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FXR Racing Presents the Fast Five- 2018 Daytona Supercross

Daytona International Speedway is one of the most historic racing venues in the United States, and maybe in the world. It’s also the only dedicated motorsports facility that hosts a Monster Energy Supercross round of racing. This year, Daytona Supercross marked Round 10 of the 17 round Monster Energy Supercross season. For riders and fans alike, it’s an exciting round of racing because it’s much more of an “outdoor” track than it is a traditional supercross track, and often features a track design created by none other than the GOAT himself, Ricky Carmichael. The 2018 Daytona Supercross lived up to the hype and did not disappoint. Here’s a look at the five most talked about and memorable moments from the historic World Center of Racing.

5. Cooper Webb Earns his first Overall Podium Position of 2018

Cooper Webb, now in his second season in the Premier Class, has had his fair share of “rookie blues” to shake off as he adjusts to the big bikes. For some riders, their transition from the 250’s to the 450’s is smooth as butter, but for many there are a few transition seasons where the pieces begin to fall into place. After some incredibly close racing with Eli Tomac during the Heat Race, Webb had the adrenaline flowing and was ready to take on the Main Event. Luckily for Webb, Tomac was scored in last after the first lap. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Racing rider. He was scored in 8th after the first lap and had to work decisively to move toward the front of the pack. The longer track design allowed for longer straight-aways, which made for additional passing opportunities that aren’t necessarily present on a traditional supercross track design. Webb charged hard for the duration of the Main Event and crossed the finish line in 3rd place, earning his very first overall podium position of the 2018 season. The momentum has been building steadily for Webb throughout the season, and now that he has the monkey off his back, we’re likely to see the #2 up front on more occasions.

4. Tomac Scored in Last after Lap 1 of the Main Event

Eli Tomac has had his fair share of “black cloud” bad luck this season as he’s been a perpetual state of “catch up”, even though he’s still lead more laps than any of his competitors combined. Round 10 could have spelled disaster for the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider as he was scored in last place after the first lap. Tomac got shuffled to the back of the pack off the start and that mean he was going to have to keep his mental game strong as he worked to pick off his competitors and salvage as many points as possible after the least desirable starting position. But one thing is for certain, Tomac continues to be the fastest guy in the field and that certainly played to his advantage Saturday night. Remarkably, Tomac was able to move his way through the entire pack of riders and finish the evening in 2nd place. Had the Daytona Main Event still been a 20 lap race, rather than a 20 minute + 1 lap race, we may have even seen Eli land on the top step.

3. Jordon Smith Snags First Win of the Season

Jordon Smith had a successful 2017 Supercross season, even holding the red plates at one point. 2018 is off to a great start for the TLD Red Bull KTM rider in an incredibly competitive 250SX Eastern Regional class. At Daytona, arguably one of the most challenging races of the season, it’s also probably the most coveted trophy. Smith was on fire all day long and carried the momentum from his Heat Race win directly to the Main Event. A great start aided the KTM rider in leading the Main Event from gate drop to checkered flag where he claimed his first overall win of the season. Racing well at Daytona is always the top priority for riders, but to come away a winner is no small feat.

2. Austin Forkner ties Zach Osborne for the Points Lead

Austin Forkner started the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross season seeking his career-first win. He arrived in Daytona with not only his first win under his belt, but has claimed the last two wins in a row. Having that kind of momentum as you line up for the most challenging race of the season certainly works wonders for your confidence. Forkner was able to capitalize on his 3rd place start and make smart moves that allowed him to remain in 3rd place through the checkers. The true importance of his podium finish in Daytona, besides keeping the momentum rolling for the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider, is that for the first time in his career Austin Forkner will don the red plates. His 3rd place finish and Zach Osborne’s 4th place finish tied them up in the 250SX Eastern Regional championship standing.

1. Justin Brayton has a “Perfect 10” Evening in Daytona

Easily the most talked about moment of the race, and possibly the season, was the moment Justin Brayton crossed the finish line in the Main Event. Brayton has been steadily building steam throughout the 2018 season, finishing inside the Top 10 in every Main Event this year. He started off the evening with a Heat Race win. Brayton was able to keep up the speed throughout the Main Event and after a great start and a decisive pass for the lead on the first lap, it was quickly revealed that the 450SX Main Event would become a historical night for the 16-year Supercross veteran. Brayton led all 17 laps of the Main Event and as he crossed the finish line, every single fan in the stands erupted in thunderous cheers and applause as Brayton earned his career-first Supercross overall victory. Landing on the top step of the podium is no easy feat, especially at Daytona and for Brayton, it was a move that was 16 years in the making. You know you’re doing something right, when even your competitors are hugging you in congratulations and celebrating your victory. Not only was this a night for Brayton’s personal record book, but a huge moment in the Supercross history books as well when Brayton dethroned Mike LaRocco as the oldest Supercross victor in history. There wasn’t a person in that stadium that wasn’t excited for the #10 Honda rider as he scored a “Perfect 10” at one of the most revered races on the circuit.

Racing continues to get more and more exciting each week and we look forward to seeing what stories unfold during Round 11. Meet us in St. Louis!

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