Villopoto Wins Indy SX The Hard Way (Updated)

Cycle News Staff | February 20, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 20, 2010) – Ryan Villopoto did everything he could to make things tough on himself as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross came East to the Indy Supercross. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider crashed in his Heat race, had to qualify through the LCQ and had one of the worst possible gate picks for the start. In spite of all the obstacles Villopoto stayed calm, methodically picked his way to the front of the field and eventually pulled away to 3.6-second margin of victory over series rival Ryan Dungey, of Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki, to draw even in the series standings after seven of 17 rounds. San Manuel Yamaha’s Josh Hill had a subpar evening in Indy finishing ninth and dropping to third place in the series, 10 points behind the two leaders. Hill, who was buried in the pack at the start, never did regain his earlier heat-race winning speed. Hill later had no explanation for his surprising performance, saying, “I haven’t ridden that badly in about a year. I pretty much was just a riding mistake that time out, it’s like I kind of got into everybody else’s pace and when I tried to get out of it, or change my line, I’d almost crash.”  The Lucas Oil Stadium crowd of 60,019 was treated to one of the better races of the season. GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham showed amazing speed all night and took over from holeshot winner and early leader Davi Millsaps on the third lap, much to the delight of the fans. Windham held it until just past the halfway mark when Villopoto dove inside a turn and took the number one spot. A lap later Dungey moved past Windham.  Villopoto led the last nine laps with Dungey obviously working hard at closing the gap without much luck. “I had the very last gate and had to make something of it,” said Villopoto, who earned his second straight win and third in the last four races. “Fortunately there were some sections where I was faster than Davi [Millsaps] and K-Dub [Windham] and I was able to close the gap and get them. We had a good battle going there for awhile. I felt relief when I got to the lead and could hear the crowd when Ryan [Dungey] got around Windham and I knew I had to keep riding a clean race.” Dungey said he wasn’t thrilled finishing second, but happy considering the track. “I’ve always known Indy to have a tacky surface,” said Dungey, who is in his first year in the premier class. “There were some tacky spots, but overall the track was really slick tonight. There was a lot of spinning going on tonight. It was tough because when you wanted to square it off and make a pass, you couldn’t cut it down too hard because you’d lose your front.” Windham said he felt outside his element running up front all night. “Earlier in the season I was slow and being slow kind of took the pressure off me,” Windham admitted. “Being fast all night kind of got to me. Sometimes you have to convince yourself you belong up here. It was a dogfight and I felt the pressure and wasn’t ready for it.” Windham fell to over 16 second behind Dungey at the finish. Justin Brayton earned his best finish of the season, scoring fourth on the Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGR Yamaha. After his blazing start Honda Red Bull Racing’s Millsaps settled for a top five. The series heads to Atlanta next week, with three riders fighting it out for the title and Villopoto carrying the momentum.  Lucas Oil StadiumIndianapolis, IndianaResults: February 20, 2010 (Round 7 of 16)HEAT 1 (8 laps, 1-9 transfer): 1. Josh Hill (Yam); 2. Matt Boni (Hon); 3. Nick Wey (Kaw); 4. Jarred Jet Browne (Kaw); 5. Michael Byrne (Yam); 6. Jason Lawrence (Yam); 7. Billy Payne (Hon); 8. Davi Millsaps (Hon); 9. Trey Canard (Hon); 10. Spencer Dally (Suz); 11. Robert Fitch (Kaw); 12. Jason Langford (Kaw); 13. Jeff Loop (Kaw); 14. Carl Schlacht (Hon); 15. Ryan Smith (Hon); 16. Jared Boothroyd (Suz); 17. Kyle Partridge (Kaw); 18. Travis Bannister (Kaw); 19. Aden Dejager (Kaw); 20. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw).Race Time: 6 min., 56.232 sec.Margin of Victory:  4.677 sec.HEAT 2 (8 laps, 1-9 transfer): 1. Kevin Windham (Hon); 2. Ryan Dungey (Suz); 3. Justin Brayton (Yam); 4. Ivan Tedesco (Yam); 5. Kyle Chisholm (Yam); 6. Chris Blose (Hon); 7. Thomas Hahn (Suz); 8. Dan Reardon (Yam); 9. Grant Langston (Yam); 10. Jason Thomas (Suz); 11. Weston Peick (Yam): 12. Justin Keeney (Kaw); 13. James Povolny (Kaw); 14. Jacob Saylor (Kaw); 15. Teddy Parks (Kaw); 16. Bradley Ripple (Hon); 17. Chad Cook (Kaw); 18. Jake Oswald (Hon); 19. Casey Hinson (Hon); 20. Ronnie Goodwin (Kaw).Race Time: 6 min., 43.763 sec.Margin of Victory: 4.408 sec.LCQ (6 laps, 1-2 transfer): 1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw); 2. Jason Thomas (Suz); 3. Kyle Partridge (Kaw); 4. Weston Peick (Yam); 5. Casey Hinson (Hon); 6. Justin Keeney (Kaw); 7. James Povolny (Kaw); 8. Spencer Dally (Suz); 9. Ryan Smith (Hon); 10. Teddy parks (Kaw); 11. Robert Fitch (Kaw); 12. Jeff Loop (Kaw); 13. Chad Cook (Kaw); 14. Jason Langford (Kaw); 15. Jake Oswald (Hon); 16. Jacob Saylor (Kaw); 17. Jared Boothroyd (Suz); 18. Bradley Ripple (Hon); 19. Carl Schlacht (Hon); 20. Travis Bannister (Kaw); 21. Aden Dejager (Kaw); 22. Ronnie Goodwin (Kaw).Race Time: 5 min., 16.628 sec.Margin of Victory: 4.642 sec.MAIN EVENT (20 laps): 1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw); 2. Ryan Dungey (Suz); 3. Kevin Windham (Hon); 4. Justin Brayton (Yam); 5. Davi Millsaps (Hon); 6. Chris Blose (Hon); 7. Grant Langston (Yam); 8. Nick Wey (Kaw); 9. Josh Hill (Yam); 10. Jason Lawrence (Yam); 11. Ivan Tedesco (Yam); 12. Jarred Jet Browne (Kaw); 13. Michael Byrne (Yam); 14. Kyle Chisholm (Yam); 15. Matt Boni (Hon); 16. Thomas Hahn (Suz); 17. Jason Thomas (Suz); 18. Billy Payne (Hon); 19. Dan Reardon (Yam); 20. Trey Canard (Hon).Race Time: 17 min., 20.777 sec.Margin of Victory: 3.628 sec.MONSTER ENERGY AMA SUPERCROSS, AN FIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS (After 5 of 17 rounds): 1. Ryan Villopoto (145/3 wins); 2. Ryan Dungey (145/2 wins); 3. Josh Hill (135); 4. Davi Millsaps (114); 5. Kevin Windham (106); 6. Justin Brayton (105); 7. Ivan Tedesco (97); 8. Nick Wey (74); 9. Andrew Short (69); 10. Thomas Hahn (61); 11. Kyle Chisholm (60); 12. Michael Byrne (57); 13. Grant Langston (54); 14. James Stewart (51/1 win); 15. Chris Blose (50); 16. Fabien Izoird (32); 17. Jason Thomas (31); 18. Dan Reardon (22); 19. Cyrille Coulon (20); 20. Austin Stroupe (18); 21. Jareed Jet Browne (18).