The paddock's gradual realization that Davi Millsaps' challenge for the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross crown is no illusion was driven home Saturday night with a wire-to-wire win in San Diego.
Not concerned with is current place in the standings, the Rockstar Energy Racing star nailed the start and hammered his way to a near-two second advantage by the conclusion of the opening lap. Millsaps then held strong in the face of intense pressure from six-time San Diego winner Chad Reed. In fact, it was two-time champion Reed who made the critical mistake in their duel, closing to within striking distance at half-distance before washing out the front.
Team Honda Muscle Milk's raging rookie, Justin Barcia, picked up the charge in second and closed in on Millsaps himself. However, the points leader wicked it back up late and soared home to his second triumph of the season, handing Suzuki their first-ever victory in San Diego in the process.
"It's amazing -- especially having won the first race and then podium, podium, podium, and winning another one," Millsaps said. "Words can't explain it. I can't thank everyone who's been behind me enough."
Runner-up Barcia said, "It was such a crazy night for sure. Just being out there and racing tonight, I was pumped. To get second is awesome. I tried getting Davi; the track was really treacherous. It was gnarly and really slick."
Meanwhile, the 'Big Four' happened to be fighting for fourth for much of the night. After Reed fell, rather than chasing San Diego win #7, he found himself in seventh, stuck behind #7 -- James Stewart, how was himself looking at the rear wheels of reigning champ Ryan Villopoto and A3 winner Ryan Dungey.
Red Bull KTM man Dungey displaced a hard-riding Justin Brayton on the JGR Yamaha for third, and the others eventually followed suit. Stewart matched last weekend's fourth-place finish while Reed rebounded to take fifth.
Third-place finisher Dungey said, "This was one of the slipperiest tracks I've ever ridden. That main event was just a hard-polished slick ground. We didn't get off the start we wanted, but we made some passes and third overall, I'll take it. We'll regroup and keep moving forward."
Villopoto suffered through yet another disappointing outing, crossing the finish line in sixth and only narrowly edging Brayton and Barcia's teammate, Trey Canard, for the position.
Andrew Short continued his string of competitive results since being forced into team ownership as his squad crumbled around him with a ninth-place run. Mike Alessi rounded out the top ten to complete a Suzuki bookending of the top ten.
Millsaps now boasts a 19-point advantage over Dungey after six races of the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross Championship. Villopoto and Canard are tied for third, some 27 points back.
The title fight picks right back up next weekend as the series travels to Arlington, Texas for the next round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series. (content provided by SPEED).