The largest Supercross gathering on the planet in any given year, the Anaheim 1 series opener once again hosted the world’s best racers and most dedicated fans on Saturday night to kick off what many are predicting to be the most competitive season in Supercross history.
The 2012 AMA Supercross Series title is the prized possession at the end of the 17-round battle, and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey launched his campaign in style with a solid third-place podium performance in the premier Supercross class.
In the Lites class, TLD/Honda/Red Bull’s Cole Seely threw down a stellar ride of his own, capturing the third Supercross Lites win of his still-young career in dominant fashion.
Here’s how all the action unfolded in front of a sold-out Angel Stadium crowd in Anaheim, California...
Supercross Qualifying Heats
- With series championship contenders Chad Reed and Ryan Villopoto safely advancing out of Supercross Heat #1, the gates dropped for the second Supercross-class heat race of 2012, and Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey and James Stewart jumped out to solid top-five starts.
- Midway through lap two of eight, JS7 took over the third spot and set his sights on Dungey in second.
- Shortly after the start of lap three, Stewart put the move on Dungey for second, and immediately began reeling in Andrew Short up front.
- After making quick work of Short on lap five, Stewart took over the lead and never looked back.
- JS7 continued stretching the gap between himself and the second-place battle of Short and Dungey, and checked out for a seemingly easy heat win.
- With just half a lap to go, Dungey made his way past Short to take the second spot, and also advanced directly to the night’s main event.
Supercross Main Event
- With the sold-out Anaheim crowd on their feet, the gate dropped for the Supercross-class main event with Villopoto grabbing the holeshot to assume the early lead.
- Getting pushed wide and off the track through turn one, Stewart found himself sitting just inside the top-ten as the pack circulated on lap one, and no doubt had his work cut out for him as defending champ Villopoto immediately began stretching a gap between himself and second-place Reed.
- Dungey got out to a great jump on his 450 SX-F, rounding lap one in fourth.
- While feeling pressure from Stewart at the halfway point, Dungey washed out his front end, giving up the third spot.
- With leader Villopoto way out front, Stewart appeared to be putting in what many would call a safe and conservative ride.
- On lap 12, Dungey got past Stewart, and the two began reeling in second-place Reed.
- By lap 16, a three-way battle for second ensued, as Stewart got ahead of Dungey again and began closing in on Reed. Moments later, however, James went down in a rhythm section, and just like that, his shot at an opening-round podium vanished.
- JS7 remounted in fourth but lost two positions while trying to get his bike dialed back in.
- James ended the night in a disappointing sixth place but was in fairly high spirits after the race and looks forward to turning things around next weekend in Phoenix.
- When the checkers flew, Dungey and his Red Bull KTM crossed the line in third, just a half-second behind Reed in second.
1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Chad Reed
3. Ryan Dungey
4. Justin Brayton
5. Jake Weimer
6. James Stewart
7. Andrew Short
8. Kevin Windham
9. Mike Alessi
10. Josh Hansen
Supercross Lites Qualifying Heats
- When the gate dropped for the first Lites heat race of the 2012 AMA Supercross series, Red Bull/KTM’s Marvin Musquin rounded turn one just inside the top-ten and immediately started picking off riders as he advanced through the pack.
- Behind Musquin, TLD/Honda/Red Bull teammates Cole Seely and Travis Baker simultaneously worked their way toward the front and into transfer positions.
- When the checkers flew, the Red Bull freight train of Musquin, Seely, and Baker finished third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, en route to the Lites main event.
- In Lites Heat #2, TLD/Honda/Red Bull’s Christian Craig rode a conservative race to safely advance to the main event in the eighth spot.
Supercross Lites Main Event
- With all of the key players lined up in the main event gate, the stage was set for an incredible Lites-class battle, and Seely jumped out to a strong fourth-place start before pushing his way into second before the end of lap one.
- Midway through lap four, Seely charged past Pro Circuit’s Tyla Rattray to take over the lead, and appeared to have the tough Anaheim circuit completely dialed in.
- At the halfway point of the fifteen-lap main event, Seely held down a comfortable three-second lead, and continued opening up the gap to just over four seconds by the time he crossed the finish line.
- Two-time MX2 World Champion Musquin put in a smart and steady debut ride aboard his Red Bull KTM in his first U.S. Supercross main event, eventually finishing in a solid fourth place while threatening for a spot on the podium.
- TLD/Honda/Red Bull’s Baker battled to a smart top-ten finish after overcoming adversity early on.
Supercross Lites Results
1. Cole Seely
2. Tyla Rattray
3. Eli Tomac
4. Marvin Musquin
5. Ryan Sipes
6. Dean Wilson
7. Jason Anderson
8. Wil Hahn
9. Zach Osborne
10. Travis Baker
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