Villopoto And Roczen Win In Oakland

Shan Moore | January 27, 2013
Villopoto wins his second race of the year at Oakland. Photography By: Shan Moore

Photography By: Shan Moore

OAKLAND, CA, JAN. 26 – Ryan Villopoto claimed his second win in a row with a dominating performance at round four of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross at Coliseum in Oakland, California.

After getting off to a relatively poor start to the season, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider has started to turn things around during the last two weeks and tonight in Oakland, Villopoto wasted little time getting out front, grabbing the holeshot to start the 20-lap main event and then pulling away while a pileup in the second turn took down TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart and Team Honda/Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia.

Once out front, Villopoto never gave up his lead and cruised to an easy win, finishing with 10 seconds to spare over runner-up finisher Davi Millsaps.

“The points race is what we are going after, and winning the holeshot gives you a great advantage,” said Villopoto. “We made some changes to the bike today that I think really helped us out there tonight, so hats off to my team. It is a long season, and we are going to keep plugging away.”

Millsaps, meanwhile, was almost as impressive, passing JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha’s Justin Brayton on lap three and then running solo in second for the remainder of the race. The finish made three podiums in four races for the Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki rider and it allowed him to hold onto the red number plate, which signifies that he leads the series standings.

Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey rounded out the podium, moving up from 12th on the opening lap to third by the finish.

Of the riders caught up in the second turn crash, Barcia was forced to withdraw from the race, while Reed re-entered the race near the back of the pack and eventually finished 12th, and Stewart suffered a broken throttle in the crash and pulled out.

Ken Roczen gets his first win of the year in the 250 class.  Photography By: Shan Moore

Photography By: Shan Moore

In the 250 class, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen snapped Eli Tomac’s three-race win streak to take his first win of the year. However, it was Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Cole Seely who led the race early, after passing JDR KTM’s Joey Savatgy on lap one of the race.

Seely ended up leading 11 of the 15 laps before Roczen finally got by with a clean block pass. Roczen pulled away from Seely and had just over five seconds on the Honda rider when he crossed the finish line.

“I am so happy with this win tonight,” said Roczen. “There was a lot of bar banging on that opening lap, but I charged hard and got out front. I am excited to bring this momentum back to Angel Stadium next weekend.”

Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson was third after turning in his best performance of the year, while Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos was fourth.

Eli Tomac held the points lead coming into the Oakland race, however GEICO Honda rider crashed on the opening lap and re-entered the race in 18th place. A few laps later Tomac crashed again in the whoops section and was unable to finish the race. Tomac came into night’s race undefeated and had a nine-point lead in season point standings. He now sits third overall, 15 points out of the lead, while Roczen has an 11-point lead in season point standings over Seely.

450SX Class Results:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Davi Millsaps (Suz)
3. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
4. Trey Canard (Hon)
5. Mike Alessi (Suz)
6. Andrew Short (Hon)
7. Matt Goerke (KTM)
8. Broc Tickle (Suz)
9. Vince Friese (Hon)
10. Justin Brayton (Yam)

Western Regional 250SX Class Results:
1. Ken Roczen (KTM)
2. Cole Seely (Hon)
3. Jason Anderson (Suz)
4. Martin Davalos (Kaw)
5. Malcolm Stewart (KTM)
6. Joey Savatgy (KTM)
7. Kyle Cunningham (Yam)
8. Austin Politelli (Hon)
9. Christian Craig (Hon)
10. Zach Osborne (Hon)

Shan Moore | Contributing Editor

Moore covers all facets of off-road racing for Cycle News – from AMA Supercross and Motocross to GNCC and National Hare Scrambles events.