INDIANAPOLIS (February 29, 2008) – Torco Fuels Honda’s Trey Canard, of Elk City, Okla., has led every Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class lap in his professional career. While he’s only one race into his young professional racing career, the 18-year-old speedster opened some eyes last Saturday night at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. This weekend – at the final race inside the RCA Dome – Canard can once again be part of history.
Canard opened the night by leading all six laps in his heat race then led all 15 laps of the main event. In boxing terms, he’s undefeated. He’s even won every $1,000 Progressive Holeshot Award in his career.
In all seriousness, Canard and the Torco Fuels Honda team are smart enough to not let this win get in the way of the championship.
“I was very consistent tonight, and I do not want to get too excited about tonight’s win because this is a long season,” said Canard from the podium in Atlanta. “It’s about the championship, not one race.”
Fellow Honda rider Davi Millsaps, of Cairo, Ga., captured his first AMA Supercross Lites class win of his career last weekend in Atlanta. Millsaps, who was the 48th different rider to win an AMA Supercross class race, can join 15-time AMA National champion Ricky Carmichael with a win this weekend as the only riders to win at the RCA Dome in the AMA Supercross Lites and AMA Supercross classes. A former Lites champion, Millsaps was victorious in back-to-back years at the RCA Dome (‘05/’06).
This weekend’s AMA Supercross class race will air on SPEED Sunday, March 2 at 6:00 p.m. The AMA Supercross Lites class race will air on SPEED Saturday, March 8 at 6:00 p.m.
The MDK KTM riders are excited to head to Indianapolis after coming off of a successful Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class opener at the Georgia Dome last weekend.
MDK KTM Factory rider Martin Davalos, who finished second overall last weekend, commented that he was happy with his finish but feels he can step it up. “I rode really tight during the last half of the race. I think I was just a little nervous, but I feel strong this season and intend to stay up front throughout the championship,” stated Davalos. The Ecuadorian’s training program has changed this year, for the. “I have hired a personal trainer and I have been training full-time back home in Georgia as opposed to flying out west each week like I did last year.” In addition, Davalos is happy to have his family with him this year. “My Dad and Brother will attend most of the races and have been staying with me in Georgia. It helps tremendously to know that my family is close by and supportive of my racing career.”
Davalos’ teammate Nick Wey is having a harder time preparing for Indianapolis than he had hoped for. Wey has been fighting a bad cold the past few weeks which just recently was diagnosed as pneumonia. Wey will attempt to race this weekend to stay in the top 10 in points but it will not be an easy task to race at a top level in front of the Indianapolis crowd with an incessant illness.
MDK KTM Lites riders Ryan Sipes and Matt Goerke are also eager for the second round of the East Lites Series. Sipes who is coming off of an impressive third place finish last week is looking forward to staying on the box at Indianapolis. In addition, he also announced his excitement for the Indianapolis round as it is closest in proximity to his hometown in Louisville, Ken. “I have family members and friends that will be attending this weekend and their support will definitely encourage me to charge forward and stay out front,” stated Sipes.
Goerke, who had a rough go at the first round, is hoping to salvage some points this weekend. “I got taken out on the first lap last week which tore muscles in my chest and bruised my sternum,” reported Goerke. The pain was so intense that Goerke was unable to finish the heat or participate in the LCQ. “The doctors cleared me to ride this week, and as long as I can do so without too much pain, I plan on racing and finishing within the top 10. My goal is to produce a solid run this weekend and then shoot for the podium at Daytona.”
KTM fans will get an added surprise this weekend, when MDK KTM West Lites Team rider Billy Laninovich makes an appearance on the KTM 450 SX-F. Laninovich chose to capitalize on the new AMA rule that allows riders competing on the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class to compete in the AMA Supercross class at East Coast events. “I love the KTM 450 SX-F and look forward to riding in my first 450 main this weekend,” commented Laninovich.
This weekend’s upcoming AMA Supercross race will be an exciting event for the Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Race Team. The RCA Dome is a special place for the yellow squad as AMA Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class rider Ryan Dungey will make his premier-class debut, David Vuillemin won his last AMA Supercross class at the RCA Dome, and rookie Nico Izzi will race the second Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class race of his career.
“I’m looking forward to Indy and to racing in the premier class on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450,” said Dungey, whose next West Coast Lites race is in April. “Two months is a long break from racing and this is a new challenge on a whole different level. I’ve been testing the RM-Z450 and I really like the bike – the way it handles, the speed, it’s a great package overall. I think it’ll be a lot of fun and a great learning experience for me.”
AMA Supercross-class rider David Vuillemin heads to Indy with three top-10 finishes under his belt after battling injuries for much of the season. He’s been testing and training and is excited about the race.
“Indy was my last AMA Supercross class win back in 2002,” said the Frenchman. “It's one of my greatest memories, so Indy is a special place for me. I've had a couple of podiums since then, so I am going there to get my best results of the year! I have been working on my speed again and I am riding on a different supercross track – one that’s softer and has some ruts. I had a little trouble in the ruts in Atlanta, and Indy will be rutted too, with all the bad weather they’ve been having.”
In the Supercross Lites class, 17-year-old Izzi wants to build on the eighth-place finish he picked up in his first-ever AMA SX Lites race at Atlanta last weekend.
“I was a little nervous about Atlanta at first, but then everything fell into place,” said Izzi. “I wish the main had gone a little better but I learned a lot and I’m just excited to race this weekend.”
Finally, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mike Alessi is still recovering from breaking his right collarbone in San Diego and will not race at Indianapolis. He hopes to be back in time for the Dallas race in April.
Monster Energy Kawasaki will only have one rider competing Saturday night after Timmy Ferry was hurt earlier this week while training. Ferry had scored four podiums in his eight Monster Energy Supercross starts this season and finished fourth last week in Atlanta. Travis Preston, who is riding for the injured James Stewart, will be atop his Kawasaki KX™450F for the last major event at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Preston missed last week’s main event but is ready to get back to racing.
“I think this should be a good weekend,” said Preston. “I was sorry to hear about Timmy (Ferry), he is a great teammate and I hope he comes back soon. I think my conditioning is starting to be where I need it to be. I’m not looking to just go out and finish the main, I want to be up front.”
In the AMA Supercross Lites class, defending West Coast champion Ryan Villopoto is looking to better his results from Atlanta. In his East Coast debut he was hit from behind and was unable to get back on the bike to finish.
“I’m ready to race,” said Villopoto. “I get better starts so I’m not running back in the field. I’m new to the East Coast and the dirt is a lot different but I want to be back on top of the podium.”
Villopoto’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Branden Jesseman held on for sixth in Atlanta after battling arm-pump during the race. Jesseman was strong during the afternoon practice and his heat race and expects to ride that momentum into Indianapolis.
“I rode good at Atlanta,” said Jesseman. “I just got a little tired and had arm-pump, which won’t happen again. I worked really hard this week and I like racing in Indianapolis so I think we’ll have a good race.”
Next week’s racing takes place next Friday, March 7 at Daytona International Speedway.
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