McThoughts | Daytona Supercross | 450 Class
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
Ricky Carmichael always used to say, “the season doesn’t start until Daytona.” Well, we are at Daytona and the championship race has really tightened up. Ryan Dungey only leads by 17 points, and it is now Eli Tomac in 2nd not Marvin Musquin. The track was fast, rough, but hard to pass on. There was a bunch of sand added and it gave riders fits all night.
Jeremy Martin stepped up to the big boy class as a fill in on Ken Roczen‘s HRC Honda. Martin qualified very well, but had some issues in the heat race. He put it all behind him and had a fantastic main event. I don’t even think he or the team were expecting this result, but they’ll take it. It was a pretty good race and here are my results and thoughts:
1st Eli Tomac: Can anyone stop Eli? I honestly think the only person that can stop him is himself. His fitness is great, hiss speed is great, and it looks like his bike set up is spot on. With a good start, or a decent start, he can beat anyone. It will take a really bad start, or a big crash to stop the momentum.
2nd Jeremy Martin: Great debut for the rookie. We all know he flies at Daytona, but I don’t think anyone expected Jeremy to ride this well. He led half of the race, and then settled in with a very impressive 2nd. Now, are we going to see Jeremy at any more SX rounds on the 450? I myself think that he needs the races under his belt, but I’m also scared for his safety a little.
3rd Jason Anderson: Even though he flinched and tapped the gate, he still had a great ride. He’s starting to look like his old self and is hanging out and riding like the old ‘Flama Blanca.’ This is around where Jason should finish every week. I see him as a 2nd-4th place guy.
4th Ryan Dungey: Ryan got jacked off the start when Anderson flinched and Musquin plowed through the gate, resulting in an awful start. It didn’t look like Dungey was going to ever make it into the top 5. He had a tough time passing through, but he never gave up. His last lap pass on Seely was all heart. He was visibly pissed after crossing the line, but I think that’s a good thing and hopefully it lit a new fire under the champ.
5th Cole Seely: Good ride for Cole. He fought hard right up until the end, but Dungey out-hearted him. Cole has been riding real well, but he needs a podium soon.
6th Chad Reed: Chad was looking good until he whisky’d and ended up on his butt. Still a really solid ride, considering. He’s been riding awesome of late. I’m calling podium soon.
7th Blake Baggett: Baggett started 22nd. He had an awesome ride to 7th. He says he’s finally liking SX after his team got the bike set up figured out. He has been riding great lately after a rough start and now sits 8th in points with 113.
8th Josh Grant: Not a great start for Grant, but he moved forward well. Funny to think he came off the couch for this race last year on a Suzuki and earned himself a factory ride.
9th Justin Brayton: Brayton is getting good starts, but he just doesn’t have the speed to hang with the top guys. He’s having a solid season and sits 12th in points with 79.
10th Mike Alessi: Good ride for Mike. His starts haven’t been as great as they usually are, but he’s hanging in there and riding well. Mike is 16th in points with 56.
Biggest Stud: I’m calling Dungey my stud this week. His ride from the back may have saved this championship. And that last lap pass on Seely was all heart.
Biggest Dud: Poor Marvin Musquin was sick last week, and he didn’t rebound well at all this week. He has dropped to 4th in points with 163.
Biggest Surprise: Jeremy Martin holding it together for so long really shocked me. He looked great.
MC’s “G’d Up From The Feet Up” Award: Justin Barcia‘s kit looked really good, it even flowed better than his hair. The bright colours popped, but all went together well. And if you can’t be running up front, you might as well look good.
Thanks for reading, see you in Indy.