AMA SX 2018 RD10: BRAYTON'S SURPRISE

Daytona always brings something special, being a very different nature to the usual stadia of the rest of the SX season. So... Justin Brayton, eh?!

Monday 12th March 2018

2018 AMA SUPERCROSS, ROUND 10 REPORT.
DAYTONA, FL. MARCH 10th.

Amazingly we have already reached Round 10 of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, and there was absolutely no let up in the action and unpredictability as the series reached the legendary Daytona International Speedway.

The loose and sandy track caused its fair share of incidents and we witnessed a new winner, the first chink in the armour of the unflappable title leader, mistakes, injuries, and yet more thrills and spills.


450 Main

Marvin Musquin, on a high after a race victory in last weekend’s Triple Crown, looked keen to grab the holeshot and he got a great start out of the gate, but went out wide, Christian Craig saw the opportunity and headed into the first corner in the lead. The race was just starting to shake out when there was a yell from the huge crowd as Eli Tomac hit the ground. Frustrated fans saw the Monster Energy Kawasaki man struggle to pick his bike up in the traffic and by the time Tomac could rejoin he had dropped to 22nd place. Back at the front, the two Honda riders Justin Brayton and Christian Craig were enjoying a great battle, swapping positions and managing to keep Musquin behind them at the same time. While everyone was enthralled by the fight at the front there was little time to check on series leader, Jason Anderson. But the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna man soon made himself stand out, this season he has been one of the smoothest and most precise riders in the championship but a careless mistake as he changed line trying to overtake Vince Friese saw the usually unflappable Anderson hit the ground. His first big error since taking serious command of the points standings, and his first mistake of any kind since Arlington. At the finish line he could only manage 7th.

Anderson’s rivals had no choice but to try and take advantage of the unusual circumstances. Second place man in the championship, Musquin pushed hard to chase down Brayton and take maximum points. The Red Bull KTM man leapt into the lead but was soon caught out by the tricky track (designed by Ricky Carmichael), hitting a jump too quickly he nearly looped out, but held onto the bike, landing heavily and catapulting himself off the track and into the mechanics’ area. Musquin rejoined after the spectacular crash only to dig the front in a sandy berm and go down again. Without doubt, the Frenchman lost his usual focus and failed to take advantage of the extenuating circumstances.

Despite his own off, Tomac was desperate to recoup. And you have to hand it to him, he has learned during the last couple of seasons how to make strong comebacks. As the time ticked down he carved through the pack, passing everyone but Brayton to snatch second place.

There was jubilation at the finish line as MotoConcepts Honda rider Brayton took the chequered flag and with it his first Supercross victory, and the 33 year old also made history; becoming the oldest rider to win a 450 main. Although Brayton looked as though he could scarcely believe it, he has been on impressive and consistent form all season long. He moves into 3rd in the standings, 13 points behind Musquin.

From the impressive comeback of Tomac – 22nd to 2nd – to the uncharacteristic error of Anderson, the costly crashes of Musquin, and the much deserved victory of Brayton, the ever legendary Daytona had a bit of everything. After 10 rounds it may appear we have a very clear favourite for the title, but with seven rounds still remaining we know that anything could happen yet.

250 East Main

The 250 East series lost three riders to injury during the event with RJ Hampshire suffering a high speed crash in a heat race, James ‘Jimmy’ Decotis falling during the Main, and Colt Nichols crashing while training. Hampshire has sustained fractures in his vertebrae, ribs, and collarbone. Similarly Decotis fractured L2 & L3 vertebrae. Nichols broke his arm, the very same injury which he had just recovered from at the start of the season. A real shame for these promising riders, as Hampshire had been running 3rd, Colt Nichols 5th, and Decotis 6th. For the Monster Energy Yamaha team it is an especially heavy blow to lose Nichols as they are now riderless following the nasty injuries suffered by his team-mate Dylan Ferrandis a week earlier.

So, the race: championship leader Zach Osborne was buried deep in the pack as his rivals shut the door on him out of the gate. Meanwhile TLD KTM’s Jordon Smith made a great start and forged ahead, initially being chased only by Jeremy Martin (Geico Honda). As we’ve often seen, Osborne is not afraid to fight his way through the field and the Rockstar Husqvarna man did exactly that. His only aim was to catch and pass main rival Austin Forkner, but as he desperately tried to close the gap he dug the bike into one of the sandy berms and lost crucial ground. Smith was thrilled to hold the lead from start to finish and he crossed the line with almost a second on Jeremy Martin. Kawasaki’s Forkner completed the top three. With Osborne only managing 4th place in Daytona he is now level on points with Forkner in the championship standings.

Next week’s racing is bound to be aggressive and all-out as both riders will be eager to prove who is boss.

2018 AMA SUPERCROSS

450SX Championship Standings.

1. Jason Anderson Husqvarna     223

2. Marvin Musquin KTM               183

3. Justin Brayton Honda               170

4. Blake Baggett KTM                   164

5. Eli Tomac Kawasaki                 160

6. Weston Peick Suzuki               153

7. Cooper Webb Yamaha              146

8. Broc Tickle KTM                      131

9. Cole Seely Honda                     124

10. Justin Barcia Yamaha             113

 

250SX Eastern Region Championship Standings.

1. Austin Forkner Kawasaki         89

2. Zach Osborne Husqvarna       89

3. Jordon Smith KTM                   81

4. Jeremy Martin Honda             70

5. RJ Hampshire Honda             57

6. Luke Renzland Yamaha         55

7. Colt Nichols Yamaha               54

8. Martin Davalos Kawasaki       52

9. Kyle Peters Suzuki                 51

10. James Decotis Suzuki         49

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