Saturday, 9 April 2011

St. Louis Supercross 450 class race report

After so many weeks of non-stop excitement and drama in the AMA Supercross class, it was almost too predictable that this weekends race in St. Louis would be somewhat  tame in comparison to what we have seen recently. However, many, myself included, chose to believe that the series would continue to shock us at every turn. Unfortunately, from my perspective, the main event didn't quite live up to its billing.

A battered Ivan Tedesco grabbed the holeshot on his H&H/Dodge Motorsports Kawasaki with Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey and San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart hot on his heels. TwoTwo Motorsport's own Chad Reed followed in fourth, with the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider, and current series points leader, Ryan Villopoto rounding out the top 5. Winner of last weeks race in Dallas, Honda Racing's Trey Canard, got a poor start and rounded the first lap in 15th.

Stewart quickly moved past Dungey and then Tedesco and set out to end his career-high 8 race winless streak. Dungey was quick to also get by Tedesco and looked to keep Stewart in his sights in an effort to win just his 2nd race of the season. Chad Reed was the next to get around Tedesco and he brought points leader Villopoto with him. Reed looked to be getting ready to make a run at Dungey for 2nd, when he hit some tough blocks laying on the track. This mistake allowed Villopoto to get by for 3rd spot as Reed was pushed back to 4th.

Meanwhile, Canard was working quickly through the pack after his disastrous start in an effort to keep his championship hopes alive. Canard's impressive ride through the pack provided the majority of the excitement among the championship contenders, and he was able to salvage a very respectable 5th place finish at the end. In fact, Canard at one point was able to get within 2 seconds of 4th place Reed, but the veteran was able to regroup and hold the rookie off.

In the end, Stewart was able to hold on and lead 19 of 20 laps in winning his 4th race of the 2011 season and closing the gap to the championship points lead to 16 points with 3 rounds left to run. Defending series champ, Ryan Dungey came home in 2nd and passed Reed for 2nd in the standings. He is just 5 points back of the lead. Ryan Villopoto finished 3rd, finishing on the podium for the 2nd week in a row after missing it for 2 consecutive weeks in both Jacksonville and Toronto. Villopoto had a scary moment in the second qualifying practice as he crashed in the whoops and got up slowly, but he was able to shake it off and get the job done when it counted.

The next stop on the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM world championship calendar is in Seattle, Washington. Seattle is an open-roof stadium in an area of the country that gets a fair amount of rain this time of year. Mud could play a huge role in the championship moving forward, and perhaps we're on the brink of heading back to some more of that non-stop excitement and drama that the series has made famous in 2011.

Supercross Heat 1
1. James Stewart
2. Ryan Villopoto
3. Ivan Tedesco
4. Kevin Windham
5. Chad Reed
6. Tommy Hahn
7. Weston Peick
8. Michael Byrne
9. Fabien Izoird

Supercross Heat 2
1. Ryan Dungey
2. Trey Canard
3. Davi Millsaps
4. Austin Stroupe
5. Andrew Short
6. Mike Alessi
7. Kyle Regal
8. Chris Blose
9. Tye Simmonds

Supercross LCQ

1. Nick Wey
2. Bobby Kiniry

Supercross Main
1. James Stewart
2. Ryan Dungey
3. Ryan Villopoto
4. Chad Reed
5. Trey Canard
6. Kevin Windham
7. Davi Millsaps
8. Ivan Tedesco
9. Austin Stroupe
10. Andrew Short
11. Tommy Hahn
12. Chris Blose
13. Nick Wey
14. Kyle Regal
15. Michael Byrne
16. Bobby Kiniry
17. Mike Alessi
18. Tye Simmonds
19. Fabien Izoird
20. Weston Peick

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