PHOENIX (January 12, 2013) - Honda had a stellar night in Phoenix as team riders claimed both main events on a brisk evening at Chase Field.
In the 250 division, Eli Tomac picked up where he left off at last week's Anaheim event by dominating the field, working his way from a fifth-place start to win the race by 10 seconds over Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen.
Meanwhile, in the 450 main event, Justin Barcia walked away somewhat easily with his first-ever premier class win, topping a hard-charging Ryan Villopoto by some four seconds at the finish.
Barcia started off the evening by winning his heat race, the Honda/Muscle Milk Honda rider jumping out to the early lead and holding it to finish eight seconds ahead of A1-winner Davi Millsaps.
James Stewart won the other heat race on his Yoshimura Suzuki, letting everyone know that his knee was good and that he still has the speed to win at this level.
In the 20-lap final, however, Stawart and Villopoto got off to poor starts, while Barcia jetted into the lead just ahead of Millsaps on his Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki. TwoTwo Motorsports Honda's Chad Reed trailed in third with Muscle Milk Honda's Trey Canard in fourth and Villopoto working up to fifth after passing Stewart. Villopoto spun out on the opening lap, however, and dropped from fifth to eighth place.
Canard passed Reed for third place on Lap 11 and then passed Millsaps for second place on Lap 14. Villopoto rebounded and moved into fourth place aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki on Lap 13, and then passed Millsaps on Lap 15 for third place. Canard and Villopoto fought over second place for several laps until Canard crashed on the last lap, allowing Villopoto, Millsaps and Reed to re-pass him. Villopoto finished second and Millsaps finished third, keeping the 450SX Class lead in the season point standings.
"I can't tell you how excited I am right now," said Barcia. "I didn't think this win would come so soon. I kept it smooth out there, but the track was super slick. It was a great night for me."
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Martin Davalos moved into the lead of the 250-class main on the opening lap, passing TLD Honda's Jessy Nelson to do so.
Photography By: Shan Moore
After a fifth-place start, Tomac made his way to second place and passed Davalos on Lap seven en route to his ninth 250SX Class race win with a 10.193 second margin of victory. Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen passed Davalos on the last lap to secure the runner-up spot. Davalos held on for a season-best third place.
"I am totally stoked," said Tomac. "I am now two-for-two this season, and to get a win here in Phoenix is huge because I have a lot of family and friends here. I haven't had a lot of great races here in the past, so picking up the win is awesome."
450SX Class Results
1. Justin Barcia (Hon)
2. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
3. Davi Millsaps (Suz)
4. Chad Reed (Hon)
5. Trey Canard (Hon)
6. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
7. James Stewart (Suz)
8. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
9. Andrew Short (Hon)
10. Josh Grant (Yam)
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Eli Tomac (Hon)
2. Ken Roczen (KTM)
3. Martin Davalos (Kaw)
4. Cole Seely (Hon)
5. Jessy Nelson (Hon)
6. Zach Osborne (Hon)
7. Ryan Sipes (Suz)
8. Kyle Cunningham (Yam)
9. Joey Savatgy (Hon)
10. Christian Craig (Hon)