Irvine, Calif.(February 25, 2008) – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Timmy Ferry finished fourth at the Atlanta supercross, battling through the field twice in his run to the front. In the opening round of the AMA Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Branden Jesseman finished sixth. His teammate, Ryan Villopoto finished 22nd after getting hit from behind in his East Coast debut. Travis Preston failed to qualify for the main.
Kawasaki Under the Tent
Ferry came out of the starting gate in ninth and with what has become his trademark style, rode up to third by the ninth lap. Ferry picked his spots and made aggressive passes to try and earn his fourth straight podium. After falling back to sixth, Ferry again mounted a charge and nearly got the podium.
“I could have had a podium pretty easy tonight,” said Ferry. “In the middle of the race I washed the front end out and stalled the bike. I lost three spots and a lot of time. The time was the main thing. I made the pass for third with a couple of corners to go. I made a really aggressive move. He got me back on the next turn and we ended up fourth which is disappointing.”
Through the Field
During his heat race, Ferry got a bad start after over spinning his rear wheel in the loose dirt. Following the start, he put his head down and turned the fastest time in the heat race to finish third.
“I had the fastest time in the heat after a bad start,” said Ferry. “I picked a bad gate and spun a lot but I’m riding really well right now so I was able move forward.”
With the AMA Supercross Lites East Coast season kicking off at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Jesseman rode a steady race, dodged trouble early, and battled arm-pump late in the main to get a sixth-place finish.
“I didn’t get out of the gate good,” said Jesseman. “Then someone went down in front of me in the sand and I got tangled up with that. The first couple of laps were kind of touch-and-go and then I started tightening up and I got a little arm-pump. That definitely won’t happen again, I’m really mad about it.”
East Coast Debut
Villopoto’s East Coast debut didn’t go as scripted as the phenom racer only completed five laps in the main event. Villopoto was riding up to the front when he was hit from behind on one of the steep obstacles in the track. The contact forced him to the ground and he was unable to continue.
“There are some good riders out there and some bad ones,” said Villopoto. “It seems I was riding with the bad ones and I guess that’s my fault because I didn’t get a good start. The track was pretty technical tonight and now we’ll show up next week and see what we can do.”
Preston was dogged all night by another rider. During his heat race he was running third before being taken out in a corner. After recovering from the fall, Preston could only get back to 13th place and went to the Last Chance Qualifier. In the LCQ the same rider blocked him throughout, keeping him from qualifying for the main event.
“Things were going good in the heat,” said Preston. “I got a good start and I showed (Eric) Sorby a front wheel to let him know I was faster. He waved me by and I was kind of stupid to think he was just going to let me go. I just started racing and I wasn’t blocking the insides and he came into a turn and took me out. He kept jacking with me in the last chance. He kept holding me up and holding me up until he realized I wasn’t going to make the main and he let me go.”
On the Mend
James Stewart was in Atlanta for the race and before the night program got started he sat down with the media to let them know his current status. Stewart is working with his trainer Aldon Baker and is still on schedule to return for the opening round of the AMA Motocross season.
As part of Live Nation’s program where the top supercross riders help design the track, Stewart was in charge of the Georgia Dome layout. Though the final track didn’t match his plans exactly, he was happy with how it turned out.
“When I designed the track I wanted it to be easy,” said Stewart. “They added the sand and the steep obstacles and I think that was a good thing. Since I’m watching from the stands those make for a more exciting race. If I would have known I wasn’t going to be racing here, I would have added a bunch of quads too.”
The Georgia red clay trucked into the Georgia Dome provided some great traction for the Monster Energy Kawasaki riders. The soft clay proved to hold fast lap times and though it became rutty as the night wore on, it made for some great racing.