Houston SX Notes

February 9, 2007 8:51am

AURORA, Ill. (February 9, 2007) – The big question heading into this weekend’s Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross race this Saturday at Houston’s Reliant Stadium is: Can Chad Reed build off of the momentum he gained last weekend in Anaheim where he caught and passed points leader James Stewart? A few turns later Stewart made a pass on Reed and rode off to his fourth win of the season.

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Stewart pushed the entire 20-laps last weekend at Angel Stadium. "I was a bit rusty this weekend, and I didn't feel as strong as I have," said Stewart. "I had a pretty good crash at the test track this week and I missed a good two days of riding." This week, the reigning world champ will put in some hard laps at the test track and will spend some time playing his new favorite sport, golf.  

If it is the golf that has allowed Stewart to enjoy so much success this season, Kawasaki needs to get him a caddy. He has led 89 laps, has four main event wins and can move into the top 10 on the all-time AMA Supercross win list with 16. He’s also beginning his book of records, including the first-ever three-race sweep in Anaheim. Not since Jeremy McGrath (1994-’96) has anyone won Houston in three consecutive years. Stewart may join the king this weekend.

Chad Reed’s performance last weekend in Anaheim was a huge step forward in working his way into the number-one position.

“I'm very happy with the way Chad rode this weekend,” said Reed’s Team Manager Larry Brooks. “Chad matched James’ speed and that is a huge step. He is still feeling the shoulder thing a little bit, but won't talk about it. He is being very strong about that and not discussing it with anyone. We have to remember he had a broken collar bone and shoulder blade just five weeks ago and now he is running head to head with what people call the fastest rider in the world. I think people are going to start saying this about Chad Reed pretty soon.”

Brooks wasn’t so cheery and upbeat about the pass Stewart put on Reed during lap six.

“I saw the race on SPEED yesterday and it was just a cheap shot!”

There are always two sides to ever story.

“I felt like it was good racing, just like we had in Toronto,” said Stewart. “And, you know, he got me first. He came in and just squared up. I didn’t even see him, and he got me, and then, I just went to the outside.  He went to the outside in that corner before the second set of whoops, and I just dove down to the inside and just made a pass. I didn’t really see to the point where it was bad.  I didn’t take offense to it.  But, at the same time, you’re like, man, he’s going to race, so we could start racing like that. I just thought it was good, hard racing, and I didn’t take offense at all.”

Timmy Ferry made his first podium appearance as a new Kawasaki team rider. He sits third in the point standings in both the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series and Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP. “Top five was my goal for this season and I have done that so I couldn’t be happier,” added Ferry. He went back home to Largo, Fla., this week to get some R&R before this week’s race in Houston.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto revealed that his strong-point this season tends to be in the whoops. "The tracks have had a lot of rhythm sections and one or two good sets of whoops. I think the whoops favor me," said Villopoto. "I am really comfortable on my bike. It seems to track perfect through the whoops and I can get through them a lot faster than some of the other guys."

Villopoto’s so focused on winning the AMA Supercross Lites championship, that when he was asked who would win the Super Bowl, he promptly responded, “Actually, I really don’t know who’s playing.”

Chris Gosselaar came into Angel Stadium with an injured left shoulder. “Horrible” is the way Gosselaar described the way his shoulder felt on Saturday night. “I didn’t ride all week long and now after tonight’s race, they are telling me I have some more stuff wrong in my chest,” said Gosselaar. Gosselaar will visit his doctor again this week to determine the extent of his injuries.

ernic's Kawasaki team manager Derek Sorenson has high hopes for his new team this season.  "It is our goal this year to have both of our riders finish in the top ten of the AMA Supercross and Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP standings," said Sorenson. Team riders Paul Carpenter and Jeff Gibson currently sit 10th and 11th in the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP standings and 13th and 14th in AMA Supercross standings.

Last week’s AMA Supercross Lites main event was red-flagged by the AMA due to a first turn crash that collected Honda’s Jake Weimer. Out front were friendly rivals Josh Hansen and Jason Lawrence, running first and second respectively.

“I’ve never got that good of a start,” said Lawrence.  I was right behind one of my best friends, Josh Hansen, so, you know, that would have been a good race.” 

Weimer managed to shake it off and rode to the starting line for the re-start only to crash once again in turn one. Some things are meant to be.

Team Makita Suzuki Racing’s Ivan Tedesco continues to play catch-up this racing season, having been injured at the first round of the Amp’d Mobile AMA World Supercross GP.  Although the former Supercross Lites and Motocross Lites Champion is now healthy and healed, the injury resulted in time off the bike and Tedesco is now testing and riding his Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 as much as possible.

“The more seat time I can get on the Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, the better off I’ll be,” said Tedesco, who finished 10th last weekend at the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross race in Anaheim, Calif.  “I’m going to test some and work on my speed some, and just try to work on the areas where I was weak at Anaheim.”

Tedesco is particularly excited about the Houston event because the New Mexico native recently purchased a house and property in the Houston area.  “I bought a house in Houston, so in some ways it’s a home race for me,” said Tedesco. ”I’m going out there on Thursday before the race and I’m going to stay there the week after.”