Despite having a broken hand, Wil Hahn wrapped up the 250 East title. Photography by Kit Palmer
Ryan Villopoto solidified his place in the history books in Las Vegas, the newly crowned Monster Energy Supercross champ closed out the 2013 stadium series with his tenth victory of the season, joining Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed and James Stewart as the only riders in the history of the series to accomplish the feat.
Others joining RV in the record books Saturday night included Wil Hahn and Ken Roczen, who each won their respective 250 Region Supercross titles, both in nail-biting fashion. In addition Roczen won the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout giving the nod to the West this season.
250 East Final
Tyler Bowers will be getting a deluxe Christmas card from Wil Hahn this year. Bowers’ victory, his career first, over a hard-charging Marvin Musquin in the 250 East Supercross finale, effectively helped Hahn, who finished third, win the series title.Bowers, the current Arenacross champ, turned in a near perfect performance taking over the lead from Gavin Faith on the third lap and then sprinting to a big lead.
It was big drama behind Bowers with championship implications. Hahn and Musquin, who were battling for the title, eventually worked through to run second and third. With four to go Musquin got past Hahn –attempting to run him high in the process – but that pass on his GEICO Honda rival wasn’t going to be enough for the Red Bull KTM rider. He needed to catch Bowers to win the championship. The five-second-plus lead looked insurmountable, but Musquin put in perhaps the hardest laps of his life and amazingly in the final turn nearly caught Bowers, charging right up to his rear wheel, but coming up just short at the flag.
For Bowers it was a triumphant first win, a testimony to the competitiveness of the Arenacross Series, and for Hahn a huge relief that Bowers managed to hold off Musquin.
In the end it was Hahn winning the championship over Musquin by three points. It marked his first championship.
“This is the greatest achievement of my lifetime,” said an ecstatic Hahn. “To put it in words, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. It feels like I’m waking up from a dream. For this to happen, I had a nasty spill in practice. I sat down and decided I was going to go out and give it everything I had like I did all year long and it paid off. Marvin rode clean all year. What a great competitor and congrats to Tyler Bowers he rode awesome tonight.”
For Bowers the victory showed he certainly belongs full time in Supercross.
“Coming out and winning this was just great,” Bowers said. “These three weeks off we put in a lot of effort. I actually had to sit out a little bit because I was working too hard. Stepping up to Supercross under Mitch’s (Payton) wing it’s been awesome. The whole team has worked so hard. Honestly I didn’t think I was going to win this one. I don’t like the hard-pack dirt here in Las Vegas.”
For Musquin it was a heartbreaking case of giving it his best, but coming up just a few feet short of the title.
“I was dreaming of winning the championship,” Musquin said. “But Wil Hahn has been really consistent all year long; I mean he’s never been off the podium. It’s been a great season and I came so close to winning the championship – I almost got Bowers at the end. I tried my best, but congratulations to Wil Hahn for winning the championship.”
250 West Final
As if it couldn’t get any better than the 250 East finale, the 250 West series was even more intense. It was a topsy-turvy battle with each rider having a temporary grasp on the title. Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, coming off the nightmare of missing the main last week in Salt Lake City and seeing his series lead evaporate to just five points, saw series rival Eli Tomac take the lead and have the championship in his pocket. Roczen was running third and had to get past Martin Davalos and with just a tad over a lap to go Davalos made a mistake in a rhythm section and Roczen, who had closed the gap, was there and took over second and the series lead once again.
Tomac did all he did by winning the finale, but it was Roczen’s brave charge and pass for second that secured him the title in one of the most intense series finales in series history.
The rollercoaster ride of Roczen finally came to an end and there was a No. 1 plate waiting for the former Motocross World Champion.
“I can laugh about last week now,” said Roczen, who gave KTM its first 250 West Supercross Championship. “It is so much more stress when your championship lead goes down. Eli had nothing to lose and after halfway I was stressing and I made that one mistake and he passed me so I knew I had to pass Martin and I made it happen on that last lap. This has been a longtime coming and this is my dream and I finally made it happen. It’s been an unbelievable season.”
For Tomac he knew he left everything on the track, but unfortunately there can only be one champion.
“I did what I could,” Tomac sighed. “This is a one man sport, so you can’t rely one anyone else and we found that out tonight. To win a championship you’ve just got to be a little more consistent. This is just going to make me a better person and it was a great year.”
Dave Coombs East/West Shootout
Wil Hahn decided to skip the Shootout after tweaking his arm in a practice crash earlier in the day. Without the newly crowned East Region Champion the anticipated showdown between Hahn and West champ Roczen didn’t happen. That cleared the way for Roczen, sporting his shiny new No. 1 plate on his Red Bull KTM, to pull away and win the Shootout.
