Supercross races in 2012 were defined by a clear "Big Four" of Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed, James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto. Most expected the 450SX class to get even more competitive this year with Trey Canard returning from injury and Justin Barcia moving up after last year's lites championship. Flying under the radar, though, was Davi Millsaps.
During the offseason, Millsaps moved to the Rockstar Energy Suzuki team, a team that was primarily focused on the 250 Class in the past. The move paid off in a big way at Anaheim though, as Davi Millsaps turned in an incredible ride to win the 450 SX main event.
The first signs of a memorable night came during the heat races. Not content to settle for third in the 2nd 450 heat, Millsaps worked his way around both James Stewart and Trey Canard to win the heat. The Main Event would once again pit the Rockstar Suzuki rider against Trey Canard, as both got off to fast starts before Millsaps settled into the lead.
The two riders began to put a little distance on the rest of the pack, as Canard turned in fast laps while waiting for his moment to strike. With 4 to go, Canard made his move, passing Millsaps on the inside of one of the turns. The crowd was amped on Canard grabbing the lead in his first race back, but Millsaps wasn't ready to go down without a fight. Staying on the back on Canard for the remainder of the race, Millsaps turned up the heat on the final lap and passed the #41 back. When the checkers came out, it was Millsaps pulling off the surprise victory.
Canard's teammate, Justin Barcia, sat in 3rd for most of the race until a fall in the rhythm section towards the end caused him to slide all the way back to 7th. Still, there were plenty of positives for Bam Bam tonight as he won the 1st 450SX heat and proved that he'll be a major contender this year.
Meanwhile, two names that most people expected to run up front, Ryan Dungey and Chad Reed, finished 3rd and 4th respectively. James Stewart, battling through a knee injury that nearly sidelined him, placed 8th. Defending champion Ryan Villopoto experienced three separate setbacks that kept him all the way back in 16th.
As the series heads to Phoenix next week, the stage has been set for an exciting season.
Anaheim 1 450SX Main Event Results