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James Stewart

Round 3 Race Report - Red Bull/KTM

Red Bull/KTM's Andrew Short finished 9th overall to earn his third consecutive top ten finish in the 2011 AMA Supercross Championship Series.

This weekend marked the first-ever Supercross event held at the famous Dodger Stadium. The rider's and fans enjoyed the new stop on the AMA Supercross tour that brought in a crowd of over 40,000 motorcycle enthusiasts.

Short had a great start to the day qualifying 9th fastest in timed practice. His quick practice time awarded him a decent gate pick in his heat. Unfortunately, he got a bad jump off the gate and rounded the first turn in 15th. Thanks to years of experience he quickly maneuvered his way inside the top ten and was sitting in 8th position at the end of the first lap. On lap three he passed JDR/J-Star/KTM rider Tye Simmonds for 7th position and kept a consistent pace to qualify 7th into the main.

Short's Red Bull/KTM teammate, Mike Alessi, had a decent heat starting in 8th position and maintaining that spot through the checkered flag. "After crashing last weekend and going to the LCQ, I was glad to have an easy heat race this weekend putting my KTM 350 SX-F into the main event," remarked Alessi.

          Andrew Short courtesy of KTM Images.  Unable to credit the Photographer, as per agreement, as not listed anywhere.

The crowd was in high spirits as the riders lined up for the SX main event. Both Short and Alessi reported that the moisture was coming out in the soil and had made the track more slippery which had changed some of the lines and jumps they were able to do in practice and the heats.

When the gate dropped Short came around the first corner in 8th position with Alessi a few spots back in 12th. On the second half of the track Short was passed by Ryan Villopoto and dropped to 9th position as they crossed the finish line jump of lap one. The first half of the race was a nine-rider freight train with Shorty at the tail end of the pack.

On lap three, Short closed in on the 8th place ride of Austin Stroupe. After pressuring Stroupe for two laps he made a clean pass to gain the position and set his sights on Brett Metcalfe. It appeared that Short would catch Metcalfe as the race continued but pressure from Chad Reed caused Short to become defensive of his lines and lose time on Metcalfe. Reed was able to make the pass on Short with a couple laps to go. Short eventually finished the race in 9th. Alessi hung on to finish 17th.

"I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to hold Reed off at the end of the race, but happy to still finish inside the top ten. This week I worked with Sebastien Tortelli and he gave some great race advice throughout the day. We also made a lot of progress to the bike which helped my performance in the main event. I am happy with the direction everything is going," remarked Short.

Overall SX Results

1. Ryan Villopoto
2. James Stewart
3. Ryan Dungey
4. Trey Canard
5. Justin Brayton
6. Kevin Windham
7. Chad Reed
8. Brett Metcalfe
9. Andrew Short - KTM
10. Kyle Chisholm

Overall SX Points

1. Ryan Villopoto - 72
2. James Stewart - 67
3. Ryan Dungey - 58
4. Trey Canard - 56
5. Chad Reed - 48
6. Brett Metcalfe - 39
7. Andrew Short - 37
8. Justin Brayton - 36
9. Kyle Chisholm - 33
10. Kevin Windham - 32



Supercross Lites.

The 16 year-old German sensation, Red Bull/KTM's Ken Roczen, impressed the crowd at Dodger Stadium as he put his KTM in the heat of the battle in both his heat and main event races.

The third round of the series was held at a new venue in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Roczen was warmly welcome by the Southern California crowd after earning the third fastest lap time in timed qualifying and proving he was a main contender for the evenings competition.

One thing was apparent at the conclusion of this weekend: the German rider had learned how to start. Roczen had struggled with his starts the previous two rounds and that seemed to be a problem of the past as he almost holeshot the heat race coming around the first corner in 2nd position and he complimented that start with an equally impressive beginning to his main event.

Roczen missed a triple jump on the first lap of his heat race as he sat in 2nd position which allowed Martin Davalos to make a pass. Roczen quickly caught back up to Davalos and early leader Nick Paluzzi. Both Davalos and Roczen passed Paluzzi on lap three and began to battle for the lead. With two laps to go Roczen remained in hot pursuit of the Suzuki rider. When the checkered flag flew Roczen was only half a bike length behind Davalos finishing 2nd in the heat.

         Ken Roczen courtesy of KTM Images. Unable to credit the Photographer, as per agreement, as not listed anywhere.

Roczen put himself in good position in the main event as he jumped off the line in 2nd position behind holeshot winner Cole Seely. Roczen took an outside line a few turns later and allowed Josh Hansen to make a pass. Behind Roczen, a train of Lites riders closed in to create a five-man battle for the top position. Roczen was sitting in 3rd position early in the race behind Tomac when Kyle Cunningham came in the inside of Roczen before the finish line jump in a clear take out. Roczen had no where to go and fell straight onto Cunningham. Davalos who was in tow couldn't avoid the downed riders and also fell in the turn.

After the crash, Roczen remounted in 8th position. "After I went down, I rode a little tight and it took me a bit to get back into my rhythm," stated the Red Bull/KTM rider. Roczen's crash put him back with Josh Hansen, who had also had an early race accident. The two riders worked their way up to through the pack with a few position swaps along the way. At the end of the race Roczen had worked his way back into 6th position earning his best finish this season. I am okay with my result today. I am bummed about the crash because I put myself in a good position for a podium finish and once I crashed I could only salvage a top ten. The positive about the past few races is I am continuously learning and improving each race and feel that I will be inside the top three soon." 

Overall Results Supercross Lites:

1. Cole Seely
2. Eli Tomac
3. Ryan Morais
4. Broc Tickle
5. Josh Hansen
6. Ken Roczen - KTM
7. Ryan Marmont
8. James Decotis
9. Nick Paluzzi
10. Kyle Cunningham

Overall Point Standings Supercross Lites:

1. Josh Hansen - 66
2. Broc Tickle - 62
3. Cole Seely - 59
4. Ryan Morais - 55
5. Eli Tomac - 49
6. Tyla Rattray - 42
7. Martin Davalos - 40
8. Travis Baker - 35
9. Ken Roczen - 31
10. Nick Paluzzi - 30