450 Words: Las Vegas

May 12, 2010 8:02pm

By Aaron Hansel

Lots of people lose their asses in Las Vegas, but it usually happens at a slot machine or card table, not on a supercross track in Sam Boyd Stadium. Red Bull Racing Honda’s Davi Millsaps brought new meaning to the saying when his pants began sliding down his legs with five laps to go in the main event.

  • The champ.
Maybe Millsaps just needed some relief from the Las Vegas heat, or maybe he was trying to distract the competition. Either way, every time the wind caught his jersey, Millsaps gave the building a moon shot. It got so bad that his lap times actually started falling off the pace, but he managed to hang on for sixth-place and finished the series third in points.

Ryan Dungey’s performance also had people watching him, but for different reasons. After failing to make the podium twice in a row, the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider showed the Vegas fans why he’ll be sporting the #1 plate in the 2011 AMA Supercross Championship, leading just about every category possible. His best practice time was over a second faster than anyone else’s, he dominated his heat race, and when it came time for the main, he holeshot and led every single lap of the race, setting the night’s fastest lap- and average-lap times en route to his sixth win of the year.

Vegas also marked the return of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Reed to the supercross podium. Reed was the only rider to get remotely close to Dungey all night, and his solid ride earned him a second-place for the night, but an un-Reedy-like seventeenth in the points.

Podium finishes are hard to come by in supercross, but Reed’s performance in Las Vegas is especially impressive when you consider that he welcomed his first child into his family and was forced to deal with the loss of good friend Andrew McFarlane, all in the same week. After the race, an emotional Reed held back tears as he delivered his podium speech, thanking his team for their patience and noting the loss of the fellow rider he left Australia with as a teenager when they both moved to Europe.

The 2010 supercross season is now in the books, and fans will have to wait until January for the next gate to drop in Anaheim. But the news isn’t all bad, as the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship resumes on May 22 at the Rockstar Energy Hangtown Motocross Classic in California. Multiple riders in both classes can win, and if the nationals feature even half the unpredictability of the 2010 supercross season, we’re in for another wild ride!