In the 450cc class, points leader and defending champ Chad Reed of the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team looked to have the main-event holeshot, but as was frequently the case in the chaotic first turn, he was pushed out and his teammate Mike Alessi actually came away with the holeshot while Reed was hung up in the first turn, which dropped him outside the top ten.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto made short work of Alessi out front and took over the lead, while Alessi went backward, losing spots to both Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short and San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart. Stewart moved into second before the end of the first complete lap and set out after Villopoto.
However, he didn’t gain on Villopoto initially until Villopoto began making a few mistakes, which allowed Stewart to catch him. On lap four, Stewart finally made a move on Villopoto entering a section of three tabletops in which the fastest line was to jump across the tops. When Stewart made the pass, he allowed Villopoto back up the inside and lost his own drive into the tabletops. Villopoto quickly took the lead back, only to lose it again a couple of turns later.
With Stewart out front, he set sail, although he didn’t pull out a dramatic amount over Villopoto for most of the race.
Reed rounded the first lap in eighth and began moving forward. By lap five, he moved by JGR/Toyota Yamaha’s Josh Grant for fourth, and had only Short, Villopoto and Stewart in front of him. On lap 13, Reed made his way by Short for third, and that very lap, one turn before the finish, Villopoto washed his front end out and went down, handing Reed second.
The finishing order was set, with Stewart taking his third win in a row over Reed, Villopoto (his first podium in the 450cc class), Short and Grant.
Stewart now trails Reed by only nine points, 86-77, with 13 rounds still left to run. Stewart also sits tied for second in points with Grant.
The Lites class saw the debut of the 2009 Lites Eastern Regional Supercross Championship, and as such, the 2009 debut of a whole slew of riders.
Just like the 450cc class, the Lites class saw havoc in the first turn, but Frenchman Christophe Pourcel, of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, got away clean with the lead in the early going, with teammate Austin Stroupe chasing Yamaha’s Darryn Durham and miscalculating the tabletop second and knocking them both off the track, handing second to Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi and third to GEICO Powersports Honda’s Brett Metcalfe.
Metcalfe chased Izzi around for almost half the race before Izzi began to slow and Metcalfe found his way by for second. From there, Metcalfe put in the work to try and chase down Pourcel, but he couldn’t gain fast enough, and Pourcel hung on for the win, followed closely by Metcalfe, and then Izzi, Stroupe and rookie Blake Wharton.
After their opener, the Lites East takes a break for a few weeks while the Lites West goes back to work next weekend in San Francisco.