AMA Supercross: 2010 San Francisco Results
It's a New Ballgame in San Francisco
The fourth round of the AMA Supercross series at AT&T Park in San Francisco took on a new tone the day before the race. That was when we found out 2009 champion James Stewart was out with a broken hand, an injury the San Manuel Yamaha rider and leading title contender suffered in Round 2.
With multi-time SX champ Chad Reed also on the sidelines due to injury, it opened up a podium spot in San Francisco for someone else running in the top five, not to mention the implications for the whole series.
As it turned out, there was more than one new face on the stand, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto coming from behind to nail the top spot and Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps edging out Ryan Dungey of team Rockstar Makita Suzuki to land the number three position. The repeat podium appearance was by San Manuel Yamaha’s Josh Hill, who is becoming a regular in this slot.
The race itself was a cliff hanger with one surprise after another, each one accompanied by a roar or groan from the nearly 42,000 fans in the stands. The 250cc Lites class also took a new tack with Geico Powersports Honda’s Trey Canard handing Monster Energy/Pro Circuit’s Jake Weimer his first defeat of the season in an impressive wire-to-wire performance. All this action was enjoyed during a rain-free window in the otherwise soggy California climate.
Ryan Dungey took the holeshot in the first heat race and held it all way - that is, all the way to the last lap when he came down wide off a triple and ran off the track. He was able to remount and salvage a sixth-place qualifying spot. Dungey in salvage mode! A portent for the main event.
Villopoto was clearly someone to watch this evening, as he beat Josh Hill in the second heat race. But having the gate pick didn’t help him at the start of the main event as he was back in sixth position in the first lap. Dungey was out in front - way, way out in front - for the first half of the race, much to no one’s surprise. The action was all behind him, as Millsaps and Hill fought over second pace and Villopoto was starting to work his way up. By the eighth lap it was Dungey by nine seconds, then Hill and Villopoto, with Millsaps now back in fourth place after a spill in the fifth lap.
Hill made a series of small mistakes during which Villopoto showed him a wheel several times. “We had a pretty good battle back and forth,” said Villopoto, “I hit him pretty good and he ran me into the Tuff Blocks at one spot. But it was all pretty good.” Finally in lap nine, Villopoto made his move, running Hill high in a turn and getting inside in a beautiful pass.
The race changed dramatically in the tenth lap when Dungey started a triple jump. Caught in a rut, the bike went vertical, he had to let go of it, and then came down hard. “In the corner of my eye I saw Ryan go down,” said Villopoto, “and I thought ‘it’s on now’.” But Dungey’s lead at this point was so large that he was able chase down the bike and get going again before Villopoto could pass him. He might have held onto his lead were it not for his clutch lever having rotated down 90 degrees in the crash. It wasn’t long before Villopoto, Hill, and Millsaps passed him.
Dungey was now in fourth place and back in salvage mode again. Although anything could still have happened to change it, the last half of the race saw these four riders staying close and working their way up through the lappers. Without doubt, this was one of the more exciting races of the season.
The Lites class opened with three-time winner Jake Weimer and third-place (in series points) Trey Canard winning their respective heat races. In the main event, these two lost the holeshot to Josh Hansen, but by the third turn Canard was in the lead, Weimer second and Broc Tickle third. They kept this order for the rest of the 15-lap race.
While Canard dashed Weimer’s hopes for four wins in a row, Weimer still maintains a 16-point lead in the standings over Canard, whose win at San Francisco moved him up to second place.
Coming out of Round 4, the Supercross series looks very fluid. It’s different, obviously, without James Stewart and Chad Reed in contention for the title. Everyone hopes they will be back soon to compete again, but the points being what they are, Stewart’s and Reed’s rewards must come from winning individual races rather than a series title.
There’s a new breed in there now - Dungey and Villopoto, former Lites champions, and Stewart’s teammate Josh Hill - and others whose names appear in the standings below, newly empowered and hungry for a shot at the title in a series that’s become a whole new ball game.
|2010 AMA Supercross: San Francisco Results|
|450 Supercross Results||450 Series Point Standings|
|250 West Results||250 West Series Point Standings|