The United States supercross season kicks off its 2010 season this Saturday night, January 9, at Anaheim’s Angel Stadium, in California.
Defending AMA Supercross class champion James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., will stage his title defence against the world’s top supercross racers, including Australian Chad Reed, Ryan Villopoto, Josh Grant and Ryan Dungey.
Reed (pictured above), now on a Kawasaki after previously racing the series on a Yamaha and then a Suzuki, is in top form after having won the Monster Energy Australasian Supercross Championships in Australia and New Zealand at the end of last year.
Stewart, on a supercross-only contract with Yamaha, remains the title favourite, however.
Last year at the Anaheim opener, Yamaha rookie Josh Grant, of Riverside, California, won the first AMA Supercross class race of his career before 42,309 fans.
Yamaha’s Stewart picked up the AMA Supercross class holeshot as Grant and Suzuki’s Reed followed in third. Reed, the defending Monster Energy Supercross champion that season, quickly moved into second place and began his chase on Stewart.
On lap two, Reed passed Stewart, the 2007 AMA Supercross class champion. Stewart answered back on lap six as he regained the lead, but just a few turns later Reed and Stewart collided, causing each of them to crash. Upon re-entering the race, Stewart was hit by Honda’s Kevin Windham. Stewart was unable to restart his bike and return to the race, while Reed re-entered the race in third place.
Grant took over the lead and rode to a flawless win. Honda’s Andrew Short finished second and Reed held on for third. This dramatic start to the season set the stage for one of the greatest seasons in supercross history.
“I don’t know what to say right now,” said Grant. “To get my first win out of the way is huge, and I am so pumped. I saw those guys (Stewart and Reed) on the ground and just raced hard to the win.”
Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, of Rupert, Idaho, won the opening race of the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship.
Honda’s Dan Reardon, of Australia, opened the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class main event with the holeshot, leading Weimer and KTM’s Justin Brayton, of Murrieta, Calif., through turn one.
Defending class champion Jason Lawrence was involved in a massive pile-up that collected several riders, including defending Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class champion Trey Canard, of Shawnee, Okla.
Weimer moved around Reardon on lap two and began to extend his lead.
While riding in second and third place, respectively, Reardon and Brayton crashed into one another, losing several valuable positions. This allowed Kawasaki’s Ryan Morais, of Murrieta, Calif., to move into second.
Suzuki’s Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., started the night’s race in 10th place and finished third. Morais finished second and Weimer scored the second AMA Supercross Lites class win of his career to take the early points lead.
The first AMA Supercross race was held at Anaheim on December 4, 1976, with Marty Smith winning on a Honda.
Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath share the all-time AMA Supercross class win record at Angel Stadium with eight wins each. In the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class, three riders have swept all three races at Angel Stadium: Villopoto, Ivan Tedesco and Ernesto Fonseca. Stewart, Windham and McGrath are the only riders in history to win in the AMA Supercross Lites class and AMA Supercross class at Anaheim.
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
2010 AMA Supercross Event Schedule
|01/30/2010||AT&T PARK||SAN FRANCISCO||CA|
|02/06/2010||QUALCOMM STADIUM||SAN DIEGO||CA|
|02/20/2010||LUCAS OIL STADIUM||INDIANAPOLIS||IN|
|03/27/2010||JACKSONVILLE MUNICIPAL STADIUM||JACKSONVILLE||FL|
|04/17/2010||EDWARD JONES DOME||ST LOUIS||MO|
|05/01/2010||RICE ECCLES STADIUM||SALT LAKE CITY||UT|
|05/08/2010||SAM BOYD STADIUM||LAS VEGAS||NV|