For just the second time in 37 years, a rookie stole the show during the 2010 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, as Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey joined legend Jeremy McGrath as the only other first-year champion in the Supercross class. This Saturday, the youngest champion in history will lead the world’s best riders into Angel Stadium for the first round of the 2011 championship.
Preseason buzz is already calling the upcoming season the most anticipated championship of all time. With past two-time champions Chad Reed, riding for his own TwoTwo Motorsports, and San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart flanking Dungey, a long lineup of young challengers and experienced veterans are looking for their first taste of global recognition.
Perhaps no rider is more motivated than Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto. The three-time AMA National Champion captured the most wins in 2010 during a season-long battle with Dungey that ended prematurely with a frightening crash in St. Louis. After being forced to sit off a bike for nearly five months, Villopoto is determined to take care of what he considers to be unfinished business against a foe he is all too familiar with.
Also looking to bounce back from their own personal misfortunes from last season are both Reed and Stewart. Two of the most dominant riders of the past decade are the stalwarts who ushered in the present generation of riders and neither came close to accomplishing what they set out to do last season after stepping away from the championship before the third and fourth rounds, respectively. For both riders, 2011 marks the first season in which they are not seen as the top contenders for the championship. Pundits are giving Dungey and Villopoto considerably more attention with a hope of a resumption of their exciting rivalry and both of the “elder statesmen” of the sport will be look to prove them wrong.
Beyond the foursome of championship-proven talent is a crop of fast young talent eager to make their own dreams come true. Led by former Supercross Lites champion Trey Canard, who will be making his Supercross class debut for Team Honda just one year after a memorable guest appearance in the class, this group contains another class rookie in Brett Metcalfe, who joins Dungey at Rockstar/Makita Suzuki, as well as former race winners Josh Grant, at Team Honda, and Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGR’s Davi Millsaps.
While Grant and Millsaps head the movers and shakers in new places for 2011, longtime veteran and perennial front-runner Andrew Short makes the move to Red Bull KTM, forming an alliance with ace team manager Roger DeCoster, who tutored Dungey to his championship form at Suzuki. Additional riders who have found new homes this season are Ivan Tedesco at Dodge/Hart & Huntington Kawasaki, Tommy Hahn at MotoConcepts Yamaha, Michael Byrne at BTOSports.com/BBMX/Palmetto Suzuki, Nick Wey at Valli Motorsports Yamaha, and Dan Reardon at the new JDR Motorsports/Motorex KTM.
As a whole, the 2011 lineup in the Supercross class is from top to bottom one of the most diversely talented groups of riders in the history of the sport whether its age or past success. Rounding out the roster is GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham, who at 32 years of age entering his 18th year of professional competition is still in search of his first world championship, in addition to Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGR’s Justin Brayton, MotoConcepts Yamaha’s Kyle Chisholm, Dodge/Hart & Huntington Kawasaki’s Chris Blose and Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi. Additionally, a trio of riders are ready to enter their rookie seasons in hopes of being wild cards in the championship in San Manuel Yamaha’s Kyle Regal, Valli Motorsports Yamaha’s Austin Stroupe, and MotoConcepts Yamaha’s Vince Friese.
As if the excitement being generated by the Supercross class wasn’t enough, the regional championships of the Supercross Lites class are slated to be as unpredictable as ever. While the chess match between teams announcing which riders will compete in which regions continues, heavy hitters at both Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and GEICO Powersports Honda are the ones to keep an eye on, regardless of coast. Based on experience, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen is considered a heavy favorite in his chosen region while last season’s rookie of the year in GEICO Powersports Honda’s Justin Barcia is also receiving recognition. Beyond this duo is Dean Wilson, Broc Tickle, Tyla Rattray, and Blake Baggett at Pro Circuit alongside Eli Tomac, Blake Wharton, and Wil Hahn at GEICO Powersports.
Despite the considerable attention garnered by the two winningest franchises in Supercross Lites history, the rosters at Rockstar Energy Suzuki, DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha, and Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda are also full of a mix of class veterans and future stars that will make their presence felt throughout the season.
With the New Year upon us, the world’s focus on the motorsports landscape will be squarely on Angel Stadium this Saturday and the best riders from across the globe will begin what is expected to be the most competitive Monster Energy Supercross season of all time.
Media day is Thursday, January 6 from Noon – 2:00 p.m. in the Diamond Club at Angel Stadium. Featured riders will be Ryan Dungey, James Stewart, Chad Reed, Ryan Villopoto, and Kevin Windham. Riders will be available for interviews and will ride the track for the media.
