CARLSBAD, Calif., (Jan. 15, 2007) – Though supercross enthusiasts are still scouring the record books to possibly state otherwise, it’s believed that the Monster Energy-backed Pro Circuit/Kawasaki AMA Lites class team of Christophe Pourcel, Ryan Villopoto and Chris Gosselaar made AMA Supercross history on Saturday at Phoenix, becoming the first team to sweep a 125/Lites class podium in an AMA-sanctioned supercross event.
One thing’s for sure, though, they did make history becoming the first team since the 125 class was changed to Lites class and the field was made up entirely of four stroke bikes to sweep a podium.
Said Pro Circuit boss Mitch Payton: “It’s the first time ever that our team’s swept a supercross podium.”
Pourcel got things going early for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki when he passed holeshot winner Martin Davalos on the first lap and put the hammer down, leading the 15-lap contest from start to finish. Villopoto, who got tied up in the first corner and started out in 10th place, put on a spirited and methodical charge to the front, but ran out of time in trying to catch leader Pourcel. Note: Villopoto’s fastest lap time (42.897) was 3/10ths of a second faster than Pourcel’s best lap time.
“I had the speed to win, but not enough laps to catch Christophe,” said Villopoto. “I’d like to congratulate him (Pourcel) on winning his first race here in the States, and also to Chris (Gosselaar) for making the podium as well. It was a great night for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team.”
For his part Gosselaar’s ride was equally as impressive as Villopoto’s. The Californian came all the way back from 13th place after the first lap to make the podium, finishing with a third-best lap time of 43.486 – which put him right in there with Pourcel and Villopoto.
“Mitch (Payton) was pretty happy with us,” said Gosselaar. “That was a pretty cool finish.”
As it stands Pourcel and Villopoto are tied for the overall AMA Western Region Lites class lead, each with 47 points. Gosselaar is tied for third overall with three other riders.
Next up for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is Round Three of the 2007 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series at Anaheim’s Angels Stadium (Jan. 20th).