Red Bull Honda’s Davi Millsaps delivered a “Big Treat” at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, where he took his first win of the season and leading the way for nearly the whole race. Millsaps capitalized on the misfortune of Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto who both went down in the first turn.
The skies opened up just after the Lites main and put down enough water to make the first turn slick enough to see Dungey hit the ground. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider was off to a good start, but soon found himself in the mud with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Villopoto scrambling to get up. Dungey hit the ground a second time in the early going to set himself even further back.
It was Villopoto’s teammate Nick Wey (who is filling in for the injured Chad Reed) who led the first two laps of the main before yielding to Millsaps. Fellow factory Honda rider Andrew Short followed suit soon after as did Valli Motorsports Yamaha rider Ivan Tedesco, who had been looking incredibly smooth all day. San Manuel Yamaha’s Josh Hill was also quickly moving up to join the party.
Millsaps started to check out, leaving the rider train behind him to jockey for the last two podium positions. Fortunately Millsaps was able to stay out of trouble for the remaining laps and take his first win of 2010.
“Yeah it was a good night for me,” said Millsaps. “I came out on top. American Honda is the best crew in world. The ttack was slick. You had to just be smooth, consistent and make no mistakes and that’s what I did. It was such an amazing race and I can’t explain how good it feels.”
It looked as though the Red Bull Honda squad was headed for a one-two finish until a panic rev rang out on the last lap from Short’s CRF450R. He ended up going down hard on a triple, landing in a mud-spattered heap. Hill capitalized, moving from fourth to second as he got around Tedesco just after Short’s unfortunate night-ending crash.
Tedesco held on for third after an exciting last lap. At the finish, Millsaps, Hill and Tedesco all congratulated each other enthusiastically, but the next thing Millsaps did was cruise by his injured teammate who was still on the ground. The extent of Short’s injuries are not yet known, but word came from the Honda camp that he was released from the Asterisk Mobile Medical Unit in stable condition and will follow up with his own doctor on Monday.
Villopoto was incredibly able to rally all the way back up to notch a fourth-place finish after sliding past a hard-charging Justin Brayton on the last lap. Brayton, of the JGR Yamaha squad, rounded out the top-five.
Dungey sliced his way through the pack up to sixth place, followed by Tommy Hahn, Grant Langston, Wey and Kyle Chisholm. Dungey’s top-ten finish lets him hang on to his championship lead, though his safety cushion is now only four points, as Hill now sits at 101 points behind Dungey (105).