Dungey was on the gas all day turning quick times in his afternoon practices which earned him a top gate pick for his heat race. He nailed the holeshot in his heat and went on to lead every lap in order to take the win and earn a top qualifying spot for the main event.
Dungey pulled off another great start with his KTM 450 SX-F in the main coming off the line in third as the riders rounded the first corner. He quickly jumped into 2nd place before the completion of the first lap while closing in on the rear wheel of the leader, Justin Brayton. The two riders charged ahead never more than two bike lengths apart.
Early in the race, Dungey’s teammate, Ken Roczen, who transferred into the main event from a semi-race win after missing qualifying from his heat by one position, was challenging for the podium. Roczen was on the rear wheel of Dungey with Justin Barcia close behind. The three swapped positions back and forth for a lap before Barcia took a line that cut across Roczen’s, clipping his front wheel during the move. Roczen went down and lost approximately five positions. Roczen recovered quickly from the crash and was able to move his way back up to 6th place before the checkered flag came out.
Meanwhile, Dungey continued to challenge Brayton while Villopoto moved up behind. The three were nearly side by side with five laps to go when Villopoto made a block pass on Dungey. Villopoto quickly moved around Brayton for the lead but did not pull far from Brayton and Dungey as the race continued. The three riders remained close for the remainder of the race but did not swap positions again. Dungey eventually crossed the line in 3rd place.
“I really wanted the win tonight”, commented Dungey. “I felt great all day today and was really confident in my riding. I just couldn’t make the pass when I needed to tonight but I am glad to remain consistent and finish on the podium.”
Now two races into the series, Dungey sits 2nd overall in the point standings, while his teammate, Roczen, sits right behind in 3rd.
Next Round: Anaheim, CA – January 18, 2014
Source: KTM North America
James Stewart Battles To 4th At Phoenix SX
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart bounced back from last weekend’s high-speed crash to turn-in a first-class performance at Saturday’s second round of AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Although the Yoshimura Suzuki rider was feeling under the weather, Stewart stepped-it-up for the Main Event and raced his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to an impressive fourth-place result.
“I’ve had some good luck at Phoenix in the past,” said Stewart; one of only two riders to win in both the 450 and 250 classes at this venue. “So Phoenix has been pretty good to me.”
That said, Stewart still wasn’t feeling 100% going into the evening’s racing. And, just to add insult to injury, a get-off in practice resulted in mechanic Rene Zapata having to completely rebuild his bike prior to the heat race. In spite of this, Stewart still managed to finish fourth and transfer to the Main Event. Feeling admittedly fatigued at the start of the 20-lap Main, Stewart struggled off the gate but he also put his head down and charged through the field, sizing-up the competition and then picking them off one-by-one.
“Overall it was a long day,” said Stewart. “On Thursday, I was out testing and started feeling bad. Saturday was probably the worst I’ve felt. On top of being sick, I didn’t get a good start in the Main Event. I literally could’ve fallen over on the gate, I was so tired and weak. But we ended up fourth and I feel good about that. Considering how bad I felt, to still get a top-five was nice. And I’m glad to walk out of Phoenix with some valuable points. I knew two bad weekends in a row wouldn’t be good for any title hopes, so I did what I had to do. I’ve also got to give it up to the Yoshimura Suzuki team for believing in me and fighting through it. Now, I’m going to go back and rest-up and be ready for Anaheim 2.”
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s next event is the third round of the 2014 AMA/ FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, January 18th at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.
Source: Team Suzuki
James Stewart’s Video Blog
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart talks about the weekend’s second round of the Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Coming off a high-speed crash while challenging for the lead at last week’s opening round at Angel Stadium, Anaheim in California, and suffering some illness before and during the event, Stewart just missed-out on a podium place after carving through the pack after a poor start in the 20-lap Main Event aboard his Factory Suzuki RM-Z450.
Source: Team Suzuki
Jason Anderson Retains Red Plate In Phoenix
Rockstar Energy Racing entered round 2 of the Supercross season in Phoenix with the red plate for the second consecutive year, and left still holding it in similar fashion, only this time it was in the 250 class. The repeat win in this young season for Jason Anderson came very dramatically on the last lap, not unlike the opener last weekend in Anaheim.
