Despite heavy rains and extremely sloppy, muddy conditions, hometown hero James Stewart took home a massive win at what is considered to be the world’s toughest SX race, the Daytona Supercross.
James started the day off in style by donning his classic “259” number on his bike and jersey in the first free practice, and his day just kept getting better from there… First Stewart set the fastest lap time in practice by nearly three seconds and then he grabbed a holeshot in his qualifying heat race, which led to a relatively easy win.
Come Main Event time, the writing was clearly on the wall: it was James’s night to dominate in Daytona, and he did just that by taking the win, his second of the season.
With the good news came some bad, though, as Red Bull/KTM’s Ryan Dungey was unable to compete in the race after undergoing surgery earlier in the week to mend a broken collarbone. Luckily for the KTM squad, Marvin Musquin represented by piloting his KTM350SX-F to a strong fourth-placed finish in only his second race aboard the bike.
Here’s how it all went down in Daytona…
Supercross Qualifying Heats
- James came out of the gate hot in his heat race, and once in the first turn, he battled tooth-and-nail with series point leader Ryan Villopoto for the holeshot.
- As the pair fought their way down the long straight and into turn number two, Stewart was able to gain the edge and take the lead.
- Once in front, Stewart never looked back. With the track being as muddy as it was, having the lead and not contending with other riders through the muck and mud proved to be a huge advantage.
- At the checkers, James led rival Villopoto by over 20 seconds, averaging three seconds a lap faster than RV.
- Behind Stewart and Villopoto, Musquin quietly snuck into third position in the heat, where he would remain until the finish.
- As a good indication of how treacherous the mud-drenched track was, Musquin (pictured below) was an entire minute behind winner Stewart in the eight-lap race.
Supercross Main Event
- Despite the wet and rainy conditions, the raucous Daytona Beach Bike Week crowd got out their umbrellas and stood on their feet as the pack rocketed into turn number one.
- Stewart used a far-inside line to his advantage, narrowly missing the holeshot to his JGRMX teammate Davi Millsaps and rounding turn one in second place.
- Just behind the two superstars, Marvin Musquin got off to a great start as well, especially considering the fact that his 350 was underpowered by 100cc compared to the rest of his competitors’ bikes.
- Musquin ended the first lap in fourth, where he would stay for the remainder of the race.
- With Millsaps just in front of him, Stewart looked for every opportunity to make a pass stick. For the first few laps, the pair were never separated by more than a few bike lengths.
- The muddy conditions made the pass tough to make, but JS7 got it done by overtaking Millsaps on the long front straight, directly in front of the crowd.
- With the fans still standing on their feet, Stewart held the power on just a split second longer than Millsaps, giving him the edge he needed to make the pass and take over the lead.
- Once the pass was made, James set a blisteringly fast pace, leaving the pack to battle it out for themselves behind him.
- One of the only remaining riders to continue to jump the triples in the mud, James put his head down to open up a comfortable cushion before finally backing it down a tad at the end to secure the win by a margin of nearly eight seconds.
- With seven rounds remaining, Stewart gobbled up a bit of his point deficit to Villopoto, who finished in the fifth spot. James now sits 44 points behind RV heading into next weekend’s race in Indianapolis.
1. James Stewart
2. Davi Millsaps
3. Kevin Windham
4. Marvin Musquin
5. Ryan Villopoto
6. Mike Alessi
7. Jake Weimer
8. Broc Tickle
9. Matthew Goerke
10. Brett Metcalfe
Supercross Lites Qualifying Heats
- The absolute worst part of the massive Florida rainstorm came during the two SX Lites qualifying heats, leaving the riders to contend with a torrential downpour while navigating the already wet course.
- German native and Red Bull/KTM rider Ken Roczen didn’t quite get the start he was looking for, rounding the first corner in mid-pack.
- Roczen didn’t let the rain or mud slow him down as he charged through the pack to qualify in the number four spot.
Supercross Lites Main Event
- While Lites class points leader Justin Barcia came out swinging with another holeshot, Roczen was just outside the top-five, but in fifth by the end of lap one.
- By lap two, Roczen passed Jake Canada for fourth position and set his sights on chasing down the top-three riders in front of him.
- Roczen went by third-placed Blake Wharton on lap four.
- Unfortunately for Roczen, a hard-charging Darryn Durham took advantage of a small mistake that Ken made on the seventh lap, relegating him back to fourth.
- With an abbreviated race due to the rain, Roczen didn’t have enough time to regain his composure and take back the final podium spot from Durham, and the frustrated German had to settle for fourth place.
- Roczen slipped back to third in points after the main, though he narrowly trails second-ranked Durham by a single point.
Supercross Lites Results
1. Justin Barcia
2. Blake Baggett
3. Darryn Durham
4. Ken Roczen
5. Blake Wharton
6. Jake Canada
7. Kyle Cunningham
8. Malcolm Stewart
9. Cole Thompson
10. Tommy Weeck
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