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San Diego SX Notes: Part 1

AMA Supercross Class Laps Led:
James Stewart   104
Ricky Carmichael  45
Chad Reed     25
Kevin Windham     5
Nick Wey      1

AMA Supercross Lites Class Laps Led:
Ryan Villopoto   69
Christophe Pourcel      17
Jason Lawrence  3
Steve Boniface     1


Progressive Direct Holeshot Award (AMA Supercross)
Nick Wey (Toronto): $1,500
James Stewart (Vancouver): $1,500
Chad Reed (Anaheim 1): $1,500
Jeff Dement (Phoenix): $1,500
Nick Wey (Anaheim 2): $1,500
Chad Reed (San Francisco): $1,500
Nick Wey (Anaheim 3): $1,500
Tim Ferry (Houston): $1,500

Progressive Direct Holeshot Award (AMA Supercross Lites)
Christophe Pourcel (Anaheim 1):  $1,000
Martin Davalos (Phoenix): $1,000
Steve Boniface (Anaheim 2): $1,000
Chris Gosselaar (San Francisco): $1,000
Ryan Villopoto (Anaheim 3): $1,000
Ryan Villopoto (Houston): $1,000

MMI Top Tech Award
Jeremy Albrecht (Anaheim 1): $500.00
Mike Gosselaar (Phoenix): $500.00
Jason Thomas (Anaheim 2): $500.00
John Mitcheff (San Francisco): $500.00
Willie Manning (Anaheim 3): $500.00
Manual Rivas (Houston): $500.00

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Pro Privateer Challenge
1.  Nick Wey            108 Points
2.  David Vuillemin    101 Points
3.  Travis Preston       98 Points

Asterisk Medic Card
Charles Castloo (Anaheim 1)
Michael Willard (Phoenix)
Charles Castloo (Anaheim 2)
Logan Darien (San Francisco)
Tyler Keefe (Anaheim 3)
Adam Chatfield (Houston)

Racer X Gas Card
Nathan Ramsey (Anaheim 1)
Eric Sorby (Phoenix)
Bryan Johnson (Anaheim 2)
Manuel Rivas (San Francisco)
Jason Thomas (Anaheim 3)
Erick Vallejo (Houston)

Toyota Tundra Fan Challenge
Jeff Gibson (Anaheim 1)
Nick Wey (Phoenix)
Nick Wey (Anaheim 2)
Jeff Gibson (San Francisco)
Nick Wey (Anaheim 3)
David Vuilleman (Houston)

Race Recap:
HOUSTON (February 10, 2007) – Kawasaki’s James Stewart picked up his fifth win of the season, and 16th of his career, at the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series before a crowd of 49,973 at Reliant Stadium. Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto was the AMA Supercross Lites winner.

KTM Junior Supercross Challenge
1. Jason Keppley, Laurel, Miss., KTM
2. Damon Maness, Asheboro, N.C., KTM
3. Trace George, Donaldson, Ark., KTM
4. Wyatt Dreggors, Longwood, Fla., KTM
5. Jesse West, Bend, Ore., KTM
6. David Beveridge, Splendora, Tex., KTM
7. Dakota Thomas, Stanley, Va., KTM
8. Rider Yeagan, Orange City, Fla., KTM
9. Dustin Eaton, Houston, KTM
10. Frank Cilano, Glen Rock, N.J., KTM
11. Chandler Knarr, Diablo, Calif., KTM
12. Jarrett Green, Riverton, Wy., KTM
13. Ryan Anthis, Waller, Tex., KTM
14. Parker Sharp, Newburgh, Ind., KTM
15. Sabrina Segovia, Spring, Tex., KTM

Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP Season Standings
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kawasaki, 189
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha, 171
3. Timmy Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki, 142
4. Ricky Carmichael, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki, 116
5. Nicholas Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 108
6. David Vuillemin, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 101
7. Travis Preston, Hesperia, Calif., Honda, 98
8. Michael Byrne, Newnan, Ga., Suzuki, 96
9. Heath Voss, Mico, Texas, Honda, 95
10. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Kawasaki, 86

Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP Event Results, Houston
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kawasaki
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha
3. Timmy Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki
4. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
5. Travis Preston, Hesperia, Calif., Honda
6. Michael Byrne, Newnan, Ga., Suzuki
7. Heath Voss, Mico, Texas, Honda
8. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
9. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Kawasaki
10. David Vuillemin, Menifee, Calif., Honda

Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series Standings
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kawasaki, 147
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha, 126
3. Timmy Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki, 110
4. Michael Byrne, Newnan, Ga., Suzuki, 88
5. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda, 84
6. Travis Preston, Hesperia, Calif., Honda, 76
7. Ricky Carmichael, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki, 69
8. Heath Voss, Mico, Texas, Honda, 69
9. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 66
10. David Vuillemin, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 62

Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Lites Event Results, Houston
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
2. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
3. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Honda
4. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha
5. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., KTM
6. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Honda
7. Matt Lemoine, Pilot Point, Texas, Yamaha
8. Kyle Cunningham, Springtown, Texas, Yamaha
9. Chris Gosselaar, Victorville, Calif., Kawasaki
10. Troy Adams, Homosassa, Fla., Suzuki

Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Lites Season Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 147
2. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 113
3. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Honda, 89
4. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Honda, 84
5. Christopher Gosselaar, Victorville, Calif., Kawasaki, 77
6. Matthew Lemoine, Pilot Point, Texas, Yamaha, 77
7. Josh Hansen, Lake Elsinore, Calif., KTM, 71
8. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 70
9. Steve Boniface, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki, 61
10. Troy Adams, Homosassa, Fla., Suzuki, 58

AMA Supercross Class Recap From Houston:

• Stewart picked up win number 16. He is now tied with Jean-Michael Bayle on the all-time AMA Supercross win list.

• Stewart’s 16 wins bests Ricky Carmichael on the Kawasaki all-time win list. Jeff Ward sits atop the list with 20 wins.

• Ferry earned back to back podium finishes for the first time in his career.

• Last weekend was the first time since 1989 that Kawasaki had two riders on the podium in back to back races. Ron Lechien and Jeff Ward did it in Tampa and Dallas.

• Reed earned his 27th career runner-up finish.

• Windham scored his first top five of the season.

AMA Supercross Lites Class Recap From Houston:

• Kawasaki’s six consecutive wins to start the season is now atop the record list.

• Ryan Villopoto earned his sixth AMA Supercross Lites win. He is now tied with Jeff Emig, Damon Bradshaw and Chad Reed on the all-time AMA Supercross Lites win list.

San Diego Stats:

• First race in San Diego was held October 25, 1980-Mike Bell won on a Yamaha.

• This will be the 24th time the gate will drop in San Diego.

• David Vuillemin won his first AMA Supercross race in San Diego back in 2000.

• Suzuki has won at 16 different venues, but has never won in San Diego. Fifteen-time AMA National champion Carmichael finished second in 2005 and 2006 for Suzuki.

Wins by Brand:

• Honda-11, Yamaha-10, Kawasaki-2

• Jeremy McGrath has five wins in San Diego. Reed and Rick Johnson each have three wins in San Diego.

• McGrath and Stewart have won in San Diego in both AMA Supercross Lites and AMA Supercross classes.

• Honda won 10 of 11 races in San Diego from 1985 to 1996.

• San Diego hosted the first race of the season in 1985.

• Kawasaki has never won back to back races in San Diego. Stewart can change that this weekend.

• Honda has had five event sweeps (they won the lites and supercross classes) in San Diego and Yamaha has had two. Kawasaki can join them this weekend

AMA Supercross Lites Class Stats in San Diego:

• This is the 21st time the gate will drop for an AMA Supercross Lites race in San Diego

• First race, January 26, 1985, Todd Campbell won on a Kawasaki.

• San Diego is home to the first-ever AMA Supercross Lites race.

• This will be the 340th AMA Supercross Lites race.

Wins by brand:

• Kawasaki-7, Honda-7, Yamaha-4, Suzuki-1, KTM-1

• Kawasaki will be going for their 17th AMA Supercross Lites title. They have a total of 11 in the West, and this year they are going for their fifth consecutive in that division.

• Brian Swink won the 100th round of AMA Supercross Lites racing in Atlanta back in 1992.

• Stephane Roncada won the 200th round of AMA Supercross Lites racing in Minneapolis back in 1998.

• Ivan Tedesco won the 300 round of AMA Supercross Lites racing in Salt Lake City back in 2004.

• Who will win round 340?

History:

• 30 years ago at the seventh AMA Supercross race of the season on April 3, 1977, Bob Hannah won in Pontiac

• 20 years ago at the seventh AMA Supercross race of the season on March 29, 1987, Rick Johnson won in Seattle

• Ten years ago at the seventh AMA Supercross race of the season on March 8, 1997, Jeff Emig won at Daytona

Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP Rider Finishes

Chad Reed
Toronto:    1
Vancouver  3
Anaheim 1:  3
Phoenix:  3
Anaheim 2:  2
San Francisco:  3
Anaheim 3:  2
Houston:  2

Ricky Carmichael
Toronto:    2
Vancouver  1
Anaheim 1:  2
Phoenix:  2
Anaheim 2:             N/A
San Francisco:  1
Anaheim 3:             N/A
Houston:             N/A

James Stewart
Toronto:  3
Vancouver  2
Anaheim 1:  1
Phoenix:  1
Anaheim 2:  1
San Francisco:  2
Anaheim 3:  1
Houston:  1

Tim Ferry
Toronto:  4
Vancouver  5
Anaheim 1:  5
Phoenix:  5
Anaheim 2:  4
San Francisco:  4
Anaheim 3:  3
Houston:  3

David Vuillemin
Toronto:    5
Vancouver    4
Anaheim 1:  6
Phoenix:  20
Anaheim 2:  11
San Francisco:  6
Anaheim 3:  12
Houston:  10

Nick Wey
Toronto:    6
Vancouver  9
Anaheim 1:  7
Phoenix:  9
Anaheim 2:  3
San Francisco:  5
Anaheim 3:  4
Houston:  N/A

Ryan Clark
Toronto:  7
Vancouver:    14
Anaheim 1:  17  
Phoenix:  N/A
Anaheim 2:  N/A
San Francisco:  N/A
Anaheim 3:  17
Houston:  16

Paul Carpenter
Toronto:  8
Vancouver:  12
Anaheim 1:  11
Phoenix:  19
Anaheim 2:  7
San Francisco:  15
Anaheim 3:  9
Houston:  9

Heath Voss
Toronto:  9
Vancouver:  11
Anaheim 1:  8
Phoenix:  10
Anaheim 2:  13
San Francisco:  12
Anaheim 3:  8
Houston:  7

Jeff Gibson
Toronto:  10
Vancouver    8
Anaheim 1:  15
Phoenix:  15
Anaheim 2:  12
San Francisco:  9
Anaheim 3:  13
Houston:  17

Nathan Ramsey
Toronto:    21
Vancouver:    6
Anaheim 1:  DNF
Phoenix:  11
Anaheim 2:  10
San Francisco:  13
Anaheim 3:  6
Houston:  19

Travis Preston
Toronto:  16
Vancouver:  7
Anaheim 1:  4
Phoenix:  4
Anaheim 2:  N/A
San Francisco:  7
Anaheim 3:  11
Houston:  5

Jason Thomas
Toronto:  14
Vancouver:     10
Anaheim 1:  21
Phoenix:  14
Anaheim 2:  16
San Francisco:  N/A
Anaheim 3:  N/A
Houston:  N/A

Kevin Windham
Toronto:  N/A
Vancouver:    N/A
Anaheim 1:  9
Phoenix:  8
Anaheim 2:  6
San Francisco:  10
Anaheim 3:  7
Houston:  4

Michael Byrne
Toronto:  15
Vancouver:    19
Anaheim 1:  10
Phoenix:  6
Anaheim 2:  5
San Francisco:  8
Anaheim 3:  5
Houston:  6

