Las Vegas played host once again to the finale of the Monster Energy Supercross season, starting with battles for the 2013 250 SX West and East titles. Both contests left fans inside Sam Boyd Stadium breathless, with one rider gaining his first SX race win of the year in the East and a heroic battle for position in the West that leaves no doubt about Eli Tomac’s eventual home in the annals of Supercross legend.
250 SX East
Wil Hahn clinched the 2013 250 SX East title in Las Vegas.
Geico Honda’s Wil Hahn entered the final 250 SX East race with a five point advantage over Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, so it was anyone’s guess who would go home with the title. Both riders fought valiantly, but neither took the race win. Instead it was Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers, the 2013 Arenacross champ, who came away with the checkers. Musquin ended the night in second, just 0.4 seconds behind while Hahn rounded out the podium, enough to secure the 2013 SX East championship.
"This is dreamland for me," said Hahn. "To win the title with the GEICO Honda team, my second family, and share the stage with my mom, dad and brother -- it's just beyond description.
"There have been times in my career when I doubted if this would ever happen but the guys on this team never gave up on me. Their faith in me pushed me to levels I didn't think were even possible. I don't even know what to say; this is like the best dream ever and I don't want to wake up."
Motoconcepts’ Gavin Faith shot off the start and took the holeshot, but soon had Bowers challenging from second. The Kawasaki rider made his move within the opening laps, moving to the front and never looking back. He proceeded to build a gap on the field that would prove pivotal, as title contender Musquin was on the charge as well.
Musquin was back to sixth in the opening laps, but moved up to third six laps into the race. Hahn had a better start and had moved up to second, but couldn’t fend off the pressure from the KTM rider and eventually lost position late in the race.
Musquin left it all out on the table trying to catch Bowers in the final lap for the lead, which would have given the KTM ace enough points for the title had Hahn remained in third, but came up just short.
250 SX East Las Vegas Results 2013:
2013 Arenacross champ Tyler Bowers took the race win in 250 SX East in Las Vegas.
1. Tyler Bowers (Kawasaki)
2. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
3. Wil Hahn (Honda)
4. Blake Wharton (Suzuki)
5. Gavin Faith (Honda)
6. Vince Friese (Honda)
7. Lance Vincent (KTM)
8. Cole Thompson (Honda)
9. Daniel Herrlein (Honda)
10. AJ Catanzaro (Kawasaki)
250 SX West
As in the East, the 250 SX West Championship came down to a close race between two riders: Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen. Tomac ended the night with the race win, but Roczen powered up to second entering the final lap, giving him enough points to remain the overall points leader and to secure the 2013 250 SX West championship. Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos slipped back after holding the front for much of the first part of the race, ending the night in third.
“I am so happy right now,” said Roczen, who gave KTM its first title in the class. “This was a close race tonight and the championship was intense. I really hope that the fans enjoyed tonight’s race. I was riding with a lot of weight [on my shoulders], but I am so excited right now.”
Ken Roczen won the 2013 250 SX West title in Las Vegas then came out on top in the 250 SX East/West Shootout.
Davalos was quick to the front while Roczen was back in fifth through the first lap. Tomac was in even worse shape, settling into seventh. Roczen made his move to third within the opening laps, and Tomac also pushed up the ranks, getting to fourth-place after six laps. Soon after Roczen slipped up to second, but Davalos was over three seconds ahead of the pack. Tomac was unfazed, he grabbed third with seven laps remaining and only picked up speed from there. The Honda rider blew past Roczen two laps later and then cut the three second gap on Davalos to under one within a single lap.
Tomac found a line past Davalos with plenty of time left on the clock to build a gap of over four seconds on the field, but Roczen didn’t give up. He charged into second past Davalos on the final lap and held his slim points advantage over Tomac at the checkers.
"I probably had one of the best races of my life tonight," said Tomac. "I was shuffled back to fifth or sixth at the start and just told myself to go for it. I had nothing to lose. I started picking guys off and I got up to Roczen and managed to get around him. Then I went after Martin (Davalos) and passed him with like four laps to go.
"I'm pretty disappointed," Tomac continued. "I looked over on the last lap and saw Roczen had passed him. There was nothing I could do. That's the way it goes in this sport some times. We had a great season, winning five times, and I feel really good about my riding. All we can do now is rest up and try to do some damage in outdoors."
250 SX West Las Vegas Results 2013:
1. Eli Tomac (Honda)
2. Ken Roczen (KTM)
3. Martin Davalos (Kawasaki)
4. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha)
5. Ryan Sipes (Suzuki)
6. Jason Anderson (Suzuki)
7. Malcolm Stewart (KTM)
8. Cole Seely (Honda)
9. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki)
10. Joey Savatgy (KTM)
250 SX East/West Shootout Results 2013
Red Bull KTM 250 SX teammates, Marvin Musquin (25) and Ken Roczen (1) getting real close in the 250 SX East/West Shootout.
Roczen rounded out his championship winning night by taking the checkers in the 2013 250 SX East/West Shootout, beating MyPlash’s Kyle Cunningham by over four seconds at the finish. Musquin rounded out the podium.
Roczen and Musquin got into it as soon as the gate dropped, swapping position out front as they battled for the upper hand. The 2013 250 SX West champion finally made a pass stick after the opening laps, and pushed to build a gap on the ferocious field. Musquin wasn’t going to give up without a fight though, and he remained on Roczen’s rear tire until the contest was almost over.
Lurking behind in third was Cunningham, closing in on the KTM battle out front. He took a line past Musquin with less than half the race remaining. Musquin couldn’t find the pace to retaliate, so remained stalwart in third despite heavy pressure from Davalos in fourth.
Rockstar Suzuki’s Blake Wharton held to fifth, while his teammate Jason Anderson moved into sixth during the final laps. A third R-Star Suzuki rider, Ryan Sipes, finished the trifecta in seventh with Troy Lee Designs’ Cole Seely in eighth.
Tomac had a dismal time, falling well outside the top-10 early on and failing to make a push up the ranks. He finished the Shootout in 13th. Due to a hand injury sustained in practice, Hahn abstained from competition in the Shootout all together, having achieved the necessary goal in the 250 SX East title race earlier in the evening.
250 SX East/West Shootout Results 2013:
1. Ken Roczen (KTM)
2. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha)
3. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
4. Martin Davalos (Kawasaki)
5. Blake Wharton (Suzuki)
6. Jason Anderson (Suzuki)
7. Ryan Sipes (Suzuki)
8. Cole Seely (Honda)
9. Malcolm Stewart (KTM)
10. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki)