Racer X Race Report: Daytona

Racer X
Race Report Daytona

March 10, 2013 1:05am

The second half of the Monster Energy Supercross season is looking a lot more like the first half was expected to look—but didn’t. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto scored a dominant win at the Daytona Supercross by Honda—his third triumph at the event—and also jumped into the SX points lead for the first time this year thanks to a bad race for Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps.

But it was a tough race for almost everyone, as the Daytona track presented its usual mix of brutal, square, choppy bumps and typical supercross obstacles, making it one of the most challenging races of the year. The fact that long lap times led to a 28-minute 450 main only added to the challenge, one that Villopoto was easily able to accept.

He started it with the holeshot in the main event, but a mistake and near off-track excursion handed the lead over to yet another new speedster in a 450 class that is not lacking in fast riders. Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, on the 350SX-F and racing his only 450 class race of the year, seized the lead, and was looking to continue the momentum from a sparkling heat race, where he led James Stewart all the way to the last lap. For a few laps of glory, Roczen was on the gas and leading Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia and Villopoto, but soon arm pump got the best of the 250 SX West points leader, and he began to slow a bit. Villopoto was back on the gas, making moves on Barcia and Roczen to take the lead. Barcia had a hot line through the center of the track, tripling a set of moguls to keep some heat on Villopoto, but eventually the two-time and defending SX champ ran away.

The Daytona track was gnarly, but Villopoto shrugged off the challenge.

Ryan Dungey was moving forward and finished up second. Look out, he's only 14 points back in the series.

Justin Barcia was up front, but said "They Ryans were on it tonight." He was happy with third.
Cudby photos

The next rider on the move was Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, who was able to get Roczen and Barcia for second. By then, he had no chance of catching Villopoto, as the champ stretched it out to about nine seconds. Barcia held strong for third.

It seemed like everyone behind them had a bad moment or two. It started with Millsaps, who crashed in a corner on the second lap and found himself way, way back. He spent the rest of the race trying to salvage something, going from 13th to 10th, but he was never able to make much of a dent in the gap Dodge/Sycuan Suzuki’s Broc Tickle had on him in front of that. The 10th was Millsaps’ worst finish of the year, and gives Villopoto a two-point lead.

Rough one for Davi Millsaps.

Eli Tomac is getting this 450 racing things figured out. He had a small crash but held on for fourth.

No quit in Chad Reed, who overcame a so-so start and a fall of his own to grind out fifth.
Cudby photos

Who else had a spill? Yoshimura Suzuki’s Stewart was near the top five early but never looked comfortable, saying he gambled and lost on bike setup. He then lost the front end and crashed in the same corner Millsaps did, sending him backwards, and he never looked that aggressive after that. Chad Reed was into the top five at one point before catching a tuff block, which sent him flying off of his bike. Gamely, he dug deep and repassed Stewart, then got Trey Canard and Ken Roczen together to get to the top five. He nearly caught fourth-place Eli Tomac, who also, yes, fell down at one point. The track was rough and gnarly and breeded mistakes and riders were notably not as aggressive late in the race—it took everything out of everyone.

Well, almost everyone. There’s a new winner in the 250 SX record book, and he seemed to enjoy every part of every lap out there. Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin finally delivered his first AMA Supercross win with a dominant wire-to-wire victory in the 250s. At the end of the race, the ultra-smooth Frenchman said he was having fun the whole time! Meanwhile, the 250 SX East points race took another swing in favor of GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn, who finished a solid second, ahead of first-time podium boy Jeremy Martin on the MyPlash/Star Racing Yamaha. Dean Wilson was blazing fast all day on his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, but early in the main, while running second and challenging Musquin, he cased a jump in a rhythm section and banged his head hard. He never seemed quite the same after that, and dropped to fourth. Fifth went to Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton.

Atta' boy, Marvin!

Wil Hahn is starting to gain control over 250 East.

Jeremy Martin on the box--the kid is beginning to show what he's really capable of.
Cudby photos

450 Main Event:

1 1 Ryan Villopoto Seattle, WA Kawasaki KX 450F

2 5 Ryan Dungey Belle Plaine, MN KTM 450 SX-F

3 51 Justin Barcia Pinetta, FL Honda CRF 450

4 17 Eli Tomac Cortez, CO Honda CRF 450

5 22 Chad Reed Dade City, FL Honda CRF 450

6 41 Trey Canard Shawnee, OK Honda CRF 450

7 94 Ken Roczen Murrieta, CA KTM 350 SX-F

8 7 James Stewart Haines City, FL Suzuki RM-Z450

9 20 Broc Tickle Holly, MI Suzuki RM-Z450

10 18 David Millsaps Murrieta, CA Suzuki RM-Z450

11 62 Matthew Goerke Lake Helen, FL KTM 450 SX-F

12 29 Andrew Short Smithville, TX KTM 450 SX-F

13 12 Jake Weimer Rupert, ID Kawasaki KX 450F

14 54 Les Smith York, SC KTM 450 SX-F

15 75 Joshua Hill Yoncalla, OR Suzuki RM-Z450

16 800 Mike Alessi Hilliard, FL Suzuki RM-Z450

17 57 Ben Lamay Wasilla, AK Yamaha YZ450F

18 46 Weston Peick Wildomar, CA Suzuki RM-Z450

19 49 Phillip Nicoletti Bethel, NY Yamaha YZ450F

20 10 Justin Brayton Cornelius, NC Yamaha YZ450F


250 Main Event:

1 25 Marvin Musquin Corona, CA KTM 250 SX-F

2 19 William Hahn Decatur, TX Honda CRF 250

3 77 Jeremy Martin Millville, MN Yamaha YZ250F

4 15 Dean Wilson Wesley Chapel, FL Kawasaki KX 250F

5 13 Blake Wharton Pilot Point, TX Suzuki RM-Z250

6 317 Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR Kawasaki KX 250F

7 50 Kyle Peters Greensboro, NC Honda CRF 250

8 71 Zackery Freeberg Riverview, FL Honda CRF 250

9 48 Cole Thompson Brigden, Canada Honda CRF 250

10 42 Vince Friese Cape Girardeau, MO Honda CRF 250

11 248 Mitchell Oldenburg Alvord, TX Honda CRF 250

12 613 James Decotis Peabody, MA Honda CRF 250

13 69 Peter Larsen Menifee, CA Yamaha YZ250

14 73 A J Catanzaro Portland, CT Kawasaki KX 250F

15 87 Lance Vincent Youngsville, LA KTM 250 SX-F

16 556 Brady Kiesel Fort Worth, TX Yamaha YZ250

17 393 Daniel Herrlein Bethesda, OH Honda CRF 250

18 167 Zachary Bell Cairo, GA Honda CRF 250

19 67 Gavin Faith Fort Dodge, IA Honda CRF 250

20 81 Shawn Rife Mechanicsburg, OH Honda CRF 250

450 SX Points

Villopoto, 202. Millsaps, 200. Dungey, 188. Canard/Reed, 163. Barcia, 152. Stewart, 135. Short, 122. Brayton, 104. Tickle, 99.

250 SX Points

Hahn, 92. Wilson, 87. Musquin, 78. Wharton, 76. Martin, 52. Hill, 51. Friese, 50. Peters, 45. Decotis, 43. Faith, 40.