2012 Supercross kicks off this Saturday in Anaheim!

The 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season kicks off this Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., with defending Supercross Class champion Ryan Villopoto staging a title defense against the world’s greatest riders. SPEED will broadcast the race live at 7:00 p.m. PT.

Media day is Thursday, January 5 from Noon-2:00 p.m., featuring Villopoto, James Stewart, Chad Reed, Trey Canard, and Ryan Dungey. The riders will be available for interviews and photographs before they ride the track for the media.

Villopoto, who rides for the Monster Energy Kawasaki team, made a statement at last year’s season opener by leading all 20 laps of the main event en route to his 10th career win. This year Villopoto will not only defend his title, he is trying to become only the sixth rider in history to win the season opener in back-to-back years.

“It’s a nice way to start out the season,” said Villopoto following last year’s season opener. “Starting out this way makes things much easier. I hope I can start putting together some more wins and a championship this year.”

Villopoto didn’t waiver from his winning ways as he was crowned the sport’s biggest prize at the season finale at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium. In doing so, he became the 12th rider to win the season opener and the championship.

In last year’s Western Regional Supercross Lites Class main event, Monster Energy/Pro-Circuit/Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen opened the season with win after taking the lead on lap eight.

The first Supercross race held in Anaheim was December 4, 1976, and Marty Smith won on a Honda. This weekend will mark the 56th time the gate will drop for a race in Anaheim and the 22nd the city has played host to the season opener. Stewart Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath are tied on the all-time Supercross Class win list in Anaheim at 8. Ivan Tedesco hold the Supercross Lites Class all-time win record in Anaheim at 5. Angel Stadium is the only stop on the tour that will host two races, January 7 and February 4.

Past Winners in Anaheim

Supercross Class

February 5, 2011: James Stewart
January 8, 2011: Ryan Villopoto
February 13, 2010: Ryan Villopoto
January 23, 2010: Ryan Dungey
January 9, 2010: James Stewart
February 7, 2009: James Stewart
January 17, 2009: James Stewart
January 3, 2009: Josh Grant
January 5, 2008: Chad Reed
January 19, 2008: Chad Reed
February 2, 2008: Chad Reed
January 6, 2007: James Stewart
January 20, 2007: James Stewart
February 3, 2007: James Stewart
January 07, 2006: James Stewart
January 21, 2006: Ricky Carmichael
February 04, 2006: Ricky Carmichael
January 8, 2005 Kevin Windham
January 22, 2005 Ricky Carmichael
February 5, 2005 Ricky Carmichael
January 3, 2004 Chad Reed
January 17, 2004 Chad Reed
January 31, 2004 Kevin Windham
January 04, 2003: Chad Reed
January 18, 2003: Ricky Carmichael
February 01, 2003: Ricky Carmichael
January 05, 2002: David Vuillemin
January 19, 2002: Mike LaRocco
February 02, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
January 06, 2001: Jeremy McGrath
January 20, 2001: Jeremy McGrath
February 03, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
January 8, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
January 15, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
January 09, 1999: Ezra Lusk
February 06, 1999: Ezra Lusk
January 27, 1996: Jeremy McGrath
January 28, 1995: Jeremy McGrath
January 29, 1994: Jeremy McGrath
January 23, 1993: Jeremy McGrath
January 25, 1992: Damon Bradshaw
January 26, 1991: Jeff Stanton
January 27, 1990: Damon Bradshaw
January 28, 1989: Rick Johnson
January 31, 1987: Jeff Ward
January 18, 1986: David Bailey
February 02, 1985: Broc Glover
January 28, 1984: Johnny O’Mara
January 29, 1983: David Bailey
January 30, 1982: Donnie Hansen
January 31, 1981: Kent Howerton
November 17, 1979: Kent Howerton
November 11, 1978: Gaylon Mosier
November 12, 1977: Bob Hannah
December 04, 1976: Marty Smith

Supercross Lites Class

February 5, 2011: Joshua Hansen
January 8, 2011: Joshua Hansen
February 13, 2010: Trey Canard
January 23, 2010: Jake Weimer
January 9, 2010: Jake Weimer
February 7, 2009: Jake Weimer
January 17, 2009: Ryan Dungey
January 3, 2009: Jake Weimer
January 5, 2008: Ryan Dungey
January 19, 2008: Ryan Dungey
February 2, 2008: Jason Lawrence
January 6, 2007: Ryan Villopoto
January 20, 2007: Ryan Villopoto
February 3, 2007: Ryan Villopoto
January 07, 2006: Andrew Short
January 21, 2006: Grant Langston
February 04, 2006: Grant Langston
January 8, 2005 Nathan Ramsey
January 22, 2005 Ivan Tedesco
February 5, 2005 Ivan Tedesco
January 3, 2004 Ivan Tedesco
January 17, 2004 Ivan Tedesco
January 31, 2004 Ivan Tedesco
January 04, 2003: Travis Preston
January 18, 2003: James Stewart Jr.
February 01, 2003: James Stewart Jr.
January 05, 2002: Travis Preston
January 19, 2002: David Pingree
February 02, 2002: Brock Sellards
January 06, 2001: Ernesto Fonseca
January 20, 2001: Ernesto Fonseca
February 03, 2001: Ernesto Fonseca
January 8, 2000: David Pingree
January 15, 2000: Tallon Vohland
January 09, 1999: Casey Johnson
February 06, 1999: Nathan Ramsey
January 27, 1996: Kevin Windham
January 28, 1995: Damon Huffman
January 29, 1994: Damon Huffman
January 09, 1993: Damon Huffman
January 25, 1992: Jeremy McGrath
January 26, 1991: Jeremy McGrath
January 27, 1990: Michael Craig
January 28, 1989: Jeff Matiasevich
January 31, 1987: Jeff Matiasevich
January 18, 1986: Tyson Vohland
February 02, 1985: Mike Healy