Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing finished up the 2009 AMA Supercross season with two podium finishes at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday night – one in the Supercross class and one in Supercross LItes.
In the former, two-time AMA Supercross Champion Chad Reed rode an impressive and aggressive race to take second place in Las Vegas and also overall in the series. Reed celebrated an amazingly consistent year, capturing a podium finish at every race but one this season.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki team mate Mike Alessi continued to dominate the starts on his RM-Z450 and again got the holeshot in the Main Event. Alessi went on to finish sixth in Las Vegas.
In the Supercross Lites class, newly-crowned 2009 AMA Supercross Lites West Coast Champion Ryan Dungey had a good night, winning his heat race and then finishing up in second place in Las Vegas’ East/ West Shoot-Out.
“It’s hard to swallow, to have to give up that one. I feel like I worked really hard for this championship and to be so close really hurts. We had a great year, we were consistently on the podium every weekend except at Seattle, where I made a mistake and crashed and was only able to come back to seventh. But I had fun this year, and that’s the main thing. It’s disappointing and it’s hard, but at the end of the day I felt that we achieved big things this year so it’s good.”
“The Main Event was good. I got a great start, got the holeshot on my Rockstar Makita Suzuki RMZ450 and got out front, but I got passed on the first lap. I really was focused on riding my own race and I stayed in fourth place for a while. I had a few good battles out there and ended up in sixth. I finished up the season in ninth place, one point away from eighth. But what’s most important to me is that I finished up the Supercross season healthy after 17 rounds.”
“Overall it was a good day. We had the fastest lap times in practice and won the heat race. Going into the main, though, I didn’t get such a great start and I think that’s really where we lost the race. It was just one of those deals. I had my work cut out for me, but we charged hard and I tried to come back and win it, but I think I lost by about half a bike length, which hurts. But in the grand scheme of things, it was a great race. It would have been nice to win it, but the championship was more important and I came out of this round safe and enjoyed it at the same time.”
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race next at the season-opening round of AMA Motocross at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, on Saturday, May 23.
1 Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
2 Chad Reed (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
3 James Stewart (Yamaha)
4 Kevin Windham (Honda)
5 Ivan Tedesco (Honda)
6 Mike Alessi (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
7 Josh Grant (Yamaha)
8 Andrew Short (Honda)
9 Nathan Ramsey (Yamaha)
10 Davi Millsaps (Honda)
Final Championship Points: 1 Stewart 377, 2 Reed 373, 3 Short 270, 4 Grant 237, 5 Windham 236, 6 Villopoto 233, 7 Tedesco 226, 8 Millsaps 219, 9 Alessi 218, 10 Hill 146.