After passing holeshot-earner Nick Wey, Windham led the early laps and Vuillemin was soon on him, bringing last week’s debating right back to the track, where it belongs. Vuillemin was making a lot of challenges for the lead, but Windham fought hard to stay ahead. With this going on, Reed caught them both. Reed and Vuillemin even traded places while the both of them kept pressure on Windham. Finally Reed caught and passed Windham for the lead at the midway point, which by then had the crowd on its feet cheering loudly for every pass he made.
Reed opened up a lead and cruised ahead of Windham, but Vuillemin lost his momentum in a whoop section and wasn’t able to catch back up to Windham. Hardly noticed in the rest of the feild in the early laps were more Hondas, starting with Ernesto Fonseca, Robbie Reynard, Damon Huffman, and Mike LaRocco.
LaRocco put in another of his legendary charges from mid pack for the 4th spot, ahead of Fonseca. Reed eventually cruised in for the win with a comfortable lead.
Vuillemin had trouble in his heat race and had to qualify in a semi. “In the heat race I got a really bad and start and in the first lap I could not do anything because it was really bad traffic so I could not go directly to the main. I was kind of happy I had to do the semi because I never did that triple after the whoops and I did it during the semi. It was better for me to have some track time before the main event,” he said.
Of the main event battle he said, “I got second pretty quick and I wanted to pass Kevin but I could not get around him so Chad passed me. I passed him back because he did not do that triple after the whoops.”
Windham of course was hit at the press conference with questions about what happened last week at Phoenix with the “10-pointer.” “That’s the whole thing with my return,” he said, “I don’t dwell on stuff like that.”
Windham couldn’t hang with Reed this time, but he was still upbeat. “I definitely rebounded after the first Anaheim, getting ninth,” he said, “I feel like I am having a great season despite that and despite the first lap of Phoenix. Besides that the seasons being going great and he definitely had more going up on me. Somebody has to win and tonight it wasn’t me and I will just go back and work just like I have been and continue to test and get stronger and continue riding. I am having a great time. I was frustrated with coming out of the whoop section with that triple. I cased it one lap and I probably doubled it 15 laps of the entire main and these two guys were eating me up there. But other than that, I gave it all I had and it wasn’t enough today.”
With Reed talking about an uncomfortable race just a week ago, he was back in form at Anaheim. “This weekend was an important race to me,” he said, “Last weekend I felt that I wasn’t motivated and this week I felt I really had to change it around. I did a lot of training and riding this week and it definitely paid off this weekend. That was main thing is to come in with more motivation and get a win.”
The winner Reed talked about the need to get to the front and not let the talented Windham get away, and he had to do that and get through a teammate and do it under the watchful eye on an AMA that could be waiting with a “10-pointer” for him. “When I went into the first corner I was up front but I saw Kevin jump right into the lead and then David as well. Talent is a very dangerous thing,” he said, “When I saw those guys up front I did everything possible to get in front of them. I wanted to have a good race and not make any mistakes where it would jeopardize any of us.”
In THQ World Supercross GP Series Points, the “series within a series” for the riders that started in Seville Spain in December, Privateer Tyler Evans is still the world series leader. The other favorites for this title are Ernesto Fonseca and Grant Langston, who are having good and bad moments right now. Evans also recently announced a sponsorship from Tommy Hilfiger, and when introduced at Anaheim, he reminded the crowd that “Hey, I am leading this world thing, and doing it as a privateer.”
THQ AMA Supercross Series Event Results
1. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha
2. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
3. David Vuillemin, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
4. Mike LaRocco, Corona, Calif., Honda
5. Ernesto Fonseca, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
6. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Suzuki
7. Damon Huffman, Valencia, Calif
8. Michael Byrne, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki
9. Grant Langston, Temecula, Calif., KTM
10. Robbie Reynard, Oklahoma City, Ok., Honda
THQ AMA Supercross Series Season Standings
1. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha, 72
2. David Vuillemin, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 56
3. Mike LaRocco, Corona, Calif., Honda, 56
4. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 49
5. Michael Byrne, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki, 40
6. Damon Huffman, Valencia, Calif., Honda, 38
7. Tim Ferry, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha, 36
8. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Suzuki 36
9. Ezra Lusk, Bainbridge, Ga., Yamaha, 32
10. Tyler Evans, Canyon Lake, Calif., Suzuki, 32
Texts and photos by Steve Bruhn