The craziness started almost immediately in the SX main event. What was supposed to a be a dream ride for home-state boy Ryan Villopoto quickly turned into a nightmare when the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider crashed on the first lap of the race and had to crawl off the track in pain. He had gotten a bad start and tried to make a move down the inside of Davi Millsaps when he lost the front end and buckled his left knee. We’ll try to get an update on his condition as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Andrew Short pulled the start on his L&Mc Racing Honda and soon came under pressure from Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. Short and Roczen began to pull away and turned the battle for the lead into a private duel, and they went back and forth for a few laps, swapping the lead and getting the big crowd cheering. But by the halfway point, Short settled down and started pulling away from the 350-mounted Roczen, and then extended it further with some smooth moves in lapped traffic.
Dungey tried making a move on Brayton for fourth, but he bumped Brayton’s rear wheel with his front and crashed. Brayton kept the heat on Weimer for third, and then late in the race they began to close on both Roczen and Short. Short did what he needed to do, though, staying consistent on a rutted, gnarly track and hanging on for a very popular first-career SX win.
Roczen was second ahead of Weimer.
The sparks were expected to fly in a Lites West battle, and they did when Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson and GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac collided, literally, several times in a pitched battle for the points lead. Ahead of them, Star-Valli Rockstar Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes held the lead after grabbing the holeshot. Tomac sat in second, but Wilson made a pass on him on the second lap. Then Tomac set Wilson up and retook second, but Wilson responded with a hard block pass that sent Tomac off of the track. Tomac got back on quickly, and still sat in third behind Wilson. When he saw an opening a few laps later, he went for the kill and bumped Wilson on the inside across the starting stretch, and Wilson went down.
The collision seemed to hurt both riders. Wilson got up in sixth but started going backwards—possibly due to damage to his bike or body from the crash—while Tomac also lost his pace, allowing Sipes to get away. For Sipes, who struggled with crashes and injuries throughout the first half of the West Lites season, and was making his return to action after a broken wrist, it was a huge win.
Tomac explained on the podium that he bent his shifter in the crash, and was stuck in 3rd gear, until he started to burn out his clutch, and jammed it into second for the rest of the race. That just made him slower, and as he lost time, he fell into a huge battle for third between Lucas Oil Troy Lee Designs Honda’s Cole Seely, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin and GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn.
Musquin had won his heat and ran the fastest laps in both practice sessions. He blew the start in the main, but he rode strong to get past Hahn and Seely, and then sneak past Tomac for second on the final lap. That left the final order Sipes, Musquin, Tomac, Seely, Hahn, and Jason Anderson, with Wilson in seventh, Billy Laninovich eighth, and Travis Baker and Vince Friese rounding out the top ten.