In the Supercross class, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed also had cause to celebrate after Saturday night. The two-time, defending AMA Supercross Champion finished an impressive second place in the Supercross main, after having already won his heat race earlier in the night. This performance also moved Reed into second place overall in the SX title chase. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Mike Alessi continues to work his way back into racing after losing multiple months to injury. The Californian finished sixth in his SX heat race and was 11th in the main. Currently, Alessi is 10th overall in the points chase. 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.
Ryan Dungey: “Right off the bat, in practice, I felt really good. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 was handling great, and the track was pretty basic but a fast one. In both practices, I felt like I had the fastest lap times and that was good for my mind for the heats and the main. I just tried to hold my own and do what I do best. I was amazed at how the track kept its moisture, because that allowed me to push the bike a little more. Going into the main, I knew a good holeshot was going to be key… After I was able to get into the lead, I just tried to get it done.”
Chad Reed: “During the week leading up to Phoenix, we’d made a lot of small changes to the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, but when we got to the race, we ended up going back to our original settings. In the main, I felt really good and I had my good parts of the track… What I was most enthused about, though, was that I was able to change up some lines at the end that really worked, and it was good to be in that position to be able to just let it flow. Overall, I feel like I’m real solid and I feel real confident, more confident than I’ve ever been. I’m just happy that I’m able to put the Suzuki in places that I’ve never been able to get in and out of before.” Mike Alessi: “I have to admit, the day started out a little rough, practice was tough for sure. It’s been hard for me coming back after the injury, because I haven’t raced in months. But it’s good to be racing again and we’ve been progressing with every race. The longer I was on the track, the better the bike felt and I also felt like my speed was coming back slowly. In the main, my Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 got me off to a great start and I was running fourth for a couple laps, and then I got a little tight. But I rode consistent laps, didn’t get in over my head and I’m happy with 11th place. I think that in a few weeks I’ll be right back where I should be -- in the top five.”
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will return to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, for the second of three races at that venue.
Chad Reed, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #1 2nd Place – Phoenix Supercross
2nd Place – Overall Championship Points Standings
Mike Alessi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #800 11th Place – Phoenix Supercross
10th Place – Overall Championship Points Standings
Ryan Dungey, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z250, #10 1st Place – Phoenix Supercross Lites
1st Place -- Overall Championship Points