While New Zealand’s Ben Townley rode off to win his second consecutive Lites main event, the big story from Daytona is about a man that we haven’t seen or heard much from at all. Throughout the entire broadcasts of the St. Louis and Daytona Lites main events, you will be hard pressed to find so much as a commercial-break worth of airtime dedicated to Ryan Morais. Why is that such a big deal? Because after three rounds, the Northern California-born racer is the series points leader! Ryan hasn’t made any highlight-reel crashes, (like second place Lange who has crashed in all three main events thus far) won any main events, (BT101’s got two) or so much as pulled a holeshot (like preseason favorite Mike Alessi). But what Morais has accomplished is putting together a string of three consistent finishes and very, very quietly walks away from Daytona still holding on to the point’s lead.
The Yamaha of Troy rider came out of the amateur ranks as a hot prospect for a supercross title but quickly ran into a string of injuries that kept him away from the track and ultimately off the podium. So it shouldn’t be very surprising to see him putting in such smoothly conservative efforts in this 2007 season. After all, factory Honda’s Tommy Hahn, the runner-up at Daytona, has suffered an 18th and a DNQ, Ryan Dungey also suffered a 18 and DNQ after winning the opener, Townley blew up in Atlanta, Mike Alessi didn’t finish the opener, and Darcy Lange has crashed at every race.
In a seven-race series, maybe #116’s conservative approach isn’t such a bad one after all.