Rockstar Energy Suzuki Racing's Davi Millsaps took a spectacular victory in the opening round of the AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in one of the most thrilling season openers ever!
Millsaps led from the start of the 20-lap Main Event on Saturday night, but then lost the lead with three laps to go to Honda's Trey Canard. However, the 23 year old - who last won a Main Event in 2010 - bit back and forced his RM-Z450 back into the lead to take the chequered flag and take the lead in the 17-round series.
Rockstar Energy Motocross Manager James Hanson's Event Blog:
"For the past couple seasons the hype coming in has been tremendous. Each year the expectations have been that it will be the best season in Supercross history and 2013 is no different. I for one have been anticipating that to be true with no doubt. The talent pool in both the 250 and 450 classes is phenomenal. With the injuries the past few seasons there has certainly been some disappointment. I can only hope everyone stays healthy this year. If so, and if Anaheim 1 was any indication, we are all in for one heck of a ride.
"It's no secret that Davi Millsaps was not coming in as the favourite to best the field at A1. I knew, however, just how hard everyone on the team, including Davi has been working. Hard work pays off and I am not surprised that Millsaps was victorious at the opening round. He was fast all day and one of only a handful of riders to be consistently on his game throughout qualifying practice. In his heat race DM18 rounded the first turn somewhere around 10th position. He made some quick moves in the first couple sections to immediately move towards the front.
"Having that talent to produce sprint-speed in the first couple laps is a necessity that no top rider can succeed without. I was so very impressed that Davi was able to make his way all the way into first place before the 'checkers' waved ending the heat. We all felt very confident coming into the Main after seeing that result. Then as he exited the first turn in the Main Event, there was no one in front of him. Holeshot! Millsaps reeled off lap-after-lap nearly flawlessly in the lead. However, referring back to the stellar ability of his competitors he was not given any room to breathe. The top four became a freight train, pulling away from the rest of the field. Then, with just a couple laps remaining, Trey Canard got by him. Typically nearing the end of a race, after being pressured for 17 laps, when a rider gets passed, the race is over. This was not the case however. Davi knew he had a fast line in his back pocket leading into the whoops. On the last lap going into that section, his line was available. He carried the speed he needed and actually passed Trey in the same corner he lost the lead in a couple laps before. When the fire blasted signalling the end of the race it was Millsaps, fist in the air and the glory of victory. I think Rockstar Energy Drink Marketing Director Mike Kelso spoke for all of us when he emotionally stated; "This is the proudest moment I've ever had in my life."
"Jason Anderson had a breakout year in last season's Supercross and is coming into 2013 with a lot of momentum. He was a bit frustrated in practice, but mature enough to put that behind him going into the night show. He didn't get the best of starts in his heat race, but was still able to safely put his #21 into the 250 Main Event. As the pack was exiting turn one in the Main, he was fortunate enough to avoid the melee that ensued in front of him nearly unscathed. As Jessy Nelson hit neutral going into the first rhythm section, Anderson was actually hit by his bike but did not go down. He was in about seventh place at that point. He picked off one rider at a time until he found himself in fourth, and all over Cole Seely. You could have covered the two riders with a blanket for several laps before Jason finally settled comfortably into his very respectful fourth position. Anderson clearly had podium speed and we all know he is going to be one of the guys week-in and week-out. He knows he belongs there and that is a very important confidence booster.
"Ryan Sipes rode good all day in practice. Frequently posting lap times in the top-five during qualifying. Ryan had a less than stellar start in his heat race but blew past rider after rider to qualify easily. He was really moving. Unlike Anderson, Sipes was not able to avoid the Main Event first turn pile up. He had his work cut out for him and had a lot of ground to make up. He moved into a battle with several other riders in the middle of the race. It's certainly no easy task to get around four other guys all fighting for position and going very fast. However, Sipes patiently and methodically made smart moves to move by each rider in front of him. After being collected in the mess at the start, Ryan made it all the back to sixth place by the end; a very commendable performance showing a lot of heart and drive."
"When Trey Canard passed me I was like 'Ahhh Man,' this is like Salt Lake City all over again. I knew I had a good line though and I just pinned it in the whoops and I got back by him. I don't think anyone really expected this. It was a new program, bike and team for me. We've all been working really hard during the off-season to come out and do the best we can. To see where we are and where we need to be. Even though we won, it's all building blocks from here. We'll go back and see how we can make it even better. It's been like that the whole time. It's really cool that Rockstar Energy Racing, Bobby Hewitt and Dave Gowland have given me the opportunity and stood behind me. It's like a family."
"I started off a little rough in practice. We made some improvements to the bike and some suspension adjustments. Then I carried in my Anderson syndrome of bad starts from last year, but I broke that habit in the Main. I came 'outta the first turn, dudes endoing in front of me in the middle of the rhythm section and was able to start just out of the top five. I was able to work my way into fourth. I wasn't able to get around Cole Seely for a podium but I made it through A1. Now we will build on this going into Phoenix."
"I felt like it was an ok night. Obviously sixth place is not where we want to be, but everything was there except the start. I felt comfortable and I felt like my speed was right there. If we start in the top three, we will finish in the top three and be in the hunt for a win. Those guys looked really good out there but I felt very strong."
450 Supercross Main Event Results:
1. Davi Millsaps (Rockstar Energy Suzuki) 2. Trey Canard (Honda) 3. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 4. Chad Reed (Honda) 5. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 6. Andrew Short (Honda) 7. Justin Barcia (Honda) 8. James Stewart (Yoshimura Suzuki) 9. Justin Brayton (Yamaha) 10. Kevin Windham (Honda)