(February 7, 2011) By Ashley Little - Kawasaki USA – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen battled through the pain of a broken finger to capture his third win of the season and extended his points lead before a one-week break of the AMA Supercross Lites Western Region series. Broc Tickle narrowly missed the podium and finished fourth, while Tyla Rattray sat out after sustaining an injury while practicing during the week. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto grabbed his fourth podium finish of the season on his Kawasaki KX™450F with a solid second-place finish in the AMA Supercross class, putting him just five points behind first in the standings. Villopoto’s newest team member and interim rider Fabien Izoird qualified for the main event during his first race and finished 19th.
Hansen overcame a day full of ups and downs at the second event at Angel Stadium. He qualified with the fastest overall time, but a crash during practice left him with a broken pinky finger. He fought through the pain all night to win both his heat race and the 15-lap main event.
“All I could think about after I hurt my finger was that I wanted to race,” said Hansen. “The thought of not being able to race never crossed my mind. I knew that I would just have to work through the pain and be able to take a week off after the night was over. I’m going to rest for a week and then hopefully get back on the bike.”
With a win under his belt, Tickle came in to Anaheim looking for another consistent finish. He showed speed all day and at the checkered flag, he was only a half of a second off the podium.
“I really wanted to be back on the podium, but this will definitely motivate me over the next two weeks to work hard and be back on top,” said Tickle. “The track was a little tough to make passes and I felt like my speed was pretty good. I’ll be staying more focused than ever to go into the long break with a win.”
After a weekend off the podium, Villopoto proved he had the speed to be at the front of the pack. With a good start, he tried to make a move early, but a mistake cost him some time. Even with a small mistake at the start of the race, Villopoto finished 12 seconds in front of third.
“I know it wasn’t my best race, but there is still a lot of racing left in the season,” said Villopoto. “I just need to stay close and be there at the end.”
In his first race with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team, Izoird showed he is capable of being a main event contender. With racing in Europe different from America, he adjusted well for his first race on a new bike and in a new country.
“I had fun racing for the first time with the team,” said Izoird. “I learned a lot in my first race and I think I can improve next weekend. I will be riding a lot and getting more comfortable on the U.S. style tracks. I’m looking forward to the next race.”
Rattray has been a fighter for the past month, racing with an injured wrist and still breaking into the top-10. Unfortunately he suffered an injury to his back during press day that kept him from racing at Angel Stadium. He will have the week off to rest and his return to the race in San Diego is still undetermined.
“I have been having a lot of fun racing supercross, but I can’t seem to shake the injuries,” said Rattray. “I know it’s a part of racing and hopefully I’ll heal up quick and be back. I know that if I can’t race San Diego, I’ll be more eager than ever to come out and win in Seattle.”
The second stop at Angel Stadium went pink as the riders, stadium, track, and fans dressed in pink to raise awareness and money for breast cancer. The Monster Energy Kawasaki riders had pink inserted into their graphics and Villopoto wore special pink Thor gear.
As the series continues to roll on, the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Region riders will be taking the stage as the circuit moves east to Houston, Texas. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett will be lining up for the first time this year on their Kawasaki KX™250F motorcycles.
“I hope this weekend goes how my training has been going because I’ve been feeling great,” said Baggett. “The key will be staying up and being smart. There are a lot of good guys out there, but I’m confident that I can get holeshots and be there. The team has given me so much confidence that will help me at my first race.”
AMA Supercross Series
Angel Stadium – Anaheim, Calif.
February 5, 2011
AMA Supercross Class Results
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
2. RYAN VILLOPOTO, POUSLBO, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
3. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
4. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
7. IVAN TEDESCO, MURRIETA, CALIF., KAWASAKI
8. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
9. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki
10. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
AMA Supercross Lites Results, Western Region
1. JOSH HANSEN, ELBERT, COLO., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
3. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM
4. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
5. Kyle Cunningham, Aleda, Texas, Yamaha
6. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki
7. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
8. BRUCE RUTHERFORD, MURRIETA, CALIF., KAWASAKI
9. Ryan Marmont, Australia, KTM
10. James Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda
AMA Supercross Class Point Standings
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 117
2. RYAN VILLOPOTO, POUSLBO, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 112
3. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda, 90
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 87
5. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 79
6. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki, 67
7. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 64
8. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda, 59
9. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha, 57
10. IVAN TEDESCO, MURRIETA, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 48
AMA Supercross Lites Results, Western Region Point Standings
1. JOSH HANSEN, ELBERT, COLO., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 113
2. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 105
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 91
4. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 84
5. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda, 70
6. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM, 69
7. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki, 60
8. Kyle Cunningham, Aleda, Texas, Yamaha, 60
9. TYLA RATTRAY, WILDOMAR, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 58
10. James Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda, 51