Wild Night in St. Louis

Cycle News Staff | April 17, 2010

ST. LOUIS (April 17, 2010) – Ryan Dungey felt the spirit in St. Louis, while his arch rival Ryan Villopoto suffered a serious case of the blues.  In a wild night of racing in the Edward Jones Dome, Dungey survived a crash and a rapidly deteriorating track to win his fifth Monster Energy AMA Supercross of the season on the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki RMZ450, putting him within reach of his first championship in the class. Meanwhile Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto battled with Dungey, crashed into him, took the lead and then suffered a major crash on lap 11 when he came up short on a set of tall rhythm jumps. He was carted out of the stadium by medical personnel, condition unknown.  Geico Powersports/ Factory Connection Honda’s Kevin Windham and Honda Red Bull’s Andrew Short took advantage of the mayhem to finish on the podium with Dungey, taking second and third respectively. All of the intense action in St. Louis means that Dungey has pulled clear in the championship chase, boosting his lead to 36 points (302 to 266) over Dungey. Josh Hill, who finished 13th on his San Manuel Yamaha, remains third with 225.  Dungey moved his Suzuki into the lead on lap two, taking the spot from first-lap leader Nick Wey on the TiLube/Babbitts/MSR/Foremost Kawasaki. Dungey then held the number one spot over Villopoto, who was charging hard and gradually cutting into the lead.  Lap nine was a pivotal moment in the race. Villopoto shot low in a turn, seemingly too fast, and smashed into Dungey. Both of the leaders hit the deck. Their bikes were tangled for a moment, yet they both got going nearly simultaneously and  held the top two spots after Villopoto took over the and Dungey quickly got back past Short. It looked like it was going to be a battle to the finish, but just two laps after the initial incident, Villopoto came up terribly short on a tall rhythm jump and flew off his bike, hitting his head hard on landing. That was the race. Villopoto was hurt and never attempted to get up. Dungey moved past and, with the exception of a lap or two from the end when it appeared Windham might catch him, he rode unchallenged to victory. Windham came home 5.2-seconds back, matching his best finish of the season. Short, continuing his strong comeback from injury crossed the line about seven seconds behind Windham. Nick Wey and Chad Reed rounded out the top five.  Reed stormed off the floor after giving race officials a tongue lashing over track conditions. Dungey was gracious about the hard hit he took from Villopoto. “I’ll have to look at the tape to make sure, but Ryan’s move on me was pretty aggressive,” said Dungey of the incident where they both crashed. “Fortunately we were both able to get going again and I brought it home to victory. It was a very tough track tonight and those last couple of laps I was doing everything I could to keep my concentration level high.” Windham said he was pleased with his ride even though he hasn’t met one of his main goals. “I want to win one of these things,” said the veteran racer. “This was one of those nights where I felt I was on the verge of making a breakthrough, but I just couldn’t quite push myself when the track started going away. There were places out there where the concrete was showing through so I had to be careful.” The ever positive Short was surprised by his podium result in his comeback. “I didn’t think it would happen this soon,” he said. “I can go good for the first couple of laps, but I didn’t have much left there at the end.” The series moves to Seattle’s Qwest Field next weekend.

AMA Supercross Class Results: St. Louis1.       Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki2.       Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda3.       Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda4.       Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki5.       Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Kawasaki6.       Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha7.       Michael Byrne, Park City, Utah, Yamaha8.       Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha9.       Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda 10.   Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Suzuki            AMA Supercross Class Season Standings1.       Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 3022.       Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 2663.       Josh Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 2254.       Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 2235.       Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 2156.       Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 1917.       Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 1838.       Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 1599.       Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Suzuki, 13910.   Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha, 136