A promising teenage talent that saw his career beset by injuries and frustration yet always positively punctuated by big wins alongside big contracts, it has been quite the journey over 14 professional seasons for Davi Millsaps.
Millsaps, who announced his retirement from the sport yesterday, has certainly experienced the sport at every angle.
The former former 250 supercross champ was the next big thing when he jumped to the pro ranks at 16 on a 125 factory Suzuki in 2004, he eventually won the 250 championship after a big money switch to Honda in 2006 and then made the move to the 450 class but, despite some big wins, injuries and a feeling of unfulfilled potential always hovered over the naturally talented Millsaps.
That said, winning a 250 supercross title, winning 450 supercross races and finishing runner-up twice in the 450 SX championship (plus third in the 450 Nationals) means that Millsaps can rightly look at the stats and point to a successful career despite the injuries.
Perhaps nothing represents Millsaps’ up and down career more than his unlikely win following a switch to a privateer Suzuki team at A1 in 2013. He would eventually finish second in the series for the second season in a row behind Villopoto but ahead of Ryan Dungey – that was raw the talent Millsaps possessed.
Another two years wrecked by injury curtailed Millsaps results once again but last year he rebounded to finish fifth overall in supercross and got signed with factory Yamaha for 2018 – only for the injury curse to cruelly strike again. Only this time, there could be no more comebacks, Millsaps could take no more chances such was the severity of his head injury and was forced to call time on his career.
But the smiling friendly giant will always have the memories of winning races against some of the biggest and best names in the history of the sport – and there aren’t many who can say that!