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Monster Energy Supercross’ Top Riders Preview Saturday Night’s Season Opener from Angel Stadium

ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 3, 2013) – The fastest riders on the planet spoke to the media on Thursday as the annual Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, Press Conference kicked off festivities inside the Diamond Club at Angel Stadium. The four former 450SX Class Champions who will line up on the gate on Saturday night – Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed, and James Stewart, along with Monster Energy Cup Winner Justin Barcia answered questions and shared their thoughts on the season that lies ahead with the media.

As the reigning back-to-back Monster Energy Supercross Champion, Villopoto is looking to join elite company during the 2013 season, attempting to become just the fourth rider to claim three consecutive titles in the 39-year history of the sport. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider will be making his comeback from injury this season, fully recovered from a torn ACL suffered at his home race in Seattle last April, just two races after he clinched the championship. While Villopoto did make his formal return to action this past October at the Monster Energy Cup, he is eager to get back on the track full time and defend his crown against his decorated rivals.

“We [the riders] are all better this year,” said Villopoto. “We put in the work during the offseason and our speed gets better and our fitness gets better. ACL’s are pretty minor these days and easy to fix, so once I started riding things started moving smoothly and quickly. I set a goal this season and that’s to [win championships] three years in a row. But, we’re here in Anaheim and you have to take it weekend by weekend, and that’s what’s driving me to keep doing what I need to do and be there in the end.”

Like Villopoto, Reed will also be making his return from injury during the 2013 season. The TwoTwo Motorsports Honda owner/rider was one of several riders to suffer a season-ending injury when he crashed during the Dallas race last February. The multiple injuries Reed sustained were the worst of his career, and after a lengthy recovery that kept him off the bike for six months, he returned to action at the Monster Energy Cup. After taking advantage of some additional racing opportunities in the months leading up to Monster Energy Supercross, Reed is back at 100% health and ready to prove that despite being at the tail end of his career, he still has the drive and speed to beat his competitors and capture a third Monster Energy Supercross title.

“The last few months have been fun,” said Reed. “I did what I had to do [preparing] and we’ll see if it’s enough in a couple nights. It’s a long season, so it’s important to start off consistent and not crash out like last year. When you grow up and you’ve been to these a time or two, I think it’s funny to hear that the bikes are the best they’ve ever been and the riders are more prepared than ever. I just want to drop the gate and go racing. You have to be there every weekend and have to be in it to win it. I’ll just try to do my thing as always and be there in Vegas with a shot at this thing [the championship].”

Dungey enters the 2013 season will a full season of experience and success aboard his Red Bull KTM. The 2010 Monster Energy Supercross Champion made 2012 a history-making season for the Austrian brand, capturing KTM’s first premier class success of any kind with four victories and establishing the team as a legitimate title contender. Now with a strong foundation of experience and additional bike development, Dungey is prepared to take on the competition full force and continue to establish a new KTM legacy.

“To have a whole year under our belt has helped work out the bugs if there were any,” said Dungey. “Starting off last season with a win at Phoenix and keeping up on the podium was great to be consistent. We’re just trying to keep making the bike better and better, keep making history, and achieve the goals we’ve set out to do. It’s definitely going to be a tough year, there’s no hiding that. Testing has gone well and I feel strong mentally, but time will tell on Saturday night when we line up and for the next 17 rounds everything will be settled.”

Following an anticipated signing with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2012 season, Stewart didn’t achieve the results he was hoping for despite winning a pair of Main Events last season. Lingering injuries forced the former two-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion to be in and out of competition throughout the season, which ultimately eliminated him from title contention. In the offseason, Stewart parted ways with JGRMX and joined the Team Yoshimura Suzuki effort for the 2013 season. The Factory Suzuki squad is no stranger to winning championships, having piloted Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Dungey to some of their past triumphs. After an intensive offseason of testing, training and perfecting the Suzuki machine, Stewart enters Monster Energy Supercross with more confidence than ever, looking to rebound from the adversity he faced a year ago and re-establish himself as one of the planet’s most dynamic riders.

“The offseason went good,” said Stewart. “It’s hard to say why I chose where I am, but I’m glad I chose it. I really dig the team and ever since I’ve had a chance to ride the bike, I’ve been in love with it. I think we need to just wait and see and find out what happens. I think the clock is ticking for everyone. We’re all trying to accomplish one goal [by winning the championship]. Last year is in the past and if I just focus on what I’m doing and keep doing things right, everything will be good.”

Barcia is the newest face to the 450SX class, coming off a pair of 250SX Class Eastern Regional Championships during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Team Honda Muscle Milk rider made his official debut at October’s Monster Energy Cup and instantly became a rider to watch after emerging victorious at the coveted event. Barcia’s tenacious riding style has made him a fan favorite and he won’t be intimidated by his senior counterparts during his rookie campaign.

“Keeping the momentum going [from Monster Energy Cup] isn’t the easiest thing, but I’ve been home riding and having fun,” said Barcia. “I think it’s important to do that. I’m just looking forward to racing all these guys. The last couple years the way I’ve raced I think is fine, so I’m going to keep doing that. Being aggressive is one thing, but being dirty is another.”

