by Charles Owens on 03/11/2013
Daytona International Speedway, Florida. Home to the annual Supercross event renowned for its fierce competition, rough courses and superstar visitors.
The weather was hot, the track was unpredictable at times and the racing action was not in short supply.
After slowly but surely upping his game all season, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto secured not only the 450 Main Event but first place on the points table as well, pushing Davi Millsaps down to second.
Villopoto gunned ahead to take the holeshot by a whisker, just ahead of Justin Barcia who took the first bend a bit too quickly and met the tuff-block on the way through.
While the pack flew around what must have been one of the sketchier surfaces of the year so far, Chad Reed and James Stewart did battle for sixth and seventh.
As the race went on, the physical fitness of every single rider was visibly tested and noticed by Ricky Carmichael in the commentary box.
After 10 laps, Villopoto’s lead extended to nine seconds; Dungey trailed in second ahead of Barcia.
Ryan Villopoto struck out ahead to take his 29th career win to date and fifth of the 2013 season.
“Daytona is a unique place, you have to be a man to do 20 laps here,” Villopoto said post-race.
“It feels good to leave here with a two point lead but there’s still a lot of racing left. We need to keep this ball rolling.”
Villopoto out-did Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM, 2nd) and Justin Barcia (Muscle Milk Honda, 3rd) in the Main Event.
NOTE: Be sure to stay tuned for full details coming soon about our Daytona entry Ryan Smith #831, including story, pics and video!
In the 250SX section, Dean Wilson and Marvin Musquin were the men to watch.
Along with recent stand-out Wil Hahn, the riders battled the shifting sands and sketchy surfaces throughout their 15-lap event.
After mixing it up and trying several different lines of attack, Musquin edged ahead in the 10th lap and stayed there until the end.
Musquin (Red Bull KTM) beat Wil Hahn (GEICO Powersports Honda, 2nd) and Jeremy Martin (Star Valli Yamaha, 3rd).
Clearly pleased with his first ever stateside Supercross win, Musquin was a very happy man post-race.
“I’ve been dreaming about this, my first win in Supercross ever,” he said.
The action continues next week in Indiana at the Lucas Oil Stadium.
By TSM Editor Paul Savage @PaulSavageNZ