ST. LOUIS - Ryan Villopoto has won a lot of Supercross races in his career, but St. Louis was one that eluded him. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider can now check that one off his list. Villopoto won his fifth Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race at Edward Jones Dome in convincing fashion in front of a record-breaking crowd of 59,742.
Ryan Dungey took second on his Red Bull KTM to stay solidly in championship contention. He now trails Villopoto by 13 points as the second half of the season gets underway. Justin Brayton broke through to score his first podium result of the season, taking third on his Muscle Milk Honda.
JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha's Davi Millsaps earned the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award with Villopoto and Brayton closely following. JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha's James Stewart, last year's winner here, started near the back of the pack and crashed on the opening lap.
Villopoto quickly moved into second place. On the second lap Villopoto took the lead after passing Millsaps and began opening a sizeable lead.
Brayton passed Millsaps on lap eight to take over second place, and on the same lap Red Bull KTM's Dungey also passed Millsaps and ran third. On lap 13 Dungey took over second place, from Brayton. Kevin Windham took a lonely fourth.
Meanwhile Stewart charged back from last place, in spite of a bent brake lever. By the checkered flag his momentum moved him past Millsaps for fifth place.
Dungey made a late-race run at Villopoto, but the leader was able to monitor and control his margin from the front. It was one of his best performances of the season for Villopoto, solidifying his place as clear front runner in this year's title chase.
"The track was tough tonight," said Villopoto. "I tried to ride smart and consistent, paying attention to where (Ryan) Dungey was at. I was able to hold on for another win and my first-ever in St. Louis"
Jake Weimer, Brett Metcalfe, Marvin Musquin and Nick Wey rounded out the top 10 finishers.
The series now moves to Daytona International Speedway next Saturday, the first major event of Bike Week 2012.
Supercross Class Results: St. Louis
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
3. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
4. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
5. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
6. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
7. Jake Weimer, Wildomar, Idaho, Kawasaki
8. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki
9. Marvin Musquin, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
10. Nicholas Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
Supercross Class Season Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki - 205
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM - 192
3. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha - 152
4. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Honda - 128
5. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda - 123
6. Jake Weimer, Wildomar, Idaho, Kawasaki - 120
7. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Honda - 116
8. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki - 113
9. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha - 109
10. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki - 98