Houston SX Super SpoilerSunday, April 7, 2013 | 12:15 AM
Trey Canard edged out Phil Nicoletti for the holeshot in the first 450SX heat race. Nicoletti went down in the second turn, collecting his teammate Bobby Kiniry in the process. Davi Millsaps and Jake Weimer also got caught up in the mess, but never went down. Canard held onto first from start to finish over Justin Barcia and Josh Hill. Millsaps and Weimer were able to regroup and climb to fourth and fifth, respectively.
Mike Alessi holeshot the second 450SX heat race over the likes of Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart and Ryan Dungey. Villopoto was able to move past Alessi and into first without much delay, but Stewart and Dungey were still hovering around fifth place. For a lap or so, Ronnie Stewart was actually the highest ranked Stewart in the field while holding down third place! Unfortunately, Ronnie Stewart stalled in a corner, creating somewhat of a chain reaction crash. Justin Sipes went down and stayed down, forcing officials to red flag the race. They continued the race after a staggered restart and Stewart was able to get by Alessi for a second place, but was unable catch Villopoto for the heat win.
Alessi once again nailed the holeshot in the main event with Villopoto right behind him, and once again, Villopoto was able to take the lead in short time. Canard, Dungey, Stewart and Barcia were also able to get by Alessi within the next few laps. While Villopoto was working on extending his lead, a three-man battle was brewing between Canard, Dungey and Stewart. Dungey got a good drive through the whoops to challenge Canard and made a pass stick upon exit of the proceeding turn. Stewart wasn’t one to sit back to watch the events unfold. He too made a pass on Canard while exiting the next turn over the single.
Stewart held third for the next couple of laps until a costly mistake before the finish line left his Suzuki laying on top of him for a brief moment. He remounted, but something was visibly wrong. He rolled the track until he was able to exit into the mechanics area.
Dungey looked aggressive for the remainder of the race, and possibly closed a portion of the gap between himself and Villopto, but the defending champ rode unchallenged from the second lap to checkered flag. Villopoto took his fifth-straight win, and eighth total, in the 450SX series.
Wil Hahn and Marvin Musquin cleaned up in their heat races, taking convincing wins going into the main event. Tyler Bowers also finished in front of third-place Blake Wharton in the second heat race for his ’13 Monster Energy Supercross debut.
There was a five-plus rider crash in the first turn of the main event, but Zach Freeberg emerged as the early race leader in front of Wharton and Musquin. Freeberg was unable to hold the top position for long. Wharton and Musquin quickly moved by and began their own battle for first. Musquin put a pass on Wharton, but Wharton fired back and regained the lead shortly after the beginning of the second lap. Hahn was close enough to witness the two dicing back and forth.
Meanwhile, Bowers had moved into fifth place by lap four, but Wharton, Musquin and Hahn had already begun separating themselves from the rest of the pack. Musquin looked poised to make a move on Wharton while blitzing the whoop section, but the French rider went off the track and into the tuff blocks, dropping his bike in the process. Musquin reentered the track and immediately got into a three-rider battle with Bowers and Lance Vincent. Musquin was able to get past the two, but not until the sixth lap.
Wharton had some breathing room by this point, but a few more laps allowed Hahn to close the gap on Wharton’s lead. Musquin rode well after his crash, but was too far back to contend with Wharton and Hahn in the remaining laps.Hahn tried to make a move on Wharton from the outside of the turn before the finish line, but Wharton shut the door and forced Hahn to roll the jump. Wharton once again had room to breathe. Hahn started closing back in, but two more mistakes in the same finish line area sealed his fate. Wharton grabbed his first win of the season in front of a hometown crowd. He is also the first person in supercross history to win a main event with the number 13.
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Check out THE MOTOCROSS OF 40 NATIONSin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
The 2013 FIM Motocross of Nations at Teutschenthal, Germany, hosted teams from a record forty countries. Here’s how it played out for each of them. Page 90.