INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – The Torco Racing Fuels Honda squad continued its assault on the 2008 AMA Supercross Championships last Saturday night, as round nine of the 450cc series and round two of the Lites Eastern Region Championship saw the team once again up front at the end of the night.
For the second week in a row, the star of the team, and largely of the night, was Torco Racing Fuels Honda’s rookie supercross racer Trey Canard. Canard grabbed the lead off of the start, but lost the lead when Ryan Villopoto crashed while attempting a pass on him, causing Canard to fall momentarily as well and hand the lead over to Branden Jesseman.
It sounds amazing, but the one lap that Jesseman led before Canard passed him back for the lead is the only lap in the first two races of the East – and in Canard’s career, including Heat races – that he hasn’t lead, so far.
“Jesseman got me for a couple laps tonight,” Canard said, correcting the interviewer who said that he has led every lap of his pro SX career. “But I’m pumped. It’s going really well so far. I know it could be going a lot worse. I’m trying to keep my head down and keep focused. I know it’s a seven-race series, and I want to be as prepared as I can possibly be. I’m just preparing as much as I can. I can’t do anything else but go out there every time to give it 200%. Mistakes happen, obviously, every now and then. I made probably 10 or 12 mistakes in that main event, but like I said, I just want to give it everything I’ve got every time I’m out there.”
Canard leads the Lites East points standings with a perfect 50 points, 14 in front of the next rider with five rounds left to run.
Josh Grant’s night started well. Grant was the fastest rider in the first practice session of the day, and was the second-fastest rider overall when both practice sessions were taken into consideration. However, early in his Heat race, he had a run-in with Ben Coisy.
“I went next to him in the whoops thinking that he was going to go in a straight line, and he didn’t,” Grant said. “I don’t know if he got squirelly or if he cut over on me, but I got tangled up. Pretty much, he cleaned my front end out.”
Grant had to do everything in his power just to make the main at that point.
“From there, I had to do what I could to try and make the main,” Grant said. “I caught up to ninth, so I made the main, but I had a bad gate pick because of the fall in the Heat, so I was stuck way on the outside.”
With the poor starting spot, Grant had his work cut out for him in the main event.
“I think I came around the first turn in seventh or eighth or something, and it was carnage the first lap, and someone crashed off of the triple, so I had to go around him, and I got tangled up with a few riders,” Grant said. “Then I just started working my way through the pack. I got up to fourth, then came around, and there was a tricky little triple section, and I went to go do it, and the flaggers were forcing me to the side for a downed rider. I turned at the last second and ended up getting cross-rutted and flying off and landing on a haybale and crashing. From there, I just did the best I could to get up and catch back up again.”
Grant caught back up to 12th by the end of the main event.
In the 450cc class, Kevin Windham was impressive all day. In his Heat race, Windham chased Chad Reed throughout, even doing a rhythm section in a fashion that Reed himself – the designer of the track – wasn’t doing.
With the pressure he was able to put on Reed throughout the Heat race, Windham came into the main event full of confidence, and was looking for his second win of the season. After a start at the tail-end of the top five, Windham quickly went to work, passing his way through to third, and then going to work on Andrew Short for the second spot. However, the intensity with which he was going after the win as he watched Reed pull away from Short caused Windham to tighten up as they approached the middle of the race, and from there, he was powerless to continue to charge toward the front and eventually finished fifth.
Windham still sits second in the points, well clear of third, with eight rounds left to run.
From here, the Torco Racing Fuels Honda team heads to Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, for the third round of the Lites Eastern Region championship and round eight of the AMA Supercross Series.
Team Sponsors: Torco Race Fuels, Honda, Planet Fitness, No Fear Energy, AMSOIL, Factory Connection, No Fear, Shoei, Gaerne, Spy, DVS, Cycra, Dunlop, EK, Ferodo, Hinson, Ogio, One Industries, Pro Circuit, Renthal, Showa, TAG, Twin Air, and Works Connection.
Indianapolis Lites Main:
1. Trey Canard Torco Racing Fuels Honda
2. Ryan Villopoto Kaw
3. Nico Izzi Suz
4. Ben Coisy Hon
5. Ryan Sipes KTM
6. Branden Jesseman Kaw
7. Tyler Bowers Yam
8. Billy Payne Hon
9. Matt Goerke KTM
10. Martin Davalos KTM
12. Josh Grant Torco Racing Fuels Honda
AMA Eastern Lites Standings (After 2 of 8 rounds):
1. Trey Canard (50/2 wins)
2. Ryan Sipes (36)
3. Martin Davalos (33)
4. Nico Izzi (33)
5. Tyler Bowers (31)
6. Branden Jesseman (30)
7. Ben Coisy (29)
8. Jake Moss (28)
9. Josh Grant (23)
10. Ryan Villopoto (22)
Indianapolis 450cc Main:
1. Chad Reed Yam
2. Josh Hill Yam
3. Andrew Short Hon
4. Ryan Dungey Suz
5. Kevin Windham Torco Racing Fuels Honda
6. Travis Preston Kaw
7. Paul Carpenter Hon
8. Nathan Ramsey Yam
9. David Vuillemin Suz
10. Josh Hansen Yam
AMA Supercross Standings (After 9 of 17 rounds):
1. Chad Reed (209/6 wins)
2. Kevin Windham (175/1 win)
3. Andrew Short (141)
4. Timmy Ferry (137)
5. Davi Millsaps (127/1 win)
6. Nathan Ramsey (114)
7. Josh Hill (106)
8. Nick Wey (84)
9. David Vuillemin (84)
10. Paul Carpenter (81)