Round 1 – AMA Supercross Series Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium Jan. 5, 2008
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey started out the 2008 AMA Supercross season in style by winning the first round in the Supercross Lites class at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on Saturday night. Dungey battled the elements as well as the competition, racing his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 in swamp-like conditions to take the win in his six-lap qualifying heat race as well as the victory in the 15-lap SX Lites main event. This win puts 18-year-old Dungey in the lead of the championship points chase.
In the Supercross class, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mike Alessi had a successful debut in both the class and on the new Suzuki RM-Z450. After winning the qualifying LCQ, Alessi got a good start in the main event and was racing for a podium spot. Focusing on finishing in less-than-stellar conditions, however, Alessi backed off and rode a smooth race, maintaining a strong sixth-place position until the race’s end. Teammate David Vuillemin also put in a smooth and consistent ride, getting a good start and running in the top-10 for the entire 20 laps before finishing in 10th position.
Ryan Dungey: “It was a good race and definitely a great night. The whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team, we prepared so much for this race. And the Suzuki RM-Z250 was working awesome – we were able to put it all together and come out on top. I was able to take my time and was patient and just let the race come to me so I could put in some good laps. Winning this race, it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It’s so good to just be racing again and I’m pumped to get the win.”
Mike Alessi: “This first Supercross was a learning experience for me. It was pretty muddy this weekend, but we tried to take the good with the bad and make the best of the situation. The bike was awesome and I got a great start and was in third when a few guys got around me. I was having a good race in fifth and riding a smooth pace because I didn’t want to make any mistakes and fall. But with about four laps to go, I saw somebody coming up on me and I tried to put up a fight but I realized I was riding a little hard and I didn’t want to ride over my head and crash. So I settled for sixth and now I’m just looking forward to next week’s race at Phoenix.”
David Vuillemin: “You know, I haven’t raced in five months, so I was kind of rusty. And with the mud, we only had one practice and went straight to the race. My plan was to ride safe and smooth, and not take any chances, especially with the weather being kind of sketchy. In the main event, I made a few mistakes and some guys got past me, but overall I am satisfied. The bike was really strong and consistent, and the team was great. I want to do better and I know I can do better, I’m just rusty from not racing. Now I’m just looking to build from here with better results.”
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race next at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008.
Mike Alessi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #800 6th Place – Anaheim 1 Supercross 6th Place – Overall Championship Points Standings
David Vuillemin, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #12 10th Place – Anaheim 1 Supercross 10th Place – Overall Championship Points Standings
Ryan Dungey, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z250, #28 1st Place – Anaheim 1 Supercross Lites 1st Place -- Overall Championship Points Standings