It was a Kawasaki whitewash at the opening round of the AMA Supercross Championships in the United States on Sunday (NZ time).
Kawasaki riders led every lap of both main events and came away with the two wins as well, Washington Strate’s Ryan Villopoto taking top step of the podium in the open class and Californian Josh Hansen leading a Kawasaki 1-2-3 in the Western Regional Lites (250cc) class.
While Hansen won the night, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team swept the Lites podium with Brock Tickle and South African Tyla Rattray finishing behind Hansen.
It was Hansen’s first major outing on a Kawasaki KX250F in some time, having raced the larger 450cc Kawasaki in New Zealand and Australia during the recent Australasian SuperX series, which he won.
Another Kawasaki rider, Ivan Tedesco, snatched the holeshot in the open class final, holding on for three laps until Villopoto pounced.
The expected challenge to Villopoto from rivals Ryan Dungey (Suzuki), James Stewart (Yamaha) and Chad Reed (Honda) was blunted with each of them suffering bad starts, although they each fought their way through traffic to eventually finish second, third and fifth respectively.
Villopoto was not too concerned about defending champion Dungey and managed to finish 3.670 seconds ahead at the chequered flag.
Finishing fourth 4.1 seconds behind Stewart was Trey Canard (Honda), who ran as high as third before Stewart passed him on lap 12.
It’s perhaps no surprise that the Kawasaki team was so dominant at the weekend – New Zealand’s Ben Townley raced a Kawasaki to victory in the East Coast Lites Supercross Championships in 2007.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com