A strong Pacific Northwest audience of 52,683 fans showed their dedication to the sport and braved cold temperatures as Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, invaded Seattle’s Qwest Field on Saturday. The 15th race of the season saw San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., take his second straight win with another strong outing as he fights his way back into the Supercross class title fight. Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely, of Corona, Calif., raced to his second victory of the season with a convincing effort in the return of the Supercross Lites Western Regional Championship.
As the gates dropped on the Supercross class main event, Dodge/Hart & Huntington Kawasaki’s Ivan Tedesco, of Murrieta, Calif., grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot for the second week in-a-row with Stewart and TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing Honda’s Chad Reed, of Tampa, Fla., in tow. Behind them, championship points leader Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., went down in the first corner and was forced to come from deep in the field aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki.
Reed got by Tedesco quickly and looked to pull away, but tricky track conditions as a result of a week of heavy rain caused a slight bobble and allowed Stewart to take over the top spot, which he held for the entire 20 laps.
“Tonight was awesome,” said Stewart. “I had fun all day. I thought the track was awesome, it was so tough. I was just trying to stay consistent because I knew it was going crazy behind me. You can look out there and see how rough it is, but my San Manuel Yamaha was working awesome. I’m looking forward to Salt Lake City.”
Aside from Stewart, every rider in contention for the title experienced an instance of misfortune as both Reed and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., joined Villopoto with the distinction of falling to the ground.
In the end, veteran rider and defending Seattle winner Kevin Windham, of Centreville, Miss., secured his best finish of the season in second aboard his GEICO Honda while Reed fended off Villopoto for third. Dungey brought home a fifth-place effort.
As the championship enters the final two races of the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross season, just nine points separate Villopoto, who sits atop the standings, and Stewart, who occupies fourth. Reed sits in second, six points behind, while Dungey is third, seven points out.
Seely was the first rider to the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot in the 15-lap Supercross Lites main event and led wire-to-wire in a race that was similar to his first-career win earlier in the season in Los Angeles. After riding select Supercross class races during the midseason Western Regional Supercross Lites break, his additional race experience factored into his performance.
“It feels great to come back and get win,” said Seely. “I’ve been practicing my starts and my biked hooked up tonight and worked great. I think the extra time on the big bikes really helped prepare me to come back.”
Behind him, there was considerable shuffling, particularly amongst the three challengers in the championship. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates Josh Hansen, of Elbert, Colo., and Broc Tickle, of Holly, Mich., both ran towards the front of the field, but in the end, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, of Cortez, Colo., surpassed them both to take the runner-up spot. Tickle secured the final step on the podium and took over the points lead in the process. After starting third, Hansen fell to sixth and now sits two points from Tickle in the standings while Tomac sits seven points out in third.
Supercross Class Results: Seattle
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM
Kyle Regal, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Yamaha
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
Supercross Class Season Standings
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 293
Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda – 287
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 286
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 284
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 255
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 196
Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 187
Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 156
Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 141
Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 134
Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Results: Seattle
Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki
Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
Tyla Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki
Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki
Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki
Travis Baker, Temecula, Calif., Honda
Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Kawasaki
Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki – 145
Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki – 143
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 138
Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda – 113
Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki – 110
Tyla Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki – 96
Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha – 89
Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM – 83
Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki – 82
Jimmy Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda – 67