Daytona always seems to be one of the most eventful stops on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross tour and this year’s race may have topped them all. When the book was closed on this year’s edition, Chad Reed left with his second win in a row and an 11 point lead in the series standings.
Tonight’s race was all about the start. And at the start of the 20-lap feature, James Stewart was near the front of the pack when he entered the first turn, but too much front brake on the slippery grass put the San Manuel Yamaha rider on the ground, taking Suzuki’s Michael Byrne and Yamaha’s Josh Hill out with him - along with a few others. Suzuki’s Mike Alessi avoided the carnage and exited with the lead, with AMPM Boost Mobile Yamaha’s Jason Lawrence not far behind. Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed finished the opening lap in eighth, having been slowed down, but not taken out, by the first-turn pileup. Meanwhile, Stewart took the green flag for the first time in last place.
On lap three, Lawrence took the lead from Alessi and pulled to a 15-second. Reed, on the other hand, was working his way through traffic and on lap eight he passed GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham for fourth. On lap 10 he passed Alessi to move into second. On lap 15 he pulled within two seconds of Lawrence. And on lap 17 he finally passed Lawrence in a right-hander before the finish to take the lead.
While Reed was running down Lawrence, Stewart was doing his best to salvage championship points and by the finish of the race had worked his way to seventh, almost 15 seconds behind Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who finished sixth.
Red Bull Honda’s Davi Millsaps rounded out the podium behind Reed and Lawrence, after working his way from 13th at the start.
Alessi settled for fourth, with Windham in fifth.
With seven rounds remaining on the schedule, Reed sits at the top of the standings with 224 points, with Stewart in second at 213. Andrew Short, who finished eighth tonight, is third overall with 163, while Villopoto (153) and Ivan Tedesco (140) are fourth and fifth.
In the Lites final, Suzuki City’s Steven Clarke grabbed the holeshot but quickly gave way to Star Racing’s Matt Lemoine.
MDK/KTM’s Martin Davalos took control of the race on lap two, leading for the next 10 laps ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel. Pourcel’s teammate Austin Stroupe collided with another rider on the opening lap and crashed heavily, ending his race before he could finish a lap.
On lap 12 of the 15-lap race, Pourcel passed Davalos over a jump, blocking the KTM rider in the following turn to take the lead.
At the finish, Pourcel crossed the finish line with over six seconds to spare over Davalos. Meanwhile, Suzuki’s Nico Izzi worked his way from eighth on the opening lap to take third, his fourth podium finish in as many rounds.
1. Chad Reed (Suz); 2. Jason Lawrence (Yam); 3. Davi Millsaps (Hon); 4. Mike Alessi (Suz); 5. Kevin Windham (Hon); 6. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw); 7. James Stewart (Yam); 8. Andrew Short (Hon); 9. Ryan Sipes (KTM); 10. Tommy Hahn (Kaw).
1. Christophe Pourcel (Kaw); 2. Martin Davalos (KTM); 3. Nico Izzi (Suz); 4. Matt Lemoine (Yam); 5. Wil Hahn (KTM); 6. Matt Goerke (Suz); 7. Darryn Durham (Yam); 8. Broc Tickle (Yam); 9. Blake Wharton (Hon); 10. Kyle Keylon (Hon).