Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, who won round one in Anaheim, had his share of drama starting on Press Day, when he crashed and dinged his hip. Then, during practice on race day, Weimer cased a section and badly bruised his right foot. However, somehow even with his minor injuries, Weimer was able to top the practice charts over Anaheim I runner-up Trey Canard of the GEICO Powersports Honda team.
Canard had his own share of drama when, in the first turn during his Heat race, he was hit by someone on the inside of him in the corner who ran over his foot, injuring the foot bad enough that he had to pull out of the heat race on the opening lap, although he returned for the LCQ and qualified for the main behind Broc Tickle, who had his own tough heat race.
In the main event, though, it was Weimer’s teammate Josh Hansen with the holeshot over Canard’s teammate Blake Wharton, but Wharton took over the lead when Hansen crashed going into the second turn. Some say Wharton made contact with Hansen, but regardless, Wharton took over the lead and led the next 12 laps over Weimer, who slowly faded to third behind Rockstar/Canidae Suzuki’s Ryan Morais, but neither could make head ay on Wharton for most of the race.
On lap 13, though, Morais made a move on Wharton through the whoops and took over the lead, only for Weimer to follow him through and then pressure him until he could make a similar move by Morais for the lead. Once into the lead, Weimer took the win, over, Morais, Wharton, Wil Hahn, Broc Tickle, Cole Seely and Canard, who ran as high as third early on, but had some bobbles cost him.
In the 450cc class, the drama also followed the title contenders – or at least the people who were expected to battle for the title – as round-one winner James Stewart, of the San Manuel Yamaha team, went down hard in his Heat race when he crossed lines to land basically underneath Kyle Partridge on the track’s first triple. Partridge landed on him, and Stewart and Partridge went down in a heap. Stewart left the stadium, but came back for the LCQ, which he won.
Visibly in pain, Stewart lined up for the main event, but found himself floundering midpack, still in front of rival Chad Reed. On lap five, Stewart is forced to knife a turn sharper than normal before the finish line, and Reed is committed up the inside. They collide, both go down, but Stewart lands awkwardly on Reed’s left hand. Reed appears to shove Stewart, but on appeal it was found that he was only trying to free his trapped hand.
Reed remounts, but quickly pulls out of the race when he realizes there is something very wrong with his hand. Stewart, although slow to get up, gets up and finishes 15th.
Meanwhile, out front, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey – race one’s big surprise – leads every lap on his way to his first-ever AMA 450cc Supercross victory. Fellow Ryan (Villopoto, of Monster Energy Kawasaki) ran second from start to finish, and Stewart’s teammate Josh Hill runs third from the end of lap one to the finish.
After the race, Stewart goes to the Kawasaki pits and pushes over Chad Reed’s bike, for which the AMA gives him a warning, since it’s his first offense. Reed is initially handed a one-race suspension (served at Anaheim II) and a $5000 fine, but upon appeal, the board rules in favor of Reed and finds that he didn’t have malice when removing his hand from under Stewart.
Still, as it sits, it’s likely that Chad Reed is going to need surgery on his broken hand, so he is out indefinitely, and Stewart will have some serious healing to do before Anaheim 2.