Jason Anderson is clearly at the top of his game and is continuing to prove that consistently throughout each race day thus far. Winning round one does not always get the respect it deserves with skeptics making opinions built heavily on the adversity that A1 presents. Everyone on the line is expected to be a bit rusty and nervous and some riders may not have even seen a gate drop since August, the last round of the Outdoor Nationals.
Phoenix could possibly be considered the complete opposite and maybe even one of the least pressure race situations of the SX season, that is unless you are the points leader. In that case, you must prove your trip to the top of the box was not a fluke. Anderson made that very clear. In the second qualifying practice of the day, Jason was entrenched in a very intense battle of times with a few other riders.
Then on the final lap he put up an incredible time, earning the fastest 250 lap of the day. He then reeled off another start to finish heat race win in impressive form. What happened next was nearly a 15 lap carbon copy of the week before. Cole Seely, with Anderson in tow simply walked away from the other 20 riders in the field and just like before, the two leaders remained very close for the entire affair. Once again #17 made the last lap pass for the Rockstar Energy Racing team, keeping the red plate and extending his points lead going into round 3.
“You know what I’m going to say huh? That I only lost first practice! (laughs). Today was good. I had good practice times and had a good heat race. I struggled with one rhythm section pretty bad but made it work in the main. It definitely made things interesting and I made another last lap pass.”
Ivan Tedesco made vast improvements in the 7 days since he made his return to professional Supercross racing. He continued to improve throughout the day in practice and qualifying. Tedesco has been working hard during the week to get his endurance up enough to be strong for 20 laps. He is getting closer on the practice track, but in no way can that compare to the intensity and fatigue produced in a full 450 SX main.
The only way to get into true racing form is to race, and Ivan is doing just that. While his result at A1 was hampered by damage to the bike cause by another rider, his improvement to finish 12th was still very impressive. Trying to ride through fatigue and deal with some of the toughest whoops seen in a while is a major accomplishment. He will still need some time to get back to where he knows he can be, but he is progressing rapidly.
“Today was a lot better. A lot better than last weekend. In practice I qualified 14th and I was 22nd in Anaheim. Improving every week, in the main I ended up 12th. I got a little tired in the main but my fitness, I obviously can’t expect it to be there after only working at it for a month. I’m going to keep working at it, building and hopefully get better every week and by the end be up there.”
Not unlike Ivan, Cole Thompson came into his first race a little out of sorts. Cole has also not been in a serious racing situation for some time. He also has only been on the bike and working with the team for just a little over a week. However, Thompson is ecstatic and states that the RER KTM 350 is the best bike he has ever ridden.
He was definitely a bit rusty in the first practice but by the 3rd and final session, he had the tough sections and the whoops much more dialed. Although he didn’t make the tough 450 main, he did get three races under his belt with the heat, the recently reinserted to the program semi qualifier and finally the LCQ. He will head into the next event with much more confidence after his Arizona experience.
“I learned so much this weekend and made good improvements throughout the day. I just need to get more comfortable racing again. Thanks to my team for helping me to improve and working hard to give me an awesome bike. I’m looking forward to getting ready for Anaheim 2.”
Anderson will make the trip back to Anaheim attempting to win his 3rd consecutive race and extend his points lead. Tedesco and Thompson will look to forge ahead on their progression. Davi Millsaps continues to rehab his injured knee.
Source: Rockstar Energy Racing
Zach Osborne Podiums Again
GEICO Motorcycle Honda 250SX rider Zach Osborne continued his torrid start to the 2014 season with his second straight podium finish Saturday night at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. Just as he did a week ago in Anaheim, Calif., Osborne battled Scotland’s Dean Wilson for the third spot and once again managed to pass his rival and take the position behind winner Jason Anderson and runner-up Cole Seely.
“Reaching the podium is good and I’m happy to get the points, but at the same time I’m not going to be content with third-place finishes,” Osborne said. “I need to be up front with (Anderson and Seely). I can run the pace, my fitness is there; I just need better starts. I’m just not putting myself in the right position to challenge for the win.
