Rockstar Energy Suzuki team rider Ryan Morais raced to another podium finish with second place at the second round of the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Morais moved up one position from last weekend’s third overall at the opening Anaheim round which puts him in second overall in the series and only eight points off the lead.
“My RM-Z250 is running great!” Morais said after the race. “I got a pretty good start and then pretty much attacked the whole race. I got close, but couldn’t quite get up to the top spot on the box. Hopefully I can get a win in Anaheim next weekend”
In the heat race, Morais and team mate Hunter Hewitt lined up. At the drop of the gate, Morais snagged the holeshot but had a bobble and found himself in fourth position. But by lap two, he was in second and Hewitt was mired back in 13th.
With three laps to go, Morais made a mistake in the sand and fell back to third but quickly passed back up to second. At the end it was Morais in second while Hewitt worked his way up to 10th, putting him into the LCQ. In the LCQ, Hewitt missed transferring to the Main by just one spot and will have to wait until Anaheim-2 for his next shot.
At the start of the Main, Morais got out to a fourth-placed start and immediately started to charge forward. By lap four, he was up to third and on the move. The next lap he was up to second and looking for more. By the halfway point, Morais was still running second but it was anyone’s race as the top four were separated by only a few seconds. He took over the lead on lap 12 and led until lap 14 when he was passed and put in second place. The last lap saw Morais close down to a .4-second gap but at the flag he had to settle for second place.
“The bike is just amazing out there,” Morais said after the race. “I got great starts all night. I’m really looking forward to next week; I’m learning every weekend and I’m really having fun.”
Team Manager Bill Keefe was happy with his Lites riders’ performance, “Ryan rode a strong, smart race at Phoenix. It’s only our second race together as a team on the Suzuki RM-Z250. To finish second on the night, and be sitting second in the Lites West Coast Championship, is a very good start to our 2010 season.”
Meanwhile in the AMA Supercross class, team rider Tommy Hahn scored a hard-fought top-10 finish, making him the top-ranked privateer in the class. With many of the world’s top riders struggling on this technical track, Hahn’s efforts made his RM-Z450 the third Suzuki in the top 10. Like Hunter and Ryan, Hahn can’t wait for Anaheim 2 this coming weekend. But there may be some surprises waiting for all the Supercross riders at the Big A.
“With the prediction of a week of rain in Southern California, Anaheim 2 should be very interesting.” Bill Keefe reminded us. “Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki has a good mud prep plan for the race bikes. Tommy, Ryan and Hunter all enjoy racing in the mud, so rain or shine we will be ready. The Suzukis are great bikes and with help from Rockstar Energy Drinks, Canidae, and all our program partners, it is especially gratifying to deliver some solid results.”