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This Week in Monster Energy Supercross: Seattle

AURORA, Ill. (April 15, 2011) – After snapping an eight-race winless streak last weekend at St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome, Team San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart carries the momentum into Qwest Field tomorrow night for the 15th stop of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., regained the Supercross class points lead with a third place finish in St. Louis.

“I’ve been really trying hard all season, and St. Louis really came through for me,” Stewart said. “My bike was working great and to win really meant a lot to me. I can’t thank my fans, my team, my sponsors, and my family enough. You guys (the fans) are the reason I’m still here. I’m really looking forward to Seattle and am hoping to keep the momentum going.”

Stewart, who has 41 career Supercross class wins, has enjoyed success in Seattle, winning three consecutive main events from 2005 to 2007. He has two additional Supercross Lites class wins as well.

The local favorite this weekend, Villopoto sits just five points ahead of defending Supercross class champion Ryan Dungey. Villopoto won the main event in Seattle back in 2009, marking the first time in the sport’s history that a rider beat Stewart in a race that he didn’t crash in. This marked Villopoto’s official arrival in the premier class.

“I’m really excited to go back home to Washington,” said Villopoto. “There is a lot of family that I haven’t seen for over a year. It will be good to have a lot of friends and family on my side. I know it’s probably going to be a ‘mudder’ and I hope I can come away with another good finish. I want to win, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Dungey and his Suzuki were strong all day in St. Louis. After scoring the fifth fastest time in the afternoon timed practice, Dungey pulled the holeshot and walked away with the win in his heat race. Another great start on his RM-Z in the main put him in second place going into the first turn. After a bit of shuffling, he dropped one position in the first lap but was able to power his way back to second by lap three. Dungey rode smooth and steady for the remaining 17 laps and piloted his RM-Z450 across the line for a second-place podium finish. Dungey’s consistency and string of podiums have paid off, as he now stands second in championship points, just five points out of first place.

“I think that all in all, it was a pretty good day in St. Louis,” said Dungey. “Practice went really well. We were fighting a few areas, but my whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team went to work and made a few changes that made me really comfortable out there on the track. My Suzuki got me off to a great start in my heat race and I was able to get the holeshot and come away with a win. That helped a lot and gave me a good gate pick going into the main event. I got another good start, which put me in second. I got passed and put into third but was able to get back to second in the next lap. I’m really thankful for a second on the night.”

Dungey successfully clawed his way back from a 38-point deficit following the Anaheim 2 race, where a broken chain forced him to withdraw from the main event. Dungey has two Supercross Lites class wins in Seattle but hasn’t won in the Supercross class.

“I’m focusing on just being really consistent and smart,” said Dungey. “A big thanks to my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team and the Yoshimura guys – They all have done a great job. We’re heading to Seattle this weekend, and I’m looking forward to that one. I really enjoy going there. The dirt is a little different in Seattle; a little more sandy and usually will rut up and deteriorate a bit. I look forward to getting there and putting in another solid ride.”

TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing’s Chad Reed led the points race following Toronto and slipped back into third place after a forgettable night in the “Show-Me State.” The fourth-place finish moved him eight points behind Villopoto.

“Maybe I just did wake up on the wrong side of the bed,” said Reed. “I wouldn’t say I had a tough day-I didn’t crash-I was just off and couldn’t get comfortable.”

Reed has one win on the season and has never won in Seattle.

“Seattle has been a tough race for me over the years. I also had some less than stellar races there; I’ve also crashed in the first turn a few times,” said Reed. “I like the ruts, the weather doesn’t bother me and it brings a whole different feeling to what’s already a crazy supercross season. Looking forward to that!”

American Honda’s Trey Canard, who sits in fifth place, 20 points out of the lead was injured during practice on Wednesday and will no longer be riding the remaining three races of the season.

Speaking on behalf of Canard and the team, Team Manager Erik, Kehoe mentioned, “Trey suffered a non-displaced fracture to his femur when he crashed at a team test. The good news is that the fracture is not as severe as it might have been. We are hopeful Trey’s return to racing will come soon. It’s very disappointing to see him get hurt, especially after the fantastic supercross season he’s having. In his rookie season he’s won three supercross races and was in the championship points chase with three stops to go. He will miss the remaining supercross rounds, so the team will focus on our preparations for the upcoming Motocross series where both Trey and Josh Grant will make their returns to racing.”

Stewart’s teammate Kyle Regal has shown no signs of his wrist injury as he has been able to pick up his speed and show consistent improvement. Regal finished 14th in St. Louis and still maintains 15th place overall.

“I rode pretty hard out there and am still trying to work my way up,” Regal said. “My team has been behind me 100 percent and training has been going well, I just need to put it all together. I hope to do this in Seattle.”

Red Bull/KTM Factory rider Andrew Short had a night we would like to forget in St. Louis. The KTM rider got off to a bad start and had to fight his way up into the top ten.

“It took me the whole race to move into the top ten. I eventually finished 10th but it is much farther back than I would like to be. I know I am a top five rider and I need to improve upon my starts to get myself in better position to earn a spot within the top group,” said Short.

Dungey’s Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki teammate Brett Metcalfe did not race due to recent injuries and will sit out the remainder of the supercross season in order to train and prepare for the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship series.

After a seven-race break, the Western Regional Supercross Lites class returns to action tomorrow night. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen holds a three-point lead over his teammate Broc Tickle. The third member of the team, Tyla Rattray is seventh overall after missing a race due to an injury.

Hansen is also on the mend from practice-crash injury to his hand at Anaheim 2. Miraculously, Hansen pulled off the win later that evening, riding to his third victory of the year.

“My hand is pretty much 100 percent now and I’m really happy we are back racing,” said Hansen. “I took some time off to have surgery and I been getting back up to speed. I think I’m where I was before I broke my hand and excited to put more points on the board in Seattle.”

Tickle and Hansen share the same average finish at 2.6, but Hansen has three wins to Tickle’s one win.

“It’s going to be really great to be back after the two month break,” said Tickle. “I have been putting the hard work in during the break and I know I’m ready to come out and get some more wins.”

SPEED will broadcast the Supercross class and the Supercross Lites class races live at 10:30 p.m. EST/7:030 p.m. PST.

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

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