AURORA, Ill. (April 9, 2012) – The gate will drop on the 12th Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, this Saturday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as the world’s top Supercross and Supercross Lites Class riders converge in New Orleans.
Media day is Thursday, April 12, from Noon-2:00 p.m., inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Hall of Fame Locker Room featuring Louisiana native Kevin Windham.
At the last Monster Energy Supercross race at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, Ryan Villopoto clinched the Supercross Class Championship, marking the second-consecutive title of his career, with his eighth win of the season. With the championship wrapped up, the attention now turns to the hotly contested battle for second place between JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps and Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton.
Currently, Millsaps is one-point out of second place, which is held down by Ryan Dungey, who is sidelined due to an injury, with 191 points and Brayton is fourth with 181 points. The former teammates each have three podium finishes heading into New Orleans.
Brayton sustained a fractured tibia at the San Diego stop earlier this year but has raced through the pain without missing any races.
“I really kept believing in myself through the leg injury and working hard with the team,” said Brayton. “I think having that injury let me rest during the week and come into the weekend hungry and ready to go. It’s really a bummer to see so many injuries. Unfortunately, that’s part of our sport and to make it a full season without injury is very tough. I’ve been very fortunate to not have a major injury that forced me to sit out. Other than a small fracture to my leg, there have been some nagging injuries but nothing too major.
In the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Millsaps and Brayton finished eighth and ninth, respectively, overall while competing for the JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha race team.
“I really just need to keep focusing on myself, getting good starts and putting myself in a good position to win every weekend. It’s going be fun. He’s (Millsaps) a great competitor, very talented and has always raced me clean.
While attempting to qualify for the Main Event in Houston, Windham was in a pitched battle with James Stewart during a heat race when he came off his Honda CRF450 at a high rate of speed. As a result of the accident, Windham dislocated his right shoulder and sustained damage to his left wrist, left thumb and right hip and will sit out for the remainder of the 2012 season.
“I’ve definitely got a dislocated shoulder so that ends my season right there,” Windham said. “I’ve had my wrist examined by two doctors; one said it was broken and the other one said it’s not. It’s very swollen and black and blue so it’s hard for them to tell. I’m going to see another specialist and have an MRI done to see exactly what’s up. We just need get it fixed properly.
“I can’t move my left thumb at all and my hip hurts. I’m not really sure what’s going on with either of them at the moment. I’m basically hurting all over.”
The 34-year-old Windham, the oldest competitor on tour, was having another solid season before his accident. He has two podium finishes to his credit and had been a part of the top five all year.
Earlier this season in Atlanta, Windham started his 200th career Supercross Class race, joining only Mike LaRocco in passing that particular mark. Now retired from racing, LaRocco is the team manager for GEICO Honda and works closely with Windham.
“It’s disappointing,” Windham said. “I’ve been lucky at avoiding big get-offs like the one I had in Houston for the past several years. Staying healthy has been a big part of my career going this long. But even after this one I’m not done. I’ll be back for sure.”
GIECO Honda’s Justin Barcia, of Ochlocknee, Ga., won the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award with Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, of Murrieta, Calif., and Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton, of Pilot Point, Texas, following in second and third, respectively in the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class at Houston. Roczen passed Barcia on the opening lap, and one lap later, Barcia re-passed him to take over the lead.
On Lap 7, Blake Baggett, of Grand Terrace, Calif., moved around Wharton to take over third place. On his way to what was expected to be his sixth win of the season, Barcia collided with another rider on the final lap of the race and crashed. He re-entered the race and finished second. This allowed Roczen to move into the lead and ride to the second victory of his career.
“This is so awesome,” said Roczen from the podium in Houston. “This is not how I want to win a race. Justin rode a great race and was really fast tonight, so it is unfortunate that he crashed. I am super happy to be back on top of the box.”
Barcia still leads the championship points race by 32 points over Wharton.
“I don’t know what I can say,” said Barcia. “There is nothing I could do about the crash. I will fight through this and be back in New Orleans.”
The last Monster Energy Supercross race was held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 14, 2009, where 36,754 fans watched eventual Supercross Class champion James Stewart win his eighth race of the season.
The first Supercross Class race in New Orleans was held June 4, 1977, and Marty Smith won on a Honda. The first Supercross Lites Class race in New Orleans was March 14, 1998 and Ricky Carmichael won on a Pro-Circuit Kawasaki. 2012 will be the 12th time the gates have dropped for a Monster Energy Supercross race in New Orleans.
CBS will broadcast the Supercross class race at 12:00pm EST on Sunday April 15, 2012.
Tickets are available at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000, www.supercrossonline.com, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Practice and qualifying begin at 12:30 p.m., and the main event starts at 7:00 p.m. Gold Circle tickets are available for $50 Adult/Child; VIP $40 Adult/Child; Price Level 3 $30 Adult / $10 Child; Price Level 4 $25 Adult / $10 Child; Treadhead $10 Adult/Child. Fans can also get into the Pits for FREE from 12:30-6 p.m. Race Day when they recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium’s Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).
Supercross Class Results: Houston
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki
Mike Alessi, Hillard, Fla., Suzuki
Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
Robert Kiniry, Holland Patent, NY, Yamaha
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki
Nico Izzi, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki
Josh Grant, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki
Supercross Class Season Standings
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 296
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 192
Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha – 191
Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Honda – 181
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 178
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki – 170
Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 166
Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki – 154
Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki – 154
Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Honda – 128
Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class Results: Houston
Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki
Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki
Phillip Nicoletti, Cochecton, NY, Honda
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda
Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda
Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa, Kawasaki
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda
Matthew Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Kawasaki
Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda – 167
Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki – 135
Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM – 127
Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Kawasaki – 118
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki – 106
Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda – 104
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda – 87
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 65
Matthew Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Kawasaki – 57
Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., KTM – 55
Past Winners in New Orleans
March 14, 2009: James Stewart
March 16, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
March 3, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
April 15, 2000: David Vuillemin
April 17, 1999: Ezra Lusk
March 14, 1998: Kevin Windham
May 3, 1980: Mike Bell
May 4, 1980: Mark Barnett
June 2, 1979: Steve Wise
May 20, 1978: Bob Hannah
June 4, 1977: Marty Smith
Supercross Lites Class
March 14, 2009: Austin Stroupe
March 16, 2002: Chad Reed
March 3, 2001: Travis Pastrana
April 15, 2000: Stephane Roncada
April 17, 1999: Ernesto Fonseca
March 14, 1998: Ricky Carmichael
Tune into the enhanced exclusive weekly video content from Supercross LIVE! during the entire 2012 season on SupercrossOnline.com, the Official Website of Monster Energy Supercross.
Weekly Supercross LIVE! Video Content Schedule
The Official Supercross LIVE! Pre-Show Race Days at 11 AM Local Race Time
Behind the Scenes with Supercross LIVE! All Day on Race Days
2 Minutes on the Track Race Days at 3:30 & 5:30 PM Local Race Time
And on the Podium Tonight Following Each Round’s Main Events
The Official Supercross LIVE! Post-Show Saturday Nights at Each Round
Toyota Tailgate Talk Wednesdays at 5 PM ET
After The Checkered Flag Thursdays at 5PM ET
For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to www.SupercrossOnline.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross. For all media requests, please contact Denny Hartwig firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-566-6305. To follow Monster Energy Supercross on Facebook and Twitter, log on to http://www.facebook.com/supercrosslive and http://twitter.com/supercrosslive.
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