55,361 Cheer Millsaps In San Diego
SAN DIEGO — The sixth race of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, signified the final California stop of the 2013 season on Saturday night, with 55,361 spectators in attendance inside Qualcomm Stadium.
For the second time this season, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps captured the victory with a wire-to-wire performance that extended his lead in the 450SX standings. GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac won his fourth Western Regional 250SX Class race of the season, closing his deficit in the championship.
Millsaps pulled an advantage out of the gate of the 20-lap Main Event to secure the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award, with Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing Suzuki’s Broc Tickle and TwoTwo Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed in tow. Championship contenders Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, and Trey Canard, who sit second through fourth in the points, all started outside the top five, with Canard crossing the line outside the top 10 on the opening lap.
As the pace settled in, Millsaps and Reed pulled Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia into a three-rider tandem that opened a gap over the field. Reed pressured Millsaps for several laps and even looked to make a pass, but lost traction on Lap 9 while in pursuit, dropping to seventh. Barcia assumed Reed’s spot in second and stayed close to Millsaps as the pair worked through lapped riders, but eventually the championship leader pulled away for his second win inside Qualcomm Stadium.
“What can I say, when you’re able to pull the holeshot and ride 20 clean laps you make life a lot easier on yourself,” commented Millsaps, who has now won multiple races in a season for the second time in his career. “It’s been a great start to the season and everyone is working hard to make this happen. You have to be there every week in order to have a chance to win this thing (the championship), and we’re doing our best to keep it out front.”
Barcia followed Millsaps across the line in the runner-up position, while Red Bull KTM’s Dungey, last week’s winner, worked his way through the field to finish third. Reed rebounded from his earlier misfortune to finish fifth, while Villopoto also experienced misfortune aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki en route to finishing sixth. Canard battled from behind to finish eighth.
Millsaps extended his advantage in the 450SX Class Championship to 19 points over Dungey as the season heads east for the first time.
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson emerged with the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award to start the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event, with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos and JDR/J-Star KTM’s Malcolm Stewart closely behind. As he made a push for the lead on the opening lap, Davalos lost control of his bike and crashed, falling to the tail end of the field.
Davalos’ misfortune allowed Tomac to move into second position and set his sights on Anderson in the lead. On Lap 4, Tomac made an inside move on Anderson just before the finish and from there opened a comfortable lead. Behind this battle, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen moved himself into podium position and it wasn’t long before he was on Anderson’s rear fender for second.
Roczen took over the position from Anderson on Lap 7 and set a pace that helped him close the gap on Tomac’s lead. As the laps wound down, Roczen closed in on Tomac and had a chance to steal the win on the final lap. A final desperation move in the final turn put Roczen alongside Tomac heading to the finish, but he missed out on a third straight victory by mere bike lengths.
“This was the best way to go into the break,” said Tomac, who has the most wins in the class. “It was an awesome race out there and a good track. It was a little close in the end, but it was a fun race. This place (Qualcomm Stadium) has been hot and cold for me. I won here in 2011, got a DNF last year, and now won here again. We’ll go into the break with some confidence.”
Roczen holds a 17-point lead over Tomac with three races remaining in the championship.