“Don’t get me wrong, podiums are great and I’m happy to get another 20 points, especially because I really wasn’t feeling the track in the first two sessions. But as the day went on I got better and better and made some good passes in the main to get a third. If I put this kind of riding together with a better start, I’ll be there. It’s just that with the level everyone is on right now the starts are so crucial.”
Wil Hahn overcame a sluggish start and a Lap 3 crash to finish 10th overall in the 450SX class main event. He was 18th after the first lap and made a few great passes before being taken down by another rider. He quickly remounted and got back in the fight, passing at least 10 riders to earn his top-10 result.
“I need to get better,” Hahn said. “Right now it’s all on me. I’m getting used to the bike and the competition, and I need to get my head in it a little more. It’s easy to point to the starts and say those need to get better, and that’s true because if I had started better I wouldn’t be back in the riffraff where you get taken out at times, but it’s more about believing in myself and riding like I know how to ride.
“Things are already getting better and I expect a big jump up next weekend. The good thing about Supercross is you don’t have long to wait until you get to race again.”
Superstar rider Eli Tomac, who sustained a shoulder contusion last weekend, attempted to ride in today’s first practice session but didn’t feel he had the necessary strength to compete at a top level. He subsequently pulled out of the race and announced he will not ride next weekend at Anaheim 2 either as he continues to heal.
“If I was able to ride tonight I would have been able to hopefully earn some points and keep any championship hopes alive, but it wasn’t even close,” Tomac said. “I need to let this thing heal, and I need to ride before I race again to get my fitness back. I couldn’t ride at all during the week. Today was the first time I got on the bike. Now when I come back I’ll be at full strength.”
The news was more dramatic for Zach Bell, who fractured his clavicle in practice. The injury will sideline him for the entire 250SX West season.
Source: GEICO Honda
Dean Ferris Earns 7th At Phoenix Supercross
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Dean Ferris earned a top ten finish at his second 250 Supercross race at the second round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series held at Chase Field. KTM rider Jason Anderson took the second win in a row!
Dean Ferris felt ill all week and did not have a lot of time on the practice track between Anaheim and the Phoenix Supercross races. Despite his health issues he showed up at Phoenix determined to improve his performance from the week before and he was able to meet his goal.
Ferris earned the final qualifying spot in his heat race after getting a decent start and hanging on to finish 9th. In the main event, Ferris got a mid-pack start and was sitting in 10th at the end of the first lap. Ferris continued to turn consistent lap times throughout the main and slowly worked his way up through the pack. At the end of the fifteen-lap main, Ferris had worked his way up to 7th overall on his KTM 250 SX-F.
“I am very happy to earn a top ten finish tonight”, commented Ferris. “I’m new to Supercross so each week, during practice and racing I am learning a lot and making improvements. I am glad to get a better finish for my team this weekend and hope I can continue to work toward a top five result.”
