First and foremost, only 32 riders showed up in Canada to race the 450 class. That means that every rider who showed up made the night program. The questions have to be asked: Has the AMA driven riders away with their special license requirements? Do privateer riders not want to race Supercross anymore? Isn’t it cheating the fans when the gates are 25 percent empty?
As for the Toronto Supercross, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart won his series-leading ninth race of the season in front 36,984 fans inside Toronto’s Rogers Centre, the lone race outside of the United States for the 2009 AMA Supercross season. Which begs the question of why is the American Motoryclists Association Supercross Championship going to Canada? If the team’s budgets are big enough to support selling bikes for the Canadian distributors, maybe they aren’t hurting as much as they say. If the FIM wants a World Series–let them promote it and pay for it. American-based teams should not being doing the heavy lifting for the Canadian distributors.
Just one week after giving away victory with a crash while leading, Stewart bounded back resoundingly– leading every lap. In the AMA 250 East class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel won his fourth race of the season to capture his first-ever AMA 250 East Regional Championship with one race remaining (of course he does have that silly World Championship to his credit also).
With four races left of the 17-race 450 title chase, the championship battle appears to be coming down to the wire at the culminating round in Las Vegas. Stewart reduced his deficit to points leader Chad Reed to just eight points and needs to continue to earn victories in order to keep pace with the consistent Australian rider.
“Every week it’s 100 percent,” said Stewart. “Everyone makes mistakes once in a while but it’s a long championship and there’s gonna be drama all the way to the end. I went too far inside (on the start) but it worked out and then I turned it on. I want to thank all my guys at San Manuel. We’ve been working hard all week to get here. At the end of the day, I know me, my team, and everyone involved are giving 100 percent and that’s all we can do.”
As the gates dropped on the 20-lap 450 main, Mike Alessi grabbed the holeshot aboard his Rockstar/Makita Suzuki. Canidae/Motosport Kawasaki’s Tommy Hahn and Stewart followed in second and third with Reed fifth. The series’ top two riders asserted themselves at the front of the pack by the completion of the first lap. The Australian stayed close to Stewart throughout the first half of the race, but settled into second en route to recording his ninth runner-up finish of 2009. Factory Yamaha’s Josh Hill brought home a season-best third place finish.
“The track was tough tonight,” stated Reed. “I gave it all I had. I just made way too many mistakes and James slipped away. We’ll just move onto to Jacksonville next week. It’s always good to have close racing for the title, but I’m looking forward to that week off. It will be good for everyone. My team wants to be there every week and win this thing. It’s our goal.”
THE 250 EAST RACE
Christophe Pourcel entered the first turn of the 15-lap AMA 250 East main event in third place as Division 7/Star Yamaha’s Broc Tickle grabbed the holeshot. His teammate Matt Lemoine followed in second. By the corner two, Pourcel made his move with an impressive inside line that rocketed him to the front. From there, the French rider never looked back to continue one of the most remarkable career comebacks in the history of the sport.
“It feels great to come to America and achieve so much success in my first full season,” said Pourcel, who after an accident in 2007 wasn’t sure if he would ever walk again let alone race. “I’ve worked really hard all season and so has my team. Tonight I got a good start and had a really good first lap. I’m really proud to win my first championship. It’s been a really great season.”
Pourcel’s teammate Austin Stroupe worked his way through the field to finish second (in the race and to Pourcel for the Championship), while Tickle held on for an impressive third place finish, his best result of the season. The 2009 AMA 250 East series concludes next weekend.
JASON LAWRENCE NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE
Jason Lawrence qualified for the 450 Main, but pulled out after the sighting lap (with a wrist injury). The AMA should have had the third place rider from the Last Chance waiting in the tunnel to fill any empty spots on the gates (the fans deserved to see a full gate and the third place Last Chance guy is logically the next qualifed racer to fill any voids), but the AMA have never been able to make this happen–even though Steve Whitelock tried to implement it two years ago.
