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This Week in Monster Energy Supercross: Arlington

AURORA, Ill (April 1, 2011) – As the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returns to Cowboys Stadium tomorrow, TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing’s Chad Reed carries with him a three-point advantage over Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash. The last time that Reed, of Tampa, Fla., held the Supercross class points lead was April 4, 2009.

During the pre-season hype, Reed, who started his own team just prior to the start of the 2011 championship, wasn’t high on the list of favorites to walk away from Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium with the sport’s most prestigious trophy, the Monster Energy Supercross crown. It would have been easy to assume the nine-year veteran began making the turn toward retirement. After all, he has won two championships, is fourth on the all-time win list and he’s never finished worse than third in season standings during his tenure (In 2010 he finished 17th, but was sidelined with an injury for most of the season).

Reed’s ability to manage a team and have a competitive edge as a racer was certainly in question. He certainly has silenced the critics with five races remaining on the schedule. The way he handled the criticism and the way he responded to it during the last 12 races explains why he is considered one of the greatest supercross racers of all time. If the critics need this point seasoned, look no further than his 81.6% podium average. In 136 starts, he’s been on the podium 111 times, which ties him with Jeremy McGrath, the all-time winningest supercross racer in history. And he’s still in the game.

“Before the 2004 season, I dislocated my shoulder and was away from training and riding for almost seven weeks,” said Reed. “That year I won 10 races and was on the podium six times. Following the 2007 season, I had the entire summer off and won the 2008 championship.”

History is the greatest story teller.

As Villopoto had to work his way back from a crash in Toronto, he knows he is still a prime candidate for the championship, leading the field with the most wins at five.

“I know I can win and I am not going to give up this championship until Las Vegas,” said Villopoto. “I am only three points out and ready to bounce back. I’m going to keep working hard and I’m determined to be back on the podium in Dallas.”

“I am sad that it is my last race with the team, but happy that Jake is better,” said Izoird. “It was really fun getting the holeshot last week and maybe I’ll be able to do it again in Dallas. My family is coming out to the race, so hopefully I can get my best result of the season.”

Defending Supercross class champion Ryan Dungey rode strong all day in Toronto, scoring the fourth best time in the afternoon qualifying and picking up a second-place finish in his heat race. In the main event, his Suzuki powered him out of the gate and into second place through the first turn. Dungey easily made his way to the front by the end of the first lap, which is where he stayed throughout the entire 20-lap main event. His RM-Z450 performed flawlessly as Dungey threw down 20 strong laps on his way to a convincing first victory of the season. Dungey sits solidly in third place in the championship points and a mere eight points out of first.

“We had a great day today,” Dungey said in Toronto. “My Rockstar Makita Suzuki team did a great job setting my bike up for this track and I felt really comfortable all day. I knew going into the main that a holeshot was gonna be key. I got a good start and ended up second and was able to work my RMZ into the lead in the first lap. From there, I tried to put down the laps as best as I could – I tried to focus on my own race and not behind me. It was cool to be able to come around and get this first win. I’m very thankful. I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team and my family. I’m really looking forward to Dallas. I was able to get a win there last year and it’s a great stadium; it’s new and big. The fans there are great and it’s always a good race.”

Team San Manuel Yamaha Red Bull’s James Stewart finished fourth in the 12th in Toronto last weekend. Following a race ending crash in Jacksonville, Stewart had taken time off to rest and recuperate during the week. However, Stewart showed no sign of injury Saturday night, by once again posting the fastest lap times and dominating his heat race. In heat two, Stewart started strong, taking the lead in Lap 1 and maintaining the lead for eight solid laps, finishing a clear 20 seconds ahead of the pack. As the gates dropped for the Main Event, Stewart faced some unfortunate luck, when a small mistake in the first turn had him starting near the back. Stewart quickly made his way through the field from 12th place to fourth, where he stayed for the remainder of the race, despite his continued charge.

“I feel like I rode pretty good, especially after last weekend’s race,” Stewart said. “I’m trying my hardest out there and will hopefully turn my luck around for Dallas.”

Stewart didn’t get the finish he was hoping for, but did gain some valuable championship points, narrowing the lead once again. With five rounds to go, Stewart is in fourth place with 216 points, 20 points shy of the lead.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki team will welcome back Jake Weimer, the defending Supercross Lites class champion, next weekend in St. Louis. Weimer was injured prior to the start of the season and is on the road to recovery.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson will be riding the high of his second win that he captured last weekend in Toronto. He’s riding smart and patient, knowing it will be beneficial when race time comes in Dallas. He trails points leader Justin Barcia, who rides for the GIECO Honda team, by 16 points.

“I feel like I’ve found a groove and I really want to stand on top of the podium again in Dallas,” said Wilson. “I didn’t get to race there last year so I know it’s going to be exciting for me to see Cowboys Stadium for the first time.”

Wilson’s teammate Blake Baggett looks forward to heading back to Dallas where he got his very first win last year.

“It will be good to go back to Dallas because I have a lot of good memories from that race last year,” said Baggett. “I think it will give me a big boost in confidence, which is always good when you come off a tough race.”

For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to

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