Villopoto Runs Away With Anaheim SX Win

Kit Palmer | January 8, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA, JAN. 7 – There’s a reason why Ryan Villopoto is wearing the number-one plate this year, and he certainly showed it after trouncing the 20-rider field in front of a sold out Angel Stadium in Anaheim for the opening round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, an FIM World Championship. When all was said and done, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Villopoto crossed the finish line a whopping 12 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, that being TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Honda’s Chad Reed. Not far behind came Ryan Dungey on the Red Bull KTM in third place.

Davi Millsaps  18  wasnt the only one who was no match for Ryan Villopoto  1  on this night.

Davi Millsaps (18) wasn’t the only one who was no match for Ryan Villopoto (1) on this night.

Villopoto claimed the holeshot in the 20-lap final and managed to pull clear of a tight three-way scrap involving Reed, Dungey and Toyota/JGRMX Yamaha’s James Stewart, who was the top qualifier earlier in the afternoon. All three hit the ground at one time or another during the main but, for they still managed to stay close as they battled back and forth in the most entertaining duel of the race.

The most costly mistake happened to Stewart who was engaged in a see-saw showdown with Dungey. Stewart had just passed Dungey for third when he momentarily lost the front tire, which shot him into the Tuff Blocks, causing him to go down and lose several positions.

Villopoto had smooth sailing the whole way, while Reed hung on to finish second, just ahead of Dungey.

Chad Reed rode to a safe second place.

Chad Reed rode to a safe second place.

Fourth place went to Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton who overcame a poor gate pick after having won the LCQ. Brayton pinned it around the outside of the sweeping left turn and came out near the lead pack.

Villopoto’s teammate Jake Weimer finished fifth, while Stewart salvaged sixth.

Andrew Short, on the Honda, Kevin Windham, on the GEICO Powersports Honda, Mike Alessi, on the MotoConcepts Suzuki, and Josh Hansen, on the Dodge/Hart & Huntington Kawasaki rounded out the top 10 overall.

“It was a phenomenal night for me,” Villopoto said. “I didn’t have the best gate pick, but I got out in front and wanted to lay down fast laps. Overall, it was a great race for me.”

“Villopoto made us look silly out here tonight,” Reed said.

Seely, on the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda, had to work for his win – at least at first. Vince Friese, on the MotoConcepts Suzuki, nailed the holeshot but quickly gave way to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki riders Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray, but it was Seely who broke through to the front by the end of the second lap, and he stayed there the rest of the way, while Rattray and Wilson fought it out.

Cole Seely  34  had to first get around Dean Wilson  15 .

Cole Seely (34) had to first get around Dean Wilson (15).

But hovering in fourth was GEICO Powersports Honda’s Eli Tomac, who pushed his way around Wilson on the last lap to take third.

During the subsequent pass, Wilson went down at the same time and dropped several positions.

Rattray held on to finish second, while Tomac took third.

Fourth went to Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, followed by Rockstar/Valli/Star Racing Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes, Wilson, Rockstar/Suzuki Yoshimura’s Jason Anderson, GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn, Monster Energy Yamaha/BikeIt/Cosworth’s Zach Osborne, and Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Travis Baker.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to start the season,” Seely said. “To get a win here tonight in front of my family and friends is huge. I learned last year that consistency is key, and I hope to be on the podium at every race.”

Seely  center   Tyla Rattray  right  and Eli Tomac  left  celebrate on the West Lites podium.

Seely (center), Tyla Rattray (right) and Eli Tomac (left) celebrate on the West Lites podium.


Supercross Main:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Chad Reed (Hon)
3. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
4. Justin Brayton (Hon)
5. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
6. James Stewart (Yam)
7. Andrew Short (Hon)
8. Kevin Windham (Hon)
9. Mike Alessi (Suz)
10. Josh Hansen (Kaw)
11. Brett Metcalfe (Suz)
12. Broc Tickle (Kaw)
13. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw)
14. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
15. Ryan Morais (Yam)
16. Davi Millsaps (Yam)
17. Jimmy Albertson (Suz)
18. Chris Blose (Kaw)
19. Josh Grant (Kaw)
20. Thomas Hahn (Hon)

West Lites Main:
1. Coley Seeley (Hon)
2. Tyla Rattray (Kaw)
3. Eli Tomac (Hon)
4. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
5. Ryan Sipes (Yam)
6. Dean Wilson (Kaw)
7. Jason Anderson (Suz)
8. Wil Hahn (Hon)
9. Zach Osborne (Yam)
10. Travis Baker (Hon)
11. Matt Moss (KTM)
12. Nico Izzi (Yam)
13. Teddy Maier (Hon)
14. Billy Laninovich (Hon)
15. Vince Friese (Suz)
16. Max Anstie (Hon)
17. Ryan Marmont (KTM)
18. Jackson Richardson (Hon)
19. Martin Davalos (Suz)
20. Christian Craig (Hon)

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.