Dungey takes Anaheim 2 dogfight - Weimer makes it three Lites in a row

by Jon Row

Thanks to a heroic track-prep effort after five days of relentless rain, Anaheim 2 turned out to be a super event. Truckloads of mud replaced by equal amounts of sand and a rain-free race day resulted in a challenging, but better than expected course. Dry jump faces were combined with an inevitable soft base that kept race lines changing but gave riders lots of opportunities.

Most Supercross contenders dodged Southern California’s daily downpours this week trying to get their always-needed practice and seat time in. In contrast, L&M Yamaha’s James Stewart was stuck in a doctor’s office and a hyperbaric chamber trying to speed his recovery of the wrist, ankle and shoulder injuries he suffered at Phoenix. The result was a last minute decision to compete that wasn’t made official until after the first practice session.


Heat one saw Josh Hansen lead wire to wire and included a nasty spill for Ryan Morias Rockstar Energy Suzuki which took him out for the rest of the night. Jake Weimer easily led all laps of a much faster second heat giving everyone a preview of things to come.

In the Lites main event, Weimer stretched his points lead with yet another wire to wire win, comfortably holding off second place finisher Wil Hahn. Trey Canard put in a hard ride for the final podium slot after being down as far as sixth. Josh Hansen was a distant 4th. With Morais unable to ride the main and Blake Wharton finishing eighth, Canard and Hahn are now tied for second in the West series.

Lites Heat 1
1) #100 Josh Hansen-Monster Energy Pro Circuit
2) #200 Cole Seely-Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda
3) #38 Trey Canard-Geico Powersports Honda

Lites Heat 2
1) #12 Jake Weimer-Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki
2) #20 Broc Tickle-DNA/Shred Stix Star Yamaha
3) #49 Wil Hahn-Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda

Lites Main
1) Jake Weimer
2) Wil Hahn
3) Trey Canard

Lites West Season Points
Jake Weimer: 75
Trey Canard/Wil Hahn (tie) 56
Blake Wharton: 51


In the first heat, Stewart, Austin Stroupe, Andrew Short and Josh Hill put on the best eight-lap show of the night. Stroupe led out of the gate and swapped the lead with Stewart multiple times. James passed Stroupe for good on lap five only to be passed by his own teammate, Josh Hill. Hill blazed through the pack dispensing Stroupe and Short on lap five and then unceremoniously relegated Stewart to second place. Andrew Short put in a great ride for third leaving Stroupe fourth.

Ryan Dungey nailed the holeshot in heat two and avoided a six-rider pile up/bottleneck that created a very strung out pack. Ryan Villopoto enjoyed an uncontested second place but was never able to pressure Dungey. Michael Byrne, filling in for the injured Josh Grant on a Muscle Milk/JGR Yamaha, grabbed 3rd. Tellingly, Dungey’s heat win bested Hill’s by 9 seconds.

SX Main

After qualifying fourth fastest and finishing second to his teammate in the heat, Stewart endured a physically and emotionally painful main event. Although Stroupe pulled another holeshot, Stewart was able to lead the first five laps. Stroupe faded and Ryan Dungey waited patiently, letting Stewart battle with Josh Hill for half the race. All three put in spectacular rides and the trio was so close together they could have been covered by the proverbial blanket several times.

Hill, brilliantly smooth and fast through the rhythm whoops, held off a final ragged-edged Stewart attempt just after the halfway point. The move caused James to bobble and let Dungey get by him. Hill’s momentum at that point looked like he might break away and check out.

Dungey rode a smooth, shrewd race and was able to ramp up the pace, get by the surprisingly strong Hill, then edge away in the final five laps. With his second win in a row, an obviously happy Dungey gained even more confidence along with 25 championship points.

Earlier this week, Hill had told Bikeland, “I’m super comfortable with my bike right now and a new nutrition and training program that’s working great”. While shaving an extra pound off a factory bike can cost thousands of dollars in trick titanium parts, Hill shed over twenty pounds from himself this year. His slightly mischievous demeanor is still evident but it’s clear he’s serious about proving he can add another SX main event win to his career resume.

With Dungey and Hill on the their game, Stewart’s third place ride was not what he wanted but still smart. Fourth place Andrew Short was well within striking distance most of the race. Any miscue by James that resulted in a non-podium finish would have further emboldened the rest of the field and cost precious points.

At Anaheim 1, many thought only Chad Reed could consistently push James this year. Now two others have demonstrated they can. Although Reed’s broken hand will take him out for six events, James Stewart knows that, injured or not, for the rest of the year, Villopoto, Short, Windham, Milsaps and the others are going to try harder to test him too.

SX Heat 1
1) #75 Josh Hill-L&M Racing San Manuel Yamaha
2) #1 James Stewart-L&M Racing San Manuel Yamaha
3) #29 Andrew Short-Honda Red Bull Racing

SX Heat 2
1) #5 Ryan Dungey-Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki/Yoshimura
2) #2 Ryan Villopoto-Monster Energy Kawasaki
3) #26 Michael Byrne-Muscle Milk/JGR Yamaha

SX Main
1) #5 Ryan Dungey-Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki/Yoshimura
2) #75 Josh Hill-L&M Racing San Manuel Yamaha
3) #1 James Stewart-L&M Racing San Manuel Yamaha
4) #29 Andrew Short-Honda Red Bull Racing
5) #14Kevin Windham-Geico Powersports Honda

SX Season Points after 3 rounds
Ryan Dungey:72
Josh Hill:57
Ryan Villopoto/Andrew Short (tie):52
Kevin Windham/James Stewart (tie):51

Source: Bikeland.org
Photos: Justin Dawes

Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story