Bench Racing Ammo: Charge of the Lites Brigade

October 18, 2007 11:34am | by:
History was made this weekend at the Rockstar U.S. Open of Supercross. No, it wasn’t the crazy jumble of results that earned Grant Langston $100,000 for a 2-5 score, while at the same time earning Mike Alessi fifth overall and $95,000 less for his 5-3 score. Nor was it the vast amounts of cash that Chad Reed left in the first turn at the MGM Grand Garden Arena when he went for the $250,000 trifecta in Saturday’s extraordinary main event. 

Weimer topped a star-studded field in Vegas on his 250F.

photo: Steve Bruhn

The history we’re talking about here was Jake Weimer becoming the first rider on a 250F motorcycle to beat a star-studded field of 450 factory riders on a stadium motocross track. Weimer, the unlikeliest winner since Jeff Emig took the whole jackpot in 1999 aboard a privateer FMF Yamaha YZ250, led the second night from start to finish (or at least first-turn crash to finish) on his Sobe No Fear/Samsung Honda CRF250.

What makes this interesting is that it marks the second major race in a row than someone on a Lites motorcycle beat all of the 450s. The last time, of course, was at the 2007 Red Bull Motocross of Nations, when Ryan Villopoto trounced everyone on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX250F. Riding for Team USA, the kid beat the best big-bike riders in the world—Ricky Carmichael, Grant Langston, Tim Ferry, Steve Ramon, Chad Reed and more—while barely getting his Thor MX gear dirty.

RV begins his route in Maryland.

photo: Carl Stone

Looking back at the last half of the 2007 AMA Toyota Motocross Championships, where Villopoto often posted the fastest laps in either class, all the way over to Europe’s Grand Prix circuit, where Tony Cairoli was doing similar damage on his YZ250F, has the Lites’ class finally caught up to the premier class?

One other thing: When Cairoli moved up to the MX1 class for the British GP in late August after he clinched his MX2 title, he immediately went to the front of the pack. Will Villopoto do likewise when he throws a leg over a 450?

We can’t wait to find out! 

Cairoli is also really fast on a 450.

photo: Geoff Meyer