Racing continues next weekend in Jacksonville, Fla., for the first-ever Monster Energy Supercross race at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Saturday, April 4.
2. 981 Austin L. Stroupe Lincolnton, NC Kawasaki KX250F 15 9.707 Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawsakiÿ
3. 43 Broc Tickle Holly, MI Yamaha YZ250F 15 17.715 Star Racing / Division 7 / Yamaha Motor Corp / No Fear / No Fear Energy / NCY / Bell / Easton / Fox Shocks / FMF / Smith / N-Style / Dunlop / Enzo / Vortex / DID / Yamalube / Ogio / Ride Eng / Mechanix Wear / Twin Air Lightspeed / ARC / Braking / MSD / Cycra / CP / Web Cams / ICW / JD Built / VP / Orbea Bicycles / Crank Works / Eibachÿ
4. 74 Branden L. Jesseman New Brighton, PA Kawasaki KX250F 15 21.687 Canidae / Motosport / Kawasaki / Scott / Renthal / Dunlop / One / Pro Circuit / Maxima / RK / Excel Lightspeed / Sunline / QTM / Talon / Hinson / TwinAir / UGP / VPÿ
5. 41 Matthew J. Lemoine Collinsville, TX Yamaha YZ250F 15 39.133 Star Racing / Division 7 / Yamaha Mtr Corp / No Fear / NCY / Bell / Easton / Fox Shocks / FMF / Smith / N-Style / Dunlop / Enzo / Vortex / DID / Yamalube / Ogio / Ride Eng / Mechanix Wear / Twin Air / Lightspeed / ARC Braking / MSD / Cycra / CP / Web Cams / ICW / JD Built / VP / Orbea Bicycles / Cranks Works / Eibachÿ
6. 50 Wil A. Hahn Decatur, TX KTM 250SX-F 15 41.249 Muscle Milk / MDK / KTM / Motorex / FMF / Pro Taper / Dunlopÿ
7. 34 Matthew C. Goerke Lake Helen, FL Suzuki RM-Z250 15 52.79 Suzuki Cityÿ
8. 719 Vince A. Friese Cape Girardeau, MO Honda CRF250R 14 —ÿ
9. 125 Daniel M. Blair Modesto, CA Honda CRF250R 14 — GeicoPowersportsHondaÿ
10. 61 Blake Wharton Pilot Point, TX Honda CRF250R 14 — Geico Powersports Hondaÿ
11. 20 Nico A. Izzi Wildomar, CA Suzuki RM-Z250 14 — Rockstar / Makita / Suzuki / Bridgestone / Maxima / Tag / Pro Taper / Alpinestars / One / Mechanix Wear / Showa / Road Champs / CP / Hinson / RG3 / Snap On / Twin Air / DID / Excel / FCC / NGKÿ
12. 45 Jason W. Thomas Melrose, FL Honda CRF250R 14 — DNAEnergyDrink / BTOSports / BBMX / RickCaseHonda / FLY / WMI / Bel-Ray / Vortex / Formula / FMF / Smith / Wiseco / StellarMX / ASMF / ASV / Dunlop / Ogio / Applied / Alpinestars / PitPosse / CV4 / Sponsorhouse / ICW / Devol / EngineIce / QTM / Talon / RK / TwinAir / Leatt / KineticAnimation / SeminoleTribeMXÿ
13. 130 Kyle D. Keylon Brooksville, FL Honda CRF250R 14 — DNAEnergyDrink / BTOSports / BBMX / RickCaseHonda / FLY / WMI / Bel-Ray / Vortex / Formula / FMF / Smith / Wiseco / StellarMX / ASMF / ASV / Dunlop / Ogio / Applied / Alpinestars / PitPosse / CV4 / Sponsorhouse / ICW / Devol / EngineIce / QTM / Talon / RK / TwinAir / Leatt / KineticAnimation / SeminoleTribeMXÿ
