Villopoto Wins A Thriller In San Diego

Kit Palmer | February 12, 2012

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto recorded his second win in a row and third of the year after a thrilling 20-lap final in round six of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, an FIM Championship, at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium.

The defending champ, Villopoto, led for most of the race but could never let his guard down because of Chad Reed, who was never far behind on his TwoTwo Motorsports Honda. Villopoto had the track dialed, except for the long whoop section, where Reed was noticeably a little faster and was able to keep the pressure on the leader.

Villopoto leads Reed late in the race.

Villopoto leads Reed late in the race.

Reed managed to stay within a few seconds of Villopoto but really got close as the leaders started encountering lapped traffic. With just a few laps left, Reed was able to catch Villopoto and pass him as they threaded their way through the slower traffic.

But with less than two laps to go, Villopoto wasted no time and immediately went on the attack and passed Reed back. Villopoto managed to hold on and take the win 1.4 seconds ahead of Reed.

Third went to Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey who was pleased to get back on the podium again after a two-race drought. However, Dungey obviously struggled in the whoops and was never a threat to the two riders ahead of him.

Fourth place went to Yoshimura Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe who captured the holeshot. It was his best finish of the year.

Ryan Dungey got back on the podium.

Ryan Dungey got back on the podium.

Fifth place went to Hart & Huntington Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen, followed by Justin Brayton, Davi Millsaps, Kyle Chisholm, Mike Alessi and Nick Wey.

Noticeably absent from the top 10 was JGRMX/Toyota Yamaha’s James Stewart. Stewart was running third after getting off to a sixth-place start when he crashed on the sixth lap. He was one of the many victims of the long whoops. Stewart got a part of his bike caught on his gear and was unable to climb out from underneath his bike until a track official was able to cut his pants and free him. Stewart went on to finish 15th.

Villopoto now leads Reed by six points and Dungey by 10. Stewart is 32 points back in fourth.

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Chad Reed (Hon)
3. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
4. Brett Mettcalfe (Suz)
5. Josh Hansen (Kaw)
6. Justin Brayton (Hon)
7. Davi Millsaps (Yam)
8. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
9. Mike Alessi (Suz)
10. Nick Wey (Kaw)
11. Jason Thomas (Suz)
12. Cody Mackie (Kaw)
13. Weston Peick (Kaw)
14. Robert Kiniry (Yam)
15. James Stewart (Yam)
16. Kevin Windham (Hon)
17. Matthew Goerke (Suz)
18. Broc Tickle (Kaw)
19. Kyle Partridge (Kaw)
20. Jake Weimer (Kaw)

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.