Ivan Tedesco
Toronto:  N/A
Vancouver:    N/A
Anaheim 1:  14
Phoenix:  7
Anaheim 2:  8
San Francisco:  14
Anaheim 3:  10
Houston:  8

Joshua Summey
Toronto:  19
Vancouver:    16
Anaheim 1:  N/A
Phoenix:  N/A
Anaheim 2:  9
San Francisco:  11
Anaheim 3:  19
Houston:  N/A

Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Lites Class Rider Finishes

Ryan Villopoto
Anaheim 1:  1
Phoenix:  2
Anaheim 2:  1
San Francisco:  1
Anaheim 3:  1
Houston:  1

Christophe Pourcel
Anaheim 1:  2
Phoenix:  1
Anaheim 2:  21
San Francisco:  N/A
Anaheim 3:  N/A
Houston:  N/A

Jason Lawrence
Anaheim 1:  3 
Phoenix:  8
Anaheim 2:  2
San Francisco:  5
Anaheim 3:  3
Houston:  2

Joshua Hansen
Anaheim 1:  4
Phoenix:  6
Anaheim 2:  22
San Francisco:  8
Anaheim 3:  5
Houston:  12

Jake Weimer
Anaheim 1:  5
Phoenix:  14
Anaheim 2:  6
San Francisco:  3
Anaheim 3:  6
Houston:  6

Troy Adams
Anaheim 1:  6
Phoenix:  13
Anaheim 2:  8
San Francisco:  11
Anaheim 3:  21
Houston:  10

Matthew Lemoine
Anaheim 1:  7  
Phoenix:  4
Anaheim 2:  11
San Francisco:  12
Anaheim 3:  10
Houston:  7

Christopher Gosselaar
Anaheim 1:  8 
Phoenix:  3
Anaheim 2:  5
San Francisco:  21
Anaheim 3:  7
Houston:  9
 
Kyle Chisholm
Anaheim 1:  9 
Phoenix:            N/A
Anaheim 2:            N/A
San Francisco:  N/A
Anaheim 3:  N/A
Houston:  N/A

Justin Keeney
Anaheim 1:  10  
Phoenix:  12
Anaheim 2:  13
San Francisco:  18
Anaheim 3:  N/A
Houston:  N/A

Steve Boniface
Anaheim 1:  11  
Phoenix:  5
Anaheim 2:  7
San Francisco:  7
Anaheim 3:  15
Houston:  N/A

Kyle Cunningham
Anaheim 1:  13  
Phoenix:  9
Anaheim 2:  12
San Francisco:  N/A
Anaheim 3:  9
Houston:  8

Martin Davalos
Anaheim 1:  20
Phoenix:  10
Anaheim 2:  10
San Francisco:  22
Anaheim 3:  11
Houston:  5

Joshua Hill
Anaheim 1:  19
Phoenix:  7
Anaheim 2:  3
San Francisco:  4
Anaheim 3:  4
Houston:  4

Joshua Grant
Anaheim 1:  22
Phoenix:  22
Anaheim 2:  4
San Francisco:  2
Anaheim 3:  2
Houston:  3

Kyle Partridge
Anaheim 1:  N/A
Phoenix:  11
Anaheim 2:  9
San Francisco:  6
Anaheim 3:  8
Houston:  22

Michael Lapaglia
Anaheim 1:  18
Phoenix:  15
Anaheim 2:  14
San Francisco:  9
Anaheim 3:  13
Houston:  20

Adam Chatfield
Anaheim 1:  14
Phoenix:  N/A
Anaheim 2:  N/A 
San Francisco:  10
Anaheim 3:  22
Houston:  N/A

AMP’D MOBILE AMA SUPERCROSS
HOUSTON POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE


JASON WEIGANDT: It’s been a long time since you’ve gotten a holeshot.  Do you have any idea how long that has been?

TIM FERRY:  Yeah, I don’t know maybe 2002 or so.  So it’s been good.  That’s one thing I’ve adapted well to with the Kawasaki is the starts. We’ve worked really hard at it and I just nailed that one.  I had a feeling before the gate ever went that I was going to get the holeshot.  It kind of sounds amateur, but I just felt it and I just went through that first turn alone.  It was awesome.

