Rockstar Energy Suzuki's Blake Wharton fought back from a heavy crash in qualifying to bring home fourth place in the Lites class at Saturday night's AMA/ FIM World Supercross series at Houston in Texas.
The RM-Z250-mounted rider took the holeshot in his six-lap heat race and held it for the first few laps before suffering a get-off. Undaunted, he remounted and rallied on, working his way up to seventh. Then in the 15-lap Main Event, Wharton got a good start and made a play for a podium spot before finishing fourth.
Said Wharton: "It was a rough night for me but I salvaged fourth even though I definitely wanted to be on the podium. But I had a crash in my heat race and that put me in a bad position, but that's racing; you have to go through your good times and your bad times. I still felt pretty good and I managed to get some points so I'm happy about that. But I definitely want to get going for Louisiana. New Orleans is going to be a great race; I've raced there and I want to win."
Yoshimura Suzuki's Brett Metcalfe suffered some bad luck in Houston: The Australian had a good heat race and finished fourth, but in the Main Event, he stalled his bike after getting closed-up in the first turn and was recovering from that when another rider crashed in his path and he went down himself. Metcalfe rallied and worked his way through the field from 20th to finish 12th.
"I've always done well in Houston," said Metcalfe. "So this was bit of a bummer. In the heat race I ended up fourth but I was feeling good on the track and I had a nice rhythm going. In the Main, I got pushed off balance in the first corner and accidentally hit my rear brake and stalled my bike. I should have come out fifth or sixth, but I ended up at the back. So I got going and was putting passes together when someone crashed in front of me and I had nowhere to go. I ran into him and went down and stalled the bike. I got restarted in last place and put my head down and managed to climb back up to 12th. But we'll keep at it and come back strong for New Orleans and these last few races."
The next event for the Rockstar Energy Racing teams is the 14th round of the 2012 AMA/ FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday April 14th at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.