Baggett & Villopoto Flawless In Florida | 2014 Daytona SX

2014 Daytona SX Race Report

Photos by Jeff Kardas

Winning at Daytona puts a rider in an elite order with some of the world’s most famous racing icons, and for good reason. The course, Ricky Carmichael’s mile long twisted nightmare built with soft soil and sandĀ built on the infield of the Daytona Motor Speedway is as grueling as they come, despite efforts recents efforts to tame its viciousness. Beneath the top soil is an endless pit of ruts and bumps, making the Supercross style obstacles feel out of place on the the stunning green grass that serves as their base. With the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross Series entering its home stretch, the battles for both the 450 and 250 championships have intensified to a fevered pitch, making each win even more important.

250 Heat One

Despite suffering a wrist and hand injury in practice, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett negotiated the tight first turn and tore off with the early race lead, with Blake Wharton and AJ Catanzaro in pursuit. Catanzaro, of the Factory Metal Work/ClubMX squad, pressured GEICO Honda rider Wharton for second place in the early moments, but Wharton held on to the spot and pulled ahead of the privateer. Catanzaro was shuffled through the order over the remaining laps, but his sixth place finish qualified him directly to the main event.

Baggett, meanwhile, went unpressured throughout the seven-lap sprint and claimed the heat race by 3.211 seconds over runner-up Wharton, a gap aided by his 1:05.880 lap time.

Contact with rookie Paul Coates shot Justin Bogle off the course in the first turn, but the GEICO Honda rider quickly found a way back on the track and into the fight for a transfer position. After coming from deep in the field, he would finish in fourth. Mitchell Oldenburg started the heat race outside the top ten, but the privateer quickly went into action and worked his way up the order, ultimately finishing eighth.

250 Heat One Results

1. Blake Baggett
2. Blake Wharton
3. Gavin Faith
4. Justin Bogle
5. Alex Martin
6. AJ Catanzaro
7. Kyle Cunningham
8. Mitchell Oldenburg
9. Justin Starling
10. Jace Owen

250 Heat Two

Adam Cianciarulo pushed his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Martin Davalos wide through the first turn to take the holeshot, but behind them, Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha's Jeremy Martin squared up the action and snuck back for the lead. Martin and Cianciarulo ran even through the opening moments before the Kawasaki rider reclaimed the lead.

Davalos, who coming into the night was three for three on heat race wins, quickly made a similar pass on Martin and set off after his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki partner. The veteran's early lap times were just tenths of a second quicker than the rookie and was in the process of reeling him in on the final lap when Cianciarulo's bike suddenly slowed, giving Davalos the lead and heat race win. The issue was eerily similar to the incident that kept Dean Wilson from taking the Oakland main event win weeks ago, but Cianciarulo limped through the remaining sections of track to finish fifth place.

250 Heat Two Results

1. Martin Davalos
2. Jeremy Martin
3. Cole Thompson
4. Jimmy Decotis
5. Adam Cianciarulo
6. Matt Bisceglia
7. Matt Lemoine
8. Vince Friese
9. Jackson Richardson
10. Brady Kiesel

250 LCQ

Kyle Peters entered the first turn at the front of the field, but dropped to third upon exit, while Auston Albers snaked by to take the lead. Peters reclaimed control of the race before the end of the first lap and proceeded to inch away from the field, taking the LCQ win.

Ryan Zimmer and Jacob Baumert spent the final lap in a vicious fight for the final transfer spot. Zimmer started the final lap with the position, but Baumert reeled him in over the final lap. When the two approached the checkered flag, they were nearly dead even, but Baumert managed to cross the finish line just inches ahead to steal the last spot in the main event away from Zimmer.

250 LCQ Results

1. Kyle Peters
2. Auston Albers
3. Jace Owen
4. Jacob Baumert
5. Ryan Zimmer

250 Main Event

An inside line put Martin Davalos in the lead of the 22-rider main event field as they exited the first turn, and his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Adam Cianciarulo showed him a wheel in the next corner. Blake Baggett, the third member of the powerful PC squad, was also in the mix on the first lap and slipped by Cianciarulo to take second place just three turns into the 15-lap feature.