JASON WEIGANDT:  You said you’ve learned a lot being up there with James and Chad early on.  This time you were in the lead, so what did you learn this time?

TIM FERRY:  Well, I learned it feels good to be out front. I could get used to that.  The race is a lot easier from there and that’s the first time – like you said, I haven’t gotten the holeshot in a while. I really went as fast as I could and Kevin came by really fast.  I kept looking for number 7 and 22 and I knew – I knew that they were gonna be back there, right behind us, and it was a good race.  I stayed closer to Chad than I had been and I think its all progress.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Was there pressure, knowing those guys were to come up from behind on you? 

TIM FERRY:  It gave me a little bit of confidence, actually, to stay in the lead that long. I don’t know what the lap times were but I know they were a lot faster than in my heat race.  So, it felt good, to get some laps with those guys behind me.  Usually those guys are one and two, so it was good for me.

JASON WEIGANDT:  You had the lead, Kevin got by you, put a little distance on, then you started closing in and you got him back.  What goes on with a battle like that?

TIM FERRY:  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Kevin.  I think he’s finally, showing his speed and pretty soon he’ll probably start showing his endurance as well. I think I almost slowed myself down. I was trying to protect the inside from Chad getting by, but it’s a good feeling to go fast enough to hold him behind me. 

JASON WEIGANDT:  The first practice, we barely saw you out there.  What happened there?

TIM FERRY:  We just had a little problem with the front end, but we got it resolved and I only made three laps the first practice. I felt I got better as the night went on and, only getting that second practice, which is fifteen minutes long wasn’t a long time to learn a brand new supercross track. 

JASON WEIGANDT: What is the difference between last week at Anaheim and this week here in Houston?

CHAD REED:  I just struggled this weekend.  In the main event, I didn’t feel so good.  I had a little bit of an upset stomach and just struggled all the way through it. That’s all I can say.  I just didn’t have what it took to win tonight and it was hard. Kevin was riding well, but I knew that the end of the race was coming around.  So, I just tried to push in at the end, tried to make the best of it and get second.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Was this the kind of track that you needed to take your time a little more than, say, Anaheim that wasn’t so rutted. You and James went for it right from the start.

CHAD REED:  I mean, it was a little bit rutty here this weekend.  I really struggled in the whoops all weekend, even in the practice.  So, we have a little bit of work to do with a few things, but overall, Chad didn’t show up this weekend.

JASON WEIGANDT:  You’re smiling now.  I know the goal at the beginning of the year was to not get so discouraged if this happens during the races.  Are you maintaining that attitude throughout, like you said you would at the beginning of the year?

CHAD REED:  Yeah, I’m happy to be on the podium at this point.  I know what my problem was tonight and we’re going to fix it this week and be strong for next weekend.  I said earlier in the season that it was going to be a long one.  We’ve all been saying that week in and week out, but second’s getting old and I’d like to get a win. So, we’re going to go home, do our homework and bring me back out next week.

GARTH MILAN (Transworld Motocross):  You mentioned you struggled a little in the whoops.  From the outside looking into the whoops, they didn’t look extremely deep or anything, but I’ve heard several riders mention they were tough this week.  Was there something in particular this week about the whoops?

CHAD REED:  We entered them really fast and I think the biggest problem for most people, was that there was no buildup into them.  The first one was really big and steep so, you had to really commit and I just struggled with that this weekend. I haven’t been riding that kind of style and normally I’m pretty decent at that. 

JASON WEIGANDT:  Chad, I was going to ask about the whoops.  I know usually the big, deep whoops section is what you like at the beginning of the year – that wasn’t the case though because you were hurt.  Now are you hoping to show up at the races and find a really tough whoops section so you can blitz over the top?  Are you back to thinking that could be an advantage for you?

CHAD REED:  This is a weekend that I struggled and I’m going to learn from my mistakes.  I’m all for big whoops.  I think it was tough for everyone tonight and there were a lot of crashes.

