Monday, March 7, 2016

The Others...Daytona

Racing under the lights is a normal weekend occurrence in Monster Energy Supercross, but lights like this are a little different. The series takes a little twist when bikes take over the tri-oval of Daytona International Speedway during bike week.

Photo: Andy Powers
 Title sponsor Honda puts on the event on an infield track that's designed by multi time champion Ricky Carmichael. The track offers the longest and roughest track the riders will see all season. Most give the advantage to those riders who excel in the outdoor national series. 

A preview of the outdoors might just be what we got. Jeremy Martin is a two time 250 class champion and Eli Tomac was unbeatable in 2015 until being sidelined with injuries. The two would each claim their class at this years Daytona Supercross.

Four wide at Daytona took a whole new meaning in the 250 class. Jeremy Martin, Malcolm Stewart, Martin Davalos and Justin Hill would have a four way battle for the lead and things got interesting in the final laps. The Yamaha of Martin worked past Geico Honda's Stewart for the lead. Stewart would stall and slip to fourth allowing the KTM of Hill to slip in to second and points leader Davalos would claim the final step on the podium.

In the 450 class, the Monster Energy Kawasaki of Eli Tomac was out front by turn three and would never look back although points leader Ryan Dungey kept him honest throughout the main event. They'd go one and two followed by Dungey's KTM teammate Marvin Musquin. The Husqvarna of Jason Anderson put on a solid ride, working his way from around tenth to fourth by the end of the main event. Chad Reed would twelfth on the night after having to ride the LCQ for his spot in the main.  

James Stewart. This is really getting painful to watch. He's only finished one main event all season, and that was a lap down to the leaders. A small mistake in a rhythm section sent the Suzuki looping out and James laying on the ground holding his leg. He has struggled with concussions and to me looks out of shape. I really hope he can get well and we see him at speed again soon.
Photo: Nate Ingram
 With deep talent in both classes and the demanding Daytona track many privateers struggled throughout the night. Making a main event at Daytona takes crazy skill, consistency and a little luck. The 450 class really only saw one true privateer make the main with Nick Schmidt getting the last transfer out of the LCQ. The 250 class had guys like Vann Martin, Paul Coates, Josh Cartwright and Gannon Audette make the main without any factory support. 

This week I do have to give it up to a guy who did things his own way at Daytona. Josh Grant spent many years as a factory guy but without a solid paying ride for 2016, Daytona would be the first time we got to see the 33. Riding a Suzuki backed by his company HLTN CO. and Pala Raceway Grant would not only make the program, but go on to finish seventh in the main event. Hell Yes! 

And now...The Others.

5. 83 Daniel Herrlein
6. 195 Keaton Ward
7. 471 Ligan Karnow
8. 931 Gradient Featherstone
9. 351 Eric Grondahl
10. 795 Aaron Leininger
11. 248 Travis Delnicki
12. 615 Logan Marzahn
13. 558 Dylan Slusser
14. 297 Henry Miller
15. 547 Zachary Bishop
16. 653 Tyler Bereman
17. 89 Marshall Weltin
18. 142 Josh Bartosh
19. 350 Roland Beck
20. 703 Justin Rando
21. 411 Dylan Walker
22. 512 Andrew Silverstein

5. 79 Tony Archer
6. 86 AJ Catanzaro
7. 761 Cade Clason
8. 374 Cody Gilmore
9. 801 Jeff Alessi
10. 27 Nick Wey
11. 314 Alex Ray
12. 509 Alex Nagy
13. 548 Bric Schmelyn
14. 501 Scotty Wennerstrom
15. 868 Michael Docherty
16. 80 Zack Williams
17. 976 Josh Greco
18. 99 Heath Harrison
19. 206 Thomas Ramette
20. 133 Ricky Renner
21. 7 James Stewart
22. 918 Michael Akaydin

Next up the series will go back inside and across the border to take over the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

-Kye Pesci

This weeks "The Others" brought to you by:

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