Southern California’s weather experts got a little over ambitious when they spotted a bleep on the Doppler leading into round three of the 2012 AMA Supercross Series on Saturday, as the original forecast of 100% rain in the greater Los Angeles area was eventually upgraded to a beautiful, zero-precipitation afternoon and evening inside Dodger Stadium.
With an abbreviated practice schedule already in effect, however, riders were forced to learn the L.A. circuit in a single timed qualifying session, and despite some additional ups and downs during the night’s racing program, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey was able to back up last week’s historic win in Phoenix with a solid second-place finish, while James Stewart nailed down his first podium of the year for the JGRMX squad.
Supercross Qualifying Heats
- After a great jump out of the gate to kick off Supercross Heat # 1, James narrowly missed the holeshot as Mike Alessi snuck a wheel in at the stripe.
- JS7 quickly took over the front spot on the track’s first rhythm section and immediately began stretching his lead.
- Despite only completing a handful of laps after crashing during the day’s one and only practice session, Stewart had no problem learning the track as he motored on to a fairly uneventful heat race win.
- JS7 is now a perfect three-for-three in 2012 heat races.
- In Supercross Heat #2, Dungey got a decent jump out of the gate, but a first-lap mishap pushed him back to the sixth spot early on.
- Dungey gave it his best effort on the slick, tough-to-pass-on Dodger Stadium circuit but came up just short of passing Trey Canard for third when they crossed the finish line double.
Supercross Main Event
- The highly-anticipated Superclass-class main event rolled into the gate at just before 9:50 p.m. local time, and when it finally dropped, Dungey grabbed the holeshot but was quickly passed by Ryan Villopoto heading into turn two.
- Behind Villopoto and Dungey, Stewart moved into the third spot.
- Unfortunately, a huge crash further back in the pack involving Honda’s Trey Canard and Star-Valli Yamaha’s Ryan Morais forced out the red flag and subsequent restart.
- When the action resumed some 15 minutes later, Stewart jumped out to a second-place start with Dungey close behind in third.
- On lap four, Stewart got passed by a hard-charging Chad Reed while searching for the track’s fast line but kept the Honda rider in his sights as he established his race pace.
- After an aggressive inside pass on Weimer to take over second on lap number eight, JS7 went back after Reed out front.
- On lap 12 while closing the gap on the leader, Stewart over-jumped the second triple in a triple-triple rhythm section and laid it down in the following right-hand corner.
- Remounting in the third spot, Stewart looked slightly out of synch while regaining his composure, and Villopoto slowly began creeping up in fourth.
- Meanwhile, last week’s winner Dungey looked smooth and steady in second, but was just slightly off the pace of reeling in Reed out front.
- When the checkers finally flew after 20 grueling laps, JS7 held on for a hard-fought third-place finish -- his first podium of 2012.
- Dungey backed up his Phoenix win with a solid second-place finish and continues to hold onto the series points lead heading into next weekend’s race in Oakland, California.
1. Chad Reed
2. Ryan Dungey
3. James Stewart
4. Ryan Villopoto
5. Brett Metcalfe
6. Davi Millsaps
7. Josh Hansen
8. Broc Tickle
9. Kevin Windham
10. Mike Alessi
Supercross Lites Qualifying Heats
- After getting pinched off as the 20-rider gate funneled into turn number one, TLD/Honda/Red Bull’s Cole Seely (pictured above) rounded lap number one in the eighth spot to kick off the night of racing inside Dodger Stadium.
- A quick five minutes later, the checkers flew on the six-lap heat race and Seely crossed the line in fourth to comfortably qualify for the Lites main event.
- In Lites Heat #2, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin grabbed a sixth-place start to get things going but quickly went to work on the riders ahead.
- With just six laps to work his magic, Musquin was only able to jockey his way into the third spot behind Martin Davalos and Eli Tomac, but he looked incredibly smooth en route to the night’s main event.
- Behind Musquin, Red Bull teammate Travis Baker qualified in eighth.
Supercross Lites Main Event
- When the gate dropped for the Lites main event, Musquin got caught up in a first-turn pile-up but safely made it through without hitting the ground.
- Among the riders caught up in the first-turn crash, Seely was forced to dust himself off and start the main from the back of the pack.
- Buried in tenth, Musquin put his head down as he began lap number two and confidently began an impressive charge toward the front.
- By lap 10, Musquin (pictured below) had moved his way into the fourth spot and pulled to within striking distance of Dean Wilson in third.
- Just three laps later, while closing in on Wilson, Musquin cased the end of a triple-triple rhythm section and the likeable Frenchman was unfortunately unable to rejoin the race.
- Seely continued to struggle on the track that he captured his first-ever Supercross win on just one year ago, and finished the night in a disappointing 15th place.
Supercross Lites Results
1. Eli Tomac
2. Dean Wilson
3. Zach Osborne
4. Tyla Rattray
5. Jason Anderson
6. Max Anstie
7. Michael Leib
8. Matt Moss
9. Martin Davalos
10. Billy Laninovich
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- More photos from the Los Angeles race
- Dungey earns historic win in Phoenix
- Watch James Stewart shred his home track in super slo-mo