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Anaheim Supercross Super Spoiler

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An instant classic tonight from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, as Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey wins again, but it was far from easy. San Manuel Yamaha teammates Josh Hill and James Stewart applied heavy pressure to Dungey all night and led a lot of laps, but in the end Dungey topped them on the podium.

Defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion Stewart was a mystery coming into the race due to major wrist problems left over from his big crash last weekend in Phoenix, and rumors circulated that he might not even be able to race in Anaheim. He even skipped opening ceremonies with thoughts of not racing at all. But he returned to race his heat race and the main event, and actually led the early laps after making a pass on Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Austin Stroupe, who took the Spike Holeshot. Stewart then had pressure from his teammate Hill, while Dungey worked his was around Stroupe to third.

Hill and Stewart went at it up front, keeping the racing clean while passing back and forth. The track, which had absorbed a lot of rain over the last week, was in incredible condition considering the weather, but had just a few sinkholes built in at the low points of the jumps. That made it difficult for the riders to stay consistent over the rhythm lanes, and as Stewart and Hill exchanged mistakes, they exchanged the lead, too.

Dungey eventually closed in to make it a three rider fight, and the fans were on their feet watching the trio dive inside and outside of each other. Finally Stewart made a mistake in a whoop section to let Dungey get past, and then Dungey challenged Hill. Around the 13th lap, Dungey went around the outside of Hill in a right-hand turn after the finish, setting up a race down the start straight. Dungey barely held the inside under hard braking, took the lead, and never looked back.

The torrid pace had worn out Hill and the ailing Stewart, and Dungey ran a clean final seven laps—save for one huge mistake in the whoops with a lap to go—to win again. Hill took second, admitting the super fast pace wore him down. Stewart, in obvious pain, said he could barely hold on after the eighth lap.

Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short stayed close to the battling trio for most of the race and finished fourth, with GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham overcoming a bad start for fifth. Muscle Milk/Toyota Yamaha’s Justin Brayton was sixth and took a challenge from Monster Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who was struggling all night, going from 10th back to 12th before mounting a charge. RV caught Brayton but couldn’t make the pass stick. That moves Hill into second in the series standings, 15 in back of Dungey.

And Stewart is 21 points behind Dungey, a steep hill to climb considering his injury.

Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps, Muscle Milk Toyota Yamaha’s Michael Byrne and Valli Motorsports Yamaha’s Ivan Tedesco rounded out the top ten.

Onto the Lites class, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer logged his most impressive win of the season, fighting past his teammate Josh Hansen, who had grabbed the Spike Holeshot. Weimer took off, while Hansen had to battle Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Honda’s Wil Hahn for second. Hahn slipped into the spot, and then GEICO Powersport Honda’s Trey Canard pulled through to pass Hansen, too. Hahn held on for second over Canard. Hansen and Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Honda’s Cole Seely rounded out the top five.

Check out Supercross class coverage on CBS tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST, and Lites coverage on SPEED at 7 p.m. EST. And also stay tuned for the full race report here on Racer X Online.
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