The penultimate race of the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season provided a stellar night of action from Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium. Near-perfect weather provided balmy temperatures and a well-groomed, yet highly technical track for the riders. In the end, the Traxxas-supported Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki duo of Martin Davalos and Tyla Rattray left Utah with top-10 results.
Davalos Claws His Way to the Podium
Davalos was once again on his game in Salt Lake City, setting the tone for a good day after pacing the opening practice session and posting the second-fastest time of the afternoon. In his heat race, Davalos grabbed a good start and checked out on the field to win his second consecutive heat race and prime gate pick for the main event.
Following a tough start that left him outside the top 10 initially, Davalos had his work cut out for him in the 15-lap main event. He moved into seventh by the conclusion of the opening lap and began his upward climb until securing third place on Lap four. Once in podium position Davalos pressured Cole Seely for second in the final laps, but he could not make the pass and settled for his third trip to the podium this season.
“I didn’t make it easy on myself, but I’m happy to come out with a podium finish,” said Davalos. “It wasn’t easy gaining ground or making passes, but I knew I had to keep digging to get where I wanted to be.”
Davalos moved into fifth in the championship thanks to his inspired performance. He faces a 10-point deficit to fourth heading into the final race of the season.
Rattray Fights Hard for a Spot in the Top 10
Rattray faced an uphill battle in the early going in Salt Lake City, posting the 11th-quickest lap time in practice. However, he rebounded to finish third in his heat race and generate some momentum heading into the main event.
Like his teammate, Rattray had his work cut out for him following a start outside the top 10 in the main event, crossing the line in 12th at the conclusion of the opening lap. After moving into 11th, Rattray maintained the position for most of the race, but made a charge over the final five laps to break into the top 10 and finish eighth.
“It wasn’t the night we were hoping for, especially after last week’s success in Seattle,” said Rattray. “Although eighth place isn’t where we want to be, I’m happy with how I was able to move forward.”
Rattray was able to gain some ground in the championship with the top-10 result, moving from ninth into a three-way tie for eighth. He sits just nine points out of seventh heading into the season finale.
Ending on a High Note
The final race of the season next weekend in Las Vegas signifies the final opportunity of the season for Davalos and Rattray to end the year on a high note. The final main event will be 15 laps of intense competition as both Western Regional Championship competitors seek to land on the podium and potentially leave Sin City with a big win.
Looking Ahead - Las Vegas
In addition to hosting the final race of the Western Regional Championship, the Las Vegas finale also means it's time for the annual East/West Shootout for the 250SX Class. Fellow Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Tyler Bowers will join Davalos and Rattray representing the Eastern Regional Championship, which will also host its final race of the 2013 season. Sam Boyd Stadium will be the site of the dramatic conclusion of Monster Energy Supercross on Saturday, May 4.
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