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There's no denying that anticipation was at an all time high heading into the 2013 supercross season. With last season providing some exciting racing but ultimately being underscored by injuries and sidelined championship contenders, with "everyone" being on the line for A1 healthy and ready to go -- would we finally see some epic battles in the 450 class?
Round 1 in Anaheim saw a winner that suprised pretty much everyone (except for Travis Pastrana it would seem). Davi Millsaps on his new Suzuki rode exceptionally well the whole night and earned himself a legit spot on the top step of the podium. Despite finishing 2nd overall last season, it's been a long time since he's been able to show he can be fast AND maintain that pace for a whole race. Another person great to see back at it and coming in a close 2nd to Millsaps is Trey Canard. If you broke your back the last time you raced, how would you do? The fact that he came back and immediately reached this level is amazing.
So what about "the guys" -- Villopoto, Reed, Dungey and Stewart? Dungey managed a 3rd and Reed 4th. Stewart was a question mark going into the main show after hurting his knee in practice earlier (an injury that we now know to be a torn ACL), but he held it together to collect 8th place. So what about RV? Clearly the favourite going into this season on his quest for a 3rd championship in a row, RV had some troubles. Actually, lots of troubles. There is a photo of him that said it all -- he looks battered (bent bars, no goggles, 1 glove off revealing a bloody finger), but he is still pushing. He finished in 16th place.
Round 2 in Phoenix belonged to rookie Justin Barcia. It seemed inevitable that "Bam Bam" would carry his winning ways from the 250 class into the 450 class, it was just a question of how long it would take him to adjust. The answer, as many predicted, not long at all. He didn't have the fastest lap time of the night being edged out by none other than Ryan Villopoto for that honour, but he was ahead by 4 seconds by the time he crossed the line and had led every lap of the race. RV had his work cut out for him, working through the field to 2nd place. Millsaps had another good weekend rounding out the top 3.
As we head into round 3 (Anaheim, again) what will we see? I think it will start to heat up a bit more at the front. You can bet that RV will be ready to win his first race of the season. He was really fast last time out, but just didn't get the start he needed. Barcia, Canard and Millsaps will likely be in the mix and it's all up to Dungey and Reed to step it up and bring it to the front. While they've both had decent results so far, they have more to do and are certainly capable of it. James Stewart was on-hand for the press day and he and his team are soldiering on. Hopefully he'll heal up enough soon to remind us all again why he's been tagged "fastest man on the planet".
- David Millsaps - 45
- Justin Barcia - 39
- Trey Canard - 38
- Chad Reed - 36
- Ryan Dungey - 33
- Jake Weimer - 31
- Ryan Villopoto - 27
- Andrew Short - 27
- James Stewart - 27
- Joshua Grant - 21