Overcast skies hovered over San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium for most of the day on Saturday, but by the time the opening ceremonies ushered in round six of the 2012 AMA Supercross Series at just after 7:00 p.m. local time, the skies had parted to welcome an intense night of racing on what many riders proclaimed to be the most competitive track of the year thus far.
After four heat races, two last chance qualifiers and two main events had been put to rest, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey and TLD/Honda/Red Bull’s Cole Seely rose toward the top, as both riders found themselves upon the podium in their respective classes. Dungey’s third-place finish in the Supercross class marked his fourth podium in six races, and Seely’s second-place effort was his third. It’s known that consistency wins championships, and Dungey and Seely have positioned themselves well as the series rolls on.
Here’s how the evening played out in San Diego…
Supercross Qualifying Heats
- Supercross-class Heat #2 was James Stewart’s first opportunity to showcase his skills on the Qualcomm circuit, and when the gate dropped he rocketed down the start-straight to grab the holeshot and early lead.
- Behind Stewart, Ryan Dungey snuck through turn one just inside the top-five.
- After a mistake on lap one, Stewart slipped back to the second spot for a couple laps, but kept within striking distance of the lead.
- With three laps down, a red flag came out for an injured rider who was down in the middle of one of the track’s tricky rhythm sections, sending the heat back into the gate for a restart.
- When the gate dropped for the second go-around, Stewart got pinched off in turn one but was able to work his way into fourth by the end of lap one.
- Dungey got a much better jump out of the gate on the restart, sitting in second early on.
- On lap five, Stewart got a great run through San Diego’s long whoop section and blitzed passed Dungey for second.
- Unable to catch Chad Reed with just two laps remaining, Stewart cruised across the finish line double for a safe and conservative second place, with Dungey close behind in third.
Supercross Main Event
- When the pack entered turn one after the long San Diego start-straight, Dungey slid into fifth with Stewart in sixth.
- On lap three, Stewart got by Dungey in the same spot he did in the heat race (whoop section) and began chasing after Jake Weimer in fourth.
- Proving to be his favorite passing lane of the night, JS7 got by Weimer just one lap later in the whoops, and then made quick work of Metcalfe in the same spot on the very next lap.
- In a twisted turn of fate, however, Stewart’s lucky section reached out and grabbed him on lap eight, as he drifted into the tuff blocks and went over the bars.
- Remounting in 19th, JS7 had his work cut out for him in order to salvage some precious championship points, but was only able to scrape together a 15th-place finish when all was said and done.
- Meanwhile, up toward the front of the pack, Dungey moved his way into the third spot but was unable to make up ground on Villopoto and Reed, who were battling for the win.
- The series heads off to Dallas next weekend for round number seven, and Dungey and Stewart remain in the third and fourth spots in the championship points chase.
1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Chad Reed
3. Ryan Dungey
4. Brett Metcalfe
5. Josh Hansen
6. Justin Brayton
7. Davi Millsaps
8. Kyle Chisholm
9. Mike Alessi
10. Nick Wey
Supercross Lites Qualifying Heats
- With a perfectly manicured course lying ahead, the gate dropped for the first heat race of the night and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin jumped out to a second-place start.
- Although never able to challenge leader Dean Wilson for the heat win, Musquin looked strong and rode to a conservative second-place finish to successfully qualify for the main.
- TLD/Honda/Red Bull teammates Cole Seely and Travis Baker charged out to first and second-place starts, respectively, in Lites Heat #2, and held their positions all the way to the checkers.
- Baker’s second-place heat finish marked the best result of his young Supercross career.
Supercross Lites Main Event
- The Lites West main event riders packed into the gate for their last race before a nine-week hiatus while the series heads east, and Seely grabbed a third-place start to kick things off.
- While running inside the top-ten on lap number two, Musquin ran into the back of Eli Tomac who had just lost momentum after making a mistake, and unfortunately went down hard.
- Musquin remounted in last place, but put forth a champion’s effort as he continued on despite being visibly shaken, eventually ending the night in 16th place.
- Up front, Seely chased Wilson for the lead for the entire 15-lap main, but came up a couple seconds short when checkers flew.
- With championship points leader Tomac going down hard and unable to finish the main, the Lites West title is now up for grabs when it returns on April 21st in Seattle.
Supercross Lites Results
1. Dean Wilson
2. Cole Seely
3. Matt Moss
4. Gareth Swanepoel
5. Nico Izzi
6. Gavin Faith
7. Billy Laninovich
8. Travis Baker
9. Vince Friese
10. Nick Paluzzi
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- More photos from San Diego
- Hard-fought second for Stewart at Anaheim 2
- Dungey earns victory in Phoenix