AMA Monster Energy Supercross – Round 17 – Las Vegas
–  Smarty’s SX Season Wrap

450 Class Report: Well, it has taken a full year but Jake ‘The Sook’ Weimer finally pulled a holeshot in the 450 class with Chad Reed, Andrew Short, Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Villopoto in tow but in a blink of an eye Villopoto went straight to the lead coming down the top gear ski jump straight before briefly losing the lead after a bobble out of the next corner but at the very next corner the three time champion re-gained the lead and that was that, main event win number 10 for Ryan Villopoto.

“This is a great way to cap the season off,” said Villopoto. “We rebounded this year from a bad start at the season opener and won the title. There is no better way to end a season than like this”

“There’s a core group of people that I have that are some of the best,” added Villopoto “Number one is my wife, I have the best mechanic and everyone behind the scenes. My trainer, it’s amazing to be up here for a third time. My mom and dad, family and friends, sponsors everyone knows who they are. Thank you all.”

Dungey got by Weimer a few laps later and rode strong all moto to get within 2 seconds of Villopoto towards the end of the race but thanks to Davi Millsaps getting up to third position mid race the championship podium went Villopoto, Millsaps, Dungey for the second season in a row (Dungey missed 5 rounds last year thanks to a broken collarbone).

Jake Weimer hung on to fifth for his best finish for the season ahead of Justin Barcia while Chad Reed rode hard to keep his sixth place with of all people Weston Peick trying to get by the plucky Aussie for the best part of the race.

Perennial top ten place getters Justin Brayton, Andrew Short and Broc Tickle rounded out the top half of the field.

450SX Round 14 Results: 1. Ryan Villopoto 2. Ryan Dungey 3. Davi Millsaps 4. Jake Weimer 5. Justin Barcia 6. Chad Reed 7. Weston Peick 8. Justin Brayton 9. Andrew Short 10. Broc Tickle 11. Phil Nicoletti 12. Robert Kiniry 13. Kyle Regal 14. Josh Hill 15. Chris Blose 16. Cody Gilmore 17. Kyle Partridge 18. Nick Schmitt 19. Tevin Tapia 20. Trey Canard.

450SX – The Season: What an amazing season 2013 was and here is the breakdown of the top rider’s results over the 17 rounds:

1. Ryan Villopoto (16-2-1-1-8-6-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-2-2-1-1). RV had a tough time at the opening round at Anaheim 1 and with a pair of crashes at Anaheim 2 and San Diego had Davi Millsaps leading the championship and a dark cloud hanging over the defending champion but from Arlington onwards RV would win eight of the remaining eleven rounds with second places replacing the wins. All up a great season for Ryan Villopoto who by the way is reported to have pocketed over two million dollars for his troubles.

2. Davi Millsaps (1-3-4-2-2-1-2-3-6-10-4-2-5-3-3-2-3). Davi Millsaps signed for the Rockstar Suzuki team as their first ever 450 rider so when the tall yank came out and smoked them at round one we were all surprised. Davi then kept the ball rolling with solid performances and led the championship right through until his two poorest performances at St Louis and Daytona.

As I write this Davi is on the operating table getting his knee fixed for the 2014 AMA Supercross and thinking about getting his program even slicker for the new season..oh and how he can spend some of the $90,000.00 he won in prize money.

3. Ryan Dungey (3-8-6-3-1-3-3-6-4-2-2-3-2-1-4-3-2). Ryan Dungey finished on the podium 11 times, in the top four 14 times and won two main events in 2013 and if it wasn’t for the sub-standard finishes at Phoenix, Anaheim 2 and Atlanta we could have had a much different Las Vegas. Look for Dungey to come out swinging at Hangtown at the opening round of the AMA Motocross Championships on May 18 and even more determined supercross effort for 2014.

4. Justin Barcia (7-1-20-20-3-2-6-4-5-3-5-5-4-4-1-5-5). If I was Bam Bam Barcia I would be happy with my first year in the 450 class. Sure, he made some pretty big mistakes but that is what the first year is all about BUT he won two main events, got on the box five times and finished fifth or better 13 times. With the right approach 2014 could well be a great year for Justin, he just has to survive the outdoors without wrecking himself.

