Villopoto Takes A Big Step Forward

Jean Turner | April 10, 2010

HOuSTON, TX, APR. 10: Ryan Villopoto got the holeshot, checked out, and went unchallenged to his seventh win of the season, but there’s more to the story than that. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider is steadily doing all he can to get back in the championship hunt, and he took a big step forward in Houston after misfortune struck points leader Ryan Dungey.

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Dungey still retains the points lead coming out of Houston, but he spotted his closest rival nine points at Reliant Stadium after taking a sub-par fifth-place finish. GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham had a phenomenal night and charged to a solid second. Fellow veteran Ivan Tedesco of the Valli Motorsports Yamaha team also got on the podium, matching his best finish of the year with a third-place finish.

Villopoto grabbed the holeshot, and the early lead followed by San Manuel Yamaha’s Josh Hill. But Windham was simply on fire in Houston, and looked like a figure skater at a hockey game as he sailed through the field, picking off rider after rider until he was in second. He didn’t have any luck reeling in Villopoto, who had already checked out, but Windham held down a solid second for the majority of the race, and scored his fourth podium of the year with a second place finish.

Still struggling with broken ribs, Hill rode strong in the early laps of the race and held on to third for several laps. As Hill worked on fending off Dungey for third, it allowed Tedesco to close in on the pair, turning the battle for third into a three-way battle. As Hill and Dungey diced with each other, Tedesco managed to slip by both of them and secure the point. Hill eventually dropped off the pace, leaving Dungey to take another run at Tedesco for third, but it led to Dungey’s blunder of the evening.

As Dungey made his way over one of the dragon backs, he stalled his RM-Z450. Dungey didn’t go down but struggled to secure his footing and get his Suzuki to fire. Dungey slipped back to seventh in the process which let Hill, Davi Millsaps and Chad Reed slip by. That put Reed in the exact position he was supposed to be in – between Dungey and Villopoto.

Dungey was able to make his way back around Millsaps and Hill, but he remained behind Reed, who finished fourth in his return to action. Dungey clung to fifth followed by Tommy Hahn, Davi Millsaps, Andrew Short, Justin Brayton and Josh Hill.

Reliant Stadium

Houston, Texas

Main Event

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw); 2. Kevin Windham (Hon); 3. Ivan Tedesco (Yam); 4. Chad Reed (Kaw); 5. Ryan Dungey (Suz); 6. Tommy Hahn (Suz); 7. Davi Millsaps (Hon); 8. Andrew Short (Hon); 9. Justin Brayton (Yam); 10. Josh Hill (Yam); 11. Nick Wey (Kaw); 12. Manuel Rivas (Kaw); 13. Kyle Chisholm (Yam); 14. Michael Byrne (Yam); 15. Matt Boni (Hon); 16. Kyle Regal (Yam); 17. Josh Demuth (KTM); 18. Jason Thomas (Suz); 19. Chris Blose (Hon); 20. Jason Lawrence (Yam).

AMA Supercross Championship Points Standings

1. Ryan Dungey (277/4 wins); 2. Ryan Villopoto (265/7 wins); 3. Josh Hill (217); 4. Davi Millsaps (203/1 win); 5. Kevin Windham (201); 6. Ivan Tedesco (179); 7. Justin Brayton (176); 8. Nick Wey (141); 9. Tommy Hahn (128); 10. Kyle Chisholm (123); 11. Michael Byrne (117); 12. Trey Canard (103); 13. Chris Blose (88); 14. Andrew Short (82); 15. Grant Langston (66); 16. Jason Thomas (64); 17. James Stewart (51/1 win); 18. Matt Boni (51); 19. Jason Lawrence (43); 20. Manuel Rivas (32).

Jean Turner | Contributor

A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.