Kawasakis Sweep Daytona Supercross By Honda
By Donn Maeda
Photos by Jordan Powell
The Monster Energy Supercross series made it’s annual stop in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett emerged atop their respective classes with wins at the prestigious Daytona Supercross By Honda.
For Villopoto, it was his second-consecutive win at Daytona International Speedway, his fourth win of the season, and second win in a row, having also won last week’s amazing battle of Atlanta. Thanks to the demise of his championship rival James Stewart, Villopoto also moved further ahead in the series point standings, as Stewart was held to an ninth-place finish by a spectacular crash while leading the main. Baggett, meanwhile, tasted sweet victory for the first time this season in the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites class, thanks to a commanding performance that saw him lead every lap of the main event with authority. Baggett now sits second in his series, a mere four points behind Justin Barcia, who finished second at Bike Week.
Heat-one winner Baggett stole the holeshot at the start of the 15-lap main and led heat two winner Barcia onto the track. Series-points-leader Dean Wilson went down on the first lap and dropped to the back of the pack, and was slowed further when he had to band his hand controls back into proper position. Up front, Baggett rode solid and pulled a small lead on Barcia, who had his hands full with Matt Lemoine. Barcia’s Geico Honda teammate Blake Wharton held down a lonely fourth in the early going, well ahead of JDR KTM rider PJ Larsen.
As the laps wore down, Baggett began to inch away from Barcia, who told us earlier in the day that he did indeed break two bones in his wrist last weekend in Atlanta. Sipes, meanwhile, lost touch with the leaders, but maintained a comfortable lead over Wharton.
After his early spill, Wilson mounted an amazing charge through the field that carried him all the way to eighth at the checkered flag.
Up front, Baggett scored a convincing win with over eight seconds to spare over Barcia. Sipes rounded out the podium another 12 seconds back, also comfortably ahead of Wharton.
1.Blake Baggett (Kaw)
|Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Series Point Standings (After 3 of 8 rounds)
1. Justin Barcia (69/1 win)