Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Others...Daytona

Maybe the most prestigious checkered flag in all of motor sports flies at Daytona International Speedway. A venue that host high speeds and left turns is transformed to a one of a kind supercross track for round 10 of the Supercross Championships. The event is presented by Honda and is the kick off to Daytona's Bike Week.

The talk of the week may have been that of Jeremy Martin joining the Factory Honda team for the event to ride the injured Ken Roczen's CRF450R. We were looking at the newest island escapee, Alex Ray. The 314 has put in some solid rides and found himself in five 450 main events thus far. He'd join the Cycle Trader/Rock River Yamaha team and begin his adjustments to the blue machine. We spoke with Ray after the event and he was looking forward to getting more time on the bike and his practice bike to Club Mx just after the Indianapolis round. He missed the main in Daytona but we are expecting to see Ray fighting for top 15 finishes.

Being that it is not a Feld ran event, some things change in the format at Daytona. Races have been ran on time this season, although Daytona reverted to a lapped event. 250 mains would go 15 laps and the 450's would get 20. Qualifying times were a little over a minute a lap. The TLD KTM of Alex Martin topped the 250 class with a 1:11.563 and Fellow KTM rider, Ryan Dungey's 1:100.935 sat atop the 450 class.

With the fields set it was time to drop the gate in Daytona. Heat races in the 250 class would be topped by Troy Lee Designs KTM rider Alex Martin and The Husqvarna of Zach Osborne. In 450 action Justin Barcia would come out swinging and give JGR Suzuki their first heat win of the season. Eli Tomac went wide to wire in heat two. With semi qualifiers in the 450 class, 5 more riders in each of two semis would advance to the mains. It'd be Vince Friese and Cole Seely with the wins. Narrowed down to just four spots left in each class, the 250 LCQ would be won by TiLube Honda rider Fredrik Noren, while Kyle Chisholm put his privateer Honda atop the 450 class.

The main events at Daytona get down right brutal. They're long, rough and bring a little national track style to supercross. Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammates Joey Savatgy and Adam Cianciarulo would jump out front with AC making a quick pass for the lead. With a narrow track and points leader Zach Osborne making mistakes behind him, Adam would pull away to his first win of the season and prove to himself and the sport that he still has top speed after a career full of injuries. Savatgy hung on for second and MXGP implant, Dylan Ferrandis looked impressive as one of the few to come through the pack as he worked from around tenth to the final podium spot. Osborne would salvage a bad night with a fifth. The 450 main started with a little surprise to some. Jeremy Martin signed a one race deal with Factory Honda and showed his 450 speed to the world with a holeshot and leading the first half of the race. Being stalked by the Kawasaki of Eli Tomac can not be fun and Tomac would eventually make his way to the number one spot. The two would stay out for first and second as Jason Anderson charged to third overall. Ryan Dungey looked flustered all night and uncharacteristically finished off the box in fourth. Visibly not where he wanted to be and the number 1 showed some emotion. The nights events set Eli Tomac just 17 points back in the 450 Championship.

It was about this time last season that Gannon Audette put himself on the radar with solid finishes that earned him a shot with Pro Circuit Kawasaki. He has since returned to the privateer life with some help from the guys at Legends and Heroes. The number 54 was a solid 11th in the 250 main. A standout rider in the new Leatt gear line, he is aiming towards a top 10 overall in the championship.

Rider: Gannon Audette | Photo: Kyle Pesci

And now...The Others

5. 914 Brice Klippel
6. 170 Zack Williams
7. 88 John Short
8. 641 Keith Tucker
9. 309 Jeremy Smith
10. 740 Lane Staley
11. 336 Chaz Braden
12. 351 Eric Grondahl
13. 256 James Milson
14. 703 Justin Randy
15. 98 Matt Babbitt
16. 392 Michael Fowler
17. 248 Travis Delnicki
18. 814 Deven Sorenson
19. 795 Aaron Leininger
20. 931 Gradient Featherstone
21. 677 Cody Williams
22. 81 Henry Miller

5. 291 Kyle White
6. 19 Justin Bogle
7. 151 Dakota Tedder
8. 374 Cody Gilmore
9. 240 Bryce Stewart
10. 314 Alex Ray
11. 411  Dylan Walker
12. 722 Adam Enticknap
13. 723 Tyler Enticknap
14. 976 Josh Greco
15. 606 Ronnie Stewart
16. 713 Chad Cook
17. 181 Dustin Pipes
18. 71 Justin Starling
19. 282 Bubba Pauli
20. 509 Alex Nagy
21. 80 Cade Clason
22. 918 Michael Akaydin

-Kyle Pesci

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