Baggett capitalized on a mistake made by Davalos on lap two to take over the lead, and the savage course suited the former 250 National champion. Within a lap, his lead over Davalos was nearly three and a half seconds. The fast course favored Cianciarulo's wide-open riding style and he passed Davalos for second place near the halfway point of the race. The massive gap built by Baggett in the early laps gave both he and Cianciarulo a "clear track" to compete on, and the middle portion of the moto became a challenge to see who could clock the quicker lap times. Baggett kept the pace, even when knifing through the pack of lapped riders, and claimed his second victory in Daytona by a dominating 16 seconds over Cianciarulo. Martin Davalos, meanwhile, would hold off GEICO Honda's Blake Wharton for third place at the finish line to make a Pro Circuit sweep of the podium.

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Main Event Results

1. Blake Baggett
2. Adam Cianciarulo
3. Martin Davalos
4. Blake Wharton
5. Justin Bogle
6. Jeremy Martin
7. Matt Bisceglia
8. Vince Friese
9. Kyle Cunningham
10. Matt Lemoine
11. Kyle Peter
12. Jimmy Decotis
13. Cole Thompson
14. Alex Martin
15. Mitchell Oldenburg
16. Gavin Faith
17. Jackson Richardson
18. Justin Starling
19. AJ Catanzaro
20. Jacob Baumert
21. Auston Albers
22. Jace Owen

Monster Energy Supercross 250 East Coast Championship Points Standings (After 4 of 9 rounds):
1. Adam Cianciarulo 94pts/2wins
2. Martin Davalos 87pts/1 win
3. Blake Baggett 79pts/1 win
4. Justin Bogle 72pts
5. Vince Friese 61pts
6. Blake Wharton 51pts
7. Cole Thompson 48pts
8. Kyle Cunningham 45pts
9. Jimmy Decotis 43pts
10. Matt Lemoine 37pts

450 Heat One

Justin Barcia charged into the first turn aboard his Team Honda Muscle Milk machine, but Smartop/MotoConcepts Racing's Mike Alessi slipped through the inside line to take the lead. Alessi, a rider known for his skill on natural terrain courses, inched away from Ryan Villopoto and Barcia while the two riders battled for second place. Barcia turned a wall jump into a triple to pull even with the Monster Energy Kawaski rider, but Villopoto's lines through other areas of the track let him pull away from the Honda rider and catch Alessi in the lead. In the final laps, Villopoto charged down the long finish line straightaway and leapt by Alessi to take the lead and eventual win.

Ryan Dungey rode a quiet fourth place throughout the heat race and fended off a charge from Team Honda Muscle Milk short-term rider Cole Seely to take the final transfer into the main event.

450 Heat One Results

1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Mike Alessi
3. Justin Barcia
4. Ryan Dungey
5. Cole Seely
6. Justin Brayton
7. Broc Tickle
8. Jimmy Albertson
9. Chris Blose
10. Les Smith

450 Heat Two

Dean Wilson led the pack into the first turn aboard his Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki and led the opening lap over Yoshimura Suzuki's James Stewart. Wilson, a temporary rider in the 450 class while Chad Reed sits out the season with injury, appeared unfazed by the talented back of riders that chased him for the spot and maintained the lead as the laps clicked off. Stewart increased the pressure in the closing laps, clocked the fastest lap time of the race, and launched through the Daytona sky, but Wilson held on to take the victory.

Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda entered Malcolm Stewart in the 450 class for the weekend, and the one-time entrant made his mark on the class. After pursuing Andrew Short through the opening laps, Stewart used a daring line that shot him over one of the track's pit obstacles and within range of the final transfer spot. After a solid lap, Stewart passed the BTO Sports KTM rider for the position and transferred to the main event.

450 Heat Two Results

1. Dean Wilson
2. James Stewart
3. Ken Roczen
4. Malcolm Stewart
5. Andrew Short
6. Wil Hahn
7. Josh Hill
8. Matt Goerke
9. Cody Gilmore
10. Phil Nicoletti

450 Semi One

Jimmy Albertson snatched the lead from BTO Sport KTM's Matt Goerke at the apex of the first turn, and the Motosport.com/Crossland Racing rider spent the first laps speeding away from the pack. Georke soon had company in Wil Hahn, and the GEICO Honda spent the bulk of the race pressuring Georke for second place, and took the position as the white flag flew. Hahn's pace in the waning laps put him within striking distance of Albertson, allowing him the chance to cut to the inside through the final turn, pulled even in the last straightaway, and into the lead just feet from the checkered flag.

