Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto Claims His Fifth Straight Victory In Houston
April 9, 2013
Irvine, Calif. (April 7, 2013) – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto continued his winning ways at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on Saturday by capturing his eighth victory of the season. Three-time defending Arenacross champion Tyler Bowers made his debut with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki in the 250SX class and raced through the field to finish a career-best fourth place. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer recovered from a crash in the main event to climb back to ninth place.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Under the Tent
Villopoto has been on a roll since his win in St. Louis and has won every main event since. In Houston the defending champion qualified in fifth and looked to have his hands full, but that was not the case come the night show. Villopoto jumped out of the gate on his KX™450F and took the early lead in his heat race until the red flag was waved on lap three. The field was lined up for a staggered restart in which Villopoto maintained his lead to take the win. In the 20-lap main event, he took control of the lead just four corners into the first lap and was never challenged. Winning his fifth consecutive main event, he extended his lead to 21 points in the championship with only four rounds remaining.
“Getting five in a row is incredible,” said Villopoto. “We’ve come a long way since Anaheim and have constantly improved to the point where we are now on top. The field is so close that you really need to have everything dialed in order to win and we’ve been able to do that these past few weeks.”
Making the Jump
Three short weeks ago, Bowers wrapped up his third consecutive Arenacross championship and was planning on taking some time off until he got the call from Pro Circuit’s Mitch Payton. Bowers tested with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki over the past two weeks and got the KX™250F dialed for his debut with the team in Houston. Although he didn’t have any expectations for himself, he took many by surprise when he qualified third overall in the 250SX class just a hair off the speed of the championship contenders. Bowers rode a strong heat race to finish second, but in the main event he tangled with another rider and nearly found himself on the ground in the first turn. He made quick work of the field and caught the leaders, battling for third but ultimately finishing just off the podium in fourth place.
“I know that with this great team behind me,paired with my ability, we can be upfront battling,” said Bowers. “The main event was a bit hairy the first few laps. I rounded the first turn in 19th after a rider went down in front of me and within the first few corners I had made my way into the top-10. From there I just concentrated to riding my lines and trying to keep with the leaders. With another week on the bike and we’ll come out swinging in Minneapolis.”
Ups and Downs
Weimer started the day with competitive times in qualifying. He finished fifth in his heat race and got a decent start in the main event, but got pinched off and rounded the first lap in 10th. He progressively made passes forward until he collided with another rider and found himself on the ground. Weimer then fought hard to regain the positions he gave up and crossed the checkered in ninth.
“Tonight was not ideal,” said Weimer. “I didn’t get the starts I needed, but we know what we need to work on. We have a game plan and should be back up front next weekend.”
All three of the initial East Coast Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders were present in Houston to support their new teammate Bowers. Dean Wilson, Darryn Durham, and Justin Hill are all working hard to return 100-percent healthy for outdoors and were on hand to spend time with the Texas fans and lend their expert opinion to Bowers as he made the transition to Supercross.
Jack of All Trades
Although Arenacross and Supercross have many similarities, the racing is extremely different. Bowers is no stranger to Supercross, he is a stranger to not being on the podium and battling for wins. Bowers scored his best career finish on Saturday in fourth, but will not be happy until he is back to his winning ways.
Beast from the East
Monster Energy Supercross continues on to Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Metrodome, where the Eastern Regional 250SX series will have their last round before going on hiatus until the final rounds in Las Vegas. Bowers will continue to test with the team and look to challenge for a win, while Villopoto inches closer to another championship.
Monster Energy AMA Supercross – Round 13
Reliant Stadium – Houston, Texas
April 6, 2013
450SX Main Event
- RYAN VILLOPOTO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
- Ryan Dungey, KTM
- Trey Canard, Honda
- Justin Barcia, Honda
- Davi Millsaps, Suzuki
- Justin Brayton, Yamaha
- Andrew Short, KTM
- Josh Hill, Suzuki
- JAKE WEIMER, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
10. Broc Tickle, Suzuki
450SX Championship Standings
- RYAN VILLOPOTO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 277
- Davi Millsaps, Suzuki, 256
- Ryan Dungey, KTM, 252
- Justin Barcia, Honda, 202
- Chad Reed, Honda, 196
- Trey Canard, Honda, 185
- James Stewart, Suzuki, 171
- Andrew Short, KTM, 162
- Justin Brayton, Yamaha, 137
10. Broc Tickle, Suzuki, 133
11. JAKE WEIMER, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 106
250SX Eastern Regional Main Event
- Blake Wharton, Suzuki
- Wil Hahn, Honda
- Marvin Musquin, KTM
- TYLER BOWERS, MONSTER/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
- Gavin Faith, Honda
- Cole Thompson, Honda
- PJ Larsen, Honda
- Lance Vincent, KTM
- Daniel Herrlein, Honda
- Steven Clarke, KTM
250SX Eastern Regional Points Standings
- Wil Hahn, Honda, 156
- Marvin Musquin, KTM, 148
- Blake Wharton, Suzuki, 133
- Vince Friese, Honda, 89
- DEAN WILSON, MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 87
- Gavin Faith, Honda, 82
- Kyle Peters, Honda, 78,
- Cole Thompson, Honda, 72
- Jeremy Martin, Yamaha, 71
- JUSTIN HILL, MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 6822.
22. TYLER BOWERS, MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 18