14. 115 Kevin W. Johnson Spring, TX Yamaha YZ250F 14 — WPS / Fly / Michelin / Scott / Bobby J’s Yamaha.com / Pilot / Silkolene / Tag / RK / pivot / Hot Rods / JJW Designs / Factory Tech / FMF / Garnea.CT2 / Allsport Dynamics / Leattÿ
15. 77 Steven J. Clarke Cairo, GA Suzuki RM-Z250 14 — Suzuki Cityÿ
16. 198 Jacob Saylor Knoxville, TN Yamaha YZ250F 14 — MDKMotorsports / BSY / WRA / Fly / MDKSpeedEquipment / DeCalWorks / P-LoK / DenyseSigns / OneIndustries / AsteriskCT12 / ScottUSA / EngineIce / Dunlop / MMI / HonaluluHills / Transworld / Smooth / LeattBrace / Hinson / Devol / TCXBoots / TwinAir / Cycra / ProWheels / RollonThrottles / Ogio / Kicker / CV4 / Vortex / Fuel / Motionproÿ
17. 159 Darryn L. Durham Wildomar, CA Yamaha YZ250F 14 — Star Racing / Division 7 / Yamaha Mtr Corp / No Fear / NCY / Bell / Easton / Fox Shocks / FMF / Smith / N-Style / Dunlop / Enzo / Vortex / DID / Yamalube / Ogio / Ride Eng / Mechanix Wear / Twin Air / Lightspeed / ARC MSD / Cycra / CP / Web Cams / ICW / JD Built / VP / Orbea Bicycles / Crank Works / Eibachÿ
18. 552 Fred D. Karrle Hobart, IN Suzuki RM-Z250 14 — Suzuki City / RG3 / Biloxiÿ
19. 96 Tyler A. Wharton Pilot Point, TX Honda CRF250R 14 — MDKMotorsports / Triangle Cycles / WarthogRacingAcademy / ShannonNidayMXSchools / JuniorJacksonRacing / DeCalWorks / P-LoK / Yoshimura / MB1Suspension / KickerAudio / PirelliTires / K&NEngineering / Toyota / MMI / HonaluluHills / Transworld / ShoeiHelmets / KSRwheels.net / QTM / FlyRacing / UtopiaOptics / Renthal / EVS Sportsÿ
20. 611 Brady A. Sheren Surrey, BC Suzuki RM-Z250 13 — Fun Center / Suzuki / Fly Rcng / Ten Ten Clothing / Free Style the Movie / SixSixOne / Sunline / Pirelli / Torco / Factory Effex / Wiseco / Motion Pro / K&N Fltrs / Lynks Rcng / Boyesen / CV4 / Hinson / Millenium Technologies / Pro Circuit / ProTec / RestorX / RG3 / RK Chain / Scott USA / TCR / UFO / VP / Works Connectionÿ
1. 7 James M. Stewart Haines City, FL Yamaha YZ450F 20 — San Manuel / Yamaha / JSE / Bridgestone / Factory Effex / Tag / Yamalube / Akrapovic / Vortex / DID / VP / GYTR / Braking / Cycra / Lightspeedÿ
2. 1 Chad Reed Tampa, FL Suzuki RM-Z450 20 12.994 Rockstar / Makita / Suzuki / Bridgestone / Maxima / Tag / Pro Taper / Alpinestars / One / Mechanix Wear / Showa / Road Champs / CP Pistons / Hinson / RG3 / Snap On / Twin Air / DID / Excel / FCC / NGKÿ
3. 75 Joshua R. Hill Murrieta, CA Yamaha YZ450F 20 21.198 Yamaha Motor Corp / Bridgestone / Factory Effex / Tag / Akrapovic / Yamalube / Vortex / DID / VP / GYTR / Braking / Cycra / Lightspeed / Axio / Mechanix Wear / G2ÿ
