In a night full of fireworks from St. Louis, it was a showdown between the two most dominant riders of the season; Dungey and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto. Through 13 rounds, neither rider had battled head-to-head for the win despite capturing the top spot in 12 of the previous races. However, on Saturday night that changed and it set the stage for a dramatic yet unfortunate main event. As the two riders went bar-to-bar, a hard pass attempt by Villopoto left both he and Dungey on the ground. Upon remounting, Villopoto moved into the lead with Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short and Dungey on his rear fender. However, just two laps later, Villopoto miscalculated a tough rhythm section and crashed violently right in front of his title rival. The crash left the winningest rider this season with a broken leg, ending his 2010 Monster Energy Supercross season.
Dungey’s victory moved him into a 77 point lead over the next closest contender in third, San Manuel Yamaha’s Josh Hill. With only 75 points available over the final three races, Dungey’s lead is undefeatable and when the Minnesota native takes to the track on Saturday night, he will join legendary Jeremy McGrath as the only two riders in history to capture the premier class championship as a rookie.
“It got really hectic out there tonight,” said Dungey. “I had a great start so that was a huge help. We worked really hard this week to come out here in St. Louis prepared. It’s unfortunate that Ryan (Villopoto) crashed. I hope he is ok.”
After Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel claimed the 2010 AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional Championship for the second year in a row one week prior, the eighth and final race of the East Coast season was up for grabs. A rough night left the newly-crowned champion with a DNF while the newest and youngest stars of the sport battled it out for the win. GEICO Powersports Honda’s Justin Barcia held off the challenges of fellow rookie Dean Wilson to race to his second win of the season and give him considerable momentum heading into the AMA Supercross Lites East/West Coast Shootout in Las Vegas on May 8.
“I pulled it together tonight,” said Barcia. “I learned that the holeshot makes the race go a lot easier. Everyone on the team did a great job with my bike, and I am pumped to pick up this win.”
With their Eastern Regional counterparts’ season wrapped up, the riders of the AMA Supercross Lites Western Regional Championship are primed and ready to return to the track for the first time since the third and final race in Anaheim on Valentine’s Day weekend. While the eight-race layoff leaves the riders anxious to return to the track, they’ve maintained their form throughout the midseason break, including championship leader Jake Weimer, who holds a 14-point advantage on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki with two rounds remaining.
In the last race at Anaheim, it was Weimer’s top championship threat in GEICO Powersports Honda’s Trey Canard who captured the win and gained valuable points in his quest for a second AMA Supercross Lites title. To keep his race conditioning in peak form, Canard took advantage of an open seat at Honda Red Bull Racing to compete in the premier AMA Supercross class where he posted five consecutive podium finishes. When he and Weimer continue their title fight on Saturday night in Seattle, it will be anyone’s race.
Last season at Qwest Field, it was another historic evening for the sport of supercross as Villopoto captured his first-career AMA Supercross class victory in front of 50,016 of his family and friends at his hometown race.
Mike Alessi grabbed the holeshot for the main event, but Villopoto battled his way into the lead against his childhood rival and never looked back.
“It’s awesome,” boasted Villopoto, who had missed three races with a virus. “I can’t thank my team enough and everybody that put effort into it. It hasn’t been the year we wanted but they never gave up. I could see James and Chad out of the corner of my eye sometimes. I just focused on Mike (Alessi) and he made that mistake. The track was super tricky tonight and there were some slick spots so you really had to ride smart.”
In the season-long battle for the title, it was another championship-altering evening as James Stewart resumed the AMA Supercross class lead in the standings with a runner-up effort while Chad Reed struggled after a rough start to bring home a season-worst seventh place finish.
From 1978-1999, AMA Supercross class races were held at the now defunct Seattle King Dome. Washington native Larry Ward won his first AMA Supercross race in Seattle in 1990, and in 1999, Ward won the last AMA Supercross race of his career in Seattle. Rick Johnson holds the all-time AMA Supercross class win record in Seattle with seven. Jeff Matiasevich holds the all-time AMA Supercross Lites class record in Seattle with seven.
Press Day is Thursday, April 22 from noon to 2 p.m. at Qwest Field inside the Press Box.
Tickets are available in advance at the Qwest Field Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Club Level seats are $45 Adult/Child; Gold Circle seats are $45 Adult/Child; Mid-Level Seats are $25 Adult/Child; Treadhead Seats are $10 Adult/Child. All seats are $5 more on the day of the race. Practice and qualifying begin at 12:30 and racing begins at 7:00 p.m. All tickets are subject to $2.50 facility fee and convenience & handling charges. Fans can also get into the Pits for FREE from 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. when they recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).
The AMA Supercross class will air on SPEED Sunday, April 25 at 6:00 p.m. EST. The Eastern regional AMA Supercross Lites class will air on SPEED Sunday, April 25 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
AMA Supercross Class Results: St. Louis
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
2. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
4. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
5. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Kawasaki
6. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
7. Michael Byrne, Park City, Utah, Yamaha
8. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha
9. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
10. Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Suzuki
AMA Supercross Class Season Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 302
2. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 266
3. Josh Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 225
4. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 223
5. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 215
6. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 191
7. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 183
8. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 159
9. Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Suzuki, 139
10. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha, 136
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results: St. Louis
1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
2. Dean Wilson, San Jacinto, Calif., Kawasaki
3. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
4. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha
5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki
6. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Honda
7. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, Honda
8. Mathew Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Suzuki
9. Steve Clarke, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki
10. Kyle Keylon, Brooksville, Fla., Suzuki
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
1. Christophe Pourcel, Groveland, Fla., Kawasaki, 160
2. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 147
3. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 133
4. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Suzuki, 126
5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 118
6. Dean Wilson, San Jacinto, Calif., Kawasaki, 105
7. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha, 93
8. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Honda, 84
9. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha, 83
10. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, Honda, 66
Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results: Anaheim 3