The form book was thrown out the window in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday night.
Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto may well lead the AMA Supercross Championships but previous form counts for nothing when the qualification races are run at each event.
Saturday night’s round 11 event at Jacksonville’s EverBank Field saw Villipoto dismissed in the qualifying stage of the night — after crashing out of the LCQ — and American Honda’s Trey Canard register his second career victory, while Honda’s Justin Barcia locked in his second Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class victory of the season.
Opening the 20-lap main event, KTM Red Bull Racing’s Mike Alessi squeezed through the pack to claim the holeshot, which was the first of his season. As the riders rounded the first turn, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart collided with another rider and was unable to finish the race.
As the riders separated through the first few turns, Canard led with Alessi and Australian Chad Reed close behind. Late on lap one, Reed passed Alessi for second place. Through lap two, Canard lengthened his lead with Reed and defending champion Ryan Dungey in pursuit.
The remaining 18 laps Reed narrowed in on Canard’s lead, and eventually made a pass on lap 18. Canard quickly answered back and moved into the lead. The win marked Canard’s second of the season. Reed (Honda) finished second and Suzuki’s Dungey finished third.
“I really needed this win,” said Canard. “I can’t tell you enough how much this means to me. I got nervous at one point and looked at the board and realized how close it really was. I put on a fight and it really paid off tonight.
“The track was tough and slick in some sections,” said Reed. “I played it smart out there, and like I say, anything can happen at any given time. We’ve come a long way and it isn’t over yet.”
As the gate dropped for the fifth race of the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class championship, Barcia grabbed the holeshot, with his team-mate Blake Wharton and Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson in tow.
Barcia distanced himself from the pack and went on to lead all 15 laps to lock in his second victory of the season.
As Barcia removed himself from the pack, a battle behind him between Wharton, Wilson, and Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes chased.
Through lap one, Wilson gained considerable ground on Wharton and made a solid pass to take over the second-place spot. Sipes trailed Wharton and made a pass to bump Wharton out of the third place spot. Wilson finished second and Sipes finished third.
“I had a really tough day out there today and really had to push it, said Barcia. “The whoops were gnarly. I plan on going home and building some big whoops at home to get more practice on them. I’m just pumped to win tonight.
“I wanted to win tonight, but I am happy to take second,” said Wilson. “I got some work cut out for me this upcoming week.”
Supercross class results: Jacksonville
1. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
4. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
6. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
7. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM
8. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Yamaha
9. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha
10. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Kawasaki
Supercross class season standings:
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 221
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda – 214
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 203
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 198
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 194
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 145
7. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 121
8. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 121
9. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 118
10. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki – 107
Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class results: Jacksonville
1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
2. Dean Wilson, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
3. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Ky., Yamaha
4. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Kawasaki
5. P.J. Larsen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
6. Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda
7. Les Smith, York, S.C., Honda
8. Taylor Futrell, Clinton, N.C., York, S.C., Honda
9. Hunter Hewitt, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki
10. Justin Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Kawasaki
Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class season standings:
1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda – 116
2. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Ky., Yamaha – 99
3. Dean Wilson, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki – 97
4. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki – 85
5. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Kawasaki – 69
6. Blake Wharton, Aubrey, Texas, Honda – 69
7. P.J. Larsen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM – 62
8. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki – 53
9. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki – 44
10. Lance Vincent, Youngsville, La., Honda – 43
The 12th race of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship resumes next Saturday, March 26, from Toronto’s Rogers Centre.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com