Honda's Justin Barcia pulled off one of his best wins so far at Daytona after holding off Blake Baggett in the final laps.
Despite Daytona’s challenging conditions Geico Honda
’s Justin Barcia
kept his winning streak and undefeated season alive by claiming his fourth win of the 2012 Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Championship. Bam Bam was pressured all the way to the checkers by Pro Circuit Kawasaki
’s Blake Baggett
, who managed his second runner-up finish of the season despite crashing in the early laps of the shortened 12-lap mud contest. Meanwhile Baggett’s Pro Circuit teammate, Darryn Durham, had a successful charge through the field to nab the final podium spot in third after crossing the finish line nearly a full minute behind Barcia.
Rockstar Suzuki’s Blake Wharton
claimed the holeshot to start the action at Daytona with Barcia right on his rear fender. Bam Bam swung by the inside of the first turn to take the lead on the opening lap as Baggett also got past Wharton for runner-up. K&N/FMF Honda’s Alex Martin, Red Bull KTM
’s Ken Roczen and MotoConcepts Racing’s Jake Canada rounded out the top-six in the opening lap, but behind them Kawasaki’s Darryn Durham was showing early speed and soon began picking off riders. Meanwhile Gieco Honda’s Justin Bogle gated poorly and was near the back of the top-10 as Barcia continued stretching his lead up front.
Soon after, Roczen took advantage of Martin’s mistakes to advance to fourth. Up front Baggett started laying down the fastest laps and was closing on Barcia as Durham also shot by Martin for sixth. A few mistakes by Wharton brought him in close contact with Roczen as the German rider eventually outpaced him by Lap 4. At the same time Baggett’s aggressive riding brought him right behind Barcia as the two started a battle for the lead on Lap 6. But before the action could really get started Baggett hit the deck by washing out.
Pro Circuit's Blake Baggett nabbed his second runner-up finish this season but could've had more in Daytona.
Further back Bogle’s trouble also continued as the rookie became trapped in a mud bog and was unable to get out.
After falling, Baggett put in some more fast laps to close the gap on the leader again as El Chupacabra remained the fastest rider on the track. The track then claimed Martin as the Honda rider crashed and stalled on Lap 8. In the final laps the intensity picked up as Baggett initiated another battle with Barcia for the win. The two were running nearly neck and neck when Barcia tried to scrub a single and went sideways – nearly throwing away the race. It proved one of the biggest close calls of the evening though as Bam Bam held on to win his fourth race in a row.
It was a bittersweet performance for Baggett, who rode one of his best races of the series despite crashing and losing out on a win. Durham helped make it a strong night for the Pro Circuit Kawasaki squad by putting a second green bike on the box. Despite Roczen’s favored status heading into the mudder, the German finished more than a minute off the pace of Barcia in fourth.
Daytona Supercross Lites Results:
1. Justin Barcia (Honda)
2. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki)
3. Darryn Durham (Kawasaki)
4. Ken Roczen (KTM)
5. Blake Wharton (Suzuki)
6. Jake Canada (Honda)
Darryn Durham landed another podium in Daytona. The Kawasaki rider has yet to finish outside the top-five this year.
7. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha)
8. Malcolm Stewart (KTM)
9. Cole Thompson (Honda)
10. Tommy Weeck (Suzuki)
11. Les Smith (KTM)
12. Shane Sewell (KTM)
13. Alex Martin (Honda)
14. Tyler Bowers (Kawasaki)
15. Justin Starling (KTM)
2012 AMA Supercross Lites Championship Points:
1. Justin Barcia, 100
2. Darryn Durham, 76
3. Ken Roczen, 75
4. Blake Wharton, 72
5. Blake Baggett, 62
6. Jake Canada, 56
7. Justin Bogle, 46
8. Malcolm Stewart, 42
9. Kyle Cunningham, 42
10. Cole Thompson, 32