Rockstar Makita Suzuki New Orleans Report

Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing’s Chad Reed continues to lead the AMA Supercross Championship points chase after again finishing on the podium at the series’ return to New Orleans’ Superdome. Reed started the night by taking the win in his heat race and finished the night with an epic battle in the main, where he finished a strong second. This season, Reed has finished every race on the podium. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Mike Alessi also had a good night, finishing fourth in his heat race and then battling with the front-runners for most of the main before finishing sixth. Currently, Alessi is seventh in the overall championship points. Unfortunately, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Michael Byrne was injured at last weekend’s event and did not race. He hopes to be back racing again soon.

In the Supercross Lites class, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi experienced a rough night. The young rider rode well in practice and set impressive lap times on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250. While making a pass for the lead on lap one of his heat race, however, Izzi went down and had to go to the Last Chance Qualifier. While making his way to the front in the LCQ, unfortunately, he went down again and ended up finishing third. Izzi did not race the main.

Chad Reed:
“I’m a little frustrated because I felt like I was riding really well on my Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 at the beginning of the race, but I wasn’t really able to take advantage of having better lines and riding faster than the leader. I started getting frustrated and unfortunately that’s when James (Stewart) started finding his lines and he just rode really, really solid and made great passes on the lappers. I kind of struggled in that area. It is what it is, and I was really happy to be back on the podium. You know, it’s second but it could always be worse.”

Mike Alessi:
“I got the holeshot and was leading, then James (Stewart) kind of hit me and he and my teammate Chad got by and I was third. I made a little mistake on the first lap and got into fourth. I was running a good pace on my Rockstar Makita Suzuki, but I got into some lappers and my handlebars got tangled up with another rider and we collided and I went down. I got up real quick and charged hard to get back to sixth. I tried my hardest, but unfortunately, I just fell. I’m riding, good, the bike’s working great and everybody at Rockstar Makita Suzuki is doing a great job.”

Nico Izzi:
“Not making the main was a real bummer, because I’d been riding good all day and my Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 was working well. I’m pretty disappointed because I trained hard for this race this week, but I know I gave it all I had. Now, I just need to regroup and get ready for next weekend’s race.”

Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race next at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, on Saturday, March 21, 2009.

Chad Reed, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #1
2nd Place – New Orleans Supercross
1st Place – Overall Championship Points Standings

Mike Alessi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #800
6th Place – New Orleans Supercross
7th Place – Overall Championship Points Standings       

Michael Byrne, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #26
DNR – New Orleans Supercross
NA – Overall Championship Points Standings     

Nico Izzi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z250, #20
DNR – New Orleans Supercross Lites
3rd Place -- Overall Championship Points Standings

AMA Supercross Top 10 Finishers:                         
1.      James Stewart, Kawasaki (Holeshot)
2.      Chad Reed, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
3.      Broc Hepler, Yamaha
4.      Kevin Windham, Honda
5.      Andrew Short, Honda
6.      Mike Alessi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
7.      Josh Grant, Yamaha
8.      Justin Brayton, KTM
9.      Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki
10.   Matt Boni, Honda

AMA Supercross Lites Top 10 Finishers:
1.      Austin Stroupe, Kawasaki (Holeshot)
2.      Branden Jesseman, Kawasaki
3.      Blake Wharton, Honda
4.      Christophe Pourcel, Kawasaki
5.      Wil Hahn, KTM
6.      Darryn Durham, Yamaha
7.      Daniel Blair, Honda
8.      Broc Tickle, Yamaha
9.      Matt Goerke, Suzuki
10.   Steven Clarke, Suzuki