Rain Holds Off as Yamaha's Chad Reed Steals Victory at Anaheim One Supercross

Reed takes Anaheim 1 with Stewart held up in spectacular turn one crash. Suzuki's Ryan Dungey wins in Lites. Battle begins for new title of overall Supercross champion.

Saturday, January 5th, 2008 Angel Stadium, Anaheim California - Angel Stadium is an open stadium. Friday it rained in California, the news said it was coming down half an inch per hour. Flood watches, free sandbags and mandatory evacuation orders had been issued for some neighboring counties. LiveNation's Denny Hartwig told Bikeland that the Supercross would happen "rain or shine" - the race would only be called off was if there was lightning. With more rain on the radar for Saturday night, nervous Supercross fans lined up outside the stadium and by 12:30pm they were 5 rows wide and a block deep. If the riders were willing to race in the rain their fans were not going to be kept at home by the weather forecast.

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Late in the afternoon workers removed the rain-drenched tarps from the track and the shortened practice sessions began. The track was slick and caked with thick mud - walking across it in some places was like walking through a vat of pancake batter, in others like walking through a swimming pool full of Duncan Hines chocolate icing.

With rain clouds visible on the horizon but not a drop in site, the practice sessions started. Chad Reed, #22 crashed in practice and left the track early shaking his right wrist. Tyler Evans, #64 lost control of his bike on the wet plywood on the side of the course. The track was buzzing with yellow flags on and off the dirt.

The Opening Ceremonies started on schedule with fireworks and lasers, and still no sign of the forecast torrential rain. James Stewart, Chad Reed and Ben Townley greeted cheering crowds. Ricky Carmichael was in the pits to sign autographs for fans but Ricky was not here to race - only to give his team some support.

The first heat of the Lites qualifying was chaotic, but Team Makita Suzuki rider Ryan Dungey (2007 AMA Supercross Lites winner) took the lead by three seconds early in the race. #114 Justin Brayton (MDK KTM) and #74 Chris Blose (Fun Center Suzuki) came in second and third.

The second heat of the Lites qualifying saw the race order established until the last lap shook everything up. #338 Jason Lawrence (Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy) took an early lead and held onto it. #123 Bret Metcalfe (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki) worked his way up from fifth to second place in the last lap and #52 Matt Lemoine (Star Racing/Lucas Oil Yamaha) was third.

The first heat of the Supercross qualifier belonged to #22 San Manuel Yamaha's Chad Reed. He came out of the gate to end the first lap in second place, only to crash in the second lap and fall back to tenth. Reed was off the board until the fifth lap. # 40 Josh Hill battled for first with #43 Jeff Gibson until the last lap. Final order of the top three was #22 Chad Reed, #40 Josh Hill (Factory Yamaha) and #15 Tim Ferry (Monster Energy Kawasaki) who managed to hold his third place spot for the last four laps.

The second heat of the Supercross qualifier was owned by #7 Kawasaki's James Stewart, turning a fifty-seven second third lap - Stewart dominated the qualifying. #14 Torco Racing Fuels Honda's Kevin Windham watched James from second place, followed by #9 Ivan Tedesco riding for Red Bull Honda in third.

In the Supercross Lites Main Event it wasn't until the eighth lap that #28 Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) fought to the front to become the race leader. The battle between #114 Justin Brayton (MDK KTM) and #338 Jason Lawrence (Boost Mobile/ Yamaha of Troy) for second didn't get sorted out until the eleventh lap when Jason Lawrence claimed the second place spot and held it to the finish line. #114 Justin Brayton took third. This was a fast race with both Ryan Dungey and Jason Lawrence completing laps in under a minute.

The start of the Supercross Main Event was a tangle of traffic, which handed Chad Reed the first place advantage. #7 James Stewart landed in eighteenth after being stuck in the chaos of the huge turn one crash. It only took James Stewart six laps to work his way up to fifth place and by the tenth lap he was in second behind the leader Chad Reed. Both Chad Reed and James Stewart were flying around the track with fifty-six second lap times. While it was mesmerizing to watch James Stewart work his way through traffic, credit has to go to Chad Reed who crossed the checkered flag a full twenty-one seconds before James Stewart. #15 Tim Ferry crossed the finish to win third.

This was an exciting event that was kept safe by the hard working track crew. Watching them work was almost as entertaining as the race itself.

At 11:03 pm, with the races over and the workers breaking down the track, the rain began to fall in Angel Stadium.

The Monster Energy Supercross moves to Phoenix, Arizona January 12th, and then returns to Anaheim on January 19th. For more information and tickets, log onto http://supercrossonline.com/.

Click here to visit our online Gallery with exclusive photos from Monster Energy Supercross, Anaheim One!

Click here to visit our online Gallery with exclusive photos from Monster Energy Supercross, Anaheim One!

Source: Bikeland.org

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