CARLSBAD, Calif. – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Stroupe put an early move on teammate Christophe Pourcel, grabbed 1st place and didn’t let go through the ESX Lites main event checkers at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, winning his first race of the season and climbing from 5th place in the overall standings to 3rd place after three ESX races this season.
Both Stroupe and Pourcel were crazy fast at Indy, putting up the best times in the main event in distancing themselves from the rest of the field. The two racers also benefitted from a red flag restart on the ESX Lites main event at Indy when a first turn wreck cleaned out much of the field – including the two Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racers.
“We got really lucky on the start,” said Pourcel. “(On the second start) I got a good start and had a good race through the end – so I am happy.”
Not quite as dominant in their heat races (Stroupe 5th in heat one, Pourcel 4th in heat two), the two absolutely mastered the technical Indy track that included a power-sapping sand section right before a long run of whoops that ended in a near-vertical wall jump. On the restart Pourcel pulled the holeshot and was followed by Nico Izzi and Stroupe. Leading for a couple laps – but with Stroupe hot on his tail – Pourcel left a little opening for Stroupe coming out of a bowl turn and into a rhythm section and Stroupe pounced – the two Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racers coming together, peg-to-peg, with Stroupe matching Pourcel on the landing and then taking off on a lead he’d never relinquish.
I’m super pumped to be up here,” said Stroupe from the top of the podium. “Huge crowd here at Indy and my Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki was dialed.”
By picking up a season-high 25-points with win Stroupe moved up from 5th place in the overall standing onto the overall ESX podium (3rd). He trails Izzi by five points for 2nd overall (62-57) and ESX series points leader Pourcel by 15 points.
This weekend Monster Energy Supercross will race on the infield of the legendary Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla. (March 7), round ten of Monster Energy Supercross.
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