54,036 fans witnessed great supercross racing in Dallas this past Saturday night. Let’s get right to what some of the top riders had to say after the race.
First, defending Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series Champion, and the big winner in Dallas, Ryan Villopoto: “Starts are definitely important. I’ve had a target on my back this year, everyone knows that, and it’s stressful. I’m just trying to have fun with riding again. If we get third, it’s on the podium, and if it’s second, that’s good too. Davi has been riding really good this year, so we have to just chip away at it. It’s going to take a while. I put a lot of pressure on myself to win. I felt good all day. We weren’t the fastest, but when the main event came along I made it count. We’re still very much in the championship and it’s just going to take consistency.”
Second place in Dallas, and series points leader Davi Millsaps: “It was definitely a good 20 laps. I hadn’t ridden all week because I’ve been sick, so it’s good to come away with a strong finish. It was a fabulous, wonderful, amazing 20 laps. I won my heat race, then got the holeshot in the Main and got second. I’m very happy about that! Ryan (Villopoto) rode really well, so you have to give it to him.”
And third if the 450 class, Ryan Dungey: “I wish I had a few more laps to try and pressure Millsaps and hopefully take over second, but I am still happy to walk away with a podium. My bike worked great today and I just need to work on improving my starts to hopefully get back up on the top step of the podium at the next event in Atlanta.”
Chad Reed: “It was a little frustrating and not exactly the result I was after. I got a great start and was fighting it out up the front. Davi (Millsaps) got past me in the whoops and then with six laps to go Ryan (Dungey) put in a block pass and I nearly went down. We have come away with some good points tonight, the focus is to keep moving forward.”
James Stewart had a Main Event he’d like to forget. He won the first 450 heat, which means he got first gate choice for the Main Event. Things were looking good for JS7! Then, literally on the starting line – motorcycle problems. James said “The day went pretty good and we had some good practice times. The heat race was awesome. I got a good start on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450. We changed some stuff up during the week and it was great. And I was feeling confident and really great – I hadn’t felt that great since I was 16. I was sitting at the gate, ready to go and we had something happen with the clutch. I tried to see what we could do to fix it but it was internal. But health wise, I feel really great and now we’ll go to The Atlanta and get it done.”
250 East winner Dean Wilson, who literally has been out of racing the past 10 months recovering from injury: “This feels so good. It’s been 10 months waiting for that. I knew I needed to get the start, so I fought for it and it went well. I saw the leader and I knew I was good in the whoops, so I just went on the outside around him. He raced clean and I respect that. From there I just rode my own race. I’ve been waiting and thinking about this day for a long time. It feels amazing, but there is lots of races to go. The championship is one of my goals I’ve always had, so we’ll just keep working hard with the team and keep them coming.”
Second place in the 250 East class at Dallas, Blake Wharton “I’ve been watching in the west but it’s been a while since I’ve raced. It’s always nice to get that first one out of the way. Dallas is nice because I know a lot of people here, but it’s Supercross so it’s always intense. Practice was a little rough, the heat race was a little rougher. I had to go to the LCQ – no one really ever likes that. I think you lose life when you go to the LCQ. It’s not healthy even if you win. I feel like I’ve aged! Fortunately I won that and I went to the Main with a bad gate pick – well I guess I wouldn’t say bad gate – but no one is going to go there with their first choice. I somehow almost got the holeshot so that was pretty good. I just rode a solid 15 laps. I’m going to want to do things different next weekend, but I still want to be up there.”
Third in the 250’s was Wil Hahn “I feel good about it. It’s a new year, and everything’s going forward. It feels so good to pay these guys back after sticking behind me after two really tough years. They never gave up hope on me, and I gave it my all this off-season. I’m going after this championship full force. Obviously, I want better than third, but I’ll take it for this first round. I’ll get these jitters out and move forward. The track was slick. You had to be pretty patient. I made the most of it. My first three laps, I threw the race away. I didn’t ride well. I didn’t stick to my game plan in the first three laps, but looking forward, I’ve got to learn from that and go challenge for the win.”
2-time World MX2 Motocross Champion, and his first time riding in the 250 East, was involved in a crash in the very first corner of the race, restarting in dead last … But came all the way up to sixth. Marvin Musquin said afterwards: “Obviously, this isn’t the position I hoped to finish tonight. But I am glad that I rode well after my crash and was able to climb through the pack to gain back as many points as I could toward the championship. Next week I hope for a better start so I can make a run at the podium.”
And then there was a crash that will be remembered for a long time, involving GEICO Honda rookie Zach Bell. Although the crash looked horrific, Zach luckily did not suffer any serious injury. He still made it into the main event via the Last Chance Qualifier but another spill left him with a DNF.
Zach Bell “I’m ready to have some fun. I went for it last Saturday and had some accidents. My hands and wrist are sore, but I’ll push through it. If I can get up from that first crash and make it to the main event, riding this weekend shouldn’t be a problem. I need to stay healthy and ride a little safer. I’ve got a great group here and my mechanic and the rest of the guys on the GEICO team are behind me 100 percent. Plus, I’ll be racing in front of all my friends and family from Georgia. Hopefully I’ll give everyone something better to cheer about.”
To read more about the Dallas race – results, points, & more photos, click here
Ryan Villopoto on his way to victory in Dallas