Wilson Back on the Podium in Jacksonville

March 22, 2011

Wilson Back on the Podium in Jacksonville

Kawasaki's Dean Wilson made his return to the podium in Jacksonville, Fla., finishing in the runner-up position and moving into third in the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Region championship standings.

Fabien Izoird raced to his best finish since his start as Jake Weimer’s fill-in, narrowly missing the top-10 in 11th. Ryan Villopoto and Blake Baggett were unable to transfer into their respective main events after crashes in their heat and last chance qualifier. Villopoto maintained his lead in the championship standings and currently sits seven points ahead of second place.

After a two-race hiatus from the podium, Wilson’s determination to be back up front was apparent all day in Jacksonville. He was second in both timed practices and took the wire-to-wire win in his heat race. Wilson was able to get a good jump on the very short start and settled into second early in the race, where he eventually finished the night. “It’s great to be back,” said Wilson. “I felt that I had speed the past two rounds, but made dumb mistakes. I was able to stay focused tonight and get back on the podium. I really wanted to win, but I know we still have four rounds left and I didn’t want to do any more damage than I already have.”

After a tough heat race, Izoird got some extra track time as he won the LCQ race to transfer into the main event. He got out to a decent start, but got pushed off the track after the first turn. He rode hard and overcame a long night to finish 11th. “It was a long day racing the heat, LCQ and then the main event,” said Izoird. “I was having a little trouble with the track in a few sections, but I think that the extra time in the LCQ helped me in the main event. I was pretty tired with about five laps to go, but I am very happy with the results. The track was easy to make mistakes and I’m glad I made it out okay.”

After a putting himself into good position all year, Villopoto wasn’t able to find the same fortune in Jacksonville. In the heat race, Villopoto went down after a rider crashed in front of him, leaving him no where to go. Lucky to ride off uninjured, he lined up for the LCQ. He got a good jump, but as everyone funneled into the first turn, Villopoto got pushed off he track and came around outside the top-10. He was unable to move into the top-two positions during the short six-lap race. “I am very disappointed with how tonight went,” said Villopoto. “I have been feeling really good and tonight didn’t show it at all. I still have the points lead and I’ll be looking to make up the points next week in Toronto.”

Baggett looked to be in good position for the night show as he qualified fifth during the afternoon timed
practice. During his heat race, he ended up going down with another rider and wasn’t able to get into the top nine. In the LCQ, Baggett got to the first turn in the lead, but slid out and wasn’t able to rejoin the field right away, leaving him to end his night early. “It’s a huge bummer for me because I know I am one of the guys that can go out there and win,” said Baggett. “Not being able to even go out there and try in the main event really frustrates me. I do try to stay positive and know that I have four more rounds to prove I can win.”

With six races remaining, there is still plenty of racing left for Villopoto. He currently holds a seven-point lead over second place in the standings, and is keeping a positive attitude as the team heads to Toronto. “We still have a lot of racing left and I want to be there every weekend,” said Villopoto. “I am thankful that I am healthy and now I want to put this race in the past.”

Looking to his old home for a possible second win, Wilson and the rest of the Monster Energy AMA
Supercross, an FIM Championship head north of the border to Canada. “I’m excited to go to Canada and see all the great fans,” said Wilson. “I have always loved going back to Canada and seeing all my old friends. I’m really looking forward to it.”

AMA Supercross Series
EverBank Field – Jacksonville, Fla.
March 19, 2011

AMA Supercross Class Results
1. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
4. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM

AMA Supercross Lites Results, Eastern Region
1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
3. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Ky., Yamaha
5. PJ Larsen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM

AMA Supercross Class Results
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda, 214
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 203
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 196
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 194

AMA Supercross Lites Results, Eastern Region
1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 116
2. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Ky., Yamaha, 99
5. Blake Wharton, Aubrey, Texas, Honda, 69