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  • What Really Happened: Dallas Supercross

    Reed goes down hard, Villopoto extends points lead, Barca wins East Lites
    Words and Photos: Pete Peterson

    It was round 7 for the 450 class but opening round for the East Coast 250F riders who've been waiting for their time on the track. Rains soaked the pits all day but under the roof of Cowboy Stadium the dirt was dry and the racing was tight. The crowd on hand was as eager for the racing with a good turnout even for practice. At the end of the night the 250F class showed its cards as a potentially exciting season, and the 450 class had a points mix up and a crash that could have season-changing repercussions.

    Supercross/450 Class

    Ryan Villopoto grabbed the lead before the third straight and never looked back, but it wasn't easy. Chad Reed was right with him and looking like the faster racer. Both were taking an aggressive leap into the soft, rutted sand section and the move bit Reed early and he crashed hard. Reed went to the Asterisk rig while Villopoto went on to an easy win. Ryan Dungey was the man on the move, climbing back from a bad start, after a bad gate pick, after a bad heat race, after a bad crash on the second straight, after a bad start. Second in the main was pretty good for a night with such a bad start. Jake Weimer didn't make it easy, fighting Dungey during most of that final lap but eventually taking third. James Stewart had another night he's likely rather forget, but at least he didn't have a night he did forget. He got held up when he bumped into Milsaps and stalled his bike. It wasn't really a crash, but it looked like one to the results sheet. Mike Alessi converted a holeshot into a well-ridden forth place, and fifth went to Josh Hansen.

    reedChad Reed - The talk is all about Chad Reed's gruesome crash when he shorted his leap into the rutty sand section and tumbled, with the bike catching a hold of him and yanking him along with it. Reed, historically not a fast practice rider, set the fastest laptime in practice while making it look easy. In his heat race he passed his way into second and gained on heat-winner Stewart, and looked like a few more laps was all he needed. Basically, he looked great. In the main, he hounded Villopoto, able to take alternate lines and catch right back up at will if a mistake dropped him back. It looked like Reed had the win, and knew it, and was picking his time to strike. Unfortunately the track struck first and he endoed into the tricky sand section and was carried off the track, and taken right to the Asterisk rig. There's no word yet on how serious his injuries are. It's very reminiscent, though not nearly as harrowing, as his crash at Millville. Reed was looking that good, that comfortable, that likely to win, until he hit the ground.

    Ryan Villopoto - RV is the new RC. He's blazing fast, can get out of shape - and pull it back in - without losing any time, seems to have speed in reserve when he needs it, and seems able to tough out the competitors that look like they might have an edge. Ryan was fast but not flawless holding off Reed in the main. The two were riding a notch above everyone else on the track. If Reed is out for the season, it could be a one man show from here on out.

    James Stewart - Don't count out James Stewart, but it does look like his time away from the outdoors and much of last year's supercross racing may have taken away his competitive edge. Or maybe he just made the mistake of letting everyone else figure out how to win, because he doesn't have the field mentally defeated. He had some bad luck in Dallas, stalling his bike after running into his downed teammate, but all through the day he looked a little 'off.' Stewart used to look like he could bend the laws of physics. Now he looks like he's struggling to pull off things he used to do with style to spare.

    Ryan Dungey - The sport's "nice guy" is slow to pass, even riders he has no trouble distancing once around. His conservative style paid off big at Dallas with a second place after recovering from a heat race crash that netted him a bad gate pick for the main. His late-race dice with Weimer was a thriller, and Dungey came out with the 22 points. His consistency would be seen as championship-strategic, if it weren't for Villopoto consistently winning. One of Dungey's great strengths is his ability to take advice when the advice is good - and with Roger DeCoster managing the KTM race effort, don't be too surprised if this far into the season has been more about preventing mistakes rather than going all out for wins.

    Jake Weimer - It's good to see the Factory Kawasaki rider back on the podium. He raced Dungey hard but didn't get wild or foolish and accepted third step on the podium rather than risking an aggressive move. He was set up for one, too, on the last lap, in the same corner where Malcolm Stewart tried to take out Boggle and got himself stopped in the process. Weimer's approach was wiser. Podiums are good.

    Lites/250F Class

    Darryn Durham, in his first race with Pro Circuit Kawasaki, grabbed the lead early but mid-way through the fist lap Blake Wharton slipped by. It lasted about two straights for Wharton before Durham forced his way past on an aggressive inside line that pushed Wharton to the ground. Defending champion, GEICO Honda's Justin Barcia didn't waste much time and with KTM rider Ken Roczen on his tail, moved past his teammate Justin Boggle and then eventually into the lead at the halfway mark. Barcia's passes were aggressive but his riding was within his ability and he never looked like he was going to throw away the lead. Durham rode like he belonged in a podium slot, and Roczen, who looked aggressive and ready for a win all day and night, had an uneventful race that ended him in third.

    Justin Barcia - Please don't call this the 'lites' class because the intensity on the track is hard to appreciate until you see it up close. The young racers are not afraid to race close, and none moreso than Justin Barcia. He's never been shy about letting other riders know he wants the line they're in 'right now!' He hit some riders but was merciful on the rev limiter. He looks like he's got the attitude that no one is going to take away his number one plate, or its leader-designator red color.

    Ken Roczen - Roczen can be a wild rider, pulling out speed that often comes at the price of a hard fall. He rode his practices and heat like a man set on winning the night, but when it came down to it in the final he didn't take any foolish risks and motored smoothly for a third. Not bad for a rider freshly back from injury. That's a good way to start a series, and five points is easier to make up that 25.

    Justin Bogle - Bogle impressed at the end of the 2011 outdoor series and looked confident and fast running up front in his first supercross. He crashed when Malcolm Stewart put a take-out move on him. Bogle's leg caught in Stewart's rear wheel, stopping Stewart until Bogle could be untangled from the bike. Stewart's move was a cheap shot, but so was Boggle's poor sportsmanship in slapping Stewart's head.

    Blake Wharton - Wharton was fast on his Rockstar Suzuki but hitting the ground on the fist lap is a good way to let a lot of fast riders past you. Wharton charged back to fourth, showing a dangerous amount of speed for the next race. Wharton's crash wasn't his fault, so look for him to be primed to set the record straight at the Atlanta round.

    Blake Baggett - The other Pro Circuit rider had a bad night one turn into the main when he went down hard. His fifteenth place finish didn't put him into a good position to take the title, but maybe being the man with the least to lose can make him ride like... oh, Justin Barcia. It could be a very interesting series!

    Official Dallas Monster Energy Supercross Results

    Supercross/450 Results: Dallas
    1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
    2. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
    3. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
    4. Mike Alessi (Suz)
    5. Josh Hansen (Kaw)
    6. James Stewart (Yam)
    7. Kevin Windham (Hon)
    8. Brett Metcalfe (Suz)
    9. Justin Brayton (Hon)
    10. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
    11. Broc Tickle (Kaw)
    12. Nick Wey (Kaw)
    13. Kyle Partridge (Kaw)
    14. Bobby Kiniry (Yam)
    15. Davi Millsaps (Yam)
    16. Matt Goerke (Suz)
    17. Gavin Faith (Hon)
    18. Nico Izzi (Yam)
    19. Jeff Alessi (Suz)
    20. Chad Reed (Hon)

    Lites/250 Results: Dallas
    1. Justin Barcia (Hon)
    2. Darryn Durham (Kaw)
    3. Ken Roczen (KTM)
    4. Blake Baggett (Kaw)
    5. Phil Nicoletti (Hon)
    6. Malcolm Stewart (KTM)
    7. Jake Canada (Hon)
    8. PJ Larsen (KTM)
    9. Cole Thompson (Hon)
    10. Lance Vincent (KTM)
    11. Alex Martin (Hon)
    12. Hunter Hewitt (Suz)
    13. Austin Politelli (Hon)
    14. Justin Bogle (Hon)
    15. Blake Baggett (Kaw)
    16. Les Smith (KTM)
    17. Angelo Pellegrini (Suz)
    18. Sean Hackley (KTM)
    19. Matt Lemoine (Kaw)
    20. Kyle Cunningham (Yam)

    2012 Monster Energy Supercross Point Standings: As of Dallas

    Supercross/450 (7 of 17 rounds)
    1. Ryan Villopoto (158/4 wins)
    2. Ryan Dungey (145/1 win)
    3. Chad Reed (128/1 win)
    4. James Stewart (116/1 win)
    5. Jake Weimer (92)
    6. Kevin Windham (92)
    7. Brett Metcalfe (88)
    8. Mike Alessi (81)
    9. Justin Brayton (80)
    10. Josh Hansen (80)

    Lites/250 East (1 of 7 rounds))
    1. Justin Barcia (25/1 win)
    2. Darryn Durham (22)
    3. Ken Roczen (20)
    4. Blake Baggett (18)
    5. Phil Nicoletti (16)
    6. Malcolm Stewart (15)
    7. Jake Canada (14)
    8. PJ Larsen (13)
    9. Cole Thompson (12)
    10. Lance Vincent (11)
    Channels: Moto

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