Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto Captures 40th Monster Energy Supercross Win in Seattle
April 14, 2014
Irvine, Calif. (April 14, 2014) – In front of his hometown crowd of Seattle, Wash., the site of his very first 450SX win, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto captured his fortieth career Monster Energy Supercross win at CenturyLink Field on Saturday. Villopoto grabbed the holeshot in the main event and went on to lead all 20 laps uncontested. In the 250SX East Region, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill won his heat race, the first of his career, and went on to battle to a third place finish in the main event. Dean Wilson grabbed the holeshot in the main event, but crashed while pressuring for the lead and finished fourth.
Growing up just a couple hours from downtown Seattle, Villopoto always enjoys a warm welcome from the city. The champ achieved his first career 450SX class win in Seattle back in 2009, but had not seen the top of the podium at CenturyLink Field since. A poor start in his heat race sent him to the semi for the second consecutive week, which he took the win and was set to turn things around in the main event. Almost a carbon copy of last week in Houston, Villopoto grabbed the lead out of the first turn on his KX™450F and continued to check out on the field leading all 20 laps and taking his fifth win of the season and the 40th of his career. The champ now has a 48-point lead in the championship standings with two rounds remaining.
“It feels great to win in front of all my friends and family here in Seattle,” said Villopoto. “We were a little off in the heat race, but in the main event the bike was on and I was on. We inched closer to wrapping the title up but all we can do is win races and see where everything falls.”
Hill has been patiently waiting to make his return to the podium after racing to his first win in San Diego in February. In Seattle, The Northwest native jumped into the early lead in his heat race and took his first heat race win of his career. Rocketing out of the gate on his KX™250F in the main event, Hill worked through the top-five and got into second place. From there he battled for podium position as well as battling the soft, rutted Seattle track. When the checkered flag flew, Hill crossed the line in third place and although he wanted more, he was happy to be back on the podium. Hill’s third place finish is his third career podium and moved him into third overall in the Western Regional standings.
“I knew the track was going to be just as tough as the competition,” said Hill. “I had the speed to win tonight but the track was sketchy in spots and I didn’t want to risk hitting the ground. I’m excited to get to Vegas to go head to head with everyone to finish off the season.”
Going for the Win
Wilson has consistently been the fastest rider on the West coast this season, which he continued by taking the top spot in qualifying. In his heat race he grabbed the holeshot and carried on to take the win despite crashing mid-way through the race. In the main event Wilson grabbed the holeshot and battled back and forth for the lead for the first five laps until he got hung up in one of the deep ruts. Wilson was able to regroup and finish strong in fourth place.
“Tonight wasn’t what I wanted,” said Wilson. “But at least we were up front going for it. The goal is always to win races and that’s all I want. I felt great all day, but just made one too many mistakes. I’m looking forward to go out on top in Vegas.”
A hometown favorite always brings a crowd to their feet, but that