Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed finally got the start he’s been looking for and he made it pay off in his first win of the 2009 season.
In front of over 61,000 fans, Reed got his chance to go head-to-head with San Manual Yamaha’s James Stewart at the first Monster Energy AMA Supercross to be held in the new Lucas Oil Stadium, in Indianapolis, Indiana. And while it was Stewart who turned the fastest lap time of the evening, in the end, it was Reed who best handled one of the toughest tracks of the year.
Reed opened the main event with one of his most impressive starts of the year, leading teammate Mike Alessi and Stewart through the opening lap. Alessi battled with Stewart during the first few turns, allowing Reed to gap the two by a few bike-lengths.
On lap two, Stewart got by Alessi and took off after Reed, but slid out before the end of the lap, handing second to GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham, who was enjoying the fruits of one of his best starts of 2009.
On lap five, Stewart passed Windham to move into second. On lap 13, Stewart caught and passed Reed, however, Reed kept the pressure on Stewart for the next three laps and was within a bike-length when Stewart went down a second time. This time, Reed gained enough ground that he was able to hold the advantage to the finish, taking the victory by just over two seconds from Stewart.
Meanwhile, Alessi held on for third, his first-ever 450-class podium finish.
Reed’s win moves him back into a tie with Stewart for the lead in the series standings.
“I knew that if I had a good start I could give myself a chance,” said Reed. “James has been riding awesome, but tonight he made a mistake and I snuck around to get the win. This crowd was awesome and made me feel like I was in front of my hometown crowd back in Australia because they were so loud and supportive.”
JGR/Yamaha’s Josh Grant moved up from a poor start to finish fourth, just ahead of Red Bull Honda’s Ivan Tedesco, who claimed his best finish of the year with a fifth.
After running in third for most of the evening, Windham suffered a disappointing turn of fate when he broke a chain with five laps to go.
After a pile-up in the first turn forced a re-start in the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class main event, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel grabbed the holeshot and led teammate Austin Stroupe for two laps before Stroupe took the lead and pulled away to his first win of the year.
Star Yamaha’s Matt Lemoine spent the early stages of the race in third place but was passed by Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi on lap nine.
At the finish, it was Stroupe with the win, followed by Pourcel and Izzi.
“It was a great day for me,” said Stroupe. “The first turn was pretty rough for us, but I was glad to get through there clean. This is a huge crowd and this is an awesome new venue.”
AMA Supercross Class Results
1. Chad Reed (Suz)
2. James Stewart (Yam)
3. Mike Alessi (Suz)
4. Josh Grant (Yam)
5. Ivan Tedesco (Hon)
6. Ben Coisy (Hon)
7. Davi Millsaps (Hon)
8. Michael Byrne (Suz)
9. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
10. Timmy Ferry (Kaw)
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results
1. Austin Stroupe (Kaw)
2. Christophe Pourcel (Kaw)
3. Nico Izzi (Suz)
4. Branden Jesseman (Kaw)
5. Steven Clarke (Suz)
6. Levi Kilbarger (Hon)
7. Daniel Blair (Hon)
8. Matt Lemoine (Yam)
9. Shane Sewell (Yam)
10. Kyle Keylon (Hon)