Next Round: Anaheim, CA – January 18, 2014
Source: KTM North America
Phoenix Overview And Point Standings
2014 AMA Supercross Phoenix Image Gallery (Click for full size images)
Overall Results – Supercross Class Race Time: 18:57.438
|1||1||Ryan Villopoto||Kawasaki KX 450F||20 Laps||55.952|
|2||10||Justin Brayton||Yamaha YZ450F||+01.032||56.755|
|3||5||Ryan Dungey||KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition||+03.778||56.336|
|4||7||James Stewart||Suzuki RM-Z450||+08.751||56.513|
|5||51||Justin Barcia||Honda CRF 450||+10.652||56.581|
|6||94||Ken Roczen||KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition||+14.379||56.397|
|7||29||Andrew Short||KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition||+24.553||57.405|
|8||20||Broc Tickle||Suzuki RM-Z450||+31.040||57.122|
|9||22||Chad Reed||Kawasaki KX 450F||+35.057||57.677|
|10||23||Wil Hahn||Honda CRF 450||+36.297||56.910|
|11||102||Matt Moss||Suzuki RM-Z450||+42.785||57.061|
|12||9||Ivan Tedesco||KTM 450 SX-F||+46.015||57.598|
|13||27||Nicholas Wey||Kawasaki KX 450F||+51.685||58.005|
|14||42||Vince Friese||Honda CRF 450||-1 Lap||59.057|
|15||44||Matthew Goerke||KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition||+08.366||58.599|
|16||11||Kyle Chisholm||Yamaha YZ450F||+12.848||58.926|
|17||800||Mike Alessi||Suzuki RM-Z450||+21.177||58.284|
|18||12||Jacob Weimer||Kawasaki KX 450F||+24.246||57.112|
|19||82||Kyle Partridge||Honda CRF 450||+44.887||1:00.561|
|20||415||Nicholas Schmidt||Honda CRF 450||-2 Laps||1:01.021|
|21||40||Weston Peick||Suzuki RM-Z450||-16 Laps||58.497|
|22||68||Chris Blose||Honda CRF 450||DNF|
Rider Point Standings – Supercross Class ( Race 2 of 17 )
- Ryan Villopoto – 43
- Ryan Dungey – 42
- Ken Roczen – 40
- Justin Brayton – 37
- Chad Reed – 32
- Justin Barcia – 32
- Andrew Short – 26
- Broc Tickle – 26
- James Stewart – 22
- Wil Hahn – 21
Manufacturer Point Standings – Supercross Class ( Race 2 of 17 )
- Kawasaki – 45
- KTM – 45
- Yamaha – 37
- Honda – 32
- Suzuki – 31
Overall Results – Supercross Lites West Class Race Time: 14:04.657
|1||17||Jason Anderson||KTM 250 SX-F||15 Laps||56.068|
|2||21||Cole Seely||Honda CRF 250||+02.429||55.711|
|3||16||Zach Osborne||Honda CRF 250||+27.440||56.997|
|4||15||Dean Wilson||Kawasaki KX 250F||+35.417||57.173|
|5||34||Malcolm Stewart||Honda CRF 250||+48.770||57.997|
|6||37||Cooper Webb||Yamaha YZ250F||+52.485||57.260|
|7||111||Dean Ferris||KTM 250 SX-F||+54.567||58.975|
|8||35||Justin Hill||Kawasaki KX 250F||+55.249||57.245|
|9||50||Jessy Nelson||Honda CRF 250||+1:01.308||58.578|
|10||142||Cole Martinez||Kawasaki KX 250F||-1 Lap||1:00.053|
|11||84||Scott Champion||Yamaha YZ250||+06.434||1:00.977|
|12||87||Shane Mcelrath||Honda CRF 250||+11.723||57.237|
|13||416||Austin Burns||Honda CRF 250||+12.149||1:00.861|
|14||45||Darryn Durham||Kawasaki KX 250F||+15.986||1:00.239|
|15||594||Chris Plouffe||Honda CRF 250||+22.381||1:01.658|
|16||526||Colton Aeck||Honda CRF 250||+25.703||1:01.472|
|17||83||Dakota Tedder||Kawasaki KX 250F||+26.712||59.697|
|18||360||Aaron Siminoe||Kawasaki KX 250F||+29.614||1:02.106|
|19||830||Ruben Alanis||KTM 250 SX-F||+38.496||1:02.416|
|20||902||Killian Auberson||KTM 250 SX-F||-2 Laps||1:01.342|
|21||273||Conner Elliott||Honda CRF 250||+27.737||1:02.789|
|22||66||Jake Canada||Honda CRF 250||DNS|
Rider Point Standings – Supercross Lites West Class ( Race 2 of 9 )
- Jason Anderson – 50
- Cole Seely – 44
- Zach Osborne – 40
- Dean Wilson – 36
- Cooper Webb – 31
- Malcolm Stewart – 29
- Justin Hill – 28
- Jessy Nelson – 24
- Darryn Durham – 21
- Dean Ferris – 21
Manufacturer Point Standings – Supercross Lites Class ( Race 2 of 17 )
- KTM – 50
- Honda – 44
- Kawasaki – 36
- Yamaha – 31