With three Supercross Class winners through the first three races of the season, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, is shaping up to be another epic season. TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Honda’s Chad Reed became the newest face to stand atop the podium this season, and just the second in Dodger Stadium history, after a dominant effort last Saturday night. By virtue of a runner-up effort, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey remains the championship’s point leader, and will wear the red number plate for the second straight week as the schedule heads to California’s Bay Area, with a stop at Oakland’s O.co Coliseum on Saturday night.
A red flag marred the start of the Supercross Class Main Event, after a hard crash involving Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard, Star/Valli Rockstar Yamaha’s Ryan Morais, and R2MX Kawasaki’s Weston Peick, on the opening lap. Peick was able to walk away under his own power, but both Canard and Morais received medical attention.
Canard suffered fractures to his back (Injury Update), according to an official statement from American Honda, and although he has feelings in his extremities, further evaluation will determine if surgery is necessary.
Star Valli Yamaha rider Ryan Morais was involved in a crash (Injury Update) during the first lap of the main event at the Los Angeles stop on Saturday night. The Rockstar Energy rider was transported to a local hospital and is being treated for a broken jaw, several fractured vertebrae and some broken ribs. There is no sign of spinal cord damage at this time and Morais is continuing to be evaluated. A full recovery is anticipated.
Once the Supercross Class Main Event restarted, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot. Reed, who quickly moved into second, made short work of Weimer out front, moving into the lead on Lap 6.
A short time later, Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX’s James Stewart made a pass on Weimer for second, making contact with the Kawasaki rider who subsequently fell to the ground, losing considerable positions. On Lap 12, Stewart encountered his own misfortune, losing his balance and dropping his bike, which allowed Dungey to assume the runner-up position.
Reed checked out on the field for his 41st Supercross Class victory, while Dungey maintained control of the points lead in second. Stewart held on for his first podium of the season in third, fighting off a late charge from Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who fought his way from an opening-lap mishap that left him at the tail end of the field, to finish fourth. Villopoto shared the points lead with Dungey heading into the race.
Dungey’s advantage in the Supercross Class standings over Reed and Villopoto, who currently sit in a tie for second, is four points. Dungey, the 2009 Monster Energy Supercross champion, is the only rider in the Supercross Class to finish on the podium through the first three races.
The Western Regional Supercross Lites Class championship received a shakeup on Saturday night as well, with GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac becoming the third different winner in as many races. Tomac, who has set the fastest lap in each of he three Supercross Lites Class main events this season, grabbed his first strong start of 2012, and made quick work of Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot winner Martin Davalos, who rides for Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki.
Once out front, Tomac pulled away from the field while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson, winner the week prior in Phoenix, fought his way to a runner-up finish. Monster Energy/BikeIt/Cosworth Yamaha’s Zach Osborne claimed his first-career podium effort in third.
Tomac’s win helped vault him from fifth to first in the championship standings, holding a one-point lead over Wilson. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray, the points leader coming into Dodger Stadium, sits an additional two points back in third. Tomac will be the third different rider to carry the red number plate this season.
Last year at Monster Energy Supercross’ return to Oakland, Stewart grabbed his second win of the 2011 season inside O.co Coliseum, with Reed and Dungey rounding out the podium. In the Supercross Lites Class, eventual Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Champion Broc Tickle secured his only win en route to the title.
The first race was held in Oakland on January 18, 1979, and Jimmy Weinert won on a Kawasaki. Last year was the first inaugural Supercross Lites class race at O.co Coliseum.
CBS will broadcast the Supercross Class race at 12:00pm EST on Sunday January 29, 2012.