CARLSBAD, Calif. – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel ran his ESX Lites record to a perfect 2-0 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, taking advantage of his teammate Austin Stroupe’s mistake midway through the main event and racing through the checkers at a packed Atlanta Georgia Dome.
Leading up to the main event the two Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders were about as dominant as a team can be when you group the world’s top stadium motocross racers together in one place. After posting the fastest two times in pre-qualifying (50.575 to 51.334 in favor of Pourcel), both Stroupe and Pourcel unleashed their KX250F beasts on the rest of the field – sweeping both heat one (Stroupe) and heat two (Pourcel) to transfer to the main.
Said Stroupe of his heat race win: “It’s good for me confidence-wise.”
With nearly 70,000 fans on their feet for the start of the Atlanta ESX Lites main, Stroupe judged the gate drop perfectly and towed the rest of the field through the first turn in grabbing the holeshot. The second year pro then proceeded to put some distance between himself, Pourcel (2nd) and the rest of the field – at one point charting a blistering 49.371 lap early in the contest.
As the Lites main event progressed it was apparent that no other racers would put up a challenge to Stroupe or Pourcel as they consistently posted lap times faster than the rest of the riders and brands. About the only thing that could get in either riders’ way would be a mistake of their own, and one of those would unfortunately rear up and strike Stroupe in seemingly one of the most simple sections of the Atlanta track.
“I got caught up in a rut and stalled the bike,” said Stroupe. “A simple mistake that cost me the race.”
Fortunately for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team Pourcel would be in a position to take over the lead, and did so within a few seconds. The Frenchman then put his head down and began to distance himself from the rest of the field, seemingly with the same ease that Stroupe had enjoyed for the first half of the race. And while Pourcel wouldn’t match Stroupe’s top lap time of 49.371, he would click off a couple laps in the high 49s and rolled to victory with a solid distance between himself and 2nd place Nico Izzi.
“It was a mistake (by Stroupe) and I was pleased to cash in, but my bike was very fast and it wasn’t easy on that track,” said Pourcel. Note: Stroupe would place 7th.
This weekend Monster Energy Supercross will debut at Indianapolis’ new Lucas Oil Stadium for round three of the ESX Lites Championship, Feb. 28th.
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