The 2011 Supercross season continues the excellent form it showed in the first three rounds as for the first time, all the major protagonists managed to gate well in the main event.
Heading into the final, Ryan Villopoto looked like the man in charge, the series leader in outstanding form during practice and the qualifying heats whilst runner-up James Stewart was super-quick but took some heavy soil samples in practice.
Once the gate dropped, it was Villopoto who made the early running with Stewart second ahead of Chad Reed and reigning champion Ryan Dungey, which meant that all four of the fastest super cross riders on earth were heading the pack.
Villopoto showed signs of edging away until a crash on the rain-sodden circuit dropped him out of the lead, leaving Stewart at the head of the Reed-Dungey freight train - Villopoto remounted a distant fourth, then set grimly about the task of bridging the gap back to the leading trio.
As the race reached the halfway mark, Dungey made his move by Reed and showed every intention of going after Stewart, but Reed, who has suffered a frankly dismal start to the season by his stellar standards, spat on his hands and went to work, slowly closing the slight gap back to Dungey even as Villopoto homed in on all three of them like a bright green missile.
Before he could strike, however, Villopoto again lost the front end and suffered his second tumble of the race, dropping him right out of contention, but the nerveless Reed stayed focused on Dungey’s back tyre, inching up until he was close enough to make the pass on the very final lap of the race to take his first podium and belatedly start his campaign for the title.
Stewart was barely two seconds up the road after easing off on the final lap, whilst Dungey was just a couple of tenths back in third, Villopoto a distant fourth not too far ahead of a great battle that saw Brett Metcalfe come out in front of Trey Canard after a last-lap pass.
The 250f class saw Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen leading out of the gate. Eli, son of mountain bike god John, led the early running before a lap 4 crash elevated Roczen into his first Supercross main event lead - the young German was given no respite, however, as Josh Hansen was right on his tail, Hansen wasting little time in taking the lead, young team mate Broc Tickle soon following Hansen through into second, then closed in on his team leader.
Tickle made his move for the lead on lap nine and then laid down some quick laps which Hansen was unable to respond to, the youngster edging away to win by almost three seconds ahead of Hansen, a recovering Tomac, Roczen and Tyla Rattray.