Villopoto Looks to Continue Winning Ways
Despite a dominating victory last weekend in which he led all 20 laps of the main event, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto still sits at a 20-point disadvantage in the AMA Supercross standings. As the 2010 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season hits the second half and heads to Toronto’s Rogers Centre for its lone race outside the U.S., Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey sits in firm control of the premier class championship. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel remains a perfect three-for-three in the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional Championship as the 8-race title fight hits the halfway point.
When the championship concluded its annual race from Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, it was Dungey who stood atop the podium with his third win of 2010 and all the momentum of the championship after Villopoto suffered a frightening crash while running second and finished 19th. Dungey held a 20-point lead over his rival heading into Daytona last Saturday night.
In last Saturday’s AMA Supercross class main event, it was all Villopoto, who rebounded from his worst outing of the season in dominating fashion, grabbing the lead early and never looking back en route to his fourth win of 2010. Dungey rode to a strong runner-up finish, minimizing the loss of points in the standings to only three. Honda Red Bull Racing’s Trey Canard, fresh off a career-best runner-up effort in Atlanta, posted his second consecutive podium finish in third.
The second stop of the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional Championship produced one of the most exciting races in recent memory. Three different riders found themselves at the front of the field as Wilson captured his first Spike Holeshot Award as a professional and went on to lead the next nine laps. On lap 10, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Austin Stroupe made his move and led until lap 13 when his front wheel slid out from under him. The error allowed Pourcel to capitalize and lead only two laps on his way to win number two.
On Saturday night in Daytona, Stroupe found himself at the front of the field yet again and put forth a quick pace to gap his competitors. However, Pourcel began to make methodical work of closing the deficit and made a stellar pass for the lead on lap six and never looked back. Stroupe would hold on to the runner-up spot while Wilson maintained his recent run of momentum to grab his first-career podium finish in third. The trio also holds down the top three positions in the current AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional Championship standings.
Last year in Toronto, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart earned his ninth win of the season as he continued a season ending quest to overcome then points leader Chad Reed after a horrific crash in Daytona and fall the week prior in St. Louis. In the AMA Supercross Lites class, Pourcel dominated for his fourth win of the Eastern Regional Championship season, extending his seemingly insurmountable points lead heading into the championship’s final race.
The first AMA Supercross race held in Toronto was December 4, 2004 when Ricky Carmichael won on a Honda. When Toronto became a regular part of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, schedule on March 29, 2008, Chad Reed won on a Yamaha. Last year, Pourcel captured the first-ever AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional Championship main event from the Rogers Centre. With both Reed and Stewart’s returns in question, Toronto could host its third different winner in as many years.
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 192
2. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 172
3. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 162
4. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 150
5. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 131
6. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 124
7. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 117
8. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 99
9. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha, 82
10. Michael Byrne, Noonan, Ga., Yamaha, 80
Photo Credit: Brian Robinette