Following a season full of captivating competition, Monster Energy AMA Supercross hosted arguably its biggest night of the 2013 season in front of a packed house inside Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium for the final race of the championship. A full slate of action for the 250SX Class featured the final main events for both the Eastern and Western Regional Championships in addition to the annual East/West Shootout, which pits the best riders from both regions in a 10-lap showdown.
Bowers caps off dream season with a breakthrough win
When Mitch Payton called on the services of reigning three-time AMA Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers to fill in for injured riders Dean Wilson and Justin Hill in the Eastern Regional Championship, he probably didn’t expect Bowers to become one of the breakout stars of the final few weeks of the season. In just two starts, Bowers had already established himself as a legitimate threat for the podium. As a result of his strong rides, he unexpectedly qualified for a chance to compete in Las Vegas, where he hoped to cash in.
Bowers put himself in a good position at the start of the Eastern Regional Main Event, moving into second place early and setting his sights on the front of the field. After following early leader Gavin Faith for a couple laps, Bowers made his move to the front of the field and proceeded to check out on the competition. After holding a multiple second advantage for the majority of the 15-lap main event, Bowers withstood some late pressure from Marvin Musquin to emerge with his first career Supercross victory.
“I can’t believe I’m in this position right now, it’s unbelievable,” exclaimed Bowers. “This just goes to show that all the hard work I’ve put into Arenacross the last few years paid off. I would have never had this chance if Mitch Payton hadn’t given me a call so I cannot thank him enough for taking a shot at letting me ride a Pro Circuit Kawasaki. I also wouldn’t be here without the dedication of Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki and everything they’ve done for me in Arenacross. This is such an amazing night and a great way to end the season.”
Bowers finished the Eastern Regional Championship with 59 points in three starts, which moved him to 16th overall with an impressive average finish of 3.33.
As he headed into the East/West Shootout, Bowers was hoping to keep the momentum from his win going into the 10-lap sprint. Following a start outside the top five, Bowers looked to make some early passes but suffered from misfortune in the process. He dropped to the tail end of the field, but was able to remount and battle his way to a 14th-place finish.
Davalos finishes strong with another podium effort
Martin Davalos’ first season with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki was a solid one as the veteran rider led the way for the team in the Western Regional Championship on several occasions. With three podium finishes to his credit coming into Las Vegas, Davalos was hoping to wrap up the season with another spot on the box and potentially a first career victory.
Davalos put himself in position to win by grabbing the early lead in the Western Regional Main Event and checking out on the field. He opened a healthy gap over the competition and led the first 11 laps of the 15-lap race on the long, physically demanding track inside Sam Boyd Stadium. On Lap 12, Davalos was pressured by Eli Tomac and despite his best efforts, gave way to his rival. Just a couple laps later, Davalos made a slight mistake in a rhythm section that allowed Ken Roczen to pass for second, but in the end, Davalos still walked away with his fourth podium result of the season and arguably his most impressive ride of the championship.
“I really wanted that win, but I’m still happy to be back on the podium,” said Davalos. “I pushed as hard as I could early on to open a big lead but this track was so tough and it really took everything you had to run the same lines every lap. I unfortunately made a couple mistakes there at the end and lost a couple spots, but I’m happy with third and how I raced tonight. I’ve made a lot of progress as a rider this season thanks to being a part of an elite team like Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki.”
Davalos’ podium result solidified his fifth-place finish in the Western Regional Championship.
In the East/West Shootout, Davalos grabbed the best start of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki trio, moving into fourth place early on. He maintained that spot for the majority of the 10-lap race, but pressured Marvin Musquin for third place in the late stages. Davalos attempted a pass on Musquin for third, but couldn’t make it stick and ultimately finished just off the box in fourth.
Rattray endures intense battles to finish inside the top 10
Since the return of the Western Regional Championship a few weeks ago, Tyla Rattray had shown an added aggression and comfort aboard his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250F. The veteran rider moved from outside the top 10 in the championship standings into a tie for eighth heading into Las Vegas, where he was looking to take over the position for himself.
Rattray started the Western Regional Main Event deep inside the top 10, surrounded by many of the division’s most talented riders. He engaged in battle for a spot inside the top 10 throughout the 15-lap main event and outlasted many of his rivals en route to a ninth-place finish.
Thanks to his top-10 effort, Rattray took over sole possession of eighth in the final Western Regional Championship standings.
Rattray had his work cut out for him in the East/West Shootout after starting 10th and experienced some misfortune as he attempted to work his way forward. After dropping a couple positions to 12th, Rattray battled his way through the field to earn a hard-fought 10th-place finish.
Celebrating the Season that Was
On Sunday evening, the annual Monster Energy Supercross Year-End Awards Ceremony looked back at the 2013 season and celebrated the individuals and moments that made this one of the most captivating championships in history. While Mitch Payton’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team was faced with adversity at times, the 2013 season was filled with bright spots, including the winning efforts from both Wilson and Bowers, along with the many podium appearances by Davalos. Additionally, rookie Justin Hill showed tremendous promise in his first season of professional competition. The team now looks ahead to the start of the 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season where all of its riders will return healthy and ready to battle for the title in the 450 Class and 250 Class.