It took 12 rounds in the 2011 season before defending champion Ryan Dungey took his long awaited first win of the campaign. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider took over the lead before the end of the first lap after passing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Fabien Izoird who claimed the holeshot. Dungey would go on to lead every lap for the win.
“We had a great day today,” says Dungey. “My Rockstar Makita Suzuki team did a great job setting my bike up for this track and I felt really comfortable all day. I knew going into the Main that a holeshot was gonna be key. I got a good start and ended up second and was able to work my RM-Z into the lead in the first lap. From there, I tried to put down the laps as best as I could - I tried to focus on my own race and not behind me. It was cool to be able to come around and get this first win.”
The only rider who presented a challenge to Dungey was Chad Reed of TwoTwo Motorsports. Reed finished under two second behind Dungey on his Honda CRF450R. Though he didn’t get the win, Reed was able to take the championship points lead from Ryan Villopoto.
Reed, who is racing on his own privateer team after not landing a factory ride, seems especially motivated after a disappointing off-season.
“The industry decided not to give me a chance this season,” says Reed. “I want to win this championship so bad. It would be a bittersweet speech for sure.”
The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider was caught in a couple of incidents involving San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart. The first incident came on the first corner when several riders including Villopoto were stuck in a jam after Stewart crashed. The crash marked the second main event in a row Stewart had crashed at the start of the race. Unlike last week’s round in Jacksonville, Fla., Stewart was able to continue racing, and he and Villopoto began to move their way up the field again.
Villopoto and Stewart, who were one-two in the championship standings through the first half of the season, clashed again after the whoops section on the third lap, with both riders going down. Stewart was again able to continue but Villopoto was forced to pull into the mechanics area for repairs to his Kawasaki KX450F. Villopoto was able to get back into the race and fought for a ninth-place finish.
Stewart was also able to make up ground but was unable to catch American Honda’s Trey Canard for the final podium position and had to settle for fourth place.
“I’m just making way too many mistakes,” says Stewart. “I’m making it hard on myself, but in the end I wanted to be smart and take what I could get this week, so I didn’t push too hard to chase the guys up front. There are still five rounds left, and that’s a lot of racing.”
Thanks to his second-place finish and Villopoto’s misfortune, Reed leaves Canada with the championship lead with 236 points. Villopoto was able to salvage enough points to stay close in second with 233 points. Dungey sits third at 228 points followed by Stewart at 216 and Canard at 214.
With just 22 points separating first from fifth, the 2011 AMA Supercross Championship moves on to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.