First, you can look back at who won here in 2012 – it was Ryan Dungey giving KTM it’s first ‘big bike’ win in 450 Supercross.
And then you can look at what happened last week in the opening round of the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, with a strong ride and win by Davi Millsaps.
Last week’s winner Davi Millsaps, of the Rockstar Energy Suzuki team said: It was a great night for me. This is my first win since 2010, and I was just trying to keep calm out there. It has been a long time since I have led a race, so it was hard to calm my nerves. When Trey Canard passed me I was like this is like Salt Lake City all over again. I knew I had a good line, though, and I just pinned it in the whoops and I got back by him. I don’t think anyone really expected this. It was a new program, bike and team for me. We’ve all been working really hard during the off season to come out and do the best we can. To see where we are and where we need to be, even though we won, it’s all building blocks from here. We’ll go back and see how we can make it even better. It’s been like that the whole time. It’s really cool that Rockstar Energy Racing, Bobby Hewitt and Dave Gowland have given me the opportunity and stood behind me. It’s like a family.
Almost as impressive as Davi’s win last week, was Trey Canard‘s second place finish. Trey said: Tonight went better then I could have ever dreamed. I really had no set number or expectations coming into this race except to give it 100 percent effort and I am beyond grateful to even be lining up on the gate. I hope to be able to continue this throughout the year and hopefully get a win but mostly I just want to be there every weekend.
Eli Tomac was the winner in the 250 West SX race. Eli said: I had a tough Heat Race, and that was kind of a wake-up call for me. This is how (by winning the 15 lap main) I wanted to start the season. I did a few off-season races, like the Monster Energy Cup, and that kept me in shape. Phoenix is another one of the races in the Southwest, so it’s very comfortable for me. I didn’t get on the podium there last year (finishing fourth) so I need to step it up this time through. If I stick with the same game plan we should have a good chance. I’m ready to win another one for GEICO Honda.
Broc Tickle: I’m going to work with Ricky (Carmichael) this week. We’ll work a lot on starts and passing. I need to be more aggressive, not sitting back and waiting to pass a guy. I need to be more aggressive. We’re going to work on little things like starts and passing aggressively. It’s a different year with a new team. I’m ready to go. I want to make this weekend a good weekend and continue to build off what we’re working on. I feel like I have something to prove from how last weekend ended. I feel like I was riding awesome last weekend. Hopefully this weekend I can get a good start, get out front and make it easier on myself.
Chad Reed: A bit of a disappointing weekend in Anaheim, but we are putting it behind us and moving on to this weekend. I rode a lot this week and we worked on some things and I’m looking forward to Phoenix.
Justin Barcia: Overall my first race went pretty well; I won my heat race, which was cool, and got a good start in the main. I was in third behind Trey most of the race until I accidently hit neutral causing me to crash, but I was able to get up and finish in seventh.
Ryan Villopoto: We had a really good week of testing heading into Chase Field. Last week was not what we were looking for, but we’ll come into Phoenix fresh and ready to finish where we belong. I’ve never won a 450SX main in Phoenix, so we plan to change that on Saturday.
Jake Weimer: We had a solid weekend to build from in Anaheim. The bike was awesome, so we’re just looking to improve on last week’s fifth place. I feel that the podium is achievable and we were up there last year in Phoenix, so we plan to be there again this weekend.
James Stewart: Things started out pretty good in Anaheim. We were fastest in practice and top qualifier. We had some really good speed and the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was working great all day. Then I had a little mishap in practice; I didn’t fall over, I just caught my knee wrong. That turned my night around right there. Honestly up until then I felt like we had a win in us. We finished eighth, but with the pain and being able to finish in the top 10, I feel like I won the race. The knee is a bit banged up, but we’re going to Phoenix and hopefully get things rolling from there. The points are wide open right now, the competition finished all over the board, so even though we had an off night, we’re right there in points.
Kevin Windham: My goal was to ride hard but ride smart at the same time. This is my 18th season of racing professionally. I need to build my confidence back up. Obviously riding safe isn’t going to translate to wins and I know I’ll need to turn it up a notch, but tonight was really about keeping it on two wheels. There was a lot of carnage out there with guys going for broke. I didn’t think it was time for me to push it that hard.
