(Left to right) Trey Canard, Ryan Villopoto and Chad Reed celebrate on the podium. Photography By: Kit Palmer
ANAHEIM, CA, JAN. 19 – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto won his first AMA Monster Energy Supercross of the year tonight in the second of three rounds slated for Angel Stadium, the defending series champion completing lap one in sixth place but fighting through to beat Muscle Milk Honda’s Trey Canard by 6.886 seconds.
It took Villopoto until the third round of the series to record his first win, but it he did it in dominating style in front of 37,789 fans. The factory Kawasaki rider set the fastest lap of the night in qualifying, then won his heat race. In the final he didn’t get off to the best of starts, but it was enough to put him in position to take over at the front of the pack on the sixth of 20 laps. From there he was never headed.
Canard was second at the completion of lap one, but he was in the lead by the time they finished the second go-around, the factory Honda rider passing holeshotter Jake Weimer. Canard then led laps three, four and five before being caught and passed by Villopoto. From there, Canard had a fairly uneventful ride to his second straight second-place finish – a year after suffering season-ending injuries an hour up the I-5 at Dodger Stadium.
Third place tonight went to Chad Reed, the TwoTwo Motorsports Honda rider fighting through to best Rockstar Suzuki’s Davi Millsaps in a battle for the final podium spot. The pair swapped the spot twice on the 16th lap, but Millsaps made it easy for the Aussie on the 18th lap when he slid out in the final corner.
Millsaps, who was forced to ride in the LCQ after crashing out in the run to turn one in his heat race, ended up remounting to finish fourth and he’ll still have the red number plate on his RMZ-450 next week in Oakland, California, as the series points leader. Millsaps leads Canard by three points, 63-60. Reed has quietly moved to third in the series points with 56 – four more than Villopoto.
Villopoto’s teammate Weimer ended up fifth, holding off slow starting Ryan Dungey’s spirited last-lap attack on the the Red Bull KTM. Dungey had battled for the most of the race with Andrew Short. Heat race winner Justin Brayton finished eighth with Matt Goerke and Josh Grant rounding out the top 10.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart had another main event to forget, the Floridian crashing once and remounting to finish a distant 12th.
But he fared better than last week’s winner Justin Barcia. The Muscle Milk Honda rider also had to come out of the LCQ, but he got off to a fast start in the main event and was up to third when he came up short on a jump and smashed his face on the handlebar crossbar, knocking himself out of the race. He suffered cuts to his nose and above his left eye which required stitching.
GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham shocked the Anaheim crowd and the majority of his rivals when he announced his retirement prior to the start of tonight’s race. Windham, 34, ended his 19-year pro career with 19 wins, more than 200 Supercross starts (second to Mike LaRocco on the career list), two Supercross Lites titles, and three runner-up Supercross points finishes.
Kevin Windham called it a career after participating in the first practice session. He had been contemplating retirement since the opening round. Photography By: Kit Palmer
“I would love nothing more than to ride forever,” Windham said before making it official at rider introductions on Saturday night. “The choice [to retire] was going to be hard no matter when I did it.”
GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac kept his perfect season intact with another victory in the 250 SX West class, the series points leader taking his third successive victory. Tomac’s victory again came at the expense of fast qualifier Ken Roczen, the factory Red Bull KTM rider finishing 3.4 seconds behind his rival in second place. Third place went to Cole Seeley, the Troy Lee Designs Honda rider leading the race for the first half before being passed by both Tomac and Roczen.
GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne finished fourth with Jake Canada rounding out the top five.
Eli Tomac won the 250 class for the third time Photography By: Kit Palmer
Tomac’s perfect 75 points lead the championship over Roczen’s 66 points with Seely third on 58 points.
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
2. Trey Canard (Honda)
3. Chad Reed (Honda)
4. Davi Millsaps (Suzuki)
5. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki)
6. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
7. Andrew Short (Honda)
8. Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
9. Matt Goerke (KTM)
10 Josh Grant (Yamaha)
1. Eli Tomac (Honda)
2. Ken Roczen (KTM)
3. Cole Seeley (Honda)
4. Zach Osborne (Honda)
5. Jake Canada (Honda)
6. Christian Craig (Honda)
7. Jason Anderson (Suzuki)
8. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki)
9. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha)
10. Jessy Nelson (Honda)