Vuillemin wins opening US Supercross round

1 of 1

Frenchman David Vuillemin won the opening round of the 2002 American supercross series at Anaheim, California on Saturday night.

It’s a great start to the season for the 24-year old Yamaha rider who finished second to Jeremy McGrath in the 2000 series – his first full season in the U.S. – but slumped to eighth overall last year. Vuillemin said: ” I do not want this season to be like last year. I think I’m out of the slump I was in but this is a long season. If you look at all of the riders in the 250 class, anyone can win. ”

Ricky Carmichael started his title defence in the worst possible way on his new Honda when he crashed out in the whoops, taking Mike LaRocco down too. Carmichael was not seriously hurt but didn’t finish the race. LaRocco remounted for second place on his Factory connection Honda.

Former champion Jeremy McGrath also had a tough start to the series. Riding a Bud Light Yamaha he trailed home 13th, struggling with arm-pump.

Suzuki’s Travis Pastrana was another to crash out while Ernesto Fonseca completed the podium finishers on Honda.

Two potential title contenders, Sebastien Tortelli and Tim Ferry, are still recovering from surgeries and did not race.

Travis Preston came from a mid-pack start to claim the 125cc main event on a Honda. The 22-year old from California said: ” I do not know what to say. I was just riding smart and everything came together at the end of the race.

In his first professional race, 16 year old James ” Bubba ” Stewart made his way to fifth place by the end of lap three but he was another rider claimed by the viscious whoops. The hot Kawasaki prospect re-mounted to finish second in his first professional supercross race.

Anaheim was a 45,050 sell-out. The next round takes place on January 12 at San Diego, California.

Results: 250cc EA SPORTS Supercross Round One, Anaheim, California

1 D Vuillemin, France (Yamaha), 2 M LaRocco, U.S (Honda), 3 E Fonseca, Costa Rica (Honda), 4 M Byrne, Australia (Honda), 5 E Lusk, U.S. (Kawasaki). 6 C Reed, Australia, (Yamaha).

125cc Western Regional Supercross Round One, Anaheim, California

1 T Preston, U.S. (Honda), 2 J Stewart, U.S (Kawasaki), 3 C Gosselaar, U.S. (Honda), 4 B Sellards, U.S (KTM), 5 R Thain, France, (Yamaha), 6 D Pingree, U.S. (KTM)

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff