We’ve almost been waiting for the ball to drop that resulted in the kind of dominant ride that has not only made Ryan Villopoto a back-to-back-to-back champion, but also the most dominant rider on the planet. In Daytona, RV was in top form. It was his best ride of the season and the most convincing performance of the year thus far. All this doesn’t bode well for the likes of Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen, who now face a deficit of over one race in the standings. Villopoto is starting to find that groove that separates him from everyone else and he remains the frontrunner in the Power Rankings this week.
Each week, The Power Rankings will recognize the movers and shakers in Monster Energy Supercross.
1. Ryan Villopoto – Monster Energy Kawasaki (Last Week: 1 / No Change)
There isn’t much to be said about RV’s win at Daytona. It was exactly the kind of performance we’ve come to expect from him and now he’s part of the all-time elite there with four wins. His surge after the first turn to get the lead from Dean Wilson was a thing of beauty.
2. Ryan Dungey – Red Bull KTM (Last Week: 2 / No Change)
Outside of going back-to-back, there isn’t a much better way to follow up a win than with a podium effort. Dungey did what he does best and methodically cemented himself at the front of the field. Nothing flashy, just 20 solid laps that now have Dungey back into “Mr. Consistency” form. He’s been the best rider in the series over the last month with four straight podium finishes.
3. Ken Roczen – Red Bull KTM (Last Week: 4 / +1)
K-Roc desperately needed a good run after his DNF and Indy and did just that with a runner-up effort. It’s interesting to see how well he seems to perform at Daytona because it doesn’t seem to be his type of track, but I think we’re all starting to realize how well rounded a rider Roczen truly is.
4. James Stewart – Yoshimura Suzuki (Last Week: 3 / -1)
I said last week that Stewart was out of mulligans, but he deserves to be a cut a break after last week. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and terrible luck resulted in a torn off header pipe. James was looking good and it would have been interesting to see how he could have shaken things up on the track.
5. Andrew Short – BTOSports.com KTM (Last Week: 6 / +1)
Don’t look now but Shorty is coming on strong for the second half of the season. He grabbed a season-best result in Daytona (5th) and is quickly catching Justin Brayton in the standings. The veteran is as solid and reliable as they come and he’s proving that on a team with nowhere near the funding of the factory juggernauts. Really impressive.
6. Justin Brayton – Toyota/Yamaha/N-Fab/JGRMX (Last Week: 5 / -1)
Brayton’s ninth-place result wasn’t indicative of how well he rode at Daytona. He started deep in the field and put on a charge where he picked up five spots over the course of the main event. Daytona isn’t an easy place to come from the back, but JB did an admirable job.
7. Broc Tickle – RCH Racing / Soaring Eagle Suzuki (Last Week: 7 / No Change)
I’ve got to give Tickle the ride of the night. He wasn’t expected to do much of anything after qualifying 16th, to the point his own team owner made it clear on the broadcast that Broc wasn’t “feeling it.” After a career-best fifth-place finish in Indy, Tickle one-upped himself with a fourth-place effort in Daytona and now is a rider to keep an eye on as the season moves on.
8. Wil Hahn – GEICO Honda (Last Week: 8 / No Change)
I’ve said how difficult it is to come from behind at Daytona, and given that Hahn passed 11 riders in the main event to finish sixth, it shows just how ridiculously fast he was. Hahn was arguably the best rider on the track in the closing laps and he’s really starting to look comfortable on the big bike.
9. Dean Wilson – Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports
(Last Week: Not Ranked)
Outside of Villopoto’s dominance, you have to argue that Wilson’s breakout night at Daytona was the biggest story of the event. In just two weeks on the bike, Wilson showed he has the speed to compete with the world’s best. While fitness and endurance will no doubt need to be worked on moving forward, there is a ton of confidence in his ability on a 450, and that’s not only coming from himself, but also the rest of the industry as a big contract year looms in 2015.
10. Matt Goerke – BTOSports.com KTM (Last Week: Not Ranked)
Great ride for Goerke who enjoyed his best result of the season at Daytona in eighth. Goerke had yet to finish inside the top 10 prior to that, so it capped off a stellar night for the BTO team as a whole.
Biggest Movers: Ken Roczen and Andrew Short (+1)
Biggest Drop: James Stewart and Justin Brayton (-1)
Dropped Out: Eli Tomac (injured at Daytona) and Cole Seely (11th at Daytona)