JASON WEIGANDT:  The main event was a little bit different tonight than in other races. It wasn’t such a great start and it didn’t look like you were determined to get in the lead immediately in the main event.  Was that the case?

JAMES STEWART:  I knew I had to take my time.  I knew my conditioning would bring me up to the front, when lap twenty comes around, so I don’t really rush it.  But I had a couple guys go down.  Preston went down right after those whoops and I lost a little bit more time and then I saw Kevin – he was riding well out front.  And I saw Timmy, and then Chad.  He was just sitting in third.  He didn’t really close up on those guys like I thought he would, so I just wasn’t in a rush.  Then once I caught up to Chad, I just put those few laps down and got around him and Timmy and Kevin and then I just rode a solid race after that.

JASON WEIGANDT:  So many times there are people saying, James could dominate if he would just back it off every once in a while.  Do you want to hold up races like this and say, hey, I know how to handle it, when I need to just let it come to me?  You do let it come to you on occasion.

JAMES STEWART:  Yeah, it’s funny because I know what I’m doing out here, so I just have to make sure I continue to do what I want to do. I don’t really worry about anything else.

JASON WEIGANDT: Even though you didn’t pass ten guys on the first lap and win by a minute, you were really excited at the end of this race.  Why were you so pumped on the podium after this one?

JAMES STEWART:  Just because if you saw practice, I had a big save the first practice and then I looped out for probably the first time of my career in a supercross race.  So that’s a record in my book.  I felt good, but I was struggling.  I don’t know why, and just to put a race like that and get the lead I had and be comfortable, I was really just excited.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Looks like everybody struggled at some point in the whoops, either at practice, main event, heat race – those were pretty tough.  Take us through that section.

JAMES STEWART:  Yeah, they were just super – super gnarly tonight.  I think the problem was there was no entrance in the whoops.  The first whoop was actually the same size as the rest of them so when the guys hit it, suspension compressed and it actually just lifted you up in them.  And then they just got really cupped out and hard and it was tough.  I think it was better at the race after Dirt Werks went back and re-cupped them and they kind of fixed it and they were a lot better than they were in practice.  So I have to give it up to those guys.  They did a good job at fixing the track back up where it was actually a little bit safer.

JASON WEIGANDT:  You’re three for three.  You’ve won every time you’ve raced here in Houston in the big class.  What’s this place got for you?

JAMES STEWART:  I don’t know.  It seems, though, I always struggle in practice.  I think it was two years ago, I had a horrible two practices.  I crashed in that, and then I crashed in the heat race that year, and then the first year I came here I broke my foot on the 125’s.  I like the dirt here.  It just feels good to get out of California, just the hard pack, and come back to the East Coast. 

JASON WEIGANDT:  Do you feel like you’ve straightened things out now that you’re getting some consistent rides in?

JOSH GRANT:  Yeah, I feel good.  I just struggled in the whoops this weekend and I just rode too conservative in the main.  

JASON WEIGANDT:  Now you’ve been given the opportunities - -the heat race you guys were battling pretty close, at the main event you were getting some good starts.  How critical is it for you to try to get a win with only two races left, now that you’re putting yourself in position to do it?

JOSH GRANT:  It’s real important because it’d be good for my confidence. I think that everything’s working out really good right now and I’ve been practicing a lot of starts. I actually got a good start in the heat race.  Even in the main, I still recovered really well from my jump on the gate.  But other than that, I felt really good around the track.  I just rode too conservative.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Yeah, Ryan hangs it out over the edge, but he hasn’t been really bitten by it yet.  How much of a difference is there trying to hang it out when you’ve already gone down for the count earlier in the season?

JOSH GRANT:  For me, I’d just rather stay up and finish.  Like I said, I just have to work on a few things and the whoops are one of them. I think this next weekend I should have good hopes for a podium again.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Are you comfortable here?  A lot of the guys are saying well, we like to get back east, but you’re a California guy.  Do you think you’d be more comfortable at Anaheim or San Diego as opposed to here in Houston?

JOSH GRANT:  No, I actually like the East Coast dirt; I feel really comfortable.  You know, it’s nice.  It’s got ruts, and it’s totally different from where we raced last weekend. 

