Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto generated a sizeable lead in the 2011 Supercross series with win number four in Daytona.
Only the imagination of GOAT Ricky Carmichael
could come up with the technical, challenging layout that was the Daytona Supercross course. Monster Energy Kawasaki
’s Ryan Villopoto
snagged his fourth victory in the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross
Championship. Rounding out the podium in Florida was TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed
’s Ryan Dungey
. Meanwhile, Blake Baggett
continued Kawasaki’s successful evening by claiming his first victory for Monster Energy Pro Circuit in the 2011 East Coast Lites Championship ahead of Geico Powersports Honda
’s Justin Barcia
’s Ryan Sipes.
In the beginning, Stewart had a massive holeshot ahead of Villopoto, Red Bull KTM
’s Andrew Short
, JGRMX Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps and Reed. It was a tough night for Honda’s Trey Canard
, who suffered an early fall and spent the remaining laps digging his way out.
“I got a good start right behind James and just followed him,” Villopoto said. “He was on it those first couple of laps. I was just riding my pace, my race. I figured I was either going to stay where I was and he was just going to do what he was going to do or he was going to go down.”
Stewart came out with guns blazing as he immediately created a gap of more than seven seconds as he seemed to float over Daytona’s tricky surface. Geico Honda’s Kevin Windham
, Dungey, JGR Yamaha’s Justin Brayton
and KTM’s Ken Roczen ran seventh through 10th, respectively, with Dungey quickly moving into seventh after being forced into the LCQ earlier in the evening. On Lap 4, and to the utter devastation of fans, Stewart encountered his first but costly mistake that resulted in a nosedive to the dirt. The impact was rough and took JS7 awhile to recover as the entire field passed him.
James Stewart once again let a win slip through his fingers.
For the second week in a row Villopoto benefited from Stewart’s fall by taking over the lead with Short and Millsaps right behind him. Canard continued his work at the back of the field in 13th as Stewart, despite being shaken up over the crash, resumed the race from dead last.
“Once I got in the lead, I kept putting in some hard laps,” Villopoto said. “With the track being as long as it was ... it was a pretty brutal track and it wasn’t that easy. I was just trying to be smooth and keep an eye on where second and third was.”
Short would see his place in the order drop quickly as Millsaps, Reed and Dungey all went by on the same lap. Shortly after, Stewart posted the fastest lap time of the whole day from dead last as he began his ascent through the ranks. With RV heading the field by more than nine seconds, Reed made his way in front of Millsaps for second with Dungey also making the pass on Millsaps. On Lap 12 a fall by Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe
left Canard unable to avoid the Aussie and the duo collided. As Villopoto went on to snag his second consecutive victory, fans cheered Stewart on as he picked off riders in the final laps. Reedy grabbed second for the evening as Dungey finished on the podium despite a broken engine case during his heat race. Short landed fourth at Daytona after posting another solid ride for KTM this season, and Millsaps rounded out the top-five.
Stewart was able to minimize damage within the championship standings in the final half of the race by finishing ninth after a gritty ride that saw Stewart as the last rider on the track. However, his latest mistake has left him 23 points adrift of Villopoto in the series, and only one point ahead of rival Chad Reed.
2011 AMA Supercross Daytona Results:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
2. Chad Reed (Honda)
3. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki)
4. Andrew Short (KTM)
5. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha)
Suzuki's Ryan Dungey finished on the podium in Daytona and currently sits fourth in the championship.
6. Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
7. Kevin Windham (Honda)
8. Ken Roczen (KTM)
9. James Stewart (Yamaha)
10. Mike Alessi (KTM)
11. Ivan Tedesco (Kawasaki)
12. Matt Boni (Kawasaki)
13. Trey Canard (Honda)
14. Michael Byrne (Suzuki)
15. Nick Wey (Yamaha)
2011 AMA Supercross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 196
2. James Stewart, 173
3. Chad Reed, 172
4. Ryan Dungey, 165
5. Trey Canard, 154
6. Andrew Short, 128
7. Brett Metcalfe, 107
8. Justin Brayton, 105
9. Davi Millsaps, 104
10. Kevin Windham, 89
Kawasaki's Blake Baggett scored his first win of 2011 ahead of Justin Barcia and Ryan Sipes.
Baggett experienced an awesome start from an inside gate pick with Barcia, Sipes and Blake Wharton
behind him. Unlike Baggett, Dean Wilson
’s middle gate pick resulted in the Scotsman getting squeezed out of the leading group, and after an off-track excursion and minor crash, Wilson was well outside the top-10. Just a few laps into the battle Baggett, Barcia and Sipes became involved in a loose three-way scrap as the frontrunners began separating from the rest of the pack. Lap times gradually lengthened as Daytona’s track surface deteriorated. On Lap 4 of the 15-lap contest Suzuki City’s Malcolm Stewart washed-out the front end and lost a position as he dropped back to eighth.
Up front Barcia began to nag at the rear wheel of Baggett, but the pressure wouldn’t last long as Barcia’s injured wrist kept the Wild Child from going all out. More than halfway into the contest Sipes began picking up the slack from Barcia. Wilson kept on the move throughout the main and by Lap 11 the PC rider was inside the top-10. The frontrunners became increasingly spread out near the end, with more than 20 seconds separating the top three riders. Overall the night was a huge success for Baggett as yet another team green rider made it to the top step. Despite riding with two broken bones in his wrist, Barcia posted second in the order as Sipes kept his cool to finish on the podium in third. Wilson’s poor start and early mistake proved too much for him to overcome, but he did his best with a commendable eighth-place result.
Wilson lost two places in the overall standings as Barcia and Baggett became the series’ new frontrunners in first and second, respectively. However, only nine points separate the top-three riders in the championship with five rounds remaining.
2011 AMA Supercross Lites Daytona Results:
1. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki)
2. Justin Barcia (Honda)
3. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha)
4. Blake Wharton (Honda)
5. PJ Larsen (KTM)
Despite his wrist injury Justin Barcia held it together to finish second and maintain his lead in the East division.
6. Jason Anderson (Suzuki)
7. Malcolm Stewart (Suzuki)
8. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki)
9. Matt Lemoine (Kawasaki)
10. Les Smith (Honda)
11. Lance Vincent (Honda)
12. Taylor Futrell (Honda)
13. Alex Martin (Honda)
14. Levi Kilbarger (Honda)
15. A Catanzaro (Honda)
2011 AMA Supercross Lites Championship Points:
1. Justin Barcia, 69
2. Blake Baggett, 65
3. Dean Wilson, 60
4. Ryan Sipes, 54
5. Blake Wharton, 51
6. Jason Anderson, 41
7. Matt Lemoine, 35
8. Malcolm Stewart, 34
9. PJ Larsen, 33
10. Lance Vincent, 33