Tomorrow night will be the 28th time that Seattle has played host to Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race, as the world’s greatest racers head into Qwest Field led by AMA Supercross new 2010 series champion Ryan Dungey.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Dungey extended his points lead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto last weekend in St. Louis, extending his points lead to 36. As a rookie in the premier class, Dungey joined Jeremy McGrath, Kevin Windham, and Ryan Villopoto as riders to win St. Louis in both classes.
“I feel my fitness and my racing are where they need to be at right now, and I’m looking forward to Seattle,” Dungey said. “I want to line up on the gate just like the other 14 races so far this season: wanting a good start and aiming to get out front and win. I want to enjoy the rest of this season and have some fun racing.”
GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham, a 16-year veteran, earned back-to-back second place finishes in Houston and St. Louis respectively. Windham is fifth on the all-time podium list with 69. Heading into Seattle, he’s fourth in the AMA Supercross class point standings, just two points behind Josh Hill.
“So far it’s been a great season for me,” said Windham. “I’ve shown I still have what it takes to mix it up out front and that really excites me and gives a boost to the entire GEICO Powersports Honda team. The last two races I’ve finished in second place so this week I want to take it a step higher and battle for the win.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki is preparing for a big race in Seattle as Chad Reed and Nick Wey will be flying the familiar Green and Black for the team.
For Reed it will be a stressful weekend as his wife approaches her due date for their first child. Reed will be thinking a lot about his home life while in Seattle.
For Wey, he has been called back to the Factory Kawasaki team. After riding for the team while Reed was injured, he now is riding while Ryan Villopoto recovers from his injuries suffered last week in St. Louis.
“You know this isn’t how I want to keep getting on a factory bike,” said Wey. “I’m thankful for the opportunity, but Ryan is one of my good friends and I want him to get better as soon as he can.”
At only his second race since returning from injury, Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short put his injury woes behind him to score his first podium of the season in St. Louis.
“To be up on the box at just my second race since returning from injury is a great achievement for me,” said Short. “I’m really pumped to put Honda Red Bull Racing on the podium for another week. My ankle felt one hundred times better, which made all the difference for me.
“I’m looking forward to heading west again to race the Seattle supercross this week. Davi [Millsaps] or I always seem to finish on the box in Seattle so it should be another good weekend for the team.”
After a seven-race break, the penultimate Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship racing will return to action with Jake Weimer leading Trey Canard by 14 points.
Canard will return to the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship Saturday night. A former Lites class champion, Canard has two wins this season – San Francisco and Anaheim 2. During the seven-race break in the championship, Canard used the opportunity to gain some experience in the premier AMA Supercross class, finishing on the podium in five of the six races he contested.
“There are 14 points between [Jake] Weimer and myself with two races to go,” said Canard. “My plan is to go out there and ride to my full potential and earn as many points as possible. I need to race two great rounds and have some luck on my side in order to win the title.
“It’s not going to be easy with Weimer riding so good this year, but if I can ride with the same level of confidence that I did while racing the CRF450R then I know I will be in there with a good chance.”
Standing in his way is Weimer, who has controlled the points lead since the season opener in Anaheim.
“It’s been a long break from racing for me,” said Weimer. “That doesn’t mean I haven’t been out riding though. I’ve done a lot of outdoor testing and also have been on the supercross tracks making sure I can bring home the title.”
While Weimer looks to add another No. 1 plate to the door of Mitch Payton’s transporter, his teammate Josh Hansen is looking to earn his first podium of the season.
“I’ve been working hard during the break,” said Hansen. “I know what I need to do and I know we can be on the podium these last few rounds.”