Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki Anaheim 2 Report

January 21, 2008 2:41pm

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Stroupe Earns First Career Supercross Podium in Anaheim

Anaheim, Calif., (January 21, 2008) – In only his third career start, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Stroupe earned his first career podium finishing third on the 1986 throwback layout at Angel Stadium. Stroupe started off quickly earning the holeshot and leading the first seven laps. His teammate Brett Metcalfe also got a good start and held on to finish fifth in Round 3 of the AMA Western Regional Supercross Lites Championship.

In the Monster Energy® Supercross, an FIM Championship, Timmy Ferry went to the back of the field on the first lap when a rider fell in front of him, but the veteran rider  rode a great race to finish sixth. James Stewart did not ride during the evening program because of an injury he suffered during his preseason training.

Monster Energy Kawasaki Under the Tent

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Stroupe left Phoenix determined to get to the front of the field. Stroupe set the fourth best time on his Kawasaki KX™250F during practice and finished second in his heat race. The good starting gate pick allowed Stroupe to come out the first turn in the lead, earning a $1,000 bonus for the hole shot. Stroupe went on to lead seven of the 15 laps and crossed the finish line in third to earn his first podium.

“It feels way better than last week,” said Stroupe. “I’m just excited to get going, this was kind of a shock to me. I expected to be up here soon, but this is really good. My Monster Energy KX250F got me to a great start and I just got on it and rode a good seven laps and I was happy about that. It was a good race.”

Brett Metcalfe is coming off of a podium finish last week at Phoenix and kept the momentum rolling as he earned a top-five finish this week at Anaheim. Metcalfe battled throughout the race, running in tight traffic throughout on the challenging throwback layout.

“It was going good,” said Metcalfe. “I got an okay start and I came out around third which was a perfect setup for the race. I went backwards a little bit though, but I regrouped and rode a solid race. Overall the race was a good solid result. I enjoyed the track layout, it was kind of challenging and definitely different. It was pretty cool.”

For Monster Energy Kawasaki's Timmy Ferry it was like déjà vu, as for the second week in a row he was caught up in an early incident, this time sending him to the ground. After he recovered, Ferry rode a remarkable race working his way from 20th in the field to finish sixth.

“My ride was good, I felt really good and the bike was good,” said Ferry. “(Andrew) Short went down right in front of me and there was no where I could go and I just hit him. I made a good charge up but it’s two weeks in a row I think we should have been on the podium.”

For Ferry the ride through the field helped him maintain a spot in the top five in the championship points standings. Ferry is just two points out of the third position and 10 points back of second place.

“We are still in the points race because other riders have had some troubles as well,” continued Ferry. “For me to come from last to sixth was good. I haven’t actually come through the pack that well in the last year or so. Overall it was a good result.”

For Stewart it was a difficult day. Suffering from an injury he sustained in preseason training, Stewart was still able to set the second fastest time during practice for the throwback event at Anaheim. After the second practice, Stewart and the Monster Energy Kawasaki team felt it was best for him not to compete in the event. Stewart’s status will be evaluated early this week.

“It was a tough decision, I had a problem on December 20 and I put my foot out and hurt my knee again,” said Stewart. “I haven’t ridden during the week since then, just at the races. I’ve just been fighting it every weekend. For me, it hurts because we put so much hard work into the season and for something like this to happen isn’t good. I’m not even close to riding as good as I can. When I was riding today my knee was really unstable to the point where it was going to come out. I don’t want to get further into the season and then have to pull out and miss both the supercross and the outdoor season. The hardest part is just letting all the fans know as well as my Monster Energy Kawasaki team. It has been tough for me, trust me it wasn’t an easy decision at all and I’m really sad about it.”

The throwback layout was the scene of one of the great supercross races back in 1986 and after racing on the difficult track, Ferry can see why the original race was so good.

“It was difficult, but it was kind of cool too,” said Ferry. “There were some good places to pass, about two or three places around the track, which is rare these days. Personally though, I didn’t really care for the ’86 track, I prefer the ones we have today.”

With the throwback theme for the second Anaheim event, the Monster Energy Kawasaki team got into the spirit. Both riders showed their 80’s style with Stewart participating in the track walk in a 1980’s wig complete with the retro Oakley blades. During practice both Stewart and Ferry sported throwback gear, with Ferry wearing a classic cotton jersey with bright teal and pink pants. For Stewart, it was the classic red, white and blue look with a simple theme throughout his gear.

The Pro Circuit team also celebrated another award on the podium as Stroupe’s mechanic Vince Bereni earned the MMI Top Mechanic of the race award. Bereni received a $500 bonus after being selected as mechanic of the race.
Kawasaki fans also were treated to a history lesson as Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Norm Bigelow coordinated a classic display of Kawasaki motorcycles. Complete with classic hay bales, the display featured three championship winning bikes, all ridden by Jeff Ward.
The 1980’s will be left in Anaheim as the championship tour heads to San Francisco’s AT&T Park for round four. Ferry is hoping he can get through the first lap clean and get back on the podium.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Ferry. “San Francisco has some soft dirt and if the rain holds off it should be a good race. The track gets rutty and is technical, kind of like the Anaheim 2 track with the sand. That type of layout suits me well and we should get a good result.”

Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series
Angel Stadium of Anaheim – Anaheim, Calif.
January 19, 2008

AMA Supercross Results
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha
2. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Org., Yamaha
3. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
4. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki
5. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda
7. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
8. Josh Hansen, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
9. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
10. Charles Summey, Huntersville, N.C., Yamaha

AMA Supercross Lites Results
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
2. Broc Hepler, Kittanning, Pa., Yamaha
4. Dan Reardon, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
6. Robert Kiniry, La Fayette, N.Y., Honda
7. Billy Laninovich, Lake Elsinore, Calif., KTM
8. Gavin Gracyk, Blissfield, Ohio, Honda
9. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM