JACKSONVILLE, FL, MAR. 27 - Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Christophe Pourcel got back to his winning ways in Jacksonville, Florida’s Municipal Stadium. The French rider hasn’t had the best of luck in the last few rounds, but he was able to turn it around and fatten up a shrinking-of-late points lead. Pourcel was fortunate enough to stay out of trouble both in his heat race and the main event and came away with his fourth win of the season.
It was another frustrating second place for Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Austin Stroupe. He started off the main event in front of Pourcel and was pressuring GEICO Powersports Honda’s Brett Metcalfe for the lead. Metcalfe Held the early lead after Kelly Smith (yes, that’s right, Kelly Smith) grabbed the holeshot in the Lites main event on a Honda of Troy CRF250R. Metcalfe ran up front under steady pressure from Stroupe, and while Stroupe was preparing to find his way into the lead, Pourcel overtook the Suzuki rider to secure second. Pourcel also made quick work of Metcalfe and got out front.
It wasn’t long before Stroupe was also around Metcalfe, and back into second. From there the lead riders spaced out, and Pourcel was nearly unheaded on his way to another win. But Stroupe got dangerously close when Pourcel tangled with a lapper and washed out in a turn. Fortunately he kept the bike running and re-mounted still in the lead, but Stroupe had closed the gap. The Frenchman kept his cool, however, and held on to the lead for the remaining few laps.
Justin Barcia had a rough night in Jacksonville, starting with his heat race where he was caught up in a first-turn crash and was off to a dead-last start. Barcia got aggressive and worked his way through the pack to salvage a fifth-place finish. In the main event, he was again off to a poor start, and worked his way forward from the middle of the pack. He was quickly into the top-five but was only able to ultimately get a fourth-place finish, right behind his teammate, Metcalfe, who rounded out the podium.
Kenny G Performance/DCS Financial’s Jim Decotis had a phenomenal ride to finish the night in fifth ahead of Troy Adams of BTO Sports Suzuki rider Troy Adams and Valli Motorsports Yamaha’s Kyle Cunningham. Matt Lemoine, Steven Clarke and Justin Sipes rounded out the top-ten.
Ryan Sipes (brother of Justin) had a very disappointing night, starting with a hard get-off in the first lap of his heat race. Sipes went on to the LCQ, but was buried in the start, and struggled to get into the top-five. He missed qualifying for the main by one position, and was only left to collect the $250 Medic Card. Consequently, Sipes was dropped from fourth to sixth in championship points in Jacksonville.