450 Semi One Results

1. Wil Hahn
2. Jimmy Albertson
3. Matt Goerke
4. Justin Brayton
5. Phil Nicoletti

450 Semi Two

Andrew Short coasted through the first corner in control of the second 450 Semi, with Josh Grant, Cole Seely, Josh Hill, and Broc Tickle in tow. While Short and Seely inched away from the pack in the early laps, the RCH/Soaring Eagle/Suzuki teammates of Hill and Tickle worked on Grant, pushing him down to the fifth place before further issues knocked the JGRMX/Toyota/NFab/Yamaha out of qualifying position. Grant's problems bumped Chris Blose and Nick Wey one spot each up the order, with Wey taking the final transfer just corners from the checkered flag.

450 Semi Two Results

1. Andrew Short
2. Cole Seely
3. Josh Hill
4. Broc Tickle
5. Nick Wey

450 LCQ

Ronnie Stewart kept Chris Blose at bay through the first turn to take the early lead, but the running order was far from established. After an eventful evening, which included a crash in the heat and issues in the semi qualifier, Josh Grant hurried into second place and pursued Stewart for the lead, taking over the position with two laps to go. Deeper in the field, Nick Schmidt fought by Adam Enticknap and Les Smith before claiming the fourth and final transfer position with two laps to go.

450 LCQ

1. Josh Grant
2. Ronnie Stewart
3. Chris Blose
4. Nick Schmidt

450 Main Event

Dean Wilson's Daytona dominance continued when he grabbed the holeshot, but Ryan Villopoto dashed by in the next section to take the lead away. A multiple time winner on the unique track, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider took advantage of the open track ahead and charged away from the field, building a six second lead by the fifth lap. While Villopoto pulled away, Wilson's attention turned to fending off Ryan Dungey, as the Red Bull KTM rider kept the pressure on for second place.

Malcolm Stewart started the main event in the front pack until a number of issues riddled the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda rider's performance. First, Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen rode by to take fifth place, and then Justin Barcia closed in for fifth. As they entered a hairpin turn, Barcia dove to the inside for a pass attempt and the two riders made contact, putting them both on the ground. The collision pinned the two bikes together and Stewart frantically pushed Barcia away from the pile before remounting his steaming hot Honda. He would finish 21st.

Ken Roczen continued his run up the results sheet in the last half of the main event. After passing Malcolm Stewart, he turned his attention to Red Bull KTM teammate Ryan Dungey. He overtook third place with a close pass in a fast, technical section of the course, and tried to duplicate the move laps later on Dean Wilson for second place. Wilson rebuffed the first attempt in the following corner, by Roczen successfully made the exact same move on the next lap to take the spot. Dungey, meanwhile, took advantage of the circumstances and nabbed third place from Wilson one turn later.

Villopoto spent the entire main event unchallenged for the lead, with his lead extended to 18 seconds by lap 12. A miscue in the soft soil led to a quick crash, which knocked four seconds off the gap to second place. Undaunted, Villopoto remounted and finished the 12 seconds ahead of Ken Roczen. The win, his third of the year, put Villopoto a full 25 points ahead of Ryan Dungey in the championship standings.

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Main Event Results
1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Ken Roczen
3. Ryan Dungey
4. Broc Tickle
5. Andrew Short
6. Wil Hahn
7. Dean Wilson
8. Matt Goerke
9. Justin Brayton
10. Josh Grant
11. Cole Seely
12. Justin Barcia
13. Phil Nicoletti
14. Mike Alessi
15. Josh Hill
16. Chris Blose
17. Jimmy Albertson
18. James Stewart
19. Nick Schmidt
20. Ronnie Stewart
21. Malcolm Stewart
22. Nick Wey
Monster Energy Supercross 450 Championship Points Standings (After 9 of 17 rounds):
1. Ryan Villopoto (209pts/3 wins)
2. Ryan Dungey (181pts/1 win)
3. Ken Roczen (180pts/2 wins)
4. James Stewart (157pts/2 wins)
5. Justin Brayton (155pts)
6. Andrew Short (125pts)
7. Justin Barcia (118pts)
8. Chad Reed (111pts/2 wins)
9. Broc Tickle (111pts)
10. Wil Hahn (108pts)