SAN DIEGO — Discount Tire Racings/TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed won his 43rd Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race last Saturday night at Angel Stadium and has a record 125 podium finishes as the action continues Saturday night at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium.
Reed joined some elite company in a Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart on the all-time win list at Angel Stadium with eight.
“Tying Jeremy (McGrath), Ricky (Carmichael), and James (Stewart) at such a prestigious stadium, a stadium that for the most part Jeremy built, is a nice accolade for me,” said Reed. “It’s nice and cool to know that I still have more opportunities next year to be able to beat the likes of the ‘King of Supercross’ and the ‘Greatest of All Time.’
“Through the night program I felt pretty good and going into the main it was one of those things where I knew I needed to get a good start because it was going to be a difficult track to pass on. When I went into the lead on the first lap, for me to lead 20 laps and to win meant a lot because with my first win, there was no real pressure on me. I kind of sat in sixth and saw what they were doing and was never really in the battle until the last five laps. It was the kind of win where the monkey was finally off my back and I finally won in my 30s. With our second win felt like I went out there and rode my race and earned it.
“San Diego is a stadium where I’m the winningest rider with six wins. It’s a stadium that I have obviously done really well at. I haven’t had a back-to-back win since 2009 so really that is the goal, to try to get a back-to back win, get the points lead, and head to the East Coast.”
Three-time defending 340SX Class champion Ryan Villopoto has a two-point lead over Reed and joins Reed as the only riders to have two wins this season. Villopoto’s lone win in San Diego cam in 2012 en route to his second championship.
“San Diego has been good to us in the past,” said Villopoto. “It usually has a challenging track with big whoops. The points are tight and we’d love to leave San Diego and head East with the points lead. Chad (Reed) and I had a good battle there in 2012 so hopefully we can put on a good show.”
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Stewart admittedly struggled at Angel Stadium on Saturday night. But in the end, Stewart still managed to put in a very respectable ride on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 bringing home a solid seventh-place result and moving into the top five in the overall championship points.
“We ended up seventh,” said Stewart. “I don’t know, I was sliding out everywhere and making mistakes. I felt good going into the main event and then I don’t know what happened. I still feel good, this was just a tough weekend for me. We still have a lot of racing left and we’ll get it figured out before San Diego next weekend.”
Team Honda/Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia has yet to finish on the podium, but he did finish a season-best fourth place in Anaheim.
“Practice was good. I was either the fastest or just a little off the quickest rider so that makes me feel good and gives me confidence,” explained Barcia. “The only thing that has been hurting me is my starts, and the team and I are really working on that. We have been getting better and better, but that is the only thing that is really holding me back. When we look at the times after the races, I am right there in speed. I just need to get off that gate a little better. The Heat Race tonight didn’t go as planned. I got pinched on the start and ended up going down and wasn’t able to fight my way back into position. I didn’t get the best start again in the semi but was able to win that, so that was good. I got a decent start in the Main Event, and was able to work my way into fourth. Once I get those starts figured out I know I’ll be on the podium. Next weekend is going to be awesome in regards to the race being military appreciation. I really respect what our militarydoes for us each and every day. I am excited to run my custom gear to help support.”
GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac made his first start of the season following a crash during practice at the season opener that resulted in a shoulder injury. And the bad luck didn’t stop in Anaheim; Tomac suffered a flat tire and finished 21st.
“I just wanted to get back into the groove as much as I could,” said Tomac. “I was still hoping for a top-five finish in the main but ended up getting a flat tire. Overall, it was a good day, and I was able to do some things on the track that the other guys weren’t, which was cool. I did feel my shoulder getting a bit weak in the Main Event, so I know I still need to build strength back so I can attack the whole time. I am really looking forward to San Diego, especially with the military theme. My brother is in the service, so I think it is cool that we are able to show our respects and do something like this.”
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson shook the monkey off his back in Anaheim as he scored his first Western Regional 250SX Class win of the season. Wilson finished second the week before Anaheim, losing the race on the last lap to Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson. If Wilson wins the remaining four races of the season, he will win the championship.
“I’m looking forward to San Diego,” said Wilson. “Last weekend’s win was big for us and put us right back in the hunt. Last time I raced San Diego we won so we’re looking to make up as many points as possible before the break.”
Anderson came into Anaheim with a six-point lead in the season standings, but with a season-worst fourth place finish, he is tied in points with Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Cole Seely at 109.
“This weekend was alright, but tied in points now,” said Anderson after Anaheim. “Every time I get a cushion it seems like something just doesn’t go my way. You know we’re just going to keep pushing, do what we do every weekend and come out battling next weekend.”