Awe-Inspiring: Ryan Villopoto Emerges Victorious at Daytona Supercross, Bubba Stewart Picks Up From Huge Crash, Finishes 9th
It doesn’t get much more dramatic than this, folks.
Oakley superstar rider James Bubba Stewart sustained a huge crash at Daytona International Speedway this past weekend after absolutely smoking the field from the starting gate on during the main event – sending fellow Oakley rider Ryan Villopoto to the checkered flag with his second straight Supercross Daytona victory. Defending Supercross champ Ryan Dungey also smashed his way from the middle of the pack after a shaky start – to a solid third-place finish.
Of course, there’s always some kind of intense action going down at Supercross. No surprise there.
But this year in Florida – on a brutal, choppy track designed by Oakley Motocross Legend Ricky Carmichael – the gnarly cake went straight to Bubba, who absolutely dazzled the industry with one of the most inspiring displays of guts and talent as of late.
Explaining that Stewart raged out of the gates on fire, wouldn’t quite do it justice. He was smashing…full power. After blowing through the holeshot, it seemed as he was only getting faster, building one huge lead all by himself – with the rest of the pack back in the distance. It was all his for the taking.
Then every spectator watching – on TV or at the Speedway – gasped.
He wheelied into a smaller jump, but never set the front wheel down before taking off. As the rear suspension pumped, it launched him over the bars, sending Bubba and his bike somersaulting, with the bike nearly clearing the next double after landing on its wheels.
Visibly dazed and beat down, James slowly found his way back to his bike and remounted…after falling the first time. Most were sure he was done. Think again.
Oakley’s long-time rider got back onto the track. But by then, the entire field had blown by.
Ryan Villopoto, who commanded the second spot, completely took over the lead – building a gap between himself and the closest rival for the next 17 laps. He breezed his way in for the triumph – and tighter grip on the series standings lead.
O’s Dungey, who remains within striking distance in the Supercross standings himself, had to weave his way through the pack to grab a podium spot, suffering a shaky start in 10th where he was pushed off the track in the first turn. Add a DNF during his heat race after his broken chain, and his third place finish was all the more impressive as the there was clearly a sense of frustration throughout the night.
And to cap off an already insane event, Bubba, who was left behind by the entire field after the crash, smashed his way to a 9th place finish – dazzling the event’s commentators and spectators everywhere with the persistence, toughness and sheer will.
All in all, one dramatic, magical night for Oakley team riders at one of the most heralded Supercross stops!