Kawasaki/Racer X Race Report

April 12, 2008 6:11pm

Detroit Drama

Wow. What an insane night of racing. Coming into Detroit for Round 14 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, it appeared that San Manuel/Fusion Yamaha’s Chad Reed had the title almost on ice. A 27-point lead with four races left—all he had to do was put it on auto pilot and cruise to his second AMA Supercross championship. Well, as we’ve seen so many times in the past, it’s never over till the checkered drops in Las Vegas.

Reed's day started like this.

In the first 450 practice session of the day inside Ford Field, Chad Reed mis-timed a rhythm section and augured himself into the Michigan terra firma. Many witnesses claimed that it was one of the worst crashes they’ve seen. While Reed lay motionless on the side of the track, the AMA threw the red flag, ending the first AMA Supercross class practice prematurely. Reed would spend the rest of the afternoon in a local hospital while practice went on, with Yamaha’s Josh Hill setting the fastest lap time in his absence. Reed would return to Ford Field, though, and put in one may be the ride of his career.

AMA Supercross Lites

With two races remaining in the Eastern Regional Lites Series and a 17-point deficit, chances of Ryan Villopoto winning the championship looked bleak. After all, Trey Canard was riding more like a seasoned veteran than a rookie supercrosser. But as we’ve seen in practice today in the 450 class, anything could happen, and it did in the Lites main event as Trey Canard saw his fairy tale season unravel in a hurry.

Nico Izzi (341) and Ryan Morais (116) jockey for position.

Branden Jesseman had his best finish of the season.

In the main event, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto wasted no time and snagged the Progressive Direct Holeshot—his first of the season. But Trey Canard was right on his tail, followed by Suzuki's Nico Izzi, Yamaha's Ryan Morais and Honda's Josh Grant.

Villopoto immediately started gapping Canard, and Nico Izzi started applying some rare pressure to the #48 Torco Racing Fuels Honda rider. Finally around lap four, Izzi, riding with added vigor in front of his hometown crowed, made the pass on Canard, rattling the points leader. Then on lap seven, Canard cross-rutted in the section before the finish line, landed on a Tuff Block and hit the dirt. He scurried to his feet and rushed to restart his Honda CRF250R, but it wouldn’t comply. After what seemed like an eternity, his bike finally came to life after losing several positions and he rejoined the race in 15th position with six laps remaining.

Ryan Villopoto now trails Canard by only three points with one round remaining.

Meanwhile, out front Villopoto built up a comfortable lead while a raging battle ensued for the runner-up position. Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy’s Ryan Morais came alive and rode to a solid runner-up position, and RV’s teammate Branden Jesseman rounded out the podium after winning the Last Chance Qualifier. Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi finished off a strong main event in front of his hometown crowd for fourth, with MDK KTM’s Matt Goerke rounding out the top five.

“It feels to finally get around that first turn with a clear track,” Villopoto said on the podium with a smile. “It’s definitely going to be a close race for the title. It’s going to take another good start. Tonight I was just waiting for a mistake and I definitely got it. I came around and saw he was down, and that’s definitely what I needed. It feels good to be three points behind; I’m in a good position.”

AMA Supercross

Team Moto XXX/Hooters Eric Sorby jumped out and grabbed the Progressive Direct Holeshot in the 450 main event, with Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps, Motosport Xtreme Kawasaki’s Tommy Hahn, and Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry in tow. Chad Reed took the start but as we’ve seen all day long, nothing could go right for our series points leader, and Reed hit the ground again in the first turn, remounting in 21st place. But Reed would grind it out tonight, putting in 20 painful laps, gutting out a 12th place finish and earning 11 important points.

Reed gets his shoulder iced down on the starting line for the main event.

Ferry was runner-up.

Davi Millsaps pulled away for his second win of the season.

Meanwhile out front, Millsaps assumed the lead on lap two and would never look back, racing away to his second career AMA Supercross victory. Tim Ferry tried to close the gap but never got within striking distance, finishing second on his Monster Energy Kawasaki. Torco Racing Fuels Honda’s Kevin Windham, trying to capitalize on Reed’s misfortune, rode safely to finish third. After all that went down today, Reed will take a16-point cushion into St. Louis with only three rounds remaining. But the question is his health. All three titles look to go down to the final round.

Your 450 podium.