After a record-setting 71,009 fans packed the Georgia Dome for last year’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race, the world’s greatest racers are returning to the Georgia clay this Saturday night, led by points leader Davi Millsaps. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson won the opening race of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship last weekend and brings a three-point lead into this weekend’s race.
Two-time defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto won his third race of the season last weekend at Cowboys Stadium, leading every lap of the Main Event. Villopoto moved around Millsaps, who won the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award, shortly after the first turn and never looked back.
“Starts are definitely important,” said Villopoto, who now has the most wins in the championship. “I’ve had a target on my back this year, everyone knows that, and it’s stressful. I’m just trying to have fun with riding again. If we get third, it’s on the podium, and if it’s second, that’s good too. Davi (Millsaps) has been riding really good this year, so we have to just chip away at it. It’s going to take a while.”
The championship points race gives Rockstar Energy Racing’s Millsaps a 21-point lead over Ryan Dungey and a 24-point lead over Villopoto as the championship nears its halfway point. The key to Millsaps’ success this year has been his consistency; he has finished on the podium in six of seven races this season and has yet to finish outside of the top five.
“It was definitely a good 20 laps,” said Millsaps after the race at Cowboys Stadium. “I haven’t ridden all week because I’ve been sick, so it’s good to come away with a strong finish. Ryan (Villopoto) rode really well, so you have to give it to him.”
Red Bull KTM’s Dungey finished third overall. Bad luck continues to follow Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart. After winning his Heat Race earlier in the evening, Stewart was unable to start the Main Event, citing a broken clutch. He dropped to ninth in the championship.
In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event of AG Motorsports Honda’s Kyle Peters who grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award. Chasing Peters through turn one was Wilson and Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton assumed second and third place, respectively.
Wilson worked his way past Peters prior to the conclusion of the opening lap and then pulled away from the field to lead all 15 laps of the Main Event and claim his sixth-career 250SX Class victory.
“This feels so good,” exclaimed Wilson. “It’s been 10 months waiting for that. I knew I needed to get the start, so I fought for it and it went well. I saw the leader and I knew I was good in the whoops, so I just went on the outside around him. He raced clean and I respect that. From there I just rode my own race.”
Wharton held on for second and GIECO Honda’s Wil Hahn finished third.
During last year’s annual stop at the Georgia Dome, Dungey grabbed his second win of the season and the ninth of his career. GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham, who retired earlier this season, made history by making his 200th career 450SX Class start. Last year’s Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event was won by Justin Barcia who is now racing in the premier class.
The first supercross race held in Atlanta was March 5, 1977, and Bob Hannah won on a Yamaha. On February 22, 1986 Honda rider Keith Turpin won the first-ever 250SX Class Main Event in Atlanta. To date, Ricky Carmichael sits on top of the 450SX Class’ all-time win list at the Georgia Dome with five wins. Carmichael, Brian Swink and Christophe Pourcel share the 250SX Class’ all-time win record with two.
The 2013 Monster Energy Supercross round from Atlanta will be broadcast LIVE on SPEED on Saturday February 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000, or online. Georgia Dome Box Office opens Feb. 23rd, 2013. Practice and qualifying begin at 12:30 p.m. and the main event starts at 7:00 p.m. Club tickets are $55 Adult/Child; Lower and Mid-Level (side seats) $45 Adult/Child; Lower and Mid-Level (end zones seats) $35 Adult/Child; Super value Seats (upper bowl) $10 Adult/Child.
Fans can also get into the Pits from 12:30-6 p.m. Get into the Pits FREE when you recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium’s Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket) or you can buy it for $10. Also, don’t forget that starting January 2013 go by your local Atlanta area Subway location to pick up a $10 discount coupon.
Supercross LIVE!® is back in 2013 with a three-hour mid-raceday program from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. local time. Hosts, Jim Holley, a former World Supercross Champion, and Kevin Barnett, a former member of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team and professional broadcaster, will provide in-depth analysis of the afternoon’s practice and qualifying sessions as the riders and teams prepare for the night racing, in addition to interviews and behind-the-scenes coverage. As the only place to follow live practice and qualifying coverage from Monster Energy Supercross, Supercross LIVE! provides fans with an inside perspective before the gate drops on the night’s qualifying and Main Events. Additionally, there will be video snippets made available throughout the race day that can be viewed on the official website of Monster Energy Supercross, or the YouTube Channel.
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