Ryan Dungey (top) took the lead early and ran away. Brett Metcalfe (above) was up front but fell back through the pack.
Mike Alessi pulled the final Nuclear Cowboyz holeshot of the season on his MotoConcepts Suzuki with Ryan Dungey pushing his Red Bull KTM on the inside. Brett Metcalfe and Jake Weimer fought over the third and fourth positions with Davi Millsaps. Dungey immediately took the lead and began pulling away on the hard-pack surface.
Millsaps won his heat race and looked confident and smooth with the memory of last week’s late-race flub that cost him the victory. Then a mistake sent him off-track and potentially threatened his bid for second overall in the championship. He recovered and gave chase as Weimer moved into third on Lap 5, displacing the MotoConcepts Suzuki. The Monster Kawasaki rider then passed the factory Suzuki of Metcalfe for second on Lap 7, and Millsaps went right along with him.
The JGR Yamaha tapped the rear end of the factory KX450F on a small hip jump and both riders made excellent saves. Justin Brayton used the disruption to pull up on the tail end of the duo and suddenly the battle for significant championship points was on. Millsaps put his head down and made it around Weimer and started motoring toward the checkered flag.
At the halfway point Dungey was 13 seconds out in front. Brayton worked his CRF450R around Weimer’s Kawasaki and the frantic battles tapered off after that.
“That wasn’t good. After the first couple laps, almost crashing I don’t know how many times, people were going everywhere and it was pretty wild,” said a disappointed Weimer. “That’s it for Supercross. I got a few podiums so I’m happy with that. We’ll move to outdoors and the work begins. We’ve got a long road ahead of us.”
Dungey took his fourth victory of the year for KTM and finished third in the championship standings despite missing five races in the middle of the season. He tied Brayton with 257 points, but used race victories to his advantage as the tie-breaker.
“It really helped getting off to a good start and pulling out a little gap,” explained the race winner.
With Ryan Villopoto wrapping up the championship so early and then going out with an injury, the focus for the past few rounds has been on the battle for second. Millsaps laid claim to that honor which marks the best result of his career and the highest placement for the relatively young JGR Toyota Yamaha team.
Davi Millsaps managed to hold onto second in the title chase which is a high mark for him and his JGR Toyota Yamaha team.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a dream come true because a dream come true would be winning the championship, said a relieved Millsaps from the podium. “But it’s a big step for me and for JGR Toyota Yamaha.
2012 Las Vegas Supercross Results:
1. Ryan Dungey, KTM
2. Davi Millsaps, Yamaha
3. Justin Brayton, Honda
4. Jake Weimer, Kawasaki
5. Josh Grant, Kawasaki
6. Nico Izzi, Yamaha
7. Mike Alessi, Suzuki
8. Weston Peick, Yamaha
9. Andrew Short, Honda
10. Nick Wey, Kawasaki
11. Broc Tickle, Kawasaki
12. Justin Sipes, Kawasaki
13. Chris Blose, Kawasaki
14. Gavin Faith, Yamaha
15. Tyler Bowers, Kawasaki
2012 Supercross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 323
2. Davi Millsaps, 266
3. Ryan Dungey, 257
4. Justin Brayton, 257
5. Jake Weimer, 229
6. Mike Alessi, 206
7. James Stewart, 178
8. Brett Metcalfe, 177
9. Broc Tickle, 171
10. Kevin Windham, 166