Team Suzuki Press Office – January 21. Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Davi Millsaps retained his lead – and the Red Plate – in the 2013 AMA/ FIM World Supercross series with fourth position at Saturday’s third round at Anaheim in California despite crashing out of his heat race.
The RM-Z450 rider qualified fourth in practice and looked to have a strong night ahead, but after tangling with two riders in Turn 1 of his Heat Race, was thrown over the bars and forced into the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). But, following quick repairs by the Rockstar Energy Racing crew, the machine was repaired in time and Millsaps won the LCQ easily – but with a poor second-to-last gate pick.
As the gate dropped, he got into a commanding third position, held it for most of the race, but slid-out on a corner in the closing stages, but remounted to cross the line in fourth.
Said Millsaps: “The day started off good. I had good qualifying times and felt good on the bike. The bike felt great. The track was pretty gnarly. I went over the bars going into the first turn which is ‘kinda weird. I hit my head a little bit; hurt my wrist, my hands, my fingers, my back and my shoulders. But I won the LCQ, got a decent start in the Main Event, and worked my way into third. I rode in third for 18 laps and ended up going down with two to go. All in all though, it was a good race and I’m happy with the result. I would have been happier with third, but with how the day was – and how it ended – it was pretty good.”
The Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki 250cc Lites riders started the night off strong with Jason Anderson qualifying third and being one of only a few 250 riders to post times in the 54-second range. Team-mate Ryan Sipes qualified fifth and was consistently posting qualifying times on the board for the fast five. The two kept up their momentum and dominated their heat with Sipes first and Anderson taking second.
Both riders entered the Main Event confident and strong, but as the gate dropped, Anderson went down coming into the hard 90-degree second turn. He put the first lap’s mistakes behind him and rode an amazing rest of the evening, making his way up to seventh place, passing top riders. Anderson has now moved back into the top 10 in the points-chase, just three points away from third position.
Said Anderson: “The weekend was ok. I had a good heat and matched my career best heat race finish with a second place. Going into the Main, I was really focused on my gate selection with the third pick. I ended up coming around the first corner in eighth. I crashed in the second turn and again at the end of the first lap and got stuck on a tuff block. But I got up and made it all the way back to seventh.”
Sipes also had a bad first lap in the Main and was collected in a very brutal crash with multiple other riders. There was a huge pile up in the double step-on step-off section. There was nothing he could have done to avoid the cartwheeling bike in front of him and the injury he sustained ended his night of racing. Sipes is now focused on getting back on the track as soon as possible.
Said Sipes: “The race was a real bummer because I felt like I had what I needed to win. The heat race was awesome but in the Main I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s tough because there was nothing I could do. I will be back strong in a few weeks though. I can’t thank the Rockstar Energy Racing Team enough for sticking behind me.”
450 Main Event Results: 1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki), 2. Trey Canard (Honda), 3. Chad Reed (Honda), 4. Davi Millsaps (Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 5. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki), 6. Ryan Dungey (KTM), 7. Andrew Short (Honda), 8. Justin Brayton (Yamaha), 9. Matt Goerke (KTM), 10. Josh Grant (Yamaha), 11. Broc Tickle (RCH Suzuki), 12. James Stewart (Yoshimura Suzuki).