Anaheim II – round three of the Monster Energy/AMA Supercross Championship – had all of the trappings of a runaway yawner of a race, but the racers didn’t cooperate. The track itself was extremely difficult to pass on, with only one good line through most of the sections, so if one of the top couple of riders in either class got away early, the race could almost be over before it started.
In the Lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Morais swept the outside of the first turn to grab his first-ever main-event holeshot, and led his first-ever main-event laps. Hot on his heels was Phoenix winner, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, with GEICO Powersports Honda’s Dan Reardon third, Anaheim I winner Jake Weimer fourth, TLD Honda’s Chris Blose fifth, and defending West champ Jason Lawrence sixth.
Morais led the first three laps before finally giving way to Dungey out front. That same lap, Weimer finally made a pass stick in a tricky rhythm section and took third from Reardon. Over the ensuing 12 laps, Dungey pulled away while Weimer worked on Morais for second. However, as was previously mentioned, the track was very one-lined, so when Morais made it through one group of lappers faster than Weimer, who got stuck behind them for nearly a lap, Weimer lost all chance of catching Morais. The top three was set, with Dungey taking the win over Morais and Weimer.
Meanwhile, behind them, Reardon had his hands full with Blose and Lawrence, and Lawrence worked his way by both of them and into fourth, while Blose also zapped Reardon for fifth. Reardon finished sixth.
The West series goes on a one-week hiatus as the East gets going in Houston next weekend, and then the West resumes a week later in San Francisco.
Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Mike Alessi got back to his holeshot ways at the start of the 450cc main, but GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham made short work of Alessi to take the lead right away, and JGR/Toyota Yamaha’s Josh Grant, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, Honda Red Bull Racing’s Ivan Tedesco, and San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart all got by him by the end of the first official lap as well.
Meanwhile, Alessi’s teammate Chad Reed was down in the first turn, as Bobby Kiniry clipped him and knocked him down as he fell himself. Although he got up in 19th, Reed still managed to cross the first official lap (actually about a lap and a half into the race) in 14th – still a far cry from where the top riders were.
Windham led the first 10 laps of the race as Stewart tried to work his way through the leaders and Reed tried to work his way through everyone. Stewart moved around Tedesco on lap two, then Villopoto, after a struggle, on lap seven, and then Grant for second on lap nine, leaving only Windham out front. On lap 11, Stewart got the inside on Windham in the “motocross” section of the track following the finish-line jump, and he attempted to set off.
By the time Stewart moved into the lead, Reed had already made it up to fourth, behind Stewart, Windham, Villopoto and Grant. Reed got by Grant on the 15th lap for fourth, then Villopoto on the 18th lap for third as Villopoto was trying to work his way around Windham. The battle allowed Windham to pull away a bit, and when Windham and Reed took the checkered flag, there was still a solid second or more between them. However, Reed put down a blazing final lap, and two turns from the finish, he fought his way to the inside of Windham to take second.
After all the effort, Stewart managed, once again, only to gain three points on Reed, despite Reed’s first-turn fall. Windham was third, with Villopoto fourth and Grant fifth.
Reed took over the points lead for the first time, despite being yet to win a main event.