Daytona has come and gone folks. Round 10 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross went down last night under the lights of Daytona International Speedway, on a track designed by Ricky Carmichael
Daytona is a one-off event in that it is not promoted by Feld. Hence, the organizers have some creative freedom of their own, and they decided to not partake in the new timed format. Instead, the Daytona race reverted back to the old lap format: 15 laps for the 250 main event, and 20 laps for the 450 main event. With the Daytona track being longer lap times to begin with, race fans were treated to a long night racing; the 450 main event was just under 24 minutes long.
To no one’s surprise, Eli Tomac was very fast on the sandy and rough Daytona tracks, and took home the win. However, Tomac was challenged in the first half of the race by 450 rookie Jeremy Martin. Martin won Daytona last year in the 250 class, and was brought up to race it this year for team Honda HRC. Daytona was Martin’s first 450 race, and he turned some heads by leading the first half of the race, before eventually settling in for 2nd.
450 points leader and reigning champion Ryan Dungey had a rough night in Daytona, of which he was visibly unpleased about. Dungey got held up in the gate, and rounded the first lap in 17th place. Dungey put his head down for the remaining laps, and rode through the pack up to 4th. It was a championship effort for the #1, especially with a last lap / last corner pass on Cole Seely to sneak up into 4th.
If Dungey’s night was rough, his teammate Marvin Musquin had an even rougher night. Musquin got caught in the gate as well, crashed in the first turn, and then struggled for the rest of the night; he ended up crossing the finish line in 15th. Musquin has been suffering from a pretty bad flu lately, and has not fully recovered from that yet.
Chad Reed has been looking fast lately. He once again put himself in a near-podium position, but a small crash held him back from that. He ended up finishing just outside the top 5 in 6th.
In the 250 class, it was all about the Pro Circuit Kawasaki duo of Adam Cianciarulo and Joey Savatgy. Savatgy actually got out to the early lead, but Cianciarulo quickly passed him on the opening lap. These two then immediately opened up a gap over the rest of the field, and remained within 1-2 seconds of one another the entire race. Cianciarulo ended up holding onto it for the win, despite Savatgy being the only rider jumping a 3-3 in the rhythm section; he would catch Adam here every lap, but Adam would open his lead back up on the rest of track. After the checkered flag flew, Cianciarulo was understandably very thrilled with his race, shouting “I’m back, I’m back!!”. Well, he indeed is; it’s been a long road since 2014 to get back to the top step of the podium for Adam.
250SX East points leader Zach Osborne was once again very fast, but a small crash while running in 3rd set him back. Before the crash, it looked like he was attempting to catch the Pro Circuit riders in front of him, but he instead had to settle for 5th.
Star Racing Yamaha lost Colt Nichols to a knee injury earlier in the week (stay tuned for more information), but Dylan Ferrandis made up for that by earning his first career podium with a 3rd place. Ferrandis has been fast all season, but has crashed in every main event. Well, he finally kept it on two wheels, and rode well to hold off both Jordon Smith and Zach Osborne in the late laps of the race.
Here are the official results:
My Opinion: The first thing I have to say is that that track absolutely sucked. It was incredibly one lined, there wasn’t a single exciting section, and it was way too tight. Too many corners and short lanes led to the one-lined aspect of the track and made it not flow well. And nobody could pass on it! Seriously, Vince Friese won his semi, holding off Chad Reed the entire time… there was just nowhere to pass. I hope that next year brings a large refresh to the entire Daytona event… it has been boring the last few years. Perhaps Carmichael should no longer design these tracks? Nothing against him… just an idea.
Despite the awful track design, the racing in the main event wasn’t too bad. In the 250s, there was hardly any passing, but it was exciting nonetheless due to Cianciarulo leading the entire race just barely ahead of Savatgy. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, waiting for that checkered flag to fall. If I was that tense watching Adam, I can’t imagine how tense he must have been. Nonetheless, he rode super well, and he’s finally back! Adam’s back! He’s back!
With Adam’s win, Savatgy’s 2nd, and Osborne finishing back in 5th, this points chase is starting to get a bit more exciting. Osborne still leads, but at this point, all three of these guys are within 10 points, and any of them could win!
I really want to note Ferrandis’ ride. He has shown speed all year, but finally put it together for a podium, and in only his 4th supercross race ever! Huge congrats to him.
What about J-Mart folks? I definitely didn’t expect him to finish that well. It doesn’t surprise me that he was fast, but the fact that he put it together for an entire 20 laps is pretty impressive for his first ever 450 supercross race. I want to say that this showing will serve him well for when he moves up to the 450 class next year, but he still needs to prove that he can race on a normal supercross track; his 250SX West effort has been horrendous so far.
Ryan Dungey: wow… that was a championship performance! This track was awful to pass on, yet he came back from basically dead last to 4th. He charged hard the entire time, getting his fastest lap in the second half of the race… this is impressive on a beat-down track! He saved some very important points with his efforts, and this will be remembered all the way until the checkered flag flies in Vegas.
Lastly, Blake Baggett only finished 7th, but he rode awesome. He was in dead last at one point, and came all the way up to 7th. It was a ride very much like Dungey’s, but just not covered at all on the broadcast. Blake is on a new level right now folks, and could honestly get a win before the season is over. I’m serious, he’s riding well… if he gets a hole shot at one of these, there’s a good chance he can win it.
The series now goes back north to Indianapolis. Can Tomac extend his win streak? Can Cianciarulo repeat?! Watch it live next weekend on FOX at 7:00 pm ET.
Cover photo from Supercross LIVE