AMA Supercross started their season off Saturday night in Anaheim, California with some new faces and and two familiar rivals. Starting their rookie season this year in the 450 class, rookies Monster Energy Kawasaki’s, Ryan Villopoto and Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Ryan Dungey made a name for themselves quickly. While James Bubba Stewart and Chad Reed will have to wait until Phoenix to renew their rivalry in earnest.
The start of the 450 class Main Event was a wild one as Ryan Dungey grabbed the hole shot and Chad Reed and Stewart both got off to a shaky start. Reed got the worst of it, as he tangled with Austin Stroupe before he got to the first turn. Stroupe ran into Reed and when they got together, Stroupe’s foot peg got into to Reed’s spokes. Reed drove to the pits immediately and hopped off the bike immediately ending his night.
Stewart and his San Manuel Yamaha, meanwhile had to recover from his poor start. Ryan Dungey had opened up a huge lead on the field of well over 5 seconds by the halfway point. Stewart rode up to second quickly, sliding by second place Villopoto and then began stalking the young Dungey. Stewart began his attack with about 13 of the 20 laps remaining.
The gap with 13 laps remaining was about 5 and a half seconds. In one lap Stewart had erased a full two seconds from Dungey’s lead. It appeared that Dungey was either feeling the pressure or was tiring from the additional laps (When Villopoto won Super Lites the laps were only 15 laps for the main event).
More likely, the defending AMA Supercross champ Bubba Stewart, was using his experience to run some blistering laps and reel in the rookie Dungey. With 3 laps remaining Dungey went high coming out of a turn and Stewart made a clean pas inside to take the lead. Dungey fought back for a half a lap then settled in for second.
On the last lap Dungey managed to gather up enough energy to put together a last lap charge. Dungey made a valiant run at Stewart almost passing him back on the last half lap. Stewart threw a flying block into the path of Dungey and that threw off the rookie Dungey’s rhythm.
Finishing behind Dungey was GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham, who passed Red Bull Honda’s Andrew Short and Villopoto late in the race. Windham at 31 years old had something to prove to the young rookies and he did just that.
The top five finishing positions had four different manufacturers. Finishing out of the top five were Josh Hill and Ivan Tedesco both on Yamahas. The season could shape up to be exciting in 2010, with the two high profile rookies and the anticipated battle between Chad Reed and Bubba Stewart. The next race will be January 16th in Phoenix at Bank One Ballpark.
Top 10 in the 450 Class AMA Anaheim 1 Supercross.
1. James Stewart (Yamaha)
2. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki)
3. Kevin Windham (Honda)
4. Andrew Short (Honda)
5. Ryan Villopoto (Kawsaski)
6. Josh Hill (Yamaha)
7. Ivan Tedesco (Yamaha)
8. Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
9. Davi Millsaps (Honda)
10. Grant Langston (Yamaha)
Speed TV telecast January 9th, 2010.