Villopoto Fastest In Dodger Stadium SX Qualfiying

Paul Carruthers | January 21, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA, JAN. 21 – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto turned the quickest lap of the lone qualifying session at Dodger Stadium this afternoon, the defending AMA Supercross Champion and last year’s race winner at Chavez Ravine clicking off a 53.993-second lap.

Villopoto’s best effort came on his ninth of 11th laps and it was the only lap in the 53-second bracket. It came a few minutes after Villopoto had taken the top spot from James Stewart with a lap of 54.004.

Ryan Dungey LA SX qualifying.

Ryan Villopoto ended up third fastest.

Ironically, the Dodger Stadium track is dry when many predicted a mudder for tonight’s race. Although it rained last night and this morning, the weather cleared this afternoon with sunshine and not rain soaking downtown Los Angeles. The track was covered last night and wasn’t lifted until this afternoon – thus just the single practice/qualifying session was held.

“It’s really tough, really slippery and a little bit dry – definitely not the greatest conditions,” Villopoto said. “But we all do ride the same deal. With a short practice you gotta get out there and work out the bugs quick. There’s not a whole lot to do with just one practice and you kinda gotta go out there and make the best of it with the 12 minutes that you have. I didn’t make any changes when I was out there. I felt really comfortable so hopefully we can have a solid night tonight.

Stewart held on for second fastest despite not finishing the 12-minute session. The JGR Yamaha rider was fast out of the gate, but lasted just three laps before getting out of shape and crashing in the second set of whoops and heading for the pits with a cut under his eye. Still, his 54.059 held up for the second-quickest time.

Championship co-leader Ryan Dungey put the Red Bull KTM third in the session with his 54.766. Both Dungey and Villopoto are wearing red backgrounds on their number plates tonight to signify their positions tied at the top of the point standings after two rounds.

Stewart’s JGR teammate Davi Millsaps put his YZ450F fourth fastest, besting the Muscle Milk Honda of Justin Brayton. Chad Reed, Jake Weimer, Ivan Tedesco, Trey Canard and Brett Metcalfe rounded out the top 10 qualifiers.

In the Lites class, Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac led the way with a 54.820 – a time that would have put him fourth in the Supercross class. Tomac was the only Lites rider in the 54s and ended up .195 of a second ahead of the ever-surprising Zach Osborne.

Eli Tomac LA SX qualifying.

Eli Tomac led Lites qualifying.

Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin ended up third with Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson and Martin Davalos rounding out the top five.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.