A huge crowd of 45,217 Canadian fans saw the Championship lead change and a new season winner at the Rogers Centre on Saturday night for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, and its lone international race of the 2011 season.
The 12th stop of the 17-race championship was host to even more of a shakeup in the championship standings as Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey captured his first win of the season. In Supercross Lites class action, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider and former Canada resident Dean Wilson grabbed the victory.
As the gates dropped on the 20-lap Supercross class main event, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Fabien Izoird, of France, raced to the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot and grabbed the early lead. Behind him, Dungey and Valli Motorsports/Rockstar Yamaha's Nick Wey followed while San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart found himself on the ground, creating a jam that included series points leader and Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Ryan Villopoto.
Dungey moved into first prior to the completion of the first lap and went on to lead all 20 laps. At the conclusion of Lap 1, Villopoto crossed the line in ninth while Stewart sat 13th. The duo moved through the field in tow of one another before Stewart attempted to pass Villopoto. The two riders made contact, falling to the ground. While Stewart re-entered the action, Villopoto pulled off the track to address an issue with his bike.
Dungey fended off the pressure of TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing's Chad Reed throughout the main event while American Honda's Trey Canard followed onto the podium in third.
"It's been a tough one (this season) and it feels great to pull (a win) off," said Dungey. "Everyone goes through this at some point because it's a tough road. I got a great start tonight which was huge. The track was really tough and you had to watch the mistakes."
"That's the positive from tonight," said Reed, who claimed the points lead after Villopoto's misfortune. "I have to just carry on. Ryan (Dungey) road a great race, he was faster in the whoops and turns. It took everything I had to pressure him into making a mistake.
"The industry decided not to give me a chance this season," Reed added. "I want to win this championship so bad. It would be a bittersweet speech for sure."
Stewart rebounded from his troubles to finish just off the podium in fourth while Villopoto recorded a ninth-place result. Reed now holds a 3-point lead over Villopoto heading into next weekend's race.
At the start of the Supercross Lites class main event, GEICO Honda's Blake Wharton grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot with his teammate Justin Barcia and Eleven10 Mods Honda's Darryn Durham in tow. The remainder of the opening lap featured several highlights as DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha's Ryan Sipes took over the top spot, only to be forced off the track by Barcia, who then assumed the lead.
For the next seven laps, Barcia paced the field while Wilson looked to close the gap in second. The distance between both riders continued to decrease before Wilson made the winning pass coming out of the whoops on Lap 8. The win marked Wilson's second of the season and the second of his career.
"The track was really tricky tonight," said Wilson. "I didn't get the greatest of starts but I kept pushing forward. It was all I could do. (This win) means a lot to me. We still have three races to go and I'm still far back in the points, but I'll try my (best)."
Barcia followed in second and has been on the podium at every race of the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Championship. Wharton rounded out the podium in third.
Barcia's advantage over Wilson, who moved into second in the championship, sits at 16 points.
Supercross Class Results: Toronto
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
5. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha
6. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha
7. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
8. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
9. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
10. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda
Supercross Class Season Standings
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda – 236
2. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 233
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 228
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 216
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 214
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 159
7. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 137
8. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda - 134
9. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 128
10. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha – 109