HOUSTON, TX, FEB. 13 –
After a wild night of crashes, close racing and more crashes, Honda riders Trey Canard and Justin Barcia prevailed at round six of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, an FIM Championship, at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Canard, on the factory-backed Honda, also survived late-race attacks by defending Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey to score his first-ever win in the big-bore class, while Barcia outlasted Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett to take an exciting win in the Lites class, which was the first round of the East Series.The Supercross (450cc) main got off to a rocky start. In the 90-degree, left-hand, first turn, a number of riders ended up going down, including series points leader James Stewart, Chad Reed, Ivan Tedesco and Justin Brayton. Ryan Villopoto ran off the track and started well down the field as well.
Getting away cleanly with the holeshot was fan favorite Kevin Windham on the GEICO Powersports Honda, the veteran grabbing the holeshot and quickly opening up a solid lead. Known for his precise throttle control and fluid riding style, Windham masterfully guided his Honda around the slick track like he was on rails and was maintaining his lead over Canard. By the halfway point, Windham seemed to have control of the race until he made a rare mistake, losing his rhythm over a tricky table-table section and going over the bars. It was a hard fall and he was slow to get up and was unable to finish the race, complaining of sore ribs.
Canard inherited the lead, while Dungey, who started right behind Canard in fifth and had taken over second place, started to close in on the Oklahoman, which kept the 45,859 fans on their feet right to the very end. The two riders traded places a couple of times, but Canard held his ground. On the last lap, Dungey tried every trick in the book to get around Canard but came up short.”I don’t know what to say,” said Canard. “It was an awesome race. I just tried to hang in there, because it was a tricky track. I made a mistake and [Ryan] Dungey gained a lot of time on me and from there I was just riding defensive. We had a bit of a rough week this week, but this makes it all better.”Villopoto ran a strong race and worked his way up, joining Canard and Dungey on the podium.
Meanwhile, both Stewart, on the San Manuel Yamaha, and Reed, on the TwoTwo Motorsports Honda, were trying to make up ground on what many riders said was a difficult track to pass on. Stewart had worked his way up to 12th when he collided with another rider and went down again. This crash damaged his front brake and it was all he could do just to finish the race, which he did in 15th place.
Reed managed to get up to sixth place, not far behind fourth-place finisher Davi Millsaps, on the Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGR Yamaha, and Red Bull KTM’s Andrew Short, which were best finishes for both rider so far this season.Seventh place went to KTM Red Bull’s Ken Roczen, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Bret Metcalfe and Dodge Motorsport/Hart & Huntington Kawasaki’s Ivan Tedesco. Roczen’s teammate Mike Alessi cracked the top 10.Villopoto has moved back into the points lead, dropping Stewart back to second. Villopoto sits at the top with 132 points, nine points ahead of Stewart. Canard is third with 112 points.Barcia could barely contain his emotions after coming out on top of a fierce duel with Dean Wilson to win the Lites final. The win was just as exciting for the fans as Barcia and Wilson battled tooth and nail over the course of the 15-lapper.
After swapping the lead several times during the first three laps, Barcia took the point for good on lap four, however, Wilson was right on his rear fender for most of the race, showing Barcia a wheel when the opportunity arose. Barcia finally gained a bit of breathing room near the end of the race and crossed the finish with three seconds to spare over Wilson to take the initial lead in the series standings.
“I can’t explain the emotions I’m going through right now, I’m so excited to get this first race out of the way with a win,” said Barcia. “It was pretty intense out there, we bumped a couple of times, but I thought it was pretty clean racing.”
Wharton ran third for the first 12 laps of the race, not far behind the Barcia/Wilson battle, but came together with DNA/Shred Stix/Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes on lap 13 when both riders went for the same line. The two hit the deck, with Baggett taking advantage of the situation to move into third.”I was following Wharton and Wilson was slowing down and I felt like I needed to make a pass,” said Sipes. “I made a pass and Wharton came back around me, so I took his line in the next corner and he didn’t have room to go there. I can’t say it’s all his fault, but I took his line and he didn’t have anywhere to go.”Sipes rebounded to finish fourth, while Rockstar Energy Suzuki-mounted Ian Trettel finished fifth in his Pro Supercross debut.Wharton settled for sixth after what looked like a sure podium finish heading into the final third of the race.Meanwhile, Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Jason Anderson, also making his Pro debut, was a solid seventh ahead of Honda-mounted Lance Vincent, Moto Extreme Kawasaki’s Matt Lemoine and Honda rider Alex Martin.The East Lites series takes a one week break before heading to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome for round two of the series.
- Trey Canard (Hon); 2. Ryan Dungey (Suz); 3. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw); 4. Davi Millsaps (Yam); 5. Andrew Short (KTM); 6. Chad Reed (Hon); 7. Ken Roczen (KTM); 8. Brett Metcalfe (Suz); 9. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw); 10. Mike Alessi (KTM); 11. Tommy Hahn (Yam); 12. Nick Way (Yam); 13. Justin Brayton (Yam); 14. Weston Peick (Yam); 15. James Stewart (Yam); 16. Kyle Regal (Yam); 17. Vince Friese (Yam); 18. Chris Blose (Kaw); 19. Kevin Windham (Hon); 20. Jason Thomas (Suz).
1. Justin Barcia (Hon); 2. Dean Wilson (Kaw); 3. Blake Baggett (Kaw); 4. Ryan Sipes (Yam); 5. Ian Trettel (Suz); 6. Blake Wharton (Hon); 7. Jason Anderson (Suz); 8. Lance Vincent (Hon); 9. Matthew Lemoine (Kaw); 10. Alex Martin (Hon); 11. Chris Gosselaar (Suz); 12. Shawn Rife (Hon); 13. Gannon Audette (Yam); 14. Malcolm Stewart (Suz); 15. Nico Izzi (Hon); 16. A. Catanzaro (Hon); 17. Taylor Futrell (Hon); 18. P. J. Larsen (KTM); 19. Levi Kilbarger (Hon); 20. Darryn Durham (Hon).