Ryan Villopoto clinched the 2013 450 National MX Title after going 1-1 at Miller Motorsports Park. Photography by Kit Palmer.
It didn’t come as a complete surprise, but Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto clinched the 2013 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Championship title at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park with one round to go. For the second time this year, Villopoto clinched a major title in Utah with still one round left on the schedule. (Villopoto clinched the 2013 Supercross title in April, one round before the season final in Las Vegas.)
Villopoto needed to win both 450 motos at the new venue, held on the infield of the Miller road course, to sew things up early, but the way he’s been riding lately, that didn’t seem out of the question by any means. And it wasn’t.
Villopoto pretty much led every lap of every moto and was never really challenged either time out.
The only rider who had a real shot of keeping the title alive for one more week was the defending champ Ryan Dungey, but the Red Bull KTM Team rider didn’t get the starts he needed to really challenge Villopoto and had to settle for second overall with a 2-2 tally. And he really wasn’t close to Villopoto at the finish in either motos.
Villopoto was just that good today. The Kawasaki rider dominated both motos and now has 50 points on Dungey, and with only 50 points up for grabs next week at the series final at Lake Elsinore and with Villopoto having more overall wins on the series, Villopoto was able to clinch the title for his eighth career AMA Championship.
Dungey has clinched second place in the 450 Championship.
Third on the day went to Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard who rebounded after his disastrous no-points day last weekend at Unadilla. Canard was quick off the gate in both motos and ended up going 3-3.
Saving his best for nearly the last was privateer Weston Peick who landed fourth overall after going 5-5 on the day. The Hyper-X/R2MX/ARMA-backed Suzuki rider took advantage of great starts in both motos and spent a lot of time holding down fourth but would eventually give way to Tyla Rattray in the first moto and Justin Barcia in the second moto.
Barcia, whose header pipe became detached in the second moto, ended up sixth overall with an 11-4 and but still clinched third in the series. Barcia was struggling to make ground after getting a bad start in the first moto then tangled with Malcolm Stewart and went down. He was challenging Canard for third in the second moto when he started having trouble with his bike’s exhaust pipe and lost power.
JGRMX/Toyota Yamaha’s Justin Brayton put in two solid motos (again) to finish fifth overall with a 6-7.
Rounding out the top 10 overall was Jake Weimer (8-6), Phil Nicoletti (12-8), Matthew Goerke (9-11) and Ben Lamay (13-10).
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart pulled out of the first moto while running in the top five and rode back to the pits while holding his left arm behind his back. He did not return.
Most people, including riders, generally accepted the first National motocross race in Utah in 40 years a success. The AMA announced attendance as 21,500 and the track proved to be rough and challenging (by motocross standards) by the end of the day. Rider opinion varied, though many of them said the track was good for a first-time effort but has room for improvement, which isn’t too surprising for a track starting from scratch.
2013 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship
Miller Motorsports Park – Salt Lake City, Utah
Round 11 0f 12
August 17, 2013
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw) 1-1
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 2-2
3. Trey Canard (Hon) 3-3
4. Weston Peick (Suz) 5-5
5. Justin Brayton (Yam) 6-7
6. Justin Barcia (Hon) 11-4
7. Jake Weimer (Kaw) 8-6
8. Phil Ncoletti (Yam) 12-8
9. Matthew Goerke (KTM) 9-11
10. Ben LaMay (Yam) 13-1