Kawasaki’s Pourcel Shines in Atlanta

March 3, 2010

Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel won his second-straight supercross lites main event battling throughout the 15-lap race at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Pourcel had to chase down his teammate Dean Wilson who flew out to the holeshot and led the first two-thirds of the race. Wilson would finish one spot off the podium in fourth. In the supercross class,

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Nick Wey came home 10th for his fifth straight top-10 finish. Ryan Villopoto finished 19th after crashing.

Pourcel was part of a very eventful race as the top four riders in the supercross lites class raced together right from the drop of the gate. With Wilson up front, Pourcel battled to get close to the lead and with just three laps remaining he claimed the top spot and earned his second win of the season.

"I had a good start and almost got the holeshot," said Pourcel. "When I saw it was Dean next to me I let him go because he had a good run. I wanted to work together with him so we could both pull away. It was a crazy race; guys were making moves that made it difficult to ride. Everything worked for me though because I won after everybody crashed trying to pass each other."

In only his second race, Wilson wowed the crowd with a daring holeshot and then the 18-year-old rookie didn't look back leading the first eight laps of the main event.

"Tonight was great," said Wilson. "I got out there with the holeshot. I can't say enough about my Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. It has so much power and I got a great start. I rode well the first ten laps, but then I started to get tired and my arms began to pump up. I felt great running up front. "

Villopoto looked to be in position to contend for the win at Atlanta running second when he went down just before the mechanics area. Villopoto was uninjured after his trip over the bars, but his muffler packed full of dirt, which kept him from starting his bike right away.

"I was going triple-triple through that section and came up on a lapper," said Villopoto. "I had to change my line and I ended up casing the jump. That sent me over the bars. Worse than that though was the silencer filled with dirt and I couldn't get the bike restarted. It wouldn't have been too bad if I could have got going right away. I wasn't hurt at all."

Wey continued his streak of top-10 finishes fighting his way up from the back during the race.

"I'm pushing each week to get better," said Wey. "This week we got another top 10, but it could have been better. I got a decent start, but got stuck on the outside in the first couple of corners. I hit (Davi) Milsaps and almost slid out, so I lost a lot of spots. I'm riding much better during the week and I'm hoping I can bring that to the track on Saturday."

For the second time this season, Villopoto faces a 20-point deficit in the points standings. In the four races before Atlanta, Villopoto made up the deficit and he is looking to do the same in the second half of the season.

"There are nine races left in the season," said Villopoto. "That's a lot of time to make up the 23 points. I need to work to put myself back in a good position in the standings."

Wilson's first time at the point was different than anything he's ever experienced. The amateur champion is still looking for his first podium, and is using every lap to gain the experience he needs to get on the box.

"Leading a supercross race is a lot different," said Wilson. "In my amateur races I would get the lead and pull away. In the pro ranks, there's somebody behind you the whole time. My Kawasaki KX250F handled great. Even without berms on the track I was able to turn the bike easily. I wish I could have held on for a podium, but it was a learning experience."