With six rounds of West Coast races now in the books, the 2013 AMA Supercross series made its way through Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday night to kick off its annual East Coast swing. Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin dug deep to salvage what could have been a tragic start to the Eastern Regional 250SX series, while teammate Ryan Dungey racked up yet another podium finish in the 450 class.
After laying down one of the quickest lap times of the day during the 250SX timed practice sessions, Musquin grabbed a solid top-five start to get things going in the evening’s first heat race. Though battling tooth and nail to work his way into contention for the heat win, Musquin wisely laid up on the final lap to conserve energy for the main event and crossed the line in second just behind heat winner Gavin Faith.
With his sights set on an opening-round victory, Musquin timed the main event gate drop well and rocketed down the start straight near the front of the pack. Unfortunately, Musquin’s front wheel unexpectedly tangled with the rear of another rider’s bike as the pack came together in turn one, and just like that the likeable Frenchman was on the ground.
Forced to start his championship pursuit from the back of the pack, Musquin put in a remarkable effort as he reeled off 15 near-perfect laps while passing three quarters of the field in the process, and eventually finished the race with a very respectable sixth-place finish.
“I was obviously hoping for a better result tonight, but I’m also really happy with sixth place considering how the race began,” Musquin later commented. “My speed is good, my fitness is there, and the bike is working great, so I really have no complaints. It’s time to switch focus to Atlanta.”
EASTERN REGIONAL 250SX MAIN EVENT RESULTS
1. Dean Wilson
2. Blake Wharton
3. Wil Hahn
4. Kyle Peters
5. Justin Hill
6. Marvin Musquin
7. Gavin Faith
8. Jimmy Decotis
9. Vince Friese
10. Lance Vincent
In the premier 450SX class, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart was eager to use Cowboys Stadium as a springboard to greater success as the series approaches the more familiar confines of the East Coast, and he kicked off his evening with a confidence-building heat race win over defending champ Ryan Villopoto.
JS7 stalked Villopoto for the first few laps while studying his lines, and then put a textbook pass on the Kawasaki rider to take the lead. Looking smooth and comfortable out front, Stewart motored on to the heat win with authority, as Villopoto crossed the line in second.
Unfortunately for Stewart, a mechanical failure in the clutch mechanism of his bike was detected just before the drop of the 450SX main event gate, leaving him sidelined and in disbelief as his rivals battled it out for the Dallas win. Classy in defeat, here’s what James had to say about the incident...
“I’m really bummed right now, but this is not the team’s fault. Everyone has been working really hard… This is just a complete fluke. I’m already out of the championship, but I want to come out here and race hard for my fans and for my team. The heat race definitely gave us some confidence tonight, but we’ll just have to wait until next week for a chance at the main event win.”
Villopoto would eventually take his third win of the series after leading all 20 laps of the Dallas main event, while Ryan Dungey rode a somewhat quiet and conservative race to finish the night in third behind championship points leader Davi Millsaps. Dungey’s podium result keeps him well within the championship hunt as he remains in the second spot, 21 points behind Millsaps.
450SX MAIN EVENT RESULTS
1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Davi Millsaps
3. Ryan Dungey
4. Chad Reed
5. Justin Brayton
6. Justin Barcia
7. Trey Canard
8. Matt Goerke
9. Andrew Short
10. Broc Tickle
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