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Villopoto and Tickle Capture Championships at Finale in Las Vegas

May 9, 2011

Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto captured his first career championship in the supercross class at the final event of the Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM Championship at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. His third-place finish was good enough to take home his first championship on the Kawasaki KX™450F. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle overtook second-place in the final laps of the AMA Supercross Lites, Western Region main event to win his first professional championship. The AMA Supercross Lites, Eastern Region main event saw Blake Baggett ride patiently and take his second win of the season aboard his Kawasaki KX™250F, while Dean Wilson came through the pack to finish just off the podium in fourth. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Western Region riders Tyla Rattray and Josh Hansen picked up sixth and 10th place finishes, respectively, in their main event. The East/West shoot out race had Wilson again in fourth, Tickle finishing 10th, Rattray in 11th and Baggett ending the night in 12th. Villopoto’s teammate Jake Weimer came through the pack in the supercross main event from 15th on the first lap to finish an impressive sixth.

What a Year
In one of the most exciting supercross seasons on record, Villopoto overcame the odds of coming back from a badly broken leg in 2010 to earn his first supercross. The season saw Villopoto win the first race of the year at Anaheim and slowly build a nice cushion in the points led, only to have three other riders fight their way into title contention. With just two races to go, only six points separated the top four in points. At the penultimate round, Villopoto took the win and set the stage for his Las Vegas triumph. With his third-place finish at the finale, Villopoto earned his first championship amongst the fiercest competition.

“To win during a season that has been marked the greatest season ever is an amazing feeling,” said Villopoto. “I put into this season and to see the hard work pay off is awesome. It’s really hard to describe just how much this means. I know I’ve won championships, but this one feels just as special as the ones before. I’m so grateful for all the people that are behind me and have supported me.”

Realizing The Potential
Tickle entered the final round only two points ahead of second place and his task for the night was to make sure his Kawasaki KX250F was in front of the second-place points contender. After a tough start, Tickle methodically moved his way through the field, inching closer to where he needed to sit for the championship. On the final laps of the race, Tickle moved into second and finished exactly where he needed to be for the championship.

“I can’t even begin to say how I feel,” said Tickle. “This championship is something I’ve dreamed about since I was young and racing amateurs. The crazy part is that I always dreamed about winning the West Coast championship so it all doesn’t feel real. I don’t think it will hit me even when I see the number one plate on the door of the semi. I knew I could win the championship coming into the season, but I had to go through a lot to get here and I’m so thankful for everyone who helped me get it.”

Going Out With A Win
Although he wasn’t a top contender in the points race entering the finale, Baggett had something to prove to himself. He had grabbed one win earlier in the season and was close other times throughout the year. After getting a good start, he patiently pushed his way closer to the leader and with only a few laps to go, he made an impressive pass for the lead, where he would go on to finish.

“It’s great to go out with a win and have this race in everyone’s minds when we come back next year,” said Baggett. “After a few laps, I knew I just had to be patient and it ended up paying off. I found a clean line to pass and took it. This season, I have had a few ups and downs and it means a lot to me to finish the season on top. I think it will definitely help my confidence going into the outdoors.”

Through The Pack
In only his second supercross race back since his injury, Weimer continued to show that he could run with the top racers of the supercross class. He got a start near the back of the pack and was 15th when he came through on the first lap. He didn’t let his start deter him from getting a good finish and pushed his way through to finish sixth.

“I wanted to finish better than last week and I was able to,” said Weimer. “I didn’t exactly do it the way I thought I would, but it feels good to be back racing. It’s nice to know I can push hard and get decent results.”

Inside The Top-Five
The results that Wilson finished with weren’t the ones he was looking for, but they showed his obvious talent in supercross. In both the AMA Supercross Lites, Eastern Region main event and the East/West Shootout race he came through the pack and in both races he finished just off the podium in fourth.

“I definitely felt like I could have won tonight, but I wasn’t able to get a good enough start to put me up there,” said Wilson. “My season wasn’t the best this year, but I feel like I learned a lot from it. The person that was the most consistent won the championship and I just have to remember that next year when I come out swinging.”

First SX Season Done
Former MX2 World Champions Rattray finished out his first season inside the stadiums of the United States with a good showing in Las Vegas. He finished sixth in the AMA Supercross Lites, Western Region main event, along with a come-from-behind 11th-place in the East/West Shootout.

“I had a lot of fun this season and really learned a lot,” said Rattray. “I am really thankful to the team for sticking behind me even when I had to sit out a race. Supercross is a lot different from motocross and it took some time to get it down, but I think I could come out pretty strong next year after getting one year under my belt. Now I’m excited that we get to start racing my first passion (motocross).”

Ready For A Break
Hansen’s night didn’t end how he had wanted with a 10th-place finish in the AMA Supercross Lites, Western Region main event, but he overcame adversity all year long to finish third in the point standings. He ended the season as the region’s winningest rider with three victories and came very close to his first AMA championship.

“It was tough to see the championship slip away, but overall this season I am happy with the rides I put in,” said Hansen. “I had to overcome a lot this year and I think I became mentally stronger than I have ever been. I didn’t know that I could ride with a broken hand or a re-injured hand. I learned a lot as well and really want to be able to get back out and ride again next year.”

Outdoors
With the supercross season now over, the Monster Energy Kawasaki and the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teams will be looking to a new season in the AMA Motocross Championship. The riders get a one-weekend break before returning to the start line at Hangtown MX in Sacramento, Calif.

“I’m really looking forward to outdoors,” said Villopoto. “It’s been almost two years since I have raced the series and it was always something I looked forward to. It would be nice to back up the supercross championship with another championship, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Results

AMA Supercross Series
Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, Nev.
May 7, 2011

AMA Supercross Class Results
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
3. RYAN VILLOPOTO, SEATTLE, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
4. CHRIS BLOSE, PHOENIX., ARIZ., KAWASAKI
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM

AMA Supercross Lites Results, Western Region Main Event
1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM
2. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
3. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
5. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda

AMA Supercross Lites Results, Eastern Region Main Event
1. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
2. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Ky., Yamaha
3. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
4. DEAN WILSON, MENIFEE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
5. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki

AMA Supercross Lites Results, East/West Shootout
1. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Ky., Yamaha
2. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda
3. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM
4. DEAN WILSON, MENIFEE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
5. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki

AMA Supercross Class Points
1. RYAN VILLOPOTO, POULSBO, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 338
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda, 334
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 328
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 301
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 255

AMA Supercross Lites Points, Western Region
1. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 187
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 181
3. JOSH HANSEN, ELBERT, COLO., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 162
4. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda, 147
5. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 138

AMA Supercross Lites Points, Eastern Region
1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 205
2. DEAN WILSON, MENIFEE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 183
3. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Ky., Yamaha, 163
4. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 159
5. Blake Wharton, Aubrey, Texas, Honda, 125

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