5. Chad Reed (4-4-3-11-5-5-4-9-3-5-6-4-DNS-5-20-10-6). Chad struggled with the front forks on his new Honda from the get-go and never really recovered. Despite a quick knee operation the Aussie still come back to complete the series and will look for better results in the outdoors as well as next year’s supercross series. Only one podium place for CR shows how deep this field has become.

6. Trey Canard (2-5-2-4-7-8-7-5-8-6-19-D-3-7-18-4-20). A good comeback season after such a severe injury last year and there is definitely good signs for TC and as long as God stays on his side we should see the number 41 back to his winning ways in 2014. Like Barcia, he just needs to survive the outdoor season.

7. Andrew Short (6-9-7-6-6-9-9-14-10-12-7-9-7-6-9-8-9). You have to take your hat to this bloke. Andrew Short started the season with the backing of Honda factory machinery through the Jeremy McGrath owned team and before you can say ‘CRF’ Andrew is buying his own bike to contest rounds three to six before the BTO KTM team gave ‘Shorty’ the opportunity to ride their orange 450 (Michael Byrne was out with injury so it made sense).

Short managed to finish inside the top ten in all but three rounds and once again proved his worth to finish the series in a more than credible seventh place.

8. Justin Brayton (9-15-8-10-10-7-5-13-9-20-13-11-6-9-8-6-8). The JGR Yamaha team should be happy with the fact that at least Justin made it through the whole series and despite a couple of daggy races he did finish in the top six three times and inside the top ten 12 times.

9. Broc Tickle (18-12-11-8-9-11-10-12-11-9-11-8-10-13-7-11-10). The RCH Suzuki team is brand new and Broc definitely took some time to get along with the Suzuki after so many years on Kawasaki machinery. Tickle’s biggest asset is that he will finish every race even if he has to carry his bike over the line and the fact that he made every main event and if you put Anaheim 1 aside his worst finish was 13th place with eight top ten finishes. I look forward to seeing Tickle pull some good finishes in the outdoors then come back and be more consistently in the top ten in the 2014 SX season.

10. James Stewart (8-7-12-19-4-4-20-1-2-8-3-7-19-18-D-D-D). I said it at the beginning of the season and ol’ James proved me right once again. Team Yoshimura Suzuki completely shat on Brett Metcalfe last year then put all of their eggs in the James Stewart basket and here we are talking about the guy that got tenth, crashed at every round bar one and wasted the use of a full factory bike. Karma boys, Karma.

The time has to come when the world wakes up and stops backing this guy but you watch, everyone will get all excited about James riding the outdoors and he will crash because a budgie flew across the track in front of him and it will all be over for another year. Oh dear.

450SX Championship points after round 17 of 17: 1. Ryan Villopoto 371. 2. Davi Millsaps 338. 3. Ryan Dungey 337. 4. Justin Barcia 277. 5. Chad Reed 239. 6. Trey Canard 221. 7. Andrew Short 214. 8. Justin Brayton 190. 9. Broc Tickle 176. 10. James Stewart 174. 11. Jake Weimer 157. 12. Matt Goerke 139. 13. Mike Alessi 107. 14. Weston Peick 105. 15. Josh Hill 93. 16. Robert Kiniry 66. 17. Phil Nicoletti 58. 18. Eli Tomac 52. 19. Chris Blose 50. 20. Vince Friese 45.

250SX West Race Report: OK, this was nail biting stuff!! The math’s was simple, IF Eli Tomac wins and Roczen gets third it is Tomac’s title once again so the opening few lap were going to be key and it looked like Tomac had the lead going into the first corner but the Geico Honda pilot ran wide and lost a heap of ground.

Martin Davalos passed holeshot man Zach Osbourne and led the early laps from Roczen so with Tomac back in sixth the title was looking very much in Roczen’s favor BUT Tomac put on the charge that saw him storm from sixth to first in a handful of laps which left Roczen back in third place and a fair bet to now lose the title.

BUT, the German dug deep and started putting good lap times and on the very last lap got around Davalos for second place which was enough to clinch the his first supercross championship. “I am so happy for this championship,” said Roczen. “It is the biggest championship I have ever won, I am so thankful for everyone on my team that has stood behind me this whole season and believed in me from the beginning.”

