DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MARCH 5 –
Once again, Ryan Villopoto put himself in the right place at the right time to win this year's running of the Daytona Supercross. Last week at the Atlanta Supercross, Villopoto was running third on the last lap when Chad Reed and James Stewart collided and went down, and he was able to ride by the two to take the win. This time, Villopoto was running second to a sprinting Stewart when the Yamaha rider suffered an ugly crash on the fourth lap that left him looking around for his bike which had come to a rest well down the track. Villopoto inherited the lead and dominated the rest of the race on what was described as another brutally rough Daytona track.Villopoto's win, however, wasn't a complete gift, as he had already started pulling away from the rest of the pack before Stewart went down. And once he had taken over, he still had plenty of time to make a mistake of his own, but he rode fast and steady the rest of the way, for 16 laps, taking the win 6.5 seconds ahead of TwoTwo Motorsports Honda's Chad Reed, who had started sixth, and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, who had started 10th.Stewart was obviously stunned after the crash, in which the back of his bike kicked high off a jump with the front end hitting the face of another jump before the back came down, sending him into a violent endo. Stewart had trouble locating his bent bike, and it took him quite some time to regain his bearing. He finally got back on the bike, but in dead last, and it took him a while to get his rhythm back. But when he did, he made up some serious ground, eventually finishing the race a remarkable ninth.
Right after the race, he was checked out by the Asterisk Mobile Medical Center and wasn't available for comment.Fourth went to Red Bull KTM's Andrew Short, who enjoyed his best finish of the year after getting off to third place start. He lost a few positions, but gained some of them back, including a late pass on early second place runner Davi Millsaps, who ended up fifth.
Sixth went to Justin Brayton, followed by Kevin Windham, Ken Roczen, Stewart and Mike Alessi.Honda's Trey Canard had a tough night. The Honda rider went down on the first lap and was working his way up through the pack when he got caught up with Brett Metcalfe, who had crashed in front of him. Canard ended up 13th.Villopoto extended his points to 23 over Stewart, who is just one point ahead of Reed. Dungey is seven points behind Reed.
Blake Baggett made it a Kawasaki sweep at Daytona after winning the 15-lap East Lites main. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team rider led from start to finish, but had to fend off GEICO Powersports Honda's Justin Barcia in the early going. The two riders were close for the first few laps until Baggett started inching away, eventually pulling out a fairly comfortable lead that he never relinquished. He eventually took the checkered flag 15.073 seconds ahead of Barcia.Ryan Sipes, on the DNA Shred Stix Yamaha, finished a strong third, which he held the whole race.Fourth place went Barcia's teammate Blake Wharton, followed by P.J. Larsen on the JDR/JStar KTM.Jason Anderson finished sixth ahead of Malcolm Stewart and Dean Wilson, who was tied with Barcia for the series lead going into the race.Wilson had a tough night, getting off to a bad start then falling multiple times on the first lap. He never really found his groove, finishing eighth.Barcia is now in sole possession of the points lead, but just four points ahead of Baggett. Wilson slipped to third and is nine points back.
SUPERCROSS MAIN: 1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw); 2. Chad Reed (Hon); 3. Ryan Dungey (Suz); 4. Andrew Short (KTM); 5. Davi Millsaps (Yam); 6. Justin Brayton (Yam); 7. Kevin Windham (Hon); 8. Ken Roczen (KTM); 9. James Stewart (Yam); 10. Mike Alessi (KTM); 11. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw); 12. Matt Boni (Kaw); 13. Trey Canard (Hon); 14. Michael Byrne (Suz); 15. Nick Wey (Yam); 16. Fabien Izoird (Kaw); 17. Tye Simmonds (KTM); 18. Brett Metcalfe (Suz); 19. Chris Blose (Kaw); 20. Matthew Goerke (Kaw).
SUPERCROSS LITES MAIN: 1. Blake Baggett (Kaw); 2. Justin Barcia (Hon); 3. Ryan Sipes (Yam); 4. Blake Wharton (Hon); 5. P.J. Larsen (KTM); 6. Jason Anderson (Suz); 7. Malcolm Stewart (Suz); 8. Dean Wilson (Kaw); 9. Matthew Lemoine (Kaw); 10. Les Smith (Hon); 11. Lance Vincent (Hon); 12. Taylor Futrell (Hon); 13. Alex Martin (Hon); 14. Levi Kilbarger (Hon); 15. A. Catanzaro (Hon); 16. Hunter Clements (Hon); 17. Nico Izzi (Hon); 18. Kyle Keylon (Suz); 19. Hunter Hewitt (Suz); 20. Ryan Zimmer (Hon).