Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing’s Chad Reed had an impressive 2009 AMA Supercross season debut with his new team at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on Saturday night. The two-time and defending AMA Supercross champion got a good start on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 and was battling for the lead when he suffered a nasty crash. The Australian rallied and rejoined the race, bringing home a third-place finish. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Mike Alessi got caught up in an early-race pile-up, but managed to get back into the fray and finished in 11th position. Finally, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Michael Byrne did not race, due to an injury sustained in the off-season. He hopes to be back racing as soon as possible.
In the Supercross Lites class, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey also started the 2009 season with a podium finish. Although Dungey suffered a get-off in his heat race, he came back and won the evening’s LCQ. Following that, Dungey charged hard on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 in the SX Lites main to bring home an impressive third-place finish.
“This was a good day, we learned a lot. In the first practice session, I was third, and we made some changes and I got more comfortable with the track conditions. In the main event, I tried to put myself in a good position. I went to second place right away, and I felt like I had some better lines than the leader. When he made a mistake, I got by him and tried to put my head down but he got back by me. Then, I was getting ready to pass him back when I think he missed a gear and we both went flying. We bent the bike up pretty good and I lost the front brake so I’m pretty excited to be on the podium. It’s a shame that we crashed because I think we would have had a good battle. I felt like I had a win in me, for sure.”
“The race was actually pretty good, especially since I haven’t been riding for a couple of months because of my leg injury. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 was running good – there was a lot of power and the suspension was spot-on. The whole team was working great and everybody was helping me out. In the main, I didn’t get a good start – I was about 10th and, then, in the second turn there was a pile-up and I got caught up in it. I had to turn around and get back on the track and I started dead last. But I went from last to 11th, and I just tried to run my own race and ride consistent laps and run the pace I felt comfortable with. It’s good to get the first race out of the way.”
“We had a few ups and downs at Anaheim, but it was also a chance for our whole team to come together. I worked my butt off on the track, but they worked their butts off before that, changing motors and getting everything ready for the main. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 ran strong in the main event and that’s what counts – the team stepped it up when they had to. I was just thankful to finish up on the podium and end up where we did.”
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race next at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009.
Chad Reed, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #1
3rd Place – Anaheim 1 Supercross
3rd Place – Overall Championship Points Standings
Mike Alessi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #800
11th Place – Anaheim 1 Supercross
11th Place – Overall Championship Points Standings
Ryan Dungey, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z250, #10
3rd Place – Anaheim 1 Supercross Lites
3rd Place -- Overall Championship Points Standings