DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ryan Villopoto took advantage of a James Stewart miscue and captured his second straight Daytona Supercross By Honda on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart led the first three laps but took a spill on his Yamaha on Lap 4 of the 20-lap event. Villopoto inherited the lead and led the remaining 17 laps for a 6.506 second victory.
“I got a good start right behind James and just followed him,” Villopoto said. “He was on it those first couple of laps. I was just riding my pace, my race. I figured I was either going to stay where I was and he was just going to do what he was going to do or he was going to go down.”
After taking the lead, the rider of the No. 2 Kawasaki put his head down and maintained a solid pace.
“Once I got in the lead, I kept putting in some hard laps,” Villopoto said. “With the track being as long as it was … it was a pretty brutal track and it wasn’t that easy. I was just trying to be smooth and keep an eye on where second and third was.”
Three-time Daytona Supercross By Honda champion Chad Reed finished second on a Honda and defending AMA Supercross champion Ryan Dungey rounded out the podium. Stewart rallied from the spill to finish ninth.
Villopoto’s win was the first time a rider has repeated as a Daytona Supercross champion since Ricky Carmichael in 2003. It was the fourth AMA Supercross win of the year for Villopoto and the Seattle, Wash., native expanded his championship lead to 23 points over Stewart and 24 points over Reed.
Blake Baggett captured the 15-lap Lites East Supercross event on a Kawasaki by a margin of 15.073 seconds.
For the fourth straight year, the Daytona Supercross By Honda course was designed by five-time Daytona Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael and built by three-time National Champion Mark Barnett.
New to the course this year was the placement of the starting gate, which was located on pit road and provided fans with a great view of the first turn.
Next up at Daytona will be the Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross Championship on Sunday and the Ricky Carmichael University on Monday. Tickets are available at the gate or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.