Preview: Villopoto Takes Supercross Lead To Indy

Cycle News Staff | March 11, 2013
  Wil Hahn carries the red number plate as the points leader heading into the Indy SX.

For the first time in 2013, a rider other than Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps will carry the red number plate in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series as the series heads to Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night for round 11 of the series.

Following a dominant outing at Daytona en route to his fifth victory of the season, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto is now ahead of Millsaps in the championship – though only by two points.

 Villopoto has gained considerable momentum in the championship over the past month of competition. Of the last four races, Villopoto has won three of them with a second in the other one – compared to second, third, sixth, and 10th-place efforts for Millsaps over that span. Villopoto has made up a 24-point deficit with his recent surge, passing both Millsaps and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey along the way.

 “We’re in a good place,” said Villopoto said after winning Daytona on Saturday night. “The track was so tough [in Daytona], you just had to keep on your toes and be ready for anything. We didn’t expect to be back in the points lead this fast, but from here we will try to keep the wins coming.”

 Saturday in Indianapolis will mark the first time Villopoto has carried the red number plate since the opening race in Anaheim – when it signified him as the defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion. And Villopoto has won the Indy SX for the past three straight seasons.

On the heels of his worst two results of the entire 2013 season, Millsaps will be looking up in the standings for the first time this year.

 Well, Daytona was the worst race of the season so far, [so] I got that out of my way,” said Millsaps. “Now it’s time to climb my way back up to the top. It’s Supercross, it’s going to happen. Other guys had bad races and now I just got rid of mine.”

 The third member of this championship battle is Dungey. In Daytona, Dungey posted a quiet runner-up effort to claim his sixth podium finish of the season, ending a two-race podium drought. He enters Lucas Oil Stadium with a 14-point deficit to Villopoto in the standings.

“It was a pretty rough track [in Daytona],” said Dungey on the podium. “Luckily, we got my suspension dialed in after practice and my bike worked really well. I got off to a great start and was able to put myself in a good position early on. It feels great to get back up on the podium.”

 A total of five different winners have stood atop the podium thus far in 2013, and with seven races still remaining, the 450SX class title fight is only beginning to heat up.

 Through its first four races, the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship has boasted three different winners. In Daytona, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin became the second rider this season to claim his first-career Supercross victory, joining championship leader Wil Hahn.

 “Obviously I had a lot of fun riding the [Daytona] track,” said Musquin after the race. “I knew everyone was going to be fast, so I stayed calm out front and tried to have fun. I am so happy to get this win and to also gain more confidence knowing that I was pulling away from them each lap.”

 Hahn maintained control of the championship lead aboard his GEICO Honda, finishing second to follow-up his back-to-back victories. He is now the only rider in the Eastern Regional Championship to finish on the podium in each of the four races this season.

 Hahn currently holds a five-point lead over Dean Wilson, who ultimately settled for a fourth-place finish in Daytona after challenging for the lead early.

 Last season’s Eastern Regional 250SX Class race in Indianapolis was a memorable one for Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton, who raced to his second career victory inside Lucas Oil Stadium following a late pass for the lead.