JASON WEIGANDT:  What is the difficulty you’re having in the whoops?  Is there a certain thing you can pinpoint that you figure you need to improve on?

JOSH GRANT:  No, it was just this weekend.  I just struggled with wheeling into them and that’s where my entrance speed was not as good as everyone else’s. That’s how I got beat tonight.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Definitely the best run of the season. You’ve had a bunch of podiums, but this time you had the start, you had the opportunity to battle for it, and man, you did.

JASON LAWRENCE:  Yeah, I just tried to give it everything I had right there.  I guess I was probably about five or six laps into it and Ryan was still within striking distance from me. So I was just looking for the first opportunity. I got through the whoops really good.  He was jumping into the whoops before the finish and I would actually just wheelie in, which is something that I don’t really like to do.

I got over the finish line really close to him, right on his back wheel, and if I wouldn’t have went for the pass right there, I know I would look back at it and be like, why did I not go for that?  I just listened to James say, ‘If you don’t pass someone in the whoops, it’s almost like you had to make a dirty pass.” That was about as clean as I could do it without giving him enough room to squeeze by.  I know he wasn’t too happy with that after the race, but sorry, buddy, but that’s racing.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Yeah, when he made the pass on you – you just talked about what happened there.  It looked like he was putting a little bit of a brake check on there. 

JASON LAWRENCE:  Yeah, he does tend to do that; kind of some slow stuff.  That’s not really my style, you know, just all this slow brake check stuff. I’ll take it. It’s alright.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Now you were given the lead back after that, when he went down on the lap rider.  Was that such a surprise?  Did it affect you mentally?  All of a sudden you’re out front, probably when you expected to be chasing him?

JASON LAWRENCE:  Yeah, it’s always a lot easier to be in second.  I was in second, right where I’d like to be.  I mean, I actually think I would have had a little better chance of winning the race if he wouldn’t have crashed because, then I still would have been pretty close. Then when we got into lappers, I might have been able to make something happen.  But you never really know, he crashed and he was a few seconds behind me and he did catch up to me.  I just rode behind him not to take anything away from him – he was riding awesome, but I just wasn’t riding that good there.  When he passed me, he was already on a roll and he checked out a little bit, so I just settled for second.

JASON WEIGANDT:  It’s easy to get discouraged if you have the lead and you lose it like that. Can you take confidence out of this knowing, you can finally get those starts, you were able to stay with him?  What do you take away from this race?

JASON LAWRENCE:  Yeah, the start was a huge thing for me to get out there in the front and have an opportunity to battle with Ryan like that.  So yeah, that’s awesome and it shows that all the starts that we’re doing during the week are finally starting to pay off.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Take us through what it was like to actually have to fight for it and not just be able to get away.

RYAN VILLOPOTO:  Yeah, walking the track this morning, it looked like it was going to be a lot bigger than it was.  After practice, it was pretty tight and the lap times were really close between all of us.  I finally got another holeshot and I think that’s two of them this year. So, I just went out there and made one lap. Jason came in on me and gave me a little block pass but whatever. That’s racing.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Right, there you go.  So then you got back around him.  What happened with the lap rider?

RYAN VILLOPOTO:  Partridge? I guess he had crashed a couple laps before, or whatever, and then something was the matter with his bike. I guess he didn’t have a rear brace and just jumped off the tabletop and clipped the tuff block.

JASON WEIGANDT:  What happened there in practice?

RYAN VILLOPOTO:  Yeah, just dropped the front end a little bit and then recovered and I just kind of flew over the bars and luckily I landed on a tuff block and not a whoop.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Did you change your technique in the whoops after that?

RYAN VILLOPOTO:  Yeah, I think they just got tougher to go through all night.  They were pretty decent that first practice and then from then on, they got cupped out even more.

JASON WEIGANDT:  Is it more satisfying to win like this, to have to fight for it, then to just check out like you did last week?

RYAN VILLOPOTO:  Yeah, it was good.  Actually, the lapper thing was a bummer, but, luckily I was able to recover and come back up to the front.

 

 

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