Zach Osborne: I enjoyed myself all day and I feel like a great weight has been lifted. All the first-race jitters are gone now and I can just ride my bike and get some podiums.
Cole Seely: I haven’t raced since Salt Lake City, so I came into the day a little nervous and tight. After I was able to loosen up and get more comfortable I started to ride like myself, so I’m really happy how the night went. A third is awesome, and it set me up good for the points chase so I’m hoping to just stay consistent and get some wins.
Tyla Rattray: I was happy with my finish last week in Anaheim. I just wanted to get through the weekend healthy and now we can move forward. We made a few adjustments this week to improve the bike and help me feel comfortable and able to push the limits. Phoenix is always a good track and great city, so I’m looking forward to it.
Blake Baggett: The team and I have been working really hard so last week was disappointing. We pushed through and salvaged as many points as we could last week. Now we just have to play catch up.
SPEED will broadcast this weekend’s race live from Phoenix’s Chase Field on Saturday, January 12 at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Notes courtesy Feld Motorsports
450SX Class: Phoenix Stats
* The first race was held on March 16, 1991, and Jean-Michael Bayle won on a Honda
* Following the 1991 race in Phoenix, the tour would not visit the market until 1999
* This will be the 16th time the gate will drop for a Monster Energy Supercross race in Phoenix
* Ezra Lusk won his last 450SX Class race in Phoenix on a Kawasaki in 2003
* James Stewart and Ryan Dungey are the only riders to win Phoenix in both 450SX and 250SX Classes
* Ryan Dungey earned his first career 450SX Class victory in Phoenix in 2010; he also gave KTM their first-ever 450SX Class victory in Phoenix last year
* Dungey’s win last year in Phoenix was the eighth of his career, which tied him on the all-time win list with Jimmy Ellis and Ron Lechein
* With his first-ever win on a KTM last year, Dungey became just the 10th different rider to win on two brands
* Davi Millsaps has never won two Main Events in a row, can he do it this weekend in Phoenix?
* Last year Jake Weimer earned the best finish of his career in Phoenix with a second-place finish
* Since 1974, the rider that has won the first two races of the season has gone on to win the championship 22 times
450SX Class: Wins by Brand in Phoenix: Kawasaki: 4, Yamaha: 4, Honda: 3, Suzuki: 3, KTM: 1
250SX Class: Phoenix Stats
* The first 250SX Class race in Phoenix was March 16 1991, and Jeff Emig won on a Yamaha
* This will be the 16th time the gate will drop for a 250SX Class race in Phoenix
* James Stewart is the only rider to win Phoenix back to back (’02 & ’03)
* Eli Tomac has never won in Phoenix; last year he finished fourth
* Tomac left Phoenix last year in fifth place, four points outside of first, and went on to win the title by 30 points
* With a win this weekend, Tomac can move Honda into the number-two position on the all-time win list in Phoenix
250SX Class: Wins by Brand in Phoenix: Kawasaki: 8, Yamaha: 2, Honda: 2, Suzuki: 2, KTM: 1
Past Winners in Phoenix
250 SX Class
January 14, 2012: Ryan Dungey
January 15, 2011: James Stewart
January 15, 2010: Ryan Dungey
January 10, 2009: James Stewart
January 12, 2008: James Stewart
January 13, 2007: James Stewart
January 14, 2006: Ricky Carmichael
January 15, 2005: Ricky Carmichael
January 10, 2004: Kevin Windham
January 11, 2003: Ezra Lusk
January 26, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
January 27, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
January 29, 2000: David Vuillemin
January 23, 1999: Jeremy McGrath
January 14, 2012: Dean Wilson
January 15, 2011: Joshua Hansen
January 15, 2010: Jake Weimer
January 10, 2009: Ryan Dungey
January 12, 2008: Jake Weimer
January 13, 2007: Christophe Pourcel
January 14, 2006: Nathan Ramsey
January 15, 2005: Broc Helper
January 10, 2004: Ivan Tedesco
January 11, 2003: James Stewart
January 26, 2002: James Stewart
January 27, 2001: Ernesto Fonseca
January 29, 2000: Casey Lytle
January 23, 1999: Nathan Ramsey
Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard
Ryan Dungey and KTM’s big win last year in Phoenix