2013 Atlanta SX Review and riders thought

Photo: suzuki-racing.com

Atlanta Supercross 2013 – 68,987 fans! And it was an exciting race, as James Stewart won his first supercross main event in almost a year. He was chased to the checkered flag by defending Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series Champion Ryan Villopoto. And this year’s series points leader, Davi Millsaps, was right behind the two of them to finish third.

James Stewart and his smile said it all. James also said “I mean, what can I say, we won tonight. It means a lot. This whole season has been going crazy, and to get a victory and to get a start, it was almost a perfect day. I was fastest in practice, and fastest in the Heat Race. I got the holeshot in the Main Event and led every lap. I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous because I haven’t been out there in a while. But I felt good and I was just trying to stay in my head and focus. I have to give it up to the Yoshimura Suzuki team. They’ve been working so hard and they’ve stood by me in this up-and-down year. Now I’m looking forward to building on this momentum and heading to St. Louis.”
James Stewart is all smiles after winning in Atlanta 2013

Ryan Villopoto finished second. He’s won the most races so far this season, but is second in the points behind Davi Millsaps. Ryan said after Atlanta “The track was really slippery out there tonight. I felt good all day. My goal is to get another championship so I wanted to make sure we got a good finish tonight. All year the tracks have been slippery and we haven’t been able to push as much as I’d like during the race.”

And third in Atlanta, but leading the all important points chase – Davi Millsaps: “I’m feeling a little better this week, but I still have sinus problems and I don’t know what it is. It’s pretty bad and I’ve been taking stuff for it all day. It gets to the point where I can’t see very well and I’m definitely having trouble breathing. All-in-all the cold is gone but these symptoms are just lingering. I’m pretty over it and I’m not going to let it hold me back any more. James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto just rode a really good race and I didn’t get the best start. I was trying but was just making little mistakes everywhere. I was worried about them and Justin Barcia, and I need to quit doing that and just worry about myself. But, I’m just pumped to be on the box again and go into St. Louis next weekend.”

In the 250 East SX class, Wil Hahn won his first Main Event ever! And he had a lot to say after his historic ride: “I put in a lot of hard work, and it paid off here tonight. I stayed positive out there and rode a smart race. It’s an amazing feeling to get my first win here at the Georgia Dome in front of so many fans. This has been a long time coming. It actually went down exactly how I’ve always envisioned it. I got the holeshot, I put in the laps, and I stayed calm – that’s what it took to win. It’s all kind of surreal. It’s taking me some time to let this get into my head. It’s overwhelming; that’s why I took a victory lap. I wanted to squeeze every bit out of it and the crowd was going nuts. This is just a very, very satisfying feeling. My toe is shattered (which was broken in a heat race collision with team-mate Zach Bell). They stitched it up in the Asterisk Medical Trailer and I’ll need to get it examined again but it looks pretty bad. Still, I wasn’t going to let it stop me. Now I’m ready for anything.”

Wil Hahn atop the podium Atlanta 2013

Other riders (and a team manager) comment about their night in the GeorgiaDome …

Dean Wilson, who leads the 250 East Point standings at the series head to St. Louis this coming weekend. “The track was tricky tonight and it was tough to make passes out there. I was trying to be patient and wait for the leader to make a mistake and unfortunately he didn’t. I was able to get a good finish and keep the red plate for another week and now we will get ready for St. Louis.”

Marvin Musquin “The track was fun today. It was very technical and I enjoyed racing at the GeorgiaDome. I had great practice times and I had a decent start in the main, and of course, it is nice to be back on the podium. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t able to catch up to the leaders today but I will come back stronger next week and hope to continue to improve.”

Blake Wharton “In both my heat and the Main Event, I got pretty decent starts. This week was better because I didn’t have to go to the LCQ, but I didn’t do as good either. It was like a trade-off. The end result wasn’t as good but it was OK. I rode up front for a little while but I rode kind of tight. I’m glad I salvaged a fourth.”

Justin Barcia “Overall the night went okay. This is basically my home race so I was really hoping for a podium finish but it is an improvement from last weekend. I felt good in the main and stayed close to Davi Millsaps but was never able to make a solid attempt at a pass. I know what we need to work on and am ready to head to St. Louis.”

Ryan Dungey “Unfortunately, I didn’t get the best start and I wasn’t able to put myself in the best position for the overall tonight. I am definitely disappointed in my result but the five guys ahead of me rode really well tonight. I know what to work on and will come back stronger for St. Louis.”

Red Bull KTM Team Manager Roger DeCoster “It wasn’t a great night for Ryan. He rode well but the top riders are making no mistakes and we need to work on improving his starts to put him in a better position to fight for the overall.”

Eli Tomac, who rode his first ever race in the AMA 450 SX class “It’s ridiculous when you look at the top eight, 10 guys in this class and they’re all champions. This class is no joke. I got a bad gate pick and it made it tough for me. It was a great learning experience, for sure. I learned a lot about the bike. It’s a beast. There are some things I want to change in the suspension and gearing that I think will help. I also need to get past guys quicker on the track. Hopefully, it will all come together for me in St. Louis.”