It wasn’t easy though. At first Roczen had to deal with his East Region counterpart Marvin Musquin. The two KTM riders went at it in the opening laps, with Roczen gradually putting daylight between himself and his teammate.
“I haven’t had a holeshot this entire year and finally in the last race I get one, so that was awesome,” Roczen said. “Overall I grabbed the holeshot and never looked back. I had a good fight with Marvin and everyone else. It was a super fun race. It felt like a 15-lap final since this track was so long. It’s my last Supercross race on a 250 and it couldn’t have ended any better.”
The rider on the move mid-way through the race was Star Racing Yamaha’s Kyle Cunningham. With five laps to go Cunningham passed Musquin and went to finish second, four seconds behind Roczen. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos moved up to challenge Musquin in the final lap, but Musquin held on to the final podium spot. Blake Wharton nudged out Rockstar Energy Suzuki teammate Jason Anderson to finish fifth.
So chalk one more up for the West in the Shootout.
With the title decided last week in Utah, Ryan Villopoto, with no pressure whatsoever, simply put on a riding clinic in Las Vegas. He made quick work of Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Jake Weimer in the first lap, overcame one little slip, that allowed Weimer to temporarily get back by, and then pulled away to a relatively easy win.
Ryan Dungey moved up and closed the gap on the last lap, but RV had enough in hand to win by 2.843 seconds. Davi Millsaps, racing in his final race before going off to surgery on his damaged leg, finished a solid third, giving him the runner-up spot in the final standings by a single point over Dungey, a major accomplishment in the talent-deep and mostly unblemished field of the 2013 season.
Weimer came home fourth, his best of the season, and Honda’s Justin Barcia rounded out the top five.
The race was decided on the first lap when Villopoto went from fourth to first in the course of a half-lap. He got sideways out of a tight turn and got out of shape in the following jump, giving Weimer a few more seconds back in the lead, but the champ quickly got it together and took over the lead and then spurted away.
Dungey then moved into second and by lap six Millsaps got by Weimer for third and that’s how they finished at the end.
With the tenth win I the bag Villopoto was already looking forward to the Motocross season.
“We’re only halfway through our season,” Villopoto said. “17 races was a long time to be racing and we’re done with that. Here comes outdoors, 12 rounds with that and we’re moving on.”
For third-place Las Vegas finisher Millsaps earning series runner-up honors for the second straight year made for a successful season.
“It was awesome finishing second again this year with everyone in the class and as stacked as it was,” Millsaps said. “I led the points for the first time in my career. It’s been a great season. I can’t complain. I’m definitely bummed I can’t race outdoors, but I want to prolong my career and not keep dealing with this. Hopefully I can come back next year swinging.”
450SX Class Results: Las Vegas
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
3. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
4. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki
5. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
6. Chad Reed, Australia, Honda
7. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki
8. Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha
9. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
10. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
450SX Class Season Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 371
2. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 338
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 337
4. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Kawasaki, 277
5. Chad Reed, Australia, Honda, 239
6. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 221
7. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 214
8. Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha, 190
9. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 176
10. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 174
Western Regional 250SX Class Results: Las Vegas
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
2. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM
3. Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Kawasaki
4. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
5. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Kent., Suzuki
6. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki
7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., KTM
8. Cole Seely, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
9. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki
10. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM
Western Regional 250SX Class Points
1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM, 185
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 183
3. Cole Seely, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 148
4. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki, 139
5. Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Kawasaki, 134
6. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha, 114
7. Zach Osborne, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 112
8. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 99
9. Joe Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM, 98
10. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., KTM, 88
Eastern Regional 250SX Class: Las Vegas
1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Kent., Kawasaki
2. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM
3. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda
4. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki
5. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Honda
6. Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Honda
7. Lance Vincent, Youngsville, La., KTM
8. Cole Thompson, Brigden, Canada, Honda
9. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda
10. AJ Catanzaro, Portland, Conn., Kawasaki
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Season Standings
1. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 198
2. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 195
3. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki, 171
4. Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Honda, 118
5. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Honda, 116
6. Cole Thompson, Brigden, Canada, Honda, 96
7. Dean Wilson, Sweden, Kawasaki, 87
8. Lance Vincent, Youngsville, La., KTM, 80
9. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda, 78
10. AJ Catanzaro, Portland, Conn., Kawasaki, 73
Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout
1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM
2. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
3. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM
4. Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Kawasaki
5. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki
6. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki
7. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Kent., Suzuki
8. Cole Seely, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
9. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., KTM
10. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki