Villopoto wins again! Photography By: Andrea Wilson.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto became the first two-time winner of the AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series tonight at Angel Stadium, the defending series champion not only winning his second race of the five-race-old season but taking over the points lead in the process.
Villopoto almost led all of this one. He led into turn one, but TwoTwo Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed blitzed past him in the first run through the whoops to take the lead. Villopoto wasn’t in the mood to wait around and he got back by the Australian before the end of the opening lap.
And from there he simply motored away, leading by two seconds, three seconds… the gap would grow incrementally until he backed it down in the late stages to win by 4.8 seconds in front of 45,040 spectators at the home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Reed held second place initially, but James Stewart – who transferred to the final from the LCQ after crashing hard in his heat race – was on the move. By the seventh lap he’d reeled in Reed. And a lap later he was through to second place. Still, he couldn’t make a dent in the gap to Villopoto.
James Stewart ended up second, despite crashing hard in his heat race. Photography By: Andrea Wilson.
To his credit, Reed never gave up and he kept Stewart honest to the very end, coming up some three seconds short. He in turn was some 10 seconds clear of Ryan Dungey, the Red Bull KTM rider ending the first lap in sixth place after a so-so start.
Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton ended up fifth, but 31 seconds behind Villopoto after starting the night off with a bang as the fastest qualifier.
Sixth place went to Geico Honda’s Kevin Windham, the veteran fighting his way through to beat Stewart’s JGR Yamaha teammate Davi Millsaps, the latter still fighting the effects of illness.
MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi was eighth and just over a second behind Millsaps. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe and Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle rounded out the top 10.
“James was really… well Chad and James were riding good and I couldn’t make any mistakes and had to stay on my toes,” Villopoto said. “There’s a long year left so we’ll take it one race at a time.”
Stewart was fairly pleased with second – a solid result considering how hard he’d crashed in his heat race.
“I’m a little sore, but there’s no quit in us,” Stewart said. “I just want to give a shout out to the team for sticking behind me. We’ll get it. Second place was good. We saved a lot of points and it could have been a lot worse.”
After five of 17 rounds, Villopoto now leads Reed by three points, 108-105. Dungey is third with 103 points. Stewart is fourth with 95 points.
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
2. James Stewart (Yamaha)
3. Chad Reed (Honda)
4. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
5. Justin Brayton (Honda)
6. Kevin Windham (Honda)
7. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha)
8. Mike Alessi (Suzuki)
9. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki)
10. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki)