This Week in Monster Energy Supercross:
The Final Anaheim Race of 2013
Catch Live Coverage from Anaheim on SPEED Saturday Night
AURORA, Ill. (February 1, 2013) – Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, will make its third and final visit to Anaheim on Saturday night for the fifth race of the 2013 season and the 60th race ever inside Angel Stadium. Last week in Oakland, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto became the first repeat winner this season as the reigning back-to-back 450SX Class Champion once again dominated to claim the 26th victory of his 450SX Class career. Despite his recent string of success, Villopoto will still be chasing Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps, who sits atop the championship standings and will lead the field into action in search of his second win of the season. Live broadcast coverage from Anaheim will begin tomorrow night at 10:30 p.m. ET exclusively on SPEED. Additionally, Supercross LIVE!® will stream three hours of practice and qualifying from Angel Stadium tomorrow afternoon at www.SupercrossOnline.com, beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
After starting off the season in Anaheim with a 16th-place finish, Villopoto has posted finishes of second, first, and first over the last three weeks, making him the hottest rider in the championship. However, despite his success Villopoto still sits eight points out of the points lead and will look to extend his winning streak to three-in-a-row tomorrow night.
“I always like racing at Angel Stadium,” said Villopoto. “We’ve made some adjustments to my KX450F and things are starting to turn around for us. I just need to keep working hard and finishing as best I can so I can retake the points lead.”
After missing action in Oakland with an illness, fellow Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jake Weimer will be back in action at Anaheim. Weimer was off to the best start of his 450SX Class career up until last weekend, and although he wasn’t able to line up on the starting gate, he still sits seventh in the championship and hopes to continue his recent string of strong results.
“It was a difficult decision for the team and myself to make last week,” said Weimer. “I want to be out there racing, but in the big picture I think it is the right thing. I’m going to do my best to get out there at Anaheim and I hope I can get another top-five finish.”
After missing the podium for the first time this season at the previous Anaheim stop, Millsaps was back on the box in Oakland, posting a very strong runner-up effort behind Villopoto. With finishes of 1-3-4-2 to start the year, Millsaps has been the most consistent rider thus far and as a result, has maintained control of the championship since his victory at the season opener in Anaheim. With a win under his belt inside Angel Stadium already, Millsaps can solidify his possession of the red number plate with another victorious effort.
"It was a good ending to a day that started off not that great, and I'm pretty excited about it,” said Millsaps. “[It was a] pretty cool ride. First practice and second practice were not that great. Third practice was better, but I was still uncomfortable and not feeling it. Even in the Heat Race I was struggling. To come out on the podium definitely got my confidence back up. Next week is next week. [I’m] going to take this one step at a time."
Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard hasn’t been far off of the pace set by Millsaps to start the season. Canard has been a fixture at the front of the field since the first race and his consistency had placed him second in the championship, just seven points behind Millsaps. While Villopoto is making a hard charge forward, Canard is on the verge of breaking through for a victory, which he hopes will come tomorrow night.
“It was a tough night, but a good night at the same time,” stated Canard. “I went down in the big crash in Turn 2 and my bike got stuck on someone else’s, then I made a mistake about halfway through the race and went down again. I’m happy to have salvaged a fourth-place finish and am looking forward to Anaheim.”
For the second week in a row, Canard’s rookie teammate Justin Barcia got a taste of the harsh side of the sport. One week after suffering lacerations to his face when he cased a triple jump, Barcia was involved in a multi-rider incident on the opening lap of the Main Event in Oakland. A hard spill left Barcia unable to continue, resulting in his second consecutive DNF. Barcia has fallen from second to ninth in the championship over that span, but will be back a ready to do battle on Saturday night in search of his second win of the season.
“I’m feeling pretty banged up and sore and mad that this happened another weekend but overall I am okay,” said Barcia.
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey was another rider on a streak of bad luck heading into Oakland, but he was able to break his recent string of misfortune with a strong podium finish of third. Dungey wasn’t completely spared from the opening-lap incident, but put forth an impressive ride through the field to match his best finish of the season, which moved him into fourth in the points.
Dungey’s fortune was TwoTwo Motorsports Honda rider Chad Reed’s hardship. After an extremely consistent start to the season and his first podium finish of the year at the second race in Anaheim, Reed looked primed to challenge for the win in Oakland. However, he was one of the key players involved in the incident that collected many of the championship’s top contenders and was forced to settle for a season-worst 12th-place finish in its aftermath. Reed has been vocal about his desire to win and he will surely give it his all in an effort to bounce back tomorrow night.
One week after news broke that his L&Mc Racing team would cease operations for the 2013 season, Andrew Short was back in action at Oakland with his own Team Twenty9 effort. While the direction of Short’s immediate future remains unclear, he performed well in his maiden voyage as a self-funded privateer, finishing sixth and moving into sixth in the championship. He’ll be back in Anaheim aboard his own ride once again, looking for more consistent results.
After a slow start to his 2013 season, Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX’s Justin Brayton broke into the top 10 in the 450SX Class standings last weekend. Brayton was able to work his way through the chaos of the opening lap to post a 10th-place finish and build his confidence coming into the return to Anaheim. BTO Sports KTM’s Matt Goerke became a surprise presence inside the top 10 in the championship after posting a season-best seventh-place finish in Oakland.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart was another rider who was involved in the opening lap crash. As a result of the incident, Stewart was forced to record a DNF and as a result, dropped outside the top 10 in points.
“I got a bad start in the Main in Oakland, but made some great passes in the first turn and whoop section,” said Stewart. “Then in that second corner, a rider got out of control and cut another guy off and they pile-drove me pretty good and I hurt my knee again. Eventually, I got up and went to jump the triple and landed, and my throttle was stuck. It was one of those races. I have to give it up to the Yoshimura Suzuki team though and all the fans for their support. I’m disappointed, but right now it’s all about just being here. The real reason I’m still here racing is because I love doing it. Whether I’m winning or finishing 16th every week, I’ll still be here because I love racing. I’m looking forward to racing Anaheim again this weekend.”
Through the first three weeks of competition in the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac posted a perfect 3-0 record to start the season and open his title defense in dominant fashion. However, last Saturday in Oakland, Tomac experienced misfortune en route to a DNF and now must battle his way through the standings in order to reclaim the top spot. Tomac experienced multiple falls last weekend and fell to third in the championship as a result of it. However, he is 2-0 inside Angel Stadium this season and would like nothing more than the chance to bounce back with a victory.
"It was a frustrating night, for sure," Tomac said. "I didn't get the kind of start that I wanted and wound up getting in a big pile-up. I was able to get back up from that, but a little while later I lost it in the whoops. The competition in this class is so close that you can’t afford to have bad nights like this. I need to go back and focus on my starts for next week."
While his teammate suffered from his worst race of the season, Zach Osborne carried the flag for GEICO Honda in Oakland with a 10th-place finish. Osborne has shown the potential to challenge for the podium and along with Tomac, will be motivated to put forth a strong performance Saturday night.
"Tonight was a little bit of a bummer, but we're getting there," Osborne said. "Everyone on the GEICO Honda team is working hard toward the same goal. The track tonight was softer and more technical, but I'm feeling a lot better on the bike.
Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen proved to be the benefactor of Tomac’s misfortune after an impressive come-from-behind victory that ultimately put him in the points lead. Roczen has a trio of runner-up efforts to go along with his win and carries an 11-point lead into Anaheim. The German rider knows what it takes to win, but with a comfortable points lead he surely look to maintain his consistency.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely led for most of the Main Event in Oakland, but was ultimately unable to hold off Roczen’s challenge. Nevertheless, his runner-up effort was his best finish of the season and it moved him to second in the Western Regional 250SX Class standings. Seely has past success inside Angel Stadium and hopes it will continue tomorrow night.
“The track was really slippery and the traction was on and off all day,” said Seely. “I just got really tight towards the end of the race, but I am getting more and more comfortable in the lead so hopefully I can grab a win in Anaheim or San Diego.”
Fellow Troy Lee Designs Honda rider Christian Craig currently sits eighth in the championship, and will look move up the standings with a strong performance in Anaheim.
Despite missing a Main Event earlier this season, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson is still a major contender in the championship. The Suzuki rider captured a podium result last weekend by finishing third, which vaulted him into fifth in the points. He’ll look to keep the momentum going as he sits only six points out of fourth.
"This weekend was good,” said Anderson. “I came into the race a little sick and was just trying to salvage the day, but it ended up being my best weekend so far. I'm happy with that, so just ready to build on that heading into next weekend."
Metal Mulisha/Star Racing Yamaha’s Kyle Cunningham has quietly amassed a consistent start to the 2013 season. The veteran rider posted his best finish of the season in Oakland by finished seventh, and currently occupies sixth in the standings.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos has had his fair share of misfortune this season, but in Oakland he challenged for a podium result. Davalos knows he has the speed to potentially win his first career Main Event, and he’ll look to break through in Anaheim.
“I think the track is going to be a lot better this week,” said Davalos. “Last time we were here the track was dusty and slippery, but I think the weather the last two weeks will help out and the track should be in great condition. We got some rain and that moisture will help give us a great track.”
Teammate Tyla Rattray has experienced mixed results thus far in 2013, but he will also look to turn things around tomorrow night.
“I’m going to work on my starts and aggressiveness this weekend,” said Rattray. “I know I can be a podium guy out there and I’m not showing it on Saturday nights. With only two more races before we take a break, I need to start getting the results I know I am capable of.”
Supercross LIVE!® is back in 2013 with a three-hour mid-raceday program from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. local time. Hosts, Jim Holley, a former World Supercross Champion, and Kevin Barnett, a former member of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team and professional broadcaster, will provide in-depth analysis of the afternoon’s practice and qualifying sessions as the riders and teams prepare for the night racing, in addition to interviews and behind-the-scenes coverage. As the only place to follow live practice and qualifying coverage from Monster Energy Supercross, Supercross LIVE! provides fans with an inside perspective before the gate drops on the night’s qualifying and Main Events. Additionally, there will be video snippets made available throughout the race day that can be viewed on www.SupercrossOnline.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross, or the YouTube Channel www.YouTube.com/SupercrossLive. To access the live streaming broadcasts, go to www.SupercrossOnline.com/SupercrossLive or subscribe to the Supercross LIVE! streaming channel at http://new.LiveStream.com/Supercrosslive.
For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to www.SupercrossOnline.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross. For all media requests, please contact Denny Hartwig firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-566-6305. To follow Monster Energy Supercross on Facebook and Twitter, log on to http://www.facebook.com/supercrosslive and http://twitter.com/supercrosslive.
About Feld Motor Sports®
Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports entertainment. Feld Motor Sports productions include Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross and Nuclear Cowboyz®. Feld Motor Sports is a division of Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment. For more information on Feld Entertainment, visit www.feldentertainment.com.