It was a record – 60,178 fans at the Edward Jones Dome for Round 9 of the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series. They watched as Ryan Villopoto won his fourth 450 SX Main event of the season, and, Wil Hahn win his second 250 East Main of the season.
We start with defending champion, and race winner Ryan Villopoto “It was a crazy night out there. I made a costly mistake on the first start that I was docked for, so I knew my work was cut out for me. I was able to make things happen on the second start and get out in front after some wild racing. It’s coming down to crunch time and we were all able to make it happen tonight. When the red cross flag came out, I made a costly mistake of jumping the double and as we lined up for the restart they docked me three positions. I knew I needed to make something happen and when I saw the leaders were right there, I knew it was on and it was going to get gnarly. I started pressuring the leader and we went back and forth before I was able to make a clean pass and get away.”
The race was red-flagged because Kyle Chisholm and Matt Goerke collided. Chisholm was taken off the track, but gave a ‘thumbs up’ as he was carted off. RV was (as he said) docked 3 positions because of jumping during the red flag. After the race, there was a protest again Villopoto that he should of been disqualified, but the three position penalty was what stood.
Here is what James Stewart had to say afterwards “The heat races started off good. We got a great start on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and got around on the inside and we won that. I was still trying to loosen up a little bit from the practice crash (James did have a hard crash at the end of practice), but overall it was pretty good. In the main event, I got another good start. I was in the top three or four, so obviously I was happy with that. I was able to make my way into the lead and then the flag came out … after that, there was some aggressive passes here and there. Overall, I’m happy – the Yoshimura Suzuki team is killin’ it right now and we’re getting better and better every weekend. I’m just happy to be a part of this team and to be out here racing.”
Wil Hahn won his second 250 Main Event of his career. And, he takes over the points lead heading into Daytona from Dean Wilson – by a single point. Wil says “This is an unreal feeling. Going from no wins to two feels so good, and means the world to me. Having confidence is key and this really helps. I just need to stay consistent and ride smart. That wasn’t an easy race. It was a tight race tonight with Blake Wharton pressuring me early and Dean Wilson came on strong late in the race. Tonight was awesome, and my family was here tonight to enjoy this with me. I can’t wait to see the red plate on my bike.”
Wil Hahn won his second ever 250 Main Event
Dean Wilson “It was a tough race. I didn’t make things easy on myself tonight with that bad start. The day started off really well. I felt really good and loose on the bike and rode well during qualifying, but got a horrible start in the main event. I tipped-toed through and avoided the carnage and got to the leader. I ended up losing time when I tried to make the pass. I was so close, … it’s frustrating.”
What about series points leader Davi Millsaps? It was a drama filled night – and Suzuki Racing might of put it best:
In an up-and-down, drama-packed evening that saw two red-flag restarts, including the third staggered restart and illegal passes on ‘red-cross medical flags’ and multiple protests, Millsaps had a bad race, but still came away holding the series red plate with sixth position in the 450 Class Main Event.
Millsaps started the day well, posting fast lap times in practice and then following-up with a solid second place in his heat race. But when the gate dropped for the 450 Main, things started to go sideways: Millsaps didn’t get his customary good start and was hit by Trey Canard with heavy contact to his forearm. His arm immediately swelled and pumped up, limiting control in his throttle hand. Then, half-way through lap three, there was a serious crash. Ryan Dungey appeared to pass Millsaps under a red-flag caution, and then took him out in the next corner. Millsaps lost two positions as a result of this altercation. This lap also marked the second red flag of the evening and the third lap was finished under caution (when three full laps are completed in the Main Event, it warrants a staggered restart). Unfortunately, for the series leader, he lost those two positions and was forced to start even further back in the single file line.
The team was hoping for a full restart from the gate but that was not the case. Already hampered by the swelling in his right arm, Millsaps did everything he could. He was able to move into sixth place by race’s end, salvaging as many points as possible. Then the drama unfolded: Dungey’s pass on Davi was protested. James Stewart protested a pass Ryan Villopoto made – also appearing to be during another red flag caution. Team videos were provided by each team to the AMA, but the final results went unchanged.
The Rockstar Energy Racing team has put the weekend result behind it and looks ahead still holding a 12-point lead in the series.
Said Millsaps: “It was a weird night; I did the best I could and salvaged what I could. All in all I had some bad luck tonight but there’s always another night.”
Now we move on to Chad Reed. Chad scored his second podium of the season, and said “That was a much better result tonight. I felt that I had a little more fight for the boys. I think now the bike is good, it is just up to me to trust it again. Every time out tonight I felt a little more comfortable. I feel like we are going in the right direction, it is just trying to get that trust back. Every time I pushed the bike tonight it gave me the right answers so it is up to me to find that little something extra.”
Trey Canard “It was a tough night for me. I went down in the beginning of the main, which left me at the back of the pack when we did the restart. I just put my head down and did the best I could to work my way forward. I am just grateful it is another healthy weekend and we are on to the next round.”
Eli Tomac rode his second ever race in the 450 class. He says “I was trying to go for a pass in the sand section during my heat and ended up going down, which cost me. In the main I definitely struggled energy-wise. After being sick during the week, I just had no energy left. Each weekend I feel like I learn a lot and hopefully can have a better result in Daytona.”
Ryan Dungey “The racing tonight was very close and I did my best to make up for a not so great start. I felt like I rode well once I found my momentum and I was able to have a good battle with Reed. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have enough in the tank to get around him on the final lap and I landed just short of the podium.”
Marvin Musquin “I didn’t have my best performance tonight. I had some really good moments but I also had some moments I wish I hadn’t. I got frustrated in the middle of the race when some lines I took didn’t work out the way I hoped. I will keep working away at it and hope to return to the podium next weekend at Daytona.”
Zach Bell “I had a really bad gate pick in the main after having to go through the LCQ so I didn’t get the best jump. I wasn’t able to jump the triple and was basically dead last.”
This Saturday’s race will be at Daytona International Speedway