4. 33 Joshua M. Grant Riverside, CA Yamaha YZ450F 20 31.602 Joe Gibbs Racingÿ
5. 9 Ivan Tedesco Murrieta, CA Honda CRF450R 20 32.917 Honda Red Bull Racingÿ
6. 14 Kevin W. Windham Centreville, MS Honda CRF450R 20 41.356 Geico Powersports Hondaÿ
7. 18 David D. Millsaps Carlsbad, CA Honda CRF450R 20 46.679 Honda Red Bull Racingÿ
8. 54 Matt Boni Geneva, FL Suzuki RM-Z450 20 49.287 Rockstar / HartandHuntingtonÿ
9. 29 Andrew T. Short Smithville, TX Honda CRF450R 20 51.763 Honda Red Bull Racingÿ
10. 979 Ben Coisy Murrieta, CA Honda CRF450R 19 — Moto Concepts Hondaÿ
11. 800 Mike A. Alessi Victorville, CA Suzuki RM-Z450 19 — Rockstar / Makita / Suzuki / Bridgestone / Maxima / Tag / Pro Taper / Alpinestars / One / Mechanix Wear / Showa / Road Champs / CP Pistons / Hinson / RG3 / Snap On / Twin Air / DID / Excel / FCC / NGKÿ
12. 25 Nathan Ramsey Menifee, CA Yamaha YZ450F 19 —ÿ
13. 38 Kyle P. Chisholm Valrico, FL Yamaha YZ450F 19 — San Manuel / Yamaha / JSE / Bridgestone / Factory Effex / Tag / Yamalube / Akrapovic / Vortex / DID / VP / GYTR / Braking / Cycra / Lightspeedÿ
14. 35 Paul P. Carpenter Ithaca, NY Kawasaki KX450F 19 — Monster Energy / Cernics / Kawasaki / Pirelli / Moose / Athena / Silkolene / EVS / Motion Pro / EBC / Pro Circuit / Atomicÿ
15. 27 Nicholas A. Wey Dewitt, MI Yamaha YZ450F 19 — Boost Mobile / AMPM / Monster Energy / MSRMX RK Rcng Chain / Sunline / CP Pistons / Yamaha / Leatÿ
16. 911 Tyler T. Bowers Danville, KY Honda CRF450R 19 — Moto Concepts Honda ellnessCenter / DT1 / Cycra / CP / Astar / VanquishMX / Prowheel / Sunstar / Relentless / LiquidPerf / VP / Motionproÿ
17. 60 Broc D. Hepler Kittanning, PA Yamaha YZ450F 19 — Yamaha Motor Corp / Bridgestone / Factory Effex / Tag / Akrapovic / Yamalube / Vortex / DID / VP / GYTR / Braking / Cycra / Lightspeed / Axio / Mechanix Wear / G2ÿ
18. 57 Jacob Marsack Berlin, MI Honda CRF450R 18 — Redux Beverages / Brawndo / American Honda / MB1 / Rockwell / St Lawrence Radiology / Nuclear Blast / Factory FX / Dunlop / Kingdom Clthng / FLY / Dragon / Pro Honda Oils / Yoshimura / Vortex / Thunder Alley Sprts / WPS / Sidi / Champion Tool Strg / QTM / Brembo / RK / Excel / HoyFox.com / Boyesen / K&N / Cycra / USA Sprt / Sano / Pivotÿ
19. 48 Thomas K. Hahn Decatur, TX Kawasaki KX450F 8 — Canidae / Motosport / Kawasaki / Scott / Renthal / Dunlop / One / Pro Circuit / Maxima / RK / Excel Lightspeed / Sunline / QTM / Talon / Hinson / TwinAir / UGP / VPÿ
20. 338 Jason D. Lawrence Carlsbad, CA Yamaha YZ450F 0-DNS — Boost Mobile / AMPM / Monster / J-Law Racingÿ