A sold out crowd of 71,009 filled the Georgia Dome to capacity on Saturday night for the eighth round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series.
Following a strong start, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey fended off all challengers to take his second victory of the year. In the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class, GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia made it two from two.
Cole Seely grabbed the holeshot in the SX Main with Dungey and Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX’s Davi Millsaps hot on his wheels. Championship leader Ryan Villopoto was in sixth aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki at the conclusion of the opening lap. Fellow title contender Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX’s James Stewart was slow out of the gate and crossed the line in ninth on lap one.
Seely fought off Dungey’s pressure for several laps but the 2010 champ eventually worked his way into the lead on lap seven and looked to pull away. As Dungey made his move forward both Villopoto and Stewart were doing the same and by Lap 11 they were running first, second and third.
Villopoto slowly ate away at Dungey’s advantage throughout the second half of the Main Event to have a shot at his fourth consecutive win. On the final lap the pair were separated by just over a second with Villopoto charging. A slight bobble by the defending champion coming out of the sand section allowed Dungey to extend his lead and give KTM just their second Main Event win in the Supercross class.
“To get that first win right off the bat (for KTM) in Phoenix was nice but it took a while after that,” says Dungey. “To back it up here in Atlanta, it was a great night. We’ve been looking for that one for a while. The whole team has been working hard and things haven’t gone our way with testing and stuff but we’re coming around to it and I think things are progressively getting better.”
Villopoto held on for second to lose just three points in the championship standings while Stewart finished third.
“I just made a little mistake and early on in the race I fell over and that cost me, huge,” says Villopoto. “The track was tough tonight, you could really see that and I just slipped up and washed the front end out. Overall, we had a good night. It just wasn’t the best of weeks coming into this so to come out with a second is good.”
In the Lites class Main Event, Barcia was the first rider out of the gate while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team-mates Blake Baggett and Darryn Durham followed him out of the first corner. After posting the fastest practice lap of the day, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in 14th place following a tough start.
Barcia pulled away to a multiple-second advantage over the field. Behind him a heated battled for the podium took place between Baggett, Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Blake Wharton and GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle.
Baggett asserted himself in second and after battling for several laps Bogle worked his way past Wharton on lap nine and that’s the way it ended with Roczen working his way forward to sixth at the flag.
“Two for two – not a bad way to start,” says Barcia. “I wanted a good start, I got the holeshot and just rode hard from there. The track was super-tough tonight. It was very slick and there were a lot of places where the bike was sliding around. I was trying not to make any mistakes. Fortunately, everything went really smooth and we got the win.”