Pourcel Tops East/West Lites Shootout

Jean Turner | May 3, 2009

A ten-year curse has been broken. Pro Circuit Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel gave the Pro Circuit team its first win at the Las Vegas East/West Supercross Lites Shootout since the 90s, and was joined in the top-six by all three teammates, making for quite a respectable night for Mitch Payton’s supercross squad.

Las Vegas fans got to witness the race we were all hoping to see – a showdown between the East and West coast champions, Pourcel and Western Regional champion Ryan Dungey. The early lead in the main event went to former Eastern champion Trey Canard, who was looking to continue his momentum, coming off a win at the last round at Salt Lake City. Canard grabbed the holeshot and got out to a comfortable lead, but Pourcel sat firmly in second, not letting the GEICO Powersports Honda out of his sights. In typical Pourcel style, he patiently waited for the right opportunity to get around Canard, and that opportunity came when Canard lost his momentum in a 180-degree turn before a rhythm section. Pourcel capitalized on the mistake and blew past Canard.

Dungey got off to a mediocre start and had his work cut out for him, working his way past Canard’s teammate, Blake Wharton and Chris Blose of the Troy Lee Designs Honda team. Canard’s blunder in the rhythm section not only let Pourcel by, but it gave Dungey the opportunity to slip by, as well. Canard regrouped in time to hang on to third, where he finished. From there, the stage was set for the Lites championship showdown – also marking the first time Dungey and Pourcel have faced each other on the track.

In the last laps of the Lites race, Dungey gave chase and tried to put the pressure on Pourcel. But the Frenchman wouldn’t be denied. He held on to a slim lead to take the win – a lead which had shrunk to a split-second by the checkered flag. Dungey collected second, and in an admirable show of sportsmanship, the two promptly congratulated each other on a great race.

Behind Canard, who collected third, were Pourcel’s Pro Circuit teammates, Jake Weimer, Austin Stroupe and Ryan Morais, who finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. KTM’s Justin Brayton took seventh ahead of Troy Lee Designs Honda rider Jake Moss. Wil Hahn and Broc Tickle rounded out the top-ten in Las Vegas.

Dave Coombs Sr. East-West Shootout Results

1. Christophe Pourcel (Kaw)

2. Ryan Dungey (Suz)

3. Trey Canard (Hon)

4. Jake Weimer (Kaw)

5. Austin Stroupe (Kaw)

6. Ryan Morais (Kaw)

7. Justin Brayton (KTM)

8. Jake Moss (Hon)

9. Wil Hahn (KTM)

10. Broc Tickle (Yam)

11. Blake Wharton (Hon)

12. Daniel Blair (Hon)

13. Chris Blose (Hon)

14. PJ Larsen (Kaw)

15. Jimmy Albertson (Hon)

16. Ben Evans (Hon)

17. Sean Borkenhagen (Hon)

18. Vince Friese (Hon)

19. Matthew Lemoine (Yam)

20. Matthew Goerke (Suz)

Jean Turner | Contributor

A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.