Past Winners in Anaheim
February 13, 2010: Ryan Villopoto
January 23, 2010: Ryan Dungey
January 9, 2010: James Stewart
February 7, 2009: James Stewart
January 17, 2009: James Stewart
January 3, 2009: Josh Grant
January 5, 2008: Chad Reed
January 19, 2008: Chad Reed
February 2, 2008: Chad Reed
January 6, 2007: James Stewart
January 20, 2007: James Stewart
February 3, 2007: James Stewart
January 07, 2006: James Stewart
January 21, 2006: Ricky Carmichael
February 04, 2006: Ricky Carmichael
January 8, 2005 Kevin Windham
January 22, 2005 Ricky Carmichael
February 5, 2005 Ricky Carmichael
January 3, 2004 Chad Reed
January 17, 2004 Chad Reed
January 31, 2004 Kevin Windham
January 04, 2003: Chad Reed
January 18, 2003: Ricky Carmichael
February 01, 2003: Ricky Carmichael
January 05, 2002: David Vuillemin
January 19, 2002: Mike LaRocco
February 02, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
January 06, 2001: Jeremy McGrath
January 20, 2001: Jeremy McGrath
February 03, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
January 8, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
January 15, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
January 09, 1999: Ezra Lusk
February 06, 1999: Ezra Lusk
January 27, 1996: Jeremy McGrath
January 28, 1995: Jeremy McGrath
January 29, 1994: Jeremy McGrath
January 23, 1993: Jeremy McGrath
January 25, 1992: Damon Bradshaw
January 26, 1991: Jeff Stanton
January 27, 1990: Damon Bradshaw
January 28, 1989: Rick Johnson
January 31, 1987: Jeff Ward
January 18, 1986: David Bailey
February 02, 1985: Broc Glover
January 28, 1984: Johnny O’Mara
January 29, 1983: David Bailey
January 30, 1982: Donnie Hansen
January 31, 1981: Kent Howerton
November 17, 1979: Kent Howerton
November 11, 1978: Gaylon Mosier
November 12, 1977: Bob Hannah
December 04, 1976: Marty Smith
Supercross Lites Class
February 13, 2010: Trey Canard
January 23, 2010: Jake Weimer
January 9, 2010: Jake Weimer
February 7, 2009: Jake Weimer
January 17, 2009: Ryan Dungey
January 3, 2009: Jake Weimer
January 5, 2008: Ryan Dungey
January 19, 2008: Ryan Dungey
February 2, 2008: Jason Lawrence
January 6, 2007: Ryan Villopoto
January 20, 2007: Ryan Villopoto
February 3, 2007: Ryan Villopoto
January 07, 2006: Andrew Short
January 21, 2006: Grant Langston
February 04, 2006: Grant Langston
January 8, 2005 Nathan Ramsey
January 22, 2005 Ivan Tedesco
February 5, 2005 Ivan Tedesco
January 3, 2004 Ivan Tedesco
January 17, 2004 Ivan Tedesco
January 31, 2004 Ivan Tedesco
January 04, 2003: Travis Preston
January 18, 2003: James Stewart Jr.
February 01, 2003: James Stewart Jr.
January 05, 2002: Travis Preston
January 19, 2002: David Pingree
February 02, 2002: Brock Sellards
January 06, 2001: Ernesto Fonseca
January 20, 2001: Ernesto Fonseca
February 03, 2001: Ernesto Fonseca
January 8, 2000: David Pingree
January 15, 2000: Tallon Vohland
January 09, 1999: Casey Johnson
February 06, 1999: Nathan Ramsey
January 27, 1996: Kevin Windham
January 28, 1995: Damon Huffman
January 29, 1994: Damon Huffman
January 09, 1993: Damon Huffman
January 25, 1992: Jeremy McGrath
January 26, 1991: Jeremy McGrath
January 27, 1990: Michael Craig
January 28, 1989: Jeff Matiasevich
January 31, 1987: Jeff Matiasevich
January 18, 1986: Tyson Vohland
February 02, 1985: Mike Healy
SPEED will broadcast the opening race of the Supercross class and the Supercross Lites class live at 10:00 p.m. EST/7:00 p.m. PST
Tickets are available at Angel Stadium Box Office, all Ticketmaster retail locations, charge by phone at (800)745-3000, SupercrossOnline.com, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Practice and qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m., and the main event begins at 7:00 p.m. Club Level tickets are available for $75 Adult/Child; Diamond Club and Field $50 Adult/Child; Sections 401-436 $35 Adult/Child; Sections 506-535 $35 Adult/Child; Sections 501-505 & 536-540 $20 Adult/Child. Fans can also get into the Pits for FREE from 12:30 – 6 PM Race Day when they recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).