Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos Wins St. Louis to Extend his Points Lead
March 31, 2014
Irvine, Calif. (March 31, 2014) – In the shadow of the Gateway Arch, Monster Energy Supercross returned to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo., on Saturday in front of more than 60,000 fans. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos grabbed the holeshot on his KX™250F and led all 15 laps to take the second victory of his career and extend his points lead. Meanwhile, behind him Blake Baggett came from outside the top-10 to take the final spot on the podium in third. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto led the first half of the 450SX main event and battled to a second place finish. Villopoto extended his points lead to 35 over the field.
The red plates that signify the points leader donned Davalos’s Kawasaki KX250F for the first time in St. Louis and he did not let the added pressure effect him. The Ecuadorian carried on like he has all season and continued his heat race win streak with his seventh consecutive heat race win this season, and 11th straight over the last two seasons. When the gate dropped for the main event it was Davalos with the holeshot and he never looked back. He led all 15 laps and shrugged off the pressure from behind to extend his points lead to eight as the East goes on a month-long break.
“This is what I’ve been working hard for all season,” said Davalos. “Tonight was crucial to get some more points and keep my momentum into the break. The track got pretty slick towards the end and I felt like I was good in some sections and in others the guys would catch me a bit, but I just knew I had to win this one.”
After visiting the hospital and still powering through the main event last week in Toronto, Villopoto arrived in St. Louis 100-percent healthy and ready. He won his heat race without challenge and took over the lead on the first lap of the main event. The champ then led the charge for 10 laps until James Stewart got to the inside of him. Villopoto changed a few lines after following in second but could not find a spot to make the pass back. Second place allowed him to extend his championship lead by 10 points and gives him a 35-point gap with four rounds remaining.
“Tonight was good for us,” said Villopoto. “Considering how last week went and how close the points could have been, we can’t ask for much better. James (Stewart) rode really well tonight and I didn’t expect him to go for the pass where he did, but we’ll learn from it and be back next weekend.”
Baggett has been looking for the same speed he showed in Daytona and was ready to bounce back after last week’s misfortune. He finished a close second behind his teammate in the heat race after getting the jump out of the gate, but could not replicate that start in the main event. Baggett was well outside the top-10 on the first lap, but knew he had to speed to get up front. For the first eight laps of the race, he was never in the same position and made at least one pass each lap to get him up into podium contention. By the time he reached third, the leaders had a built a large gap but he had passed at least half the field.
“I can’t afford to keep starting in the back,” said Baggett. “I got the holeshot in my heat race and was looking forward to the main, but once again, I did not make it easy on myself. That’s not where I belong so I did what I could to move through the pack and landed on the podium.”
When Davalos captured his first career win earlier this season in Atlanta, it was in front of his family and friends who had just arrived from Ecuador. His parents have been staying in the United States since and traveled to St. Louis before heading back to their home country. With their support,Davalos is clearly at his best as he won his second main event of his career with them at his side.
While Villopoto was out front, it looked as though he was giving up a little bit in the whoop section as he was going down the right side. His mechanic gave him the signal to switch his line to the left side, which helped his lap time and allowed him stay in contention for the win.
“I saw that Stewart was going down the left side of the whoops,” said Villopoto. “But once I switched the left I didn’t feel like it was much faster than where I had been going. The whoops themselves were getting pretty chewed up and were slippery so you really had to be precise.”
Following seven weeks of East coast races, the Western Region will resume next weekend in Houston, Texas. Dean Wilson and Justin Hill will line up at Reliant Stadium and although Wilson has continued to race in the 450SX class, Hill has been hard at work at the practice track. Both riders will be looking to add another victory to their seasons in Houston.
Monster Energy Supercross
Edward Jones Dome – St. Louis, Mo.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
450SX Class Main Event
1. James Stewart, Suzuki
2. Ryan Villopoto, Monster Energy Kawasaki
3. Justin Barcia, Honda
4. Ken Roczen, KTM
5. Trey Canard, Honda
6. Eli Tomac, Honda
7. Josh Hill, Suzuki
8. Andrew Short, KTM
9. Ryan Dungey, KTM
10.Justin Brayton, Yamaha
450SX Championship Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 268
2. Ryan Dungey, KTM – 233
3. James Stewart, Suzuki – 232
4. Ken Roczen, KTM – 215
5. Justin Brayton, Yamaha – 196
6. Justin Barcia, Honda – 176
7. Andrew Short, KTM – 166
8. Broc Tickle, Suzuki – 126
9. Wil Hahn, Honda – 122
10.Chad Reed, Kawasaki – 111
250SX Eastern Regional Main Event
1. Martin Davalos, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
2. Justin Bogle, Honda
3. Blake Baggett, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
4. Kyle Cunningham, Honda
5. AJ Catanzaro, Honda
6. Cole Thompson, KTM
7. Matt Bisceglia, Honda
8. Jimmy Decotis, Honda
9. Alex Martin, Yamaha
10.Gannon Audette, Kawasaki
250SX Eastern Regional Points Standings
1. Martin Davalos, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 149
2. Justin Bogle, Honda – 141
3. Blake Baggett, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 120
4. Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 120
5. Vince Friese, Honda – 100
6. Kyle Cunningham, Honda – 94
7. Cole Thompson, KTM – 89
8. Jimmy Decotis, Honda – 65
9. Matt Lemoine, Kawasaki – 74
10.Alex Martin, Yamaha – 72