It’s a Kawasaki clean sweep as Ryan Villopoto and Dean Wilson do doubles in New York State…
Following a break from competition over the past two weekends, the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship returned to action on Saturday for its ninth round of the season. The Rockstar Energy Unadilla National hosted a tremendous crowd at the Unadilla Valley Sports Center, as Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto grabbed his second win of the season to extend his lead in the 450 Class standings. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson helped seal a perfect day for Kawasaki, sweeping both motos for his first victory of the summer.
After taking over the top spot in the championship for the first time this summer at the previous round, Villopoto entered the day with a scant one-point lead over Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey. With the Unadilla round falling on his birthday, Villopoto was looking to make a statement, and began the day by topping the time sheet in practice. In Moto 1, he relied on a strong start to move into second behind American Honda’s Justin Barcia. After pacing his rookie counterpart for nearly half the moto, Villopoto made the move for the lead on Lap 7 and never looked back.
The second moto presented a similar situation for Villopoto, slotting into second place after another top-five start, this time behind Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi. Villopoto made short work of Alessi, passing him on Lap 3, and finishing off the day with convincing 1-1 moto scores.
“It was definitely a good day,” said Villopoto. “The team and I made the decision to go to 2012 Kawasaki for this weekend, and it was definitely the right move. Knowing what we had was a lot better, I felt like we were in a great position to win today. I got good starts and was able to work my way through the field. It seemed easy to get by guys. I don’t know if it was the bike, or my confidence, but it’s put us in good position for the championship.”
Dungey battled with Barcia throughout both motos, prevailing each time to garner 2-2 moto scores and finish second overall, minimizing the damage in the point standings.
“I fought it a bit today,” said Dungey. “I didn’t get the start I needed in either moto. I had to battle through guys, and once I got into second, I couldn’t make the time up on Ryan (Villopoto). We’re looking forward to the next three races, and battling for this championship.”
Barcia, making his 450 Class debut in a substitute role for American Honda, finished third (3-3).
Villopoto’s lead in the championship now sits at seven points over Dungey heading into an off week.
Through eight rounds in the 250 Class, Wilson had captured five moto victories to amass the most points in the entire series, as well as the best finishing average of any rider. Despite that, the points leader had yet to claim an overall win. On Saturday, Wilson left little doubt as to who the top rider was at Unadilla. After posting the fastest lap in practice, Wilson took over the lead early in both motos to pull away from the field and go 1-1 on the day, extending his double-digit points lead.
“It was a great day,” said Wilson. “I was just having fun out there. I feel like when I’m out there having fun, I definitely ride my best. I’ve been angry to not get an overall yet this season, but now I feel relieved. I just felt good and refreshed and excited to race again. I couldn’t sleep last night I was so excited.”
Wilson’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Blake Baggett finished in the runner-up spot (2-3) while GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac rounded out the overall podium in third (5-2).
Wilsonnow holds a 25-point advantage over Baggett in the 250 Class standings. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team remains undefeated in 2011, posting 18 moto wins and nine overall victories.
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship takes a week off, before returning to action on August 27 from Southwick, Mass. Moto-X 338 will host the 10th round of the championship, beginning at 1 p.m. EST.
- Ryan Villopoto Kawasaki (1-1)
- Ryan Dungey Suzuki (2-2)
- Justin Barcia Honda (3-3)
- ChadReed Honda (4-5)
- Mike Alessi KTM (7-4)
- Jake Weimer Kawasaki (5-6)
- Dean Wilson Kawasaki (1-1)
- Blake Baggett Kawasaki (2-3)
- Eli Tomac Honda (5-2)
- Kyle Cunningham Yamaha (8-4)
- Justin Bogle Honda (6-6)
- Marvin Musquin KTM (7-8)