Pourcel celebrates Championship with fifth win
April 7, 2009
Newly Crowned AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Region Champion Christophe Pourcel showed his champion’s prowess by winning his fifth race of the season in dominating fashion.
With the championship trophy already sitting on his mantle, Pourcel came to Jacksonville with his sights set on claiming another win. In his heat race, the French rider didn’t get a good start and fought his way up to fourth before the checkered flag. The main event was a different story though as Pourcel came out of the first turn near the front and then set his sights on claiming the lead. When he made it to the front, he began gapping the rest of the field. Pourcel quickly built a four-second lead before settling into a comfortable pace.
Stroupe jumped out of the starting gate in the main, but as he exited the first turn he was mired deep in the pack running 11th at the end of the first lap. The 18-year-old methodically made his way up to fourth by the final lap. On the last lap, Nico Izzi crashed right in front of Stroupe, with the Kawasaki rider landing on Izzi’s bike. Stroupe was able to stay upright to earn the third place.
With the East Coast season in the books the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team claimed the top-two spots in the championship standings. During the eight-race season, Pourcel and Stroupe combined to win seven events.
In just his third race with the team, Laninovich combined smooth riding with timely speed to earn his best finish of the season. Laninovich and the team have been working hard to improve his fitness and get him comfortable racing. The hard work during the week has begun to pay dividends as Laninovich put in a great ride.
After returning to the practice track on Thursday, Villopoto is confident he will be able to compete at his home race in Seattle.
“It isn’t any better than celebrating a title with another win,” said Pourcel. “It is just awesome. Even though I was riding smooth and I built a good lead, the track wasn’t easy tonight. I was working really hard. I was focused on the start and I almost got the holeshot and then I just kept charging to take the win.”
“Everything is working for me,” said Pourcel. “I have been really focused this season. After my big crash I was happy to be on the bike. And then I wanted to be on the podium. It is never easy to come back from this injury. My main goal is to keep my Kawasaki on two wheels, even if it means settling for the position I’m in at the time.”
“I got a good jump out of the gate, but I kind of lost my balance and went to the right on the way down the start straight,” said Stroupe. “I just fought my way up through the pack and I was happy to get as many guys as I could by the end of the race. I felt really strong the whole race. I just waited for someone to make a bobble and capitalized on it. I didn’t pay enough attention to how many laps were left and I started my attack a little too late.”
“My Kawasaki worked really well this weekend,” said Laninovich. “We’ve been working on some things during the week and everyone on the team is supporting me. This is a pretty good feeling getting a top 10. I made a couple of passes and a couple of guys crashed in front of me. My goal was to get in the top 10 and I did that in my third race. Now I want to stay in the top 10 at the next three rounds.”
Quote Mitch Payton:
“I’m really happy for both of my East Coast guys,” said Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Team Manager Mitch Payton. “They both put in a great series this year. Christophe was good and consistent. He was at the front all the time. Austin had the speed and he won races. If he hadn’t crashed out at Daytona it could have been a heck of a fight for the title. I’m pumped because they both rode awesome.”
East lites results round 8
1. Chris Pourcel, Kawasaki
2. Wil Hahn, KTM
3. Austin Stroupe, Kawasaki
4. D Durham, Yamaha
5. B Wharton, Honda
7. B Jesseman, Kawasaki
East lites Point standings after round 8
1. C Pourcel, Kawasaki, 181
2. Austin Stroupe, Kawasaki, 148
3. Nico Izzi, Suzuki, 119
4. B Wharton, Honda, 118
5. Wil Hahn, KTM, 105
6. B Jesseman, Kawasaki, 105
Supercross results round 14
1. James Stewart, Yamaha
2. Chad Reed, Suzuki
3. Kevin Windham, Honda
4. Josh Hill, Yamaha
5. Andrew Short, Honda
7. T Hahn, Kawasaki
10. B Laninovich, Kawasaki
DNS. Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki
DNS. Tim Ferry, Kawasaki
Supercross Point standings after round 14
1. Chad Reed, Suzuki, 315
2. James Stewart, Yamaha 310
3. Andrew Short, Honda, 225
4. Josh Grant, Yamaha, 193 5. Kevin Windham, Honda, 193
9. Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki, 165
11. Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, 100
19. T Hahn, Kawasaki, 44