It wasn’t a surprise, but it wasn’t a runaway victory either. James Stewart rode to his fourth AMA Supercross win at Angel Stadium, the first rider to ever sweep all three Anaheim rounds, but Chad Reed kept Stewart honest throughout the main event, even stealing the lead from him at one point. Reed went on to finish second aboard his L&M San Manuel Yamaha ahead of Stewart’s fellow Factory Kawasaki rider, Tim Ferry.
In the Lites class, Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s phenom, Ryan Villopoto, ran away with yet another win, also sweeping all three Anaheim rounds. Josh Grant of the SoBe/No Fear/Samsung/Honda team finished second followed by Boost Mobile/Yamaha’s Jason Lawrence.
The track at Anaheim III wasn’t overly-technical, but the red flags were out, the first coming out in the first Supercross heat. On lap two of the heat, the race was stopped on account of Kyle Mace going down hard at the end of the whoops. The re-start was a near carbon copy of the first, with Tedesco and Reed out front early, but Reed taking control of the lead by the end of the first lap and taking the win.
MDK Honda’s Nick Wey grabbed the holeshot in the Supercross main event by a fraction of a bikelength as he headed into the first turn side-by-side-by-side with Stewart and Reed. It only took Stewart two turns to secure the lead and begin to pull away, but this time, Reed gave Stewart a solid battle.
On lap five, much to the delight of the crowd, Reed caught and passed Stewart. The two raced side-by-side through the rhythm section, with Reed grabbing the lead at one point. Stewart didn’t take long to regain the lead, as he got on the inside of Reed and ran him wide in a turn, causing the Yamaha rider to bobble. The crowd obviously didn’t approve of the move by Stewart, and was met on the podium by a chorus of boos.
Factory Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry rode to a solid third place finish, earning his first podium finish this season. Wey finished fourth ahead of Rockstar Suzuki’s Michael Byrne. Reed’s L&M teammate Nathan Ramsey finished sixth, his best finish in memory, followed by Kevin Windham, Heath Voss, Paul Carpenter and Ivan Tedesco.
The Lites main event saw the second red flag of the evening, much to the disappointment of Jason Lawrence and Red Bull KTM’s Josh Hansen, who were out front early. SoBe/No Fear/Samsung Honda’s Jake Weimer went down hard in the first turn and stayed down. It looked as though his night was over, but after taking a minute to regroup, Weimer headed back to the line to restart the race.
On the restart, it was Villopoto and Grant fighting for the holeshot, but it only took Villo two turns to gain control of the lead. By the end of the first lap, he began to open the gap on Grant and the rest of the field, running lap-times within a fraction of a second of Stewart’s.
Hansen and Lawrence didn’t fare as well on the restart and ended up mid-pack, but the two made quick work of the field as they worked their way into the top five, with Yamaha’s Josh Hill on their heels. Red Bull KTM’s Martin Davalos had been running third until halfway through the main when Hansen, Lawrence and Hill. Lawrence eventually climbed into the last podium position, finishing fourth behind Grant, who held on for a solid second place. Hill and Hansen rounded out the top five followed by Weimer, Chris Gosselaar, Kyle Partridge, Kyle Cunningham and Matt Lemoine.