Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed grabbed the main-event holeshot, just in front of his teammate Mike Alessi. San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart was quickly into second, though, and Alessi crashed out of third the next lap, handing the spot to GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham.
At the same time that Alessi went down, so did both Jason Lawrence and Broc Hepler, after they collided in the turn previous to where Alessi fell.
For the next 10-12 laps, Stewart didn’t seem to have much for Reed, but eventually Stewart began to put a wheel in on Reed, even making a pass before Reed passed him back. With five or six laps to go, Stewart actually made a pass stick, and apparently not appreciative of Reed passing him back a few turns earlier, Stewart played a bit of “cat and mouse” as Reed put it. Then, the two racers actually collided in mid-air over the track’s second triple jump, and then collided again heading into the following corner, ripping Reed’s right-front fork guard loose on his RM-Z450.
Stewart eventually began to pull away, winning his 10th main event of the season, while Reed hung on for second, Windham was third, Yamaha’s Josh Hill was fourth, Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short was fifth, Alessi was sixth after his early fall, Canidae/Motosport Kawasaki’s Tommy Hahn was seventh, and San Manuel Yamaha’s Kyle Chisholm was eighth – the last rider on the lead lap at the finish.
With three rounds left, Stewart trails Reed by five points.
Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel was racing for nothing but pride in Jacksonville. Having clinched the Lites Eastern Regional Supercross Championship a race earlier in Toronto, Pourcel came into Jacksonville with literally nothing to lose.
Still, when the gate dropped, Pourcel put the hammer down. No, he didn’t grab the holeshot – that honor went to Muscle Milk/MDK KTM’s Wil Hahn – but he did start near enough to the front that he was able to go immediately to work, passing Steven Clarke for third on the second lap before second-place (Vince Friese) broke, moving Pourcel into that spot.
However, Pourcel’s advance slowed at that point. For the next eight laps, Pourcel chased Hahn to no avail. On lap 10, Pourcel got close enough to Hahn that it flustered him, and Pourcel made the pass stick, while Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi began gaining on Hahn for second, just in front of Division 7/Star Racing Yamaha’s Broc Tickle and his teammate Darryn Durham.
Only a lap later, Tickle went down when he and Izzi got together in the fight for third, and Pourcel’s teammate Austin Stroupe was soon around Durham for fourth. On the final lap, Izzi had it all go wrong over one of the track’s triples, going down only three turns from the finish and severely injuring his right leg, handing third to Stroupe. At the finish, it was Pourcel, Hahn, Stroupe, Durham, GEICO Powersports Honda’s Blake Wharton, Tickle, Canidae/Motosport Kawasaki’s Branden Jesseman, Matt Lemoine, Matt Goerke, and Clarke rounding out the top 10.
After the upcoming weekend off (the first of the season) for Easter, the Lites will switch back to the West coast, where Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer is locked in a duel with Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey for the championship with only two rounds left to run.