Walking through downtown on the way to Centurylink Field in Seattle, you can’t help but notice the closed store fronts. If this has become an annual event for you and your family, you'll know there are more than the year before. But if downtown Seattle is bleak—its Supercross fans aren’t. They are out in full force—maybe the weather helped, it’s been perfect today.
Seattle fans don’t seem to mind that their pits have been cut in half due to new construction, or that they can’t get to part of the pits because the "overflow pits" are located in the basement of the parking lot on the other side of the Stadium, or that their races seem to miss the shizzle of the other shows - like 98% less pit girls… maybe the venders are saving their girl budget for Vegas?
Doesn’t matter. Even if it had rained, Seattle fans are loyal and fiercely supportive of local boy fan favorite Ryan Villopoto, and if he has any prerace complaints, it would be that his wrist hurts from signing all those fan photo posters. You can feel the Villopo-love up here in the house tonight!
Sure there are other fans here, maybe even some James Stewart hang-ons, from the old days when he was untouchable. Remember that year in Daytona, when James stopped on the track to give Chad Reed a chance to catch up? Yup, those days are gone, but James isn’t afraid to do the work, we have seen proof of that this season. This race here in Seattle will be further proof that James is giving his 100% a hundred percent of the time. No stopping and waiting for the competition this year.
The track in Seattle is tight, fast bikes riding all of the field, not a lot of run off space and not a lot of room for errors – unless you’re #17 Jason Anderson.
The first heat of the 250SX takes the top 9 riders. Number 35, Justin Hill, Kawasaki dominated the 6 lap race finishing with a 7.9 second gap ahead of Jason Anderson #17, KTM who battled up from fourth to cross the line in second. Cooper Webb #37, Yamaha fought from the back of the path to take third place. Every racer finished the race with no riders crashing out.
Second heat of the 250SX and the Choas (almost) comically returns to the 250 class, mostly impacting the back of the pack. Dean Wilson, #15 Kawasaki took the lead at the front and fought to keep it, battling back #16 Zack Osborne, Honda and # 34 Malcolm Stewart, Honda. Both challengers kept up the pace all 6 laps with Zack Osborne #16 taking second and #34 Malcolm Stewart earning third. This heat the riders went full out with two racers crashing out: #565 P. Mull, Yamaha and #416 A. Burns, Honda.
The first heat of the 450SX started clean with #800 Mike Alessi, Suzuki claiming a tiny gap in lead of #5 Ryan Dungey, KTM. Alessi managed to let go of the lead and give it to Dungey in the fifth lap. Ryan Dungey crossed the finish line with a 2.4 second lead in front of # 41 Trey Canard, Honda who claimed third. Mike Alessi trailed the front of the pack crossing the finish line in third. Taking the fourth spot finish and the last to transfer to the main event was W. Peik, Suzuki.
The second heat of the 450SX qualifies the top 4 out of 20 riders on to the finals, started with #7 James Stewart, Suzuki taking the lead in front of #38 Phil Nicoletti, Yamaha. Nicoletti crashed in a single bike crash in the second lap and was unable to finish the race. #51 Justin Barcia, Honda moved into second and held it for the heat in front of #94 Ken Roczen, KTM. #3 Eli Tomac, Honda took the fourth spot and moved on to the finals. James Stewart crossed the finish line with a notable 2 second lead in front of the pack. #77 J. Albertson, Yamaha completed two laps and was unable to finish the 450SX heat race.
The 250SX Last Chance Qualifier takes the top 4 riders of a four lap race to the 250 Main Event. Scott Champion, #84 Honda charged out of the gate and had a 5.1 second lap lead by the first lap in front of #329 Chad Gores, Honda. Gores established his second place spot early in the race and held it for the four laps of the LCQ. #391 Ryder Steffy on his Kawasaki finished third and Preston Mall #565 (nice photo on the AMA live timing website BTW) took fourth and was the last to go on to the 250SX main event.
The 450SX Semi qualifies the top five riders to the Main Event, all other racers transfer on to the LCQ. Phil Nicoletti on #38 Yamaha started strong after recovering from his cartwheel crash to take the lead in the first three laps before handing it over to #75 Josh Hill, Suzuki who finished in first with a 2.422 second lead. #92 Kellian Rusk took third and #771 K. Regal crossed fourth. #415 N. Schmitt received a fifth place finish, good enough to move onto the Main Event.
The second 450SX Semi finals gave an expected first place finish with a 5.885 second lead in front of the pack to number 1 plate holder Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki. Andrew Short #29 KTM took second with a sizeable lead in front of third place finisher #68 Chris Blose, Honda. Fourth place was awarded to #42 Vince Friese, Yamaha and the last rider to round out those racers to move onto the Main Event was #27 Nicolas Wey, Kawasaki. #750 J. Hicks, Yamaha did not finish – having difficulty after completing one lap and #77 J.Albertson Did Not Start.
The 450SX LCQ takes the top 4 riders (out of 22) in a 4 lap race on to the 450SX Main Event. #792 Bracken Hall, Honda proved he wanted it when he took the lead early and kept it out of the reach of #344 Cody Gilmore, Kawasaki who with a .601 second gap fought the leader to try to move ahead out of his second place finish. #211 Tevin Tapia, Suzuki was shadowing the #344 Kawasaki and finished the race in third ahead of the #48 Yamaha ridden by Ben Lamay. All top four riders moved on to the 450SX Main Event. With such a tight pack in the 450SX LCQ the Main Event should be intense.
The 250SX Main Event has 22 racers racing in a 15 lap race. Cole Seely #21 Honda took a strong and early lead ahead of #15 Dean Wilson on his Kawasaki. #15 Dean Wilson stumbled in the fourth lap and recovered back at fifth place, giving second place to #35 Justin Hill, Kawasaki. Hill battled back and forth with a determined #17 Jason Anderson, KTM. When the dust settled the #17 KTM bike crossed the finish line in second place ahead of #35 Justin Hill who landed across the finish line and on the podium in third. Note to Dean Wilson fans, the #15 bike finished in the fourth place spot after claiming the holeshot.
The 450SX Main Event has 22 riders competing in a 20 lap event. Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki started strong in front of the pack, taking the holeshot and establishing the pack lead early in the race. Ryan Dungey #5 KTM managed to block James Stewart for the first three laps before being passed by the #7 Suzuki bike. Race fans watched the clock as they checked to see if the gap between Villopoto and Stewart would change. James Stewart fans watched him push through the track and traffic, making saves and keeping the gap at a 4.5 second lead in favor of Villopoto. #5 Ryan Dungey, KTM held onto third place with lap after lap consistency. As fans were watching the front of the pack #3 Eli Tomac, Honda began his creep up on an unsuspecting Dungey. Tomac finished the race in fourth place, Andrew Short #29 KTM dropped out of the top five on the twelfth lap and #51 Justin Barcia, Honda finished the 450SX Main Event in fifth place.
#1 Ryan Villopoto won the 450SX Main Event pleasing the home crowd ahead of second place finisher #7 James Stewart. With 48 points between the points leader Villopoto and James Stewart there is still room for James Stewart to take it away from Ryan Villopoto. James Stewart is the only thing keeping Villipoto from claiming an early championship win here in Seattle. The points spread takes Ryan Dungey #5 KTM out of range for competing for the win in Vegas. James Stewart has stepped up to the challenge of making this year’s Supercross a can’t miss series. James Stewart teaches Supercross fans race by race – it’s not over until it’s over. And whoever wins in Vegas, Ryan Villopoto or James Stewart, both men have worked hard for their wins and both riders have earned it.
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