Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto won the Daytona Supercross today and with it extended his AMA Supercross Championship lead from 10 points to 23 over arch rival James Stewart (Yamaha).
Second placed at Daytona was Australian Chad Reed (Honda), with Stewart managing only ninth place overall after an incident-filled outing.
Third in the championship, former champion Reed is now up to just one point behind Stewart, while Suzuki’s defending champion Ryan Dungey (who finished on the third podium step at Daytona today), is fourth in the series standings, seven points behind Reed.
Meanwhile, Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett became the third winner of the East Coast Lites Series when he took a dominant win in the Lites class.
Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen made a return to the Supercross class and pulled a blistering holeshot in the second heat and the German teenager rode solid for third.
Reed suffered a bad start in the same heat and had to work his way up to fourth from the back of the field, at that stage of the night he had no answer for Stewart’s speed as the two were once again side by side after Stewart’s crashed, the Yamaha rider left Reed with some work to do as he rode away to the win.
Stewart not only crashed but also stalled the bike in the next straight.
“Yeah, the track was a little dark out there and I just made a little mistake at the end of the whoops, i felt the front end pushing and I was riding tight,” Stewart said. “I stalling it one time over there just trying to loosen up the cobwebs,” he added.
Following mechanical problems in his qualifying heat, Dungey made the main after qualifying through the LCQ along with Australian Michael Byrne (Suzuki).
At the drop of the gate for the main event it was Stewart with the holeshot as he shot out to a 50-metre lead by the second corner.
Stewart was in another league as the San Manuel Yamaha rider was clocking laps two seconds faster than Villopoto in second place. It looked like it was going to be a long 20 laps for the field until disaster struck.
Stewart wheelied up the face of a small jump by accident and was sent flying over the bars and head first into the Daytona dirt. Laying semi conscious on the side of the track the entire field went by as he tried to mount his bike with the medical crew in attendance. Amazingly he managed to get going again in 20th place and after settling in again started setting fast laps. It was all too late for a win though as Villopoto had control and was almost about to lap Stewart for much of the race.
Following the Stewart drama is was a pretty mundane race as far as wheel-to-wheel racing goes with Villopoto leading Davi Millsaps, Reed, Dungey and Short for the first half. Lap nine saw Reed get past Millsaps and into second with 14 seconds to make up on Villopoto.
It was Villopoto’s night though and, after a solid 20 laps, took his second Daytona Supercross in a row. Reed was a further six seconds back with Dungey in third.
Australian Brett Metcalfe had a horror night when he crashed taking out Trey Canard after cross rutting, a lap later and he was in the dirt again. Tye Simmonds finished 17th in his Daytona debut.
The East Coast Lites race – round 3 – turned out to be a fairly mild affair. Baggett took the holeshot with Justin Barcia close behind, the two heat winners battled for a few laps before Baggett put the hammer down.
Honda’s Barcia, riding with a broken wrist, held second for the rest of the 15-lap race as Ryan Sipes stayed third until the end.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com