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Villopoto Continues to Lead Series With Podium Finish in St.Louis

April 11, 2011

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Villopoto Continues to Lead Series With Podium Finish in St. Louis

Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto finished on the podium for the second week in a row, helping him retain the points lead in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. With his third-place finish, Villopoto sits five points ahead of second. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett made his return to the podium during the penultimate round of the AMA Supercross Lites, Eastern Region after a three-week hiatus, while teammate Dean Wilson finished just off the podium in fourth.

Points Leader

After regaining the championship points lead in Dallas last weekend, Villopoto was able to retain his lead after a third-place finish on the technical track in St. Louis.  He got a top-five start in the main event and was able to work his way into third just before the halfway point.  While he was pushing toward the leader, he rode smart and gained valuable points in the championship.

"I'm definitely looking for another win," said Villopoto.  "A win would help the last few races and take a little stress off the race in Las Vegas.  Right now I'm going to concentrate on practicing starts and if I get that, I know we should be okay."

Podium Time

Baggett broke a three-round podium dry spell with his third-place finish at the eighth round in St.Louis.  He started off the night earning his forth heat-race win on his Kawasaki KX™250F, giving him a good gate pick for the main event.  With the gate pick, he shot out off the line and came around the first turn with the holeshot.  He rode with the front-runners in the oppening laps and eventually came away with his fifth podium of the season in third.

“My start was better than it has been the past couple of weeks, which really helped me stay out with the front runners,” said Baggett. “I tried to push my way up to the leader, but the track was pretty technical and I didn’t want to chance anything. I’m glad the season is winding down and we can start focusing on outdoors.”

Come From Behind

Wilson didn’t get the start he was looking for in the main event, but rode through the pack with patience from seventh to his final position in fourth place. While he was just off the podium, Wilson wasn’t satisfied with his finish and looks to Las Vegas to prove he is a top contender.

“My night didn’t go how I wanted, but I’m still healthy and ready to go to Las Vegas and have some fun,” said Wilson. “I had to come through the pack a little and hopefully in Vegas I can get a good start. The pressure is not on me and I’ll just try to have fun at the last round. I mostly want to show people that I am one of the fastest riders out there. I’ve been inconsistent in the championship, but I know I’m fast and can win championships.”

Ups and Downs

Izoird continued to show improvement with good practice times and qualifying straight into the main. He grabbed a good start and was running 12th when he clipped another riders tire and went down. He regrouped, but a collision with another rider a few laps later put him on the ground again. After coming in for repairs, he finished the night in 19th.

“I felt the best I have since I’ve been here,” said Izoird. “My Kawasaki KX™450F was perfect and I was excited for the main. I had a few crashes and after the second crash, my clutch lever was all the way down. We were unable to move it back in the mechanic’s area. I’m looking forward to my last race in Seattle and I would like to end the season with a better finish for the Monster Energy Kawasaki team.”

Leaving Healthy

After last year, Villopoto didn’t have fond memories of St. Louis, but this year he leaves the city with the better memories as he maintained the series points lead with three rounds remaining.

“Everyone was talking about this race since it’s where I crashed last year, but I came into it like any other race,” said Villopoto. “I had a points lead to protect and that was the main thing on my mind. I’m definitely happy to have finished the race this year and keep the points lead.”

Week to Week

Villopoto’s teammate Jake Weimer was hoping to make his supercross debut in St. Louis, but the rookie continues to monitor his return week by week to make sure he is ready for his much anticipated debut. He is currently scheduled to return for the Salt Lake City supercross.

“Our team is happy about finishing the season with Jake at the final two rounds,” said Mike Fisher, supercross team manager. “Fabien has been great to work with and now it’s time for Jake to get out and race.”

Back To The West Coast

With only three rounds left of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, the series heads back to the West Coast for the final three rounds. Round 15 will mark the return of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Josh Hansen, Broc Tickle, and Tyla Rattray as they race the final rounds of the AMA Supercross Lites, Western Region series. The 15th round also brings Villopoto back to his home state of Washington where he will be racing in front of family and friends at Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash.

Results

AMA Supercross Series
Edward Jones Dome – St. Louis, Mo.
April 9, 2011

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

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

AMA Supercross Class Points
1. RYAN VILLOPOTO, POULSBO, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 275

2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 270
3. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda, 267
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 259
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 255

AMA Supercross Lites Points, Eastern Region
1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 185
2. DEAN WILSON, MENIFEE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 165
3. Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Ky., Yamaha, 141
4. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 134
5. Blake Wharton, Aubrey, Texas, Honda, 125

 

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