Phoenix, Arizona (January 11, 2014) - After getting off to a mid-pack start, Ryan Villopoto ran down and passed a stubborn and hard-charging Justin Brayton to claim his first win of the season at round two of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Brayton took the lead on the opening lap of the 20-lap final, and held Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia at bay during the early part of the race. At one point, there was a six-way battle for the lead, with Brayton leading Dungey, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, Barcia, Villopoto, and Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart.
On lap eight, Barcia and Roczen came together, with Roczen getting the worst of it and dropping from fourth to seventh. This left Villopoto in third behind Brayton and Dungey. Villopoto passed Dungey on lap 12 to move into second and then he passed Brayton on lap 14 to take the lead. Brayton stuck with Villopoto and even closed a couple of times before Villopoto ultimately took the win and the series point lead to boot.
“Justin was riding a hell of a race,” said Villopoto. “I have to give it to him, he made it tough. I didn’t get the start I wanted because the starting gate was slippery, but I just needed to be patient. The Phoenix track gets really slick so I had to take my time and make sure my passes stuck.”
Brayton ended the race in second, tying a personal best.
“This feels so good,” Brayton said. “The new Yamaha is unbelievable. We did our homework this year. It’s been a lot of hard work, but being up [on the podium] pays off. I was trying to pay attention to what was going on behind me but still look ahead. I did all I could to stay up front, but Ryan (Villopoto) got by me.”
Dungey ended the race in third.
“That was a good opportunity to get a win,” said Dungey. “I kept making mistakes. I couldn’t get through the whoops, but all in all it was a good ride. The track was super slippery and it caught us off guard but we still put in on the box.”
Stewart just missed the podium in fourth, while Barcia and Roczen rebounded to finish fifth and sixth, respectively.
With his win, the 35th of his career, Villopoto moves into the 450SX Class points lead. He holds a one-point advantage over Dungey.
450SX Class Results
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Justin Brayton (Yam)
3. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
4. James Stewart (Suz)
5. Justin Barcia (Hon)
6. Ken Roczen (KTM)
7. Andrew Short (KTM)
8. Broc Tickle (Suz)
9. Chad Reed (Kaw)
10. Wil Hahn (Hon)