Stewart Masters 450 Main Event | 2014 St. Louis SX

Photos by Jeff Kardas

The 2014 Monster Energy Supercross Series moved to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, for round thirteen of what is continuing to be an exciting race season. The premier 450 class saw its share of action, as James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto put in their best effort in pursuit of the main event win, while emotions ran high after a number of riders made contact when fighting for position.

Wil Hahn suffered a vicious crash on the first full lap of a heat race; Hahn cased the first obstacle of a long rhythm lane, rode the front wheel of his GEICO Honda into the face of the next jump, and was thrown through the air. The impact left Hahn motionless on the stadium floor and required the race to be red flagged. According to the team, he was taken to the nearby hospital with a broken arm and concussion.

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Monster Energy Supercross 450 Championship

James Stewart | 1st Place

After posting the fastest laps of timed qualifying and following Ryan Villopoto in the heat race to a second place finish, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart stepped up in the main event. Out of the top-five on the start, Stewart sliced through the pack and trailed Villopoto for the lead within a lap and a half. Rather than trying to make a pass happen, Stewart waited for Villopoto to leave an opening and dove to the inside in a hairpin turn. The two made contact upon exit, with Stewart going on to take the spot and a runaway win. This was Stewart’s fifth main event victory of the year, and the fiftieth of his career.

Ryan Villopoto | 2ND Place

Ryan Villopoto’s starts were on point throughout the night and he put his Monster Energy Kawasaki at the front of the field when it mattered most. A win over James Stewart in the heat race set the tone for the main event, as he posted the fastest lap of the either qualifier. Villopoto made quick work of Alessi to take the control in the main event, which he held through the first half. As the laps clicked off, the tension between he and Stewart increased until the lead was exchanged with a close pass. In an effort to close the door, Villopoto cut down in the corner and ran into Stewart, a move that included contact and nearly put him on the ground. His eventual second place finish was enough for twenty-two points, a sum that was added by issues suffered by his main title contender.

Justin Barcia | 3RD Place

Justin Barcia is not on the track to make friends, and it showed in his nighttime performances. The Team Honda Muscle Milk rider was second in heat one’s first gate drop and fired off a massive whip next to leader Ryan Dungey over the triple, but a red flag reset the field. (This actually was to his favor, as he suffered a separate crash moments before the flag that would have knocked him deep in the standings.)Barcia was back near the front on the second start and was in the intense battle for second place between he, Dungey, and Yoshimura/FLY Racing’s Weston Peick, which went down to the final turn. A top-five start in the main event put Barcia back in the thick of the action, but he could not keep pace with leaders Stewart and Villopoto over the full main event. His steady twenty laps were more than enough to take third on the night.

Ken Roczen | 4TH Place

Despite what will be considered a quiet and uneventful night, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen was on the fastest riders on the track. He ran a distant third to Villopoto and Stewart in his heat race, and notched the third fastest lap of the qualifiers behind the same two. A start in the main event put him in the sixth, but he climbed through order as the laps ticked off and into a duel with teammate Dungey and Justin Brayton, gaining fourth position after a mistake by Brayton. From there, Roczen paced the track and closed on Barcia, but could not make a move for third.

Trey Canard | 5TH Place

Trey Canard was solid in his return to the circuit, and the Team Honda Muscle Milk rider raced through the night without issue. Despite the massive gap between he and the leaders, Canard qualified directly to the main event through the heat race and celebrated with a fist pump over the finish. In the main event Canard was at the tail end of the top-ten, but methodically worked through the field and into prime position for the chain of events that occurred late in the race. He capitalized on mistakes by Tomac and a last-lap crash that collected both Dungey and Brayton to finish fifth place.

Eli Tomac | 6TH Place

In his first race since Daytona crashes, Eli Tomac needed to find his flow. The heat race was rough for the GEICO Honda rider, who mustered a twelfth place finish, and went on to challenge Andrew Short for the lead in the Semi round before ultimately finishing second. Quiet in the main event as well, Tomac put in a series of smooth laps and went from as far back as eighth to ultimately take sixth on the night.

Josh Hill | 7TH Place

RCH/Soaring Eagle/Suzuki’s Josh Hill was another rider who benefitted from the carnage of the final laps in the main event. After coming through the second Semi, a ride that saw him go from seventh to second in a matter of moments, the ride moved him on to the feature. Another subpar start drowned Hill in the sea of riders, but he outlasted his foes to net seventh overall.

Andrew Short | 8TH Place

Andrew Short missed making the main event through the heat race by two spots, but a stellar ride in the first Semi race gave the BTO Sports KTM rider a win over Tomac. He spent a portion of the feature running just inside the top-ten, then in a long duel with Hill for ninth, before winding up eighth overall.

Ryan Dungey | 9TH Place

Ryan Dungey spent the night on the brink of battle with many in the field, evident in his heat race with Barcia and Peick. Tempers flared after the checkered flag, with things needing to be settled in the main event. He followed Brayton and Roczen by Alessi early in the race, and then the three launched into a duel for the fourth place. Dungey’s consistency and speed would give him the advantage and position, but a crash on the final lap nullified the effort. As Dungey remounted, Brayton came over an obstacle and slammed into the Red Bull KTM bike, taking them both down and hindering the overall scores tremendously.

Justin Brayton | 10TH Place

Justin Brayton was strong through the entire day and was one of the only riders to launch the intimidating quad-triple-triple throughout the races. Gifted a second chance by the Wil Hahn red flag in the heat race, Brayton nabbed the start and sped off from the field to take the win. His main event would not come as easily, when a poor start put a list of riders ahead in the order. After outlasting the Dungey/Roczen duel, Brayton was in a solid finishing position before colliding with Dungey on the final lap. It took an extended period of time for Brayton to remount, but the number of lapped riders he passed in the preceding laps let him hang on to 10th.

Main Event Results
1. James Stewart
2. Ryan Villopoto
3. Justin Barcia
4. Ken Roczen
5. Trey Canard
6. Eli Tomac
7. Josh Hill
8. Andrew Short
9. Ryan Dungey
10. Justin Brayton
11. Nick Wey
12. Mike Alessi
13. Chris Blose
14. Jimmy Albertson
15. Cody Gilmore
16. Ben Lamay
17. Nick Schmidt
18. Ronnie Stewart
19. Killian Rusk
20. Tevin Tapia
21. Augie Lieber
22. Weston Peick
Monster Energy Supercross 450 Championship Points Standings (After 13 of 17 rounds):
1. Ryan Villopoto (268pts/3 wins)
2. Ryan Dungey (233pts/1 win)
3. James Stewart (232pts/5 wins)
4. Ken Roczen (215pts/2 wins)
5. Justin Brayton (196pts)
6. Justin Barcia (176pts)
7. Andrew Short (166pts)
8. Broc Tickle (126pts)
9. Wil Hahn (122pts)
10. Chad Reed (111/2 wins)