In front of 40,682 fans at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., Chad Reed became the third rider in as many races to capture a 450SX main event win this season.
On a night celebrating past champions of the sport, it was only fitting for Reed – the 2004 and 2008 Supercross Champion – to make a late-race pass on another two-time series Champion James Stewart for the win.
“I had 41 of these [wins] before tonight, and they came a hell of a lot easier than this one,” said the 31-year-old Aussie. “I am so proud and could not have done this without the hard work from my Discount Tire team.
“We all worked so hard in the offseason, and it paid off in a big way tonight. I am so pumped.”
Rookie Ken Roczen rounded out the podium and will carry the red plate (points lead) into next weekend’s round in Oakland. Justin Brayton finished fourth followed by reigning Champion Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey.
Although Dungey managed to finish sixth, it was a relatively disappointing night for the 2010 Champion. The Red Bull KTM-backed rider nailed an impressive holeshot, but crashed six laps into the 20-lap feature. The mistake handed the lead to Stewart with Villopoto in pursuit.
Villopoto eventually caught Stewart on Lap 14 and went for a bold pass on his title foe, leading to a collision. Stewart managed to maintain his balance as Villopoto fell to the ground, relegating the three-time Champion to a fifth-place result.
Four laps later, a hard-charging Reed caught and passed Stewart for the lead and eventual win. It was Reed’s first win since Jan. 21, 2012 and first at Anaheim since Feb. 2, 2008 – when he won all three races at the venue.
“Chad was riding really good,” said Stewart. “We had two veterans finish one and two tonight, so that was great. Overall, I am proud of my race tonight.”
The win moves Reed into a tie with Dungey for third in the championship standings – two behind Villopoto and three behind leader Roczen. Brayton sits in fifth, only five points adrift as the title fight heads to Oakland (Jan. 25 – 10:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).
Anaheim 2 Analysis