The back-to-back champion Ryan Villopoto thought it was about time normal service was resumed for the return visit to Angel Stadium for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross – Anaheim 2.
After nearly nine months from his last win (New Orleans last year) and following two uncharacteristic rounds, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto grabbed his first 450SX win of the year.
Villopoto bossed all day, posting the fastest qualifying times all afternoon – looking more like his old self. In the heat race he led all eight laps and bagged the holeshot, leaving himself first gate pick for the main event.
The gate dropped for the main and Villopoto rounded the first turn in the top 10. Teammate Jake Weimer blasted to the Nuclear Cowboyz® holeshot with Team Honda Muscle Milk teammates Justin Barcia, and Trey Canard tucked in behind.
Villopoto started his push to the front, taking the leader on lap five.
“Once I saw the #1 behind me on the board, I knew he was coming,” said Canard. “He was on fire all day. I was just happy to get second.”
As you would expect Villopoto just kept laying down smooth and consistent laps, coming away with his 25th career main event win in the 450SX class, which leaves him in fourth for the standings.
“I’m happy to get this win out of the way,” said Villopoto. “We made progress each weekend and felt really good coming into today. My starts were much better, which made it much easier. I just took my time, was patient, and made clean passes. Every win is good, but this one is nice to get the ball rolling for the rest of the season.”
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ryan Dungey had a rough weekend and a crash in his 450 heat compounded his problems in the main event.
Dungey raced in the first of the 450SX heats but he had a poor start and was sitting mid-pack around the first lap. He quickly advanced toward the top five and was battling for fifth when he crashed with Jake Weimer at the halfway point. Dungey scrambled back into eleventh place and moved up two positions and take the final transfer spot to the main event.
The KTM rider’s problems on the start continued in the 450SX main event. He was buried in midfield when the bikes left the gates but had advanced to tenth place in the second lap. He continued to push and had moved up the order to seventh by lap six before slipping past Andrew Short into sixth place with five laps to go. He then began to reel in fifth place rider Jake Weimer but ran out of time and had to settle for sixth.
Dungey said he had put in his best efforts but an outside gate pit had made it difficult to get into the top rider mix at the start of the main. “I am bummed about not finishing on the podium, but I will do everything I can this next week to change the results for the positive in Oakland.”
German teenager and Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ken Roczen had another great weekend in the SX Lites West where he again finished second overall in the 250SX class. Putting Roczen second overall in the points. Roczen was second out of the gate in the start of the second 250SX heat and a couple of corners into the lap had taken over the lead. He went on to lead all six laps of the heat to claim his third consecutive heat race win of the season.
The young German also got away well in the main event and was second at the first corner. He hung on to the wheel of leader Cole Seely for the first half of the race but in lap nine made a mistake and allowed Eli Tomac to overtake. Two laps later, Roczen was able to reel in Cole Seely to regain his second position then maintained his pace to carry it right through to the finish.
Roczen said after the race that he was happy to finish second considering he had crashed hard in practice early in the day. “I am a bit banged up but I feel better knowing that I am riding stronger each week. I was able to get another podium finish and my third heat win. I hope to continue to make progress over the next week to work toward a win.”
Eli Tomac was undefeated in the first two rounds of the FIM World Championship and was determined to keep it that way at A2.
With just four laps remaining, the Geico Honda rider fought his way past Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen and Troy Lee Designs’ Cole Seely to make it three wins out of three for the defending 250SX champion.
“I’m slowly stretching out that points lead,” said Tomac. “I’d like some more points right now, but you can’t ask for anything more than getting three wins this early in the season.
“It was a good battle; those guys are probably my two best competitors in the class right now. It made for good racing. I had some good lines out there and it was a fun race for sure.
Overall Results 450SX Class –
1, Ryan Villopoto
2, Trey Canard
3, Chad Reed
4, Davi Millsaps
5, Jake Weimer
6, Ryan Dungey – KTM
7, Andrew Short
8, Justin Brayton
9, Matt Goerke – KTM
10, Josh Grant
Overall 450SX Class Point Standings –
1, Davi Millsaps – 63
2, Trey Canard – 60
3, Chad Reed – 56
4, Ryan Villopoto – 52
5, Ryan Dungey – 48
Overall 250SX Class Results:
1, Eli Tomac
2, Ken Roczen – KTM
3, Cole Seely
4, Zach Osborne
5, Jake Canada
6, Christian Craig
7, Jason Anderson
8, Tyla Rattray
9, Kyle Cunningham
Overall Point Standings 250SX Class:
1, Eli Tomac – 75
2, Ken Roczen – 66
3, Cole Seely – 58