Rockstar Makita Suzuki Atlanta Report

Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing’s Chad Reed captured his seventh-straight second-place finish at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome on Saturday night. The two-time, defending AMA Supercross Champion holeshot and led all laps of his heat race before going on to capture the runner-up position in the 20-lap main. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammates Mike Alessi finished up in 11th, while Michael Byrne -- struggled after having been injured for most of the season -- crashed out of his heat race and did not race the main.

In the Supercross Lites class, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi bounced back after nasty crashes during practice and his heat race to win the LCQ. Then, in the 15-lap main event, Izzi got a good start on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 and rode most of the race in third place before finishing in second.  Currently, Izzi is in second place in the overall championship points chase.                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Chad Reed:
“It’s great to be back on the East Coast, to be able to sleep in my own bed and do my own program. I had a really great heat race, I’ve been waiting for that holeshot for a long time. I came into the season practicing my starts but I haven’t really lived up to my own expectations so it was great to have a heat race like that. In the main, well, I just had to be patient, that’s all I could do. It was tough. I made a mistake and I was just trying to get out front as soon as I could. But it’s a long series, and we still have to keep working on that championship.”

Mike Alessi:
“It was a good night overall, I felt like I was riding pretty good in the main, but unfortunately I fell because I was trying really hard. But that’s racing, that’s how it goes. My Rockstar Makita Suzuki was running good and I was happy with that. Now, I just need to focus on improving for Indianapolis next weekend.”
Michael Byrne:
My problems started in my heat race. I came up short on a jump and crashed out of the race, so I got the last gate pick for the LCQ. I didn’t get a good start and I tried to get up to second place to make the main and I just didn’t make it. I definitely felt I could’ve ridden better than I did. I struggled a bit. Maybe things went a little too well for me last week in my first race back, but it’s tough and you can’t really afford to make mistakes like that.”

Nico Izzi:
“It was a tough day, I had a little bit of bad luck and some problems with things that I couldn’t control. I had, like, 200 crashes, I think. I’d hoped luck would go my way, but after the heat race where I crashed out, I just wanted to go back and regroup. Then I came back and won the LCQ and I had a good start in the main. I was able to put in some good laps. It was really good to know that I could go from having such a bad day and then turn it around to such a good day. Now, I just really want to get that first win.”

Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race next at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009.
Chad Reed, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #1
2nd Place – Atlanta Supercross
2nd Place – Overall Championship Points Standings

Mike Alessi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #800
11th Place – Atlanta Supercross
9th Place – Overall Championship Points Standings     
Michael Byrne, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #26
DNR – Atlanta Supercross
NA – Overall Championship Points Standings        

Nico Izzi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z250, #20
2nd Place – Atlanta Supercross Lites
2nd Place -- Overall Championship Points Standings

AMA Supercross Top 10 Finishers:                         
1.      James Stewart, Yamaha (Holeshot)
2.      Chad Reed, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
3.      Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki
4.      Andrew Short, Honda
5.      Broc Hepler, Yamaha
6.      Kevin Windham, Honda
7.      Ivan Tedesco, Honda
8.      Tim Ferry, Kawasaki
9.      Josh Hill, Yamaha
10.   Davi Millsaps, Honda

AMA Supercross Lites Top 10 Finishers:
1.      Christophe Pourcel, Kawasaki
2.      Nico Izzi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
3.      Martin Davalos, KTM
4.      Blake Wharton, Honda
5.      Branden Jesseman, Kawasaki
6.      Wil Hahn, KTM
7.      Austin Stroupe, Kawasaki (Holeshot)
8.      Matt Lemoine, Yamaha
9.      Matthew Goerke, Suzuki
10.   Steven Clarke, Suzuki