“It was a year of ups and downs,” said the disappointed Tomac who really lost the championship with the poor ride the weekend before. “This is going to make me better as I make the transition to the 450SX Class next year.”

250SX West Round 8 Results: 1. Eli Tomac 2. Ken Roczen 3. Martin Davalos 4. Kyle Cunningham 5. Ryan Sipes 6. Jason Anderson 7. Malcolm Stewart 8. Cole Seely 9. Tyla Rattray 10. Joey Savatgy 11. Travis Baker 12. Topher Ingalls 13. Gared Steinke 14. Killy Rusk 15. Dakota Tedder 16. Scott Champion 17. Chris Plouffe 18. Ross Johnson 19. Austin Politelli.

250SX West – The Season: Anaheim 1, Pheonix and Anaheim 2 were all about Eli Tomac stamping his dominance over the field with the defending champion winning all three races ahead of the next fastest rider in Ken Roczen.

Things turned to poo for Eli at Oakland when another rider dislodged a Tuff Box causing the Honda rider to hit the deck then later in the race another crash put the championship leader out of the race, a race that Roczen won comfortably from Cole Seeley and Jason Anderson.

Roczen backed that win up with another at Anaheim 3 ahead of Martin Davalos and Tomac before the two championship contenders swapped wins and second places at the San Diego and Seattle rounds so at this stage the championship was definitely looking good for Roczen heading into Salt Lake City.

Well, nothing could be further from the truth with Roczen crashing in his heat and the LCQ to miss the main handing the advantage to Tomac who could have wiped all of Roczen’s 20 point lead AND gain some points if he could win the main but the Geico Honda pilot simply could not put it together and finished back in sixth place while Jason Anderson got his first career victory.

So going into the final round at Vegas Roczen had a 5 point lead over Tomac and as you have already read above Tomac smoked the field but Roczen did what he had to do to take his first AMA Supercross championship ahead of Tomac, Cole Seeley and Jason Anderson.

250SX West Region Point Standings after rounds 9 of 9: 1. Ken Roczen 185. 2. Eli Tomac 183. 3. Cole Seely 148. 4. Jason Anderson 139. 5. Martin Davalos 134. 6. Kyle Cunningham 114. 7. Zach Osborne 112. 8. Tyla Rattray 99. 9. Joey Savatgy 98. 10. Malcolm Stewart 88. 11. Christian Craig 87. 12. Travis Baker 80. 13. Austin Politelli 76. 14. Ryan Sipes 75. 15. Jessy Nelson 60. 16. Max Anstie 38. 17. Josh Cachia 29. 18. Jake Canada 28. 19. Scott Champion 28. 20. Dakota Tedder 24.

250SX East Race Report: This championship held the same equation as the West Coast with Musquin needing to win and hope that Hahn finished back in third or worse ad it ALMOST happened. The plot thickened during practice with Hahn crashing and fracturing his hand.

2012 Australian Supercross Champion Gavin Faith pulled the holeshot in the main event ahead of the championship leader Wil Hahn, 2013 Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers, Lance Vincent, Blake Wharton and Marvin Musquin.

Bowers went to the lead by the end of the opening lap and pulled a gap instantly while Faith kept enough pace to keep Hahn at bay but by lap six Hahn passed Faith as did Musquin just a lap later then a lap later Musquin moved by Hahn and set out to catch Bowers.

BUT, Bowers had a huge lead and it would take a small miracle for Musquin to catch the Pro-Circuit Kawasaki fill-in rider but amazingly with just a lap to go the gap was just over two second then on the final corner Musquin dove deep under brakes and got to the inside of Bowers but the momentum through the final whoop section gave Bowers his first win by the slimmest of margins.

Hahn rode around in third with his sore hand well strapped. “Right now, I do not know what to say, Marvin has been making a string comeback on me, and coming into this race, I may not have been in the most ideal situation, but I am glad I pulled it off.”

“This was an amazing race for me,” said Bowers who has signed to do Arenacross again in 2014 but my bet will be teamed up with Mitch Payton next year. “I had a great AMSOIL Arenacross season and come into supercross ready to put in some good races. This is the perfect way to close out the season.”

As far as the Aussies go Jackson Richardson qualified in 14th place while Taylor Potter just missed out on the main program from less than half a second with a 21st qualifying position.

