Weimer Dominates Anaheim Opener for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
January 12, 2010
Jake Weimer stood on the top step of the podium for the second consecutive year as he dominated the lites class at the season opener.
The season opener at Anaheim is the Super Bowl of supercross as everyone is excited for the new season. With that excitement comes added pressure, but that didn't seem to affect Weimer at all. He paced both practice sessions, easily won his heat race, rocketed to the main event holeshot and led wire-to-wire for his fifth career supercross lites win.
"Anaheim is probably the most stressful race of the year," said Weimer. "There's so much hype and so many appearances leading into the race. Everyone is watching and you feel a tremendous amount of pressure. I'm definitely happy to be done with this race and to come away with a win. I felt really good. I was comfortable in the lead, but it was nice that I had to ride hard to stay out front. I felt like I was in control and I felt good on my Kawasaki KX250F. I could do whatever I needed, whenever I needed. My bike was turning great and getting the holeshot shows I had all the power I needed. Today was tough, but I had fun and I felt like I rode well."
Reed's American debut with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team didn't end as planned as contact on the first lap broke several spokes and forced him to retire early.
"I think we came a long way from practice to the main event." Said Reed. "We tweaked little things on the bike and I'm confident to say I would have been on the podium tonight. I think I could have got up to the front and mixed it up with the leaders. It would have been exciting. It was just a racing incident. I was running fifth after the first turn and in sight of the leaders. Then Stroupe just turned down really quick. He had the same idea I did. We both wanted to make a pass and our lines came together. There was nothing we could do. Neither of us did anything wrong. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Villopoto made his return to racing after undergoing knee surgery over the summer. The return showed how difficult it is to simulate race conditions in the off-season as the pace at the test track can never duplicate how fast a rider needs to be on race day.
"I got a good start and was sitting there in third place," said Villopoto. "I just tightened up. This was my first real race back since my knee surgery. I did the US Open, but that was more just for fun. I had only been back to riding for a couple of days. It's not what I wanted, but we still got a top five."
After getting a great start in the main event, Hansen looked poised for a podium finish, but a crash early in the race sent him back in the pack. Despite the end result, Hansen showed he had the speed to be a championship contender.
"I got a good jump out of the gate and battled for the holeshot," said Hansen. "I wanted to just settle in behind Weimer. We ride together a lot during the week so I am comfortable with him. My plan was to just sit there until lap 10 and then make a move. It didn't work out like that though. I had a crash. All in all I think we're moving in the right direction. To be a part of this team really means a lot."