What Really Happened: St. Louis Supercross

James Stewart and Martin Davalos claimed spectacular wins under pressure at round 13 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in St. Louis. It was a spectacular night of racing and we’ve got the scoop:

James Stewart ran down and passed defending champ Ryan Villopoto to take another win in St. Louis. Photo By Shan Moore

James Stewart used his heat race to size up Ryan Villopoto and then put what he learned to good use in the main event to make a brilliant pass on the Kawasaki rider at the halfway mark of the 20-lapper, before holding on to claim his 50th career win and his third-straight victory of the season.

Stewart is 36 points out of the lead in the series standings, so not feeling the pressure of the championship chase, Stewart is fast, loose and having fun, and it shows in his riding. He’s also riding smarter than he ever has, which makes him a formidable opponent.

“Obviously, the big difference now is I’m putting myself in position to win races,” added Stewart. “I honestly think I was riding the same all year, but the last few races things just kind of clicked.”

Of course, there are still four races left on the schedule, and Stewart could be back in the title mix in a heartbeat. It would be interesting to see how both riders perform with the pressure on.

Ryan Villopoto got off to a quick start, but Stewart was faster in the whoops, which was the difference. Photo By Shan Moore

Ryan Villopoto came into St. Louis wanting to get back on top of the podium after disappointing finishes the last two weekends. Last week in Toronto, Villopoto finished sixth after spending part of the day in the hospital and not even riding practice. In St. Louis, Villopoto was fast… as fast as Stewart in most parts of the track. However, the difference was in the whoops, where Stewart was noticeably faster, and in the turn before the triple after the whoops.

When asked if it was worth it trying to run down Stewart on a night like this one, knowing you have a points lead as big as the one Villopoto has, Villopoto said it was definitely tough. “You know, I was in position to get a win early in the race and we don’t work hard all year to build a big lead and then make a big mistake and throw in all away at this point in the season,” said Villopoto. “So it’s tough, you want to win but you have to look at the bigger goal. Having races like this one and being consistent is what it’s about. James doesn’t have much to lose; at this point he’s got to get those wins. I would love to win, but it’s consistency and being there every weekend that will pay off in the end.”

Justin Barcia went down in his heat race but came back to grab third in the main event. Photo By Shan Moore

Justin Barcia stayed just ahead of a fierce three-way battle between Justin Brayton, Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey to get third, which is one of the best performances of the year for the Team Muscle Milk Honda rider. Despite the podium finish, Barcia still wasn’t happy with his performance.

“It was a good race, but I’m not 100% satisfied with it,” said Barcia. “My starts are getting better, so I feel good about that, but I’m missing that winning feeling.

“RV and Stewart kind of ran away with it, but near the end I started catching RV, but it was a little too late. Of course, I had Roczen and Dungey hounding me all race, and I think Brayton was back there for a while too. So I had to be on my A game, and I wasn’t quite on my A game but it was good.”

Justin Brayton won his heat race despite riding with a freshly broken foot. Photo By Shan Moore

Justin Brayton broke his foot when he clipped Justin Barcia’s bike after the Honda rider had crashed in their heat race. The race was restarted when Wil Hahn crashed hard on lap two, and on the restart, Brayton grabbed the holeshot and led it all the way to the checkered flag. Before the main, the Astersik Mobile Medical Unit evaluated Brayton’s foot and discovered a clean break in one of the bones on top of his right foot. Brayton still dressed up for the main and ran a solid fifth until the final lap when he hit Dungey’s bike and went down after Dungey crashed on a jump. Brayton got up and finished 10th.

Wil Hahn took a scary crash in his heat race and knocked himself out, bringing out the red flag. Photo By Shan Moore

Wil Hahn’s scary crash in his heat stopped the race so medical crew could attend to the GEICO Honda rider. Hahn was out cold for a while, and later it was determined that he had broken his humerus in four places and also suffered a cracked skull. According to a team source, the doctor that checked out Hahn on Sunday said he had only seen a cracked skull on two other accident victims and both of them were dead. That’s gnarly!

Martin Davalos claimed his second win of the 250SX East Regional series and extended his lead to eight in the title chase. Photo By Shan Moore

Martin Davalos proved he can handle the pressure by leading the entire 250 main event with Justin Bogle breathing down his neck. Davalos put his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki into the lead after grabbing the holeshot to start the 15-lap 250 SX East Regional main event, and then rode a steady and mistake-free race to the end, giving him an eight-point lead over Bogle with two rounds remaining in the title chase.

“I got such a good start and Justin was riding a great race, but I was able to ride my own race and concentrate on my lines,” said Davalos. “I’m glad to come out with a win and I’m so happy with it. Now it’s on to New York!”

Justin Bogle gave it a good try, but came up just short in his bid to take the win in St. Louis. Photo By Shan Moore

Justin Bogle wasn’t even in the championship conversation two weeks ago, and now he’s in the middle of it. The GEICO Honda rider gave it his best in St. Louis, putting intense pressure on Davalos for the entire race. Bogle closed in on Davalos on three different occasions, but would either get caught up in lappers or make a small mistake.

“I feel I’ve put myself in good position and I just need to concentrate on getting good starts and riding solid races and everything will play out,” said Bogle. “I had to make some passes early and I was able to reel Martin in but I couldn’t make anything happen.”

Results

450SX Class

1. James Stewart (Suz)

2. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)

3. Justin Barcia (Hon)

4. Ken Roczen (KTM)

5. Trey Canard (Hon)

6. Eli Tomac (Hon)

7. Josh Hill (Suz)

8. Andrew Short (KTM)

9. Ryan Dungey (KTM)

10. Nick Wey (Kaw)

Eastern Regional 250SX Class

1. Martin Davalos (Kaw)

2. Justin Bogle (Hon)

3. Blake Baggett (Kaw)

4. Kyle Cunningham (Hon)

5. AJ Catanzaro (Hon)

6. Cole Thompson (KTM)

7. Matt Bisceglia (Hon)

8. James Decotis (Hon)

9. Alex Martin (Yam)

10. Gannon Audette (Kaw)