AURORA, Ill. (April 18, 2008) – Perhaps one of the most pivotal Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, races of the season will unfold tomorrow night at St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome as Team San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ Chad Reed fights through an injured shoulder to hold on to his AMA Supercross class points lead. The AMA Supercross class race from St. Louis will air on CBS Sports Sunday, April 20 at Noon. The AMA Supercross Lites class race will air on SPEED Sunday, April 26 at 4:30 p.m.
Last weekend at Detroit’s Ford Field Reed, of Tampa, Fla., suffered a hard crash in practice and was forced to use an AMA Provisional, which allows for a rider within the top 10 in points to advance directly to the feature, to land a spot in the main event. Finishing 12th, Reed’s 27 point lead heading into last weekend diminish narrowed to 16 over Torco Fuels Honda’s Kevin Windham, of Centerville, Miss.
“I do not know how I made it through the main event,” said Reed. “I have always been able to go out and grit my teeth, but this is the toughest race I have ever been in. When I crashed, I was scared for my life. I just put my head down and went for it tonight. This is a title chase, and I am here for the championship.”
Although Windham is in second place, he was unable to take advantage of Reed’s misfortune. The 30 year old finished in third place last weekend in Detroit.
“I left some points on the table tonight,” said Windham after the race in Detroit. “I had a bad start and played catch up all night. It has been an emotional roller coaster all day with the situation with Chad. He is a great competitor and I wish him the best of luck. I need to come into the last three races of the season with a solid game plan.”
Red Bull Honda’s Davi Millsaps, of Cairo, Ga., picked up his second win of the season in Detroit. “This is my first full year in the class, and I could not be happier with my results. A win is a win, and this is a step in the right direction for me.” In addition to the two wins, Millsaps has six podium finishes.
In the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites competition, a champion will be crowned in St. Louis. Torco Fuels Honda’s Trey Canard, a rookie on the circuit, opened the season with three consecutive wins and established a huge points lead over Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto. Villopoto, the reigning Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites champion, helped Canard’s cause by not earning any points at the season opener in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. Villopoto has answered back, tearing off three consecutive wins of his own. With a 10th-place finish in Detroit by Canard, Villopoto now sits three points behind Canard.
“I’ve done everything I could these last three races, “said Villopoto. “We’re in a position to win the championship. That has been my goal and now I just need to get a good start and take it from there. I think having won titles before has helped me come back and hopefully we will be celebrating Saturday night.”
Villopoto’s teammate Branden Jesseman was back on the box in Detroit and hopes for another podium finish in St. Louis. Jesseman battled through the last chance qualifier before finishing third in the main event.
“I’m ready for St. Louis,” said Jesseman. “I’ve been riding well, but I haven’t put together a main event until Detroit. I think it will be a good race and hopefully I finish right behind Ryan (Villopoto) on the podium.”
For the Monster Energy Kawasaki team, Timmy Ferry earned a runner-up finish in Detroit. It only took Ferry three races after returning from an injury to get back on the podium, and he thinks he can be up there again in St. Louis.
“Everything just seems to be coming together,” said Ferry. “My endurance is starting to come back and I’m riding really, really good right now. The dirt in St. Louis is usually good and hopefully I can get that first win this weekend.”
Travis Preston also had a banner race in Detroit, earning his best finish of the year. Preston finished third in his heat race and sixth in the main after getting good starts in both races.
“My Kawasaki is really jumping out of the gate,” said Preston. “I was struggling with my starts earlier, but it looks like I’ve got it figured out. It is a lot better riding up front with the fast guys and I’m ready to be up there again this week.”
MDK KTM Factory Team rider Nick Wey was very busy last weekend when he raced in front of his hometown crowd in Detroit.
“I had a lot of fun last week, but I am ready to focus on this weekend’s race. I hope to do well in St. Louis to gain some much needed points for the series,” remarked Wey.
Wey’s teammate Martin Davalos had a rough weekend in Detroit ending with two hard crashes in the main event. Davalos stated, “I wasn’t excited with my performance last weekend. I went home and practiced some things and plan on riding mistake free in St. Louis.”
MDK KTM Lites riders Matt Goerke and Ryan Sipes have been putting in the hours on their bikes this week eager to do well at the last round of the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites championship. “I was really excited to be inside the top five last weekend and I hope to improve upon that finish and get on the podium at the last round,” commented Goerke.
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