Daytona Bike Week. The words resonate in the souls of many bikers, especially motorcycle racing fans. All of the AMA’s finest racing is there: Flat Track, Supersport, American Superbike, Daytona SportBike, and, of course, Supercross.
Attracting the most fans, the difficult layout with many different soils also requires much skill from riders in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. And one rider that continues to prove his skill on the dirt is the Rookie Ryan Villopoto, who remained unchallenged for every lap at Daytona.
After taking his fourth victory of the season, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider is now only 20 points behind championship-leader Ryan Dungey, who has 190 points.
“I’m (after winning) 20 points down,” Dungey said. “I just had to make it happen. I got a good start and took the win. I never won here and it’s awesome to finally win Daytona Supercross. I can’t ask for more.”
The 20-lap race began on a bad note, though. Dungey got out of the hole first, but Grant Langston went down hard, bringing out a red flag. Langston was carried off the track on a stretcher, but initial reports said the J-Law Racing Yamaha rider only had a sore neck and back, and nothing was broken.
After the restart, Villopoto got out of the gate first, with San Manuel Yamaha rider Josh Hill in second, and Dungey in third. On the third lap, the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Dungey held a wide line and passed Hill for second, where he remained for the entire race.
“This track has been tough for me in the past,” Dungey said. “I had my work cut out for me
Villopoto gained a five-second lead on Dungey by lap 7, when Red Bull Honda Racing rider Trey Canard slipped by Hill to take the third spot. The West Coast Lites rider, who’s been competing in the main 450-class events since round 7 in Indianapolis, finished in third, his second podium finish since finishing second at Atlanta last week.
“It was a great night. The track was gnarly,” Canard said. “I’m stoked to be out here (with 450 class). This is good experience for me.”
The rider who excited fans by hoping to return at Daytona didn't race in the main, but did a practice season. Chad Reed set the fastest lap during practice on his Monster Energy Kawasaki, but pain from his recovering injury prevented him from any further racing. His rival, James Stewart, also remains out of action. No official reports have been released about either rider's return.
Next week the series moves to Toronto, Canada.
For complete results Supercross results and standings, click here.
Supercross Lites East
Grabbing the holeshot was Rockstar Canidae Suzuki rider Blake Baggett, followed by Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Austin Stroupe and series leader Christophe Pourcel. On the first lap, Stroupe and Pourcel passed Baggett.
By lap 6, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Pourcel took the lead, dominating every lap to take his third Lites East win. Stroupe finished second, Baggett in third.