After becoming the first rider in history to clinch the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, with three races remaining on the schedule, Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., returns to his home state Saturday night at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field for the 15th stop of the 2012 season.
Villopoto, who won the first Supercross Class race of his career in Seattle in 2009, dominated the 20-lap Main Event in New Orleans last weekend to secure his ninth win of the season. After winning the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award, Villopoto led Foremost Insurance/Motosport.com Kawasaki’s Nick Wey, of Dewitt, Mich., and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, of Rupert, Idaho, in the early stages of the opening lap.
“The track was tough, so the bike was a big key,” said Villopoto, who is in the midst of a four-race winning streak. “The track was breaking down and it had a lot of ruts, so it was easy to get caught off guard. You had to stay on your toes and try to log consistent laps. I’m looking forward to returning home this week (in Seattle).”
As Villopoto’s lead continued to extend, the battle for the remaining spots on the podium ensued, as Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki’s Josh Grant, of Corona, Calif., and MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi, of Hilliard, Fla., were both in search of their first top-three efforts of the season. Grant set a strong pace in second after a good start, keeping a consistent gap over third. Alessi, however, wasn’t as fortunate, making contact with a lapped rider while running third on Lap 16, falling to the ground. That allowed Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton, of Murrieta, Calif., to grab the final spot on the podium.
Last year in Seattle, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart secured his fifth and final victory of the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross season. Cole Seely of Corona, Calif., also took home his second Western Regional Supercross Lites Class victory of the season.
The first race in Seattle was held on February 18, 1978, and Jimmy Ellis won on a Honda. The first Supercross Lites Class race was held on February 8 1985, and Bader Mannea, won on a Kawasaki. 2012 will be the 41st time the gates have dropped in Seattle.
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 321
2. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha – 206
3. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Honda – 201
4. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 192
5. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 178
6. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki – 172
7. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki – 171
8. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 166
9. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki – 162
10.Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki – 133