Monster Energy Supercross Update: Anaheim 3

CORONA, Calif. – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer won his second-straight WSX Lites main event, this past weekend topping teammate Ryan Morais and KTM’s Justin Brayton in an exciting back-and-forth final that went right down to the last corner to decide the victor at the third and final installment of the Anaheim (Calif.) supercross trilogy, round six of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship.
With the win Weimer, who was trailing the overall WSX title chase by four points heading into Anaheim 3, has wrestled the point lead away from rival Ryan Dungey. As it stands, after five rounds of WSX action, Weimer leads Dungey by three points, 113-110, for the overall title with Morais close by in 3rd place overall (102 points).
Both Weimer and Morais wound up in the second heat race and easily transferred to the main in the soft conditions at Angel Stadium, finishing 1-2, respectively. Then when the gate dropped on the main, track conditions had worsened a bit due to the rain. Both Weimer and Morais played it fast and smart on the start, coming out up front while Dungey hit the deck while trying to squeeze through a tight inside line.
By the end if the first lap Weimer and Morais were 2-3 behind then-leader Brayton – and closing. The normally wide-open Anaheim track became pretty much one-lined and deferring would put you out in the slick stuff where traction became chancy at best. Roughly through the midway point of the 15-lap contest Weimer and Brayton would go toe-to-toe  in one of the better WSX battles of the season, with Weimer making the lead stick for good by lap nine. But the checkers would not be a formality at that point as Morais put on a spectacular bid for Weimer’s top spot with a last-turn blitz that will no doubt end up on the season-ending highlight film.
“I got stuck behind a lapper and just had to go for it and tripled into the last turn and landed on the Tuff Blocks,” said Morais of his bid for the win.
Weimer played it cool, though, and blasted through the checkers, igniting the 1st place flames from atop the giant Monster Energy cans that flank the finish line.
“The track was not real, real muddy, but real difficult,” said Weimer of the conditions. “You had to keep an open mind.” And when asked of his new hold on the WSX points lead, Weimer added: “We’re at the halfway point, so this was important. But there’s a lot of racing left.”
In the SX class Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto suffered a scary get-off in his heat race, pile driving himself into the face of a jump after cross-rutting and high siding his KX450F moments before. A bit dazed and blurry-eyed, Villopoto made an attempt to answer the bell in the LCQ, but went down in the same section of the track and ended up calling it a night.
“I hit my head pretty hard in the heat race crash,” said Villopoto. “I was pretty dingy, and the peripheral vision in my right eye was all blurry. I got checked out by the doctors at the track and I had to at least get out there to see if I could qualify. When I tipped over I knew I wasn’t gonna make it anyway, so I pulled it in to play it safe.” Villopoto added a couple hours later that his vision was “all cleared up” and he’ll be racing San Diego this weekend.
So the top performer in the SX class for Monster Energy at Anaheim 3 was the fast-rising Josh Hill (Yamaha). The sophomore SX class racer has been climbing up the final standings with consistently fast performances as of late, this past weekend scoring another top ten finish (8th) and moving to within a few points of a top ten overall spot in the standings.
“We made few bike adjustments that seemed to work out real well,” said Hill, who transferred to the main with a 6th place finish in the first heat race. “I feel like I’m right at breaking into the top five.” Note: Hill got together with Chad Reed on the first lap of the SX main, crashed, and was still able to make it back to 8th!
Also scoring a top ten finish in the premier SX class was Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry. The Floridian veteran scored a 5th place finish in the first heat race to make the main, then overcame a back-of-the-pack start to make his way into the top ten (10th) by the end of the race. Note: Ferry leads Hill by three points, 67-64, for 10th place overall in the SX class standings.
The final two Monster Energy-backed racers to make the SX main event – a task in itself considering the conditions – were Monster Energy/Cernic’s/Kawasaki’s Paul Carpenter (14th) and Boost Mobile/ampm/Monster Energy/Troy Racing’s Nick Wey (15th).
Next up for the Monster Energy-backed Monster Energy AMA Supercross racers is round seven of the series at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium this Saturday, Feb. 14.
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