Always among the biggest events of any given season, the Atlanta Supercross once again did not disappoint as over 70,000 racing enthusiasts piled into the Georgia Dome on Saturday night to take in round number eight of the 2012 AMA Supercross Series.
Drawing local fans from Georgia, as well as those from nearby Florida, Tennessee, Alabama and beyond, the Atlanta Supercross hosted one of the most action-packed and chaotic rounds of the year thus far, and in the end, none other than Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey scored the electrifying win, his second of the series.
Accompanying Dungey on the podium was JGRMX’s James Stewart, who rode his Red Bull-backed Yamaha to a gutsy third-place finish after being relegated to the back of the pack early in the main event.
With Atlanta now in the books, the series will officially reach the halfway point next weekend in St. Louis, and Dungey has inched to within 10 points of the championship points lead. Further back, but still in the mix, Stewart has his work cut out for himself to erase the 44-point deficit that separates him from a third stadium title, but as history has proven, anything can happen in Supercross.
Supercross Qualifying Heats
- Ripping a massive holeshot to kick off the first Supercross-class heat race of the night, Stewart went to work on the challenging Georgia Dome circuit and immediately began gapping the field.
- Untouched, JS7 threw down some of the quickest lap times of the night as he cruised on to a seemingly easy heat win.
- Behind Stewart, JGRMX teammate Davi Millsaps finished second, and TLD/Honda/Red Bull’s Cole Seely finished third in his debut ride on an American Honda CRF450R.
- A championship hopeful in the Lites West class, Seely is slated to ride several more rounds aboard the factory Honda while the series does its East Coast swing.
- In Supercross-class Heat #2, Dungey got a great jump out of the gate and blasted through turn one with the holeshot and early lead.
- Midway through lap three while stretching his gap over second, Dungey went into a tight left-hand bowl turn a little too hot and momentarily laid his KTM down on the Georgia soil.
- Picking himself back up in the third spot, Dungey went after Brett Metcalfe, who had inherited second during the crash, and made a pass to get back by just one lap later.
- Dungey continued dropping quick lap times to close out the heat in second, unable to catch eventual winner Ryan Villopoto.
Supercross Main Event
- With 70,000+ fans going nuts inside the Georgia Dome, the Supercross-class main event launched out of the gate at 9:30 p.m. local time with Seely and Dungey jumping out to first and second-place starts, respectively.
- Getting pinched off hard into turn number one, Stewart was forced to roll much of the first rhythm lane and unfortunately began his Atlanta campaign outside of the top-10.
- Up front, Dungey continued chasing Seely around the Atlanta circuit as the two began building a small cushion over the rest of the field.
- After weaving his way through slower traffic on the first few laps, JS7 got by Team Honda’s Justin Brayton for fifth to start lap number seven, then set his sights on Millsaps in fourth.
- On lap eight, Dungey put a textbook pass on Seely to take over the lead and immediately began checking out.
- After passing Millsaps on lap nine, Stewart put an incredible pass on Seely to take over third on lap 12, nearly dragging his clutch-side grip in the dirt as he railed around a high-speed left-hand corner (much to the crowd’s delight).
- Lapped riders began playing a huge role in the flow of the race by lap 15, and as Dungey did his best to navigate through the back markers, Ryan Villopoto began closing the gap.
- With two laps to go, the space between Dungey and Villopoto tightened significantly but Dungey held tough, impressively scoring his second win of the series.
- Stewart all but rode the wheels off his JGRMX Yamaha on the remaining laps, and despite making a run toward Dungey and Villopoto in the later stages, the mighty number seven was forced to settle into a bittersweet third-place finish for the night.
- With nine races left in the series, Dungey now sits just 10-points behind Villopoto in the championship points chase, and Stewart sits in third with 44 points to make up.
1. Ryan Dungey
2. Ryan Villopoto
3. James Stewart
4. Davi Millsaps
5. Justin Brayton
6. Cole Seely
7. Jake Weimer
8. Kevin Windham
9. Brett Metcalfe
10. Nick Wey
Supercross Lites Qualifying
- With smoke from the opening ceremony’s fireworks still hovering in the Georgia Dome, the gate dropped for the second Lites heat of the night and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen grabbed the holeshot and early lead.
- While extending his lead on lap three, Roczen washed out in a tight left-hand corner, handing the spot over to Honda’s Justin Bogle.
- Fortunately, Roczen was able to keep his engine running and remounted in the second spot, where he would eventually finish the heat.
Supercross Lites Main Event
- As the gates were dropping for the Lites East main event, Roczen’s clutch slipped a bit too early and the likeable German found himself hung up in his gate’s crossbar as the rest of the field raced toward turn one.
- After making a few quick passes, Roczen rounded lap one in the 14th spot and clearly had his work cut out for him if he hoped to catch the lead pack.
- By lap nine, Roczen had remarkably moved his way into sixth place but had a huge gap to make up between himself and Darryn Durham in fifth.
- Despite an incredible effort to close the gap on the top-five riders, Roczen simply ran out of laps in the end, and was forced to settle for sixth behind Justin Barcia, Blake Baggett, Justin Bogle, Blake Wharton, and Durham.
- With two of nine rounds down in the Lites East series, Roczen now sits in fourth-place overall, 15 points behind leader Barcia.
Supercross Lites Results
1. Justin Barcia
2. Blake Baggett
3. Justin Bogle
4. Blake Wharton
5. Darryn Durham
6. Ken Roczen
7. Kyle Cunningham
8. Hunter Hewitt
9. Jake Canada
10. Shane Sewell
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- See more photos from Atlanta
- Dungey and Roczen on the podium in Dallas
- James Stewart claims victory in Oakland