Richardson went on to secure a top ten start and was seventh for three laps, eighth for two laps and ninth right up to the second last lap when a crash put the Queenslander back to 18th place and 18th plqace outright in the championship.

“I had a great race going, we really wanted another top ten to finish the year off and secure a spot in the East-West shootout but a silly mistake involving another rider put me back to 18th, we are disappointed but with so many fast guys on one track these things happen sometimes, we are now going straight into testing for the outdoors,” said Jackson after the race.

250SX East Round 8 Results: 1. Tyler Bowers 2. Marvin Musquin3. Wil Hahn 4. Blake Wharton 5. Gavin Faith 6. Vince Friese 7. Lance Vincent 8. Cole Thompson 9. Daniel Herrlein 10. AJ Catanzaro 11. Brady Kiesel 12. Levi Kilbarger 13. Peter Larsen 14. Ryan Zimmer 15. Justin Starling 16. Mitch Oldenburg 17. Adam Gulley 18. Jackson Richardson 19. Landen Powell 20. Steven Clarke.

250SX East – The Season: The opening four rounds of the West Coast series were held at Arlington, Atlanta, St. Louis and Daytona and in that short period this class had three combatants going hammer and tong for the championship with Dean Wilson going 1-2-2-4, Wil Hahn 3-1-1-2 and Marvin Musquin 6-3-4-1 before Wilson was forced to retire from the championship with a knee injury.

Musquin went on to win three of the next four rounds while Hahn kept the championship lead by just 5 points after winning the Minneapolis round so going into the final round at Vegas it was up to Musquin to beat Hahn by at least two or three places but as you have already read the Frenchman missed out on the win and championship by two bike lengths.

Blake Wharton won the Houston round and was on the podium more times than not while 2013 Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers filled in for Dean Wilson and scored the Pro-Circuit team’s only win for 2013 at Las Vegas.

Aussie Jackson Richardson qualified for all but two main events and scored one top ten finish to end up in a more than credible 18th outright for the season. To put that into perspective, at each round there are up to 60 odd riders trying to qualify for the night program with only 40 making it through and there were 39 different riders who did qualify for main events at one stage or another so to be in the top 20 after all of that at the age of 17 is a great effort.

250SX East Championship points after rounds 8 of 8: 1. Wil Hahn 198. 2. Marvin Musquin 195. 3. Blake Wharton 171. 4. Vince Friese 118. 5. Gavin Faith 116. 6. Cole Thompson 96. 7. Dean Wilson 87. 8. Lance Vincent 80. 9. Kyle Peters 78. 10. AJ Catanzaro 73. 11. Jeremy Martin 71. 12. Justin Hill 68. 13. James Decotis 66. 14. Mitch Oldenburg 66. 15. Peter Larsen 62. 16. Tyler Bowers 59. 17. Levi Kilbarger 49. 18. Jackson Richardson 45. 19. Daniel Herrlein 43. 20. Steven Clarke 40.

250SX East V West Race Report: Ken Roczen bolted on his recently acquired number one plate for the East-West shootout and it suited the German with a massive holeshot ahead of the stacked field giving KTM the top two placing’s on track with Marvin Musquin sitting right on his teammates back wheel once they entered the main arena.

In fact, Musquin actually took the lead on the opening lap but Roczen soon got back to the lead and took off for an easy win while Kyle Cunningham score a great second place after running down a tired Musquin late in the race.

Roczen was wrapped with what will be his only East-West Shootout win. “I finally got a great start and was able to get out front. It felt great to see that number one plate on my bike while I was racing. It feels so great to get this win and my championship in the same night. This is really unforgettable.”

“This race was really important to me because this is my last 250SX race in supercross because I am moving up next year,” said Roczen. “This is my first shootout win and it feels great.”

250SX East V West Results: 1. Ken Roczen 2. Kyle Cunningham 3. Marvin Musquin 4. Martin Davalos 5. Blake Wharton 6. Jason Anderson 7. Ryan Sipes 8. Cole Seely 9. Malcolm Stewart 10. Tyla Rattray 11. Zach Osborne 12. Joey Savatgy 13. Eli Tomac14. Tyler Bowers 15. Vince Friese 16. Lance Vincent 17. Cole Thompson 18. Daniel Herrlein 19. Gavin Faith 20. Wil Hahn (DNS).