It was indeed a surprise to most of the moto world when Davi Millsaps won the opening round of Monster Energy AMA Supercross this past weekend at Anaheim stadium. Although he finished 2nd last year in overall standings, Millsaps is considered a 2nd-tier racer, not capable of beating the top 5 when they are all healthy. Wrong.
The resurgence of Davi Millsaps began in the middle of 2011 with some impressive outdoor speed on the JGR Yamaha. Millsaps had some podiums and great starts just a year after having a horrific crash and losing his kidney at the Budds Creek National. The fact is, Millsaps has always had the speed but once one suffers a series of injuries in motocross, they are written off quickly.
Davi came into 2012 healthy and stayed that way throughout the grueling 17 round Supercross season. He had the most success of anybody to ride a Yamaha in recent years, including his former JGR teammate, James Stewart. Now he is now back on a Suzuki where he began his career with astounding success. People discuss the resurgence of Davi Millsaps as if its something that took place Saturday night but Davi Duke put the wheels in motion long ago to start winning again.
The Rockstar Suzuki team went after Millsaps even prior to the off-season and he is exactly the rider they need to take their team to the next level. The team had success in 2012 with Blake Wharton and Jason Anderson in the 250 class, now with Millsaps, Izzi, and Sipes in the 450 class, they are really putting teeth into their program.
On a personal note, Millsaps and his wife, Brittney, just welcomed their first child. This could add some motivation for DM18 but he has clearly showed in the past year and a half that he is capable of challenging the top riders. Most of them faltered at Anaheim 1 and Millsaps put himself in prime position to capitalize. Trey Canard fought tooth and nail for the win but Davi was able to make a pass stick on the final lap, in a very exciting season opener.
Travis Pastrana had personally twittered his prediction for a Millsaps win, prior to the heat race, and most people laughed. Parody can be a beautiful thing.