Following the press conference, these five riders were accompanied by five additional riders on the track inside Angel Stadium for an exclusive riding session for the media. In addition to four former champions, the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross season will feature a total of 10 former 450SX Class winners – Villopoto, Dungey, Reed, Stewart, Trey Canard, Josh Grant, Josh Hill, Davi Millsaps, Andrew Short, and Kevin Windham – an all-time record for a single season, making this the most decorated field of riders in the history of the sport.

2013 Monster Energy Supercross Teams and Riders

 

Monster Energy Kawasaki

Ryan Villopoto (450SX)

Jake Weimer (450SX)

 

Red Bull KTM

Ryan Dungey (450SX)

Marvin Musquin (250SX)

Ken Roczen (250SX)

 

Team Honda Muscle Milk

Justin Barcia (450SX)

Trey Canard (450SX)

 

Team Yoshimura Suzuki

James Stewart (450SX)

 

TwoTwo Motorsports Honda

Chad Reed (450SX)

 

JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha

Justin Brayton (450SX)

Josh Grant (450SX)

 

RCH Racing/Dodge/Sycuan Suzuki

Josh Hill (450SX)

Broc Tickle (450SX)

 

Chaparral Honda

Andrew Short (450SX)

 

BTO Sports KTM

Michael Byrne (450SX)

Matt Goerke (450SX)

 

GEICO Honda

Kevin Windham (450SX)

Zach Bell (250SX)

Justin Bogle (250SX)

Wil Hahn (250SX)

Zach Osborne (250SX)

Eli Tomac (250SX)

 

Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki

Davi Millsaps (450SX)

Jason Anderson (250SX)

Nico Izzi (250SX)

Ryan Sipes (250SX)

Blake Wharton (250SX)

 

SmarTop MotoConcepts Racing

Mike Alessi (450SX)

Jake Canada (250SX)

Gavin Faith (250SX)

 

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki

Blake Baggett (250SX)

Martin Davalos (250SX)

Darryn Durham (250SX)

Justin Hill (250SX)

Tyla Rattray (250SX)

Dean Wilson (250SX)

 

Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oil Honda

Christian Craig (250SX)

Jessy Nelcon (250SX)

Cole Seely (250SX)

 

MyPlash/Metal Mulisha/Yamaha

Kyle Cunningham (250SX)

Jeremy Martin (250SX)

 

JDR/J-star/KTM

Josh Cachia (250SX)

Joey Savatgy (250SX)

Malcolm Stewart (250SX)

 

N-FAB/TiLube/Yamaha

Chris Blose (450SX)

Philip Nicoletti (450SX)

 

Velocity3/Yamaha Racing

Kyle Chisholm (450SX)

Bobby Kiniry (450SX)

 

Rock River Yamaha

Ben LaMay (450SX)

Seth Caldwell (250SX)

Dalton Carlson (250SX)

Chris Johnson (250SX)

Joey Peters (250SX)

 

Valli Motorsports Yamaha

Travis Baker (250SX)

 

L&M Racing

Josh Hansen (450SX)

 

Elven10 Mods

Alex Martin (250SX)

 

JAB Motorsports

Matt Lemoine (450SX)

Gannon Audette (250SX)

Vann Martin (250SX)

 

51fifty Energy Drink

Preston Mull (450SX)

Chris Plouffe (450SX)

 

Team Tedder/Monster Energy Kawasaki

Dakota Tedder (250SX)

 

HRT Racing

Jimmy Albertson (450SX)

JJ Pauk (250SX)

Austin Politelli (250SX)

 

Rockwell Firepolice

Killian Rusk (250SX)

 

Team Rocket Exhaust

PJ Larsen (250SX)

Michael Leib (250SX)

 

Maykers/Witt Racing

Zack Freeberg (250SX)

Ryan Zimmer (250SX)

 

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC

Landen Powell (450SX)

Bracken Hall (250SX)

 

Hyper-X/R2MX/Proride.com

Weston Peick (450SX)

 

TrustImplants.com Suzuki

Tevin Tapia (450SX)

 

Slaton Racing

Vince Friese (450SX)

 

SPEED will broadcast the race live from Angel Stadium on Saturday, January 5 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to www.SupercrossOnline.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross.

3 Comments

  1. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    No, I think it’s just from getting older and losing interest in something.
    When Dirk posts a little story about this past weekend’s Supercross from Anaheim 1, others will chime in, I’m sure.
    If you listen to the media hype, Supercross is at an all-time high.
    Just look at all of the sponsors and all of the flashy lights!

    Myself, I still have interest in Supercross and motocross, just not quite as strongly as when I was 17.
    Sounds normal enough.

  2. sl says:

    Is it just this site, or does the whole world not care about SX/MX. I used to love it, went every year when it was in town. Now I could care less. I think Carmichael killed the sport. He has guys riding so hard for so long they can’t maintain it. Then the bikes are so good you have to make the track harder and harder. It just isn’t fun for me to watch these guy run that close to the edge. How many contenders missed at least one week because of injuries? Including the guy who won it all.

    • Dave says:

      Did you watch Anaheim 1 this weekend? It was brilliant stuff. I kind of wish Tomac would come up to 450’s too.