The famous Daytona Speedway hosted the tenth round of the AMA Supercross Championships last weekend and it was as good a night as it can get for Kawasaki with Eli Tomac earning an important win in the 450 class while Austin Forkner kept his championship win streak alive in the 250 East class.
The Ricky Carmichael designed layout was nicknamed ‘the beast’ as it had a bit of everything thrown in with a very technical ‘1000 feet’ rhythm lane, two sand sections, a wall jump and a series of off-set small whoops called ‘moguls’ but that didn’t seem to bother Blake Baggett who grabbed the holeshot and the early lead ahead of Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin while Ken Roczen was picking himself out of the first sand pit after being a victim of a Chad Reed bobble.
Despite Baggett spectacularly launching off the wall jump each lap, Musquin was looking the fastest in the early going as he passed Webb and Tomac to move into second but then the French star made a few mistakes to drop back to sixth just as Tomac sliced his way under Baggett for the lead with his legs off the pegs and eyes forward.
Despite the deteriorating track conditions Tomac looked untroubled as he went on to win for the third time this season while Webb showed his intestinal fortitude to finish second despite looking far from comfortable in the early laps and once again it was Musquin rounding out the podium in third, this time ahead of Baggett, Joey Savatgy, Zach Osborne, Justin Hill, Roczen, Justin Brayton, Reed, Dean Wilson and Shane McElrath who rode his KTM250SX-F at Daytona.
Web now holds a 19-point lead over Tomac and Musquin and a further two points ahead of Roczen who dropped from second to fourth in the points after Daytona.
The luckless Cole Seely was also part of the Reed/Roczen incident to finish back in 13th while Aaron Plessinger crashed out of the main and is in doubt for the coming rounds leaving Yamaha without a 450 rider unless Justin Barcia is able to return to racing after being forced out of Daytona with concussion.
Eli Tomac – P1
“Earlier in the day Marvin had a lap time that was two and a half seconds faster than me so I was questioning myself so we were playing catch up but then we made some improvements through practice and even in the main, it took some time to get into the groove and I got shuffled back to third but I finally found my lines, was making good time in the whoops and to get this third win at Daytona is pretty special.”
Cooper Webb – P2
“It was a battle the whole time, I came around the first lap in third then Marvin got by me but then he made a mistake but I was then battling with Blake, then right to the end Marvin was all over me, it was a fun race, a difficult race but it is good to get a second and another podium at Daytona.”
Marvin Musquin – P3
“I had a great day, practice was awesome but I went down in the second turn in the heat which put me behind but I came back to fifth place so I was a bit on the outside on the gate for the main but I came out of the sand in the top five then I made some passes but then I hit neutral on the far side of the track which cost me some places but I got back up to third, and almost second, I am a little bit bummed but it was a tough race for sure.”
Joey Savatgy – P5
“It’s nice to be back in Daytona, especially since it was close enough to drive to and have somewhat of a hometown crowd come out and support me. I felt comfortable all night and our speed and consistency has been showing every weekend. The unique track layout here really emphasized our strengths, so I’m feeling pretty good. I’m pumped on a top-5 finish and to earn some more points.”
“Daytona was good to me this year, sixth-place, that’s my best finish so far. I had some good times in qualifying and I’m starting to find my feet in this class and starting to kind of flow and know my place a little bit. This is something that I can definitely build from and move forward from. It’s been a rough, tough start to the season with an injury before the season and obviously trying to get back at it has been a tough deal but I’m still here, still plugging away, and I know the work that I’m doing during the week will pay off soon and it’s going to be good.”
Dean Wilson – P11
“This weekend was okay, I feel like my riding was really good in the heat race and then the Main Event was looking like it would be off to a great start but then I got roosted in the sand section, I couldn’t see and I went right into a tuff block and fell. After that, I was in dead last and was able to come back to 11th. It’s obviously a huge disappointment on the result but onto next weekend.”
450SX Main Event Results
Cooper Webb +06.889
Marvin Musquin +12.291
Blake Baggett +14.825
Joey Savatgy +28.804
Zach Osborne +30.702
Justin Hill +35.560
Ken Roczen +38.371
Justin Brayton +40.004
Chad Reed +42.246
Dean Wilson +55.261
Shane McElrath +59.061
450SX Points after 10 of 17 Rounds
Cooper Webb – 222
Eli Tomac – 203
Marvin Musquin – 203
Ken Roczen – 201
Blake Baggett – 161
Dean Wilson – 149
Chad Reed – 137
Justin Brayton – 127
Joey Savatgy – 124
Aaron Plessinger – 123
250 East Coast Report
Championship leader Forkner earned the holeshot in the 250 main but it in the second corner Kyle Peters railed the left hand sand berm like it was the last of his life to launch himself into the lead and for the first few laps Peters was looking solid as Forkner, Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton settled themselves into the race.
Forkner and Sexton have been the fastest riders all day and it wasn’t long before they were 1-2 with Cooper in third and that is the way it stayed until the chequered flag while Mitchell Oldenburg, Alex Martin and Brandon Hartranft all made their way into the top six after poor starts.
Peters ended the race in seventh ahead of Joshua Osby, Kyle Cunningham and Martin Davalos so with three rounds remaining Forkner has a healthy 23-point lead over Cooper and Sexton while Martin, Davalos, Hartranft and Oldenburg are vying for fifth in the points, some 50 points out of the championship lead. Jordan Smith is out of the series after suffering an injury last weekend.
Austin Forkner – P1
“The start helped and doing that big rhythm every lap, it was easy to miss-time it and the whoops were tough so the difference for me was to not make any mistakes, I made some small ones but there were only six turns in the track which weren’t a big deal, it was getting the ruts in the rhythm sections and the whoops which were tough.”
Chase Sexton – P2
“I got the holeshot in my heat race then fell which didn’t help me with my gate pick for the main but I got a top five start, move up a few place then got around Justin when he made a mistake but Austin was about four seconds in front of me which is where is stayed for the rest of the race, track was awesome, it was easy to make mistakes and Austin didn’t make any.”
Justin Cooper – P3
“I got a decent start and it was a three-way battle early but I made a big mistake in the long rhythm which put me back from the leaders but it was a long race. I made some more mistakes which put me behind the front two guys.”
Mitchell Oldenburg – P4
“The night was actually really good for me considering how last weekend went. So I’m stoked to walk away healthy, safe and keep it on two wheels. My bike worked amazing all day and night. I can’t thank the Star Racing Yamaha guys enough for all the work they do in and out each week. The track was a difficult Daytona; gnarly, brutal and really demanding, but my fitness was good tonight and I’m happy with my finish.”
Former GP winner Thomas Covington was back in action at Daytona and managed 12th in the main event.
Thomas Covington – P12
“This weekend was a step in the right direction for me, I had a solid heat race and got into a decent rhythm. In the Main, I just messed up my start a bit and nearly went down in the second corner in the sand and lost a lot of positions. All-in-all, it was another good building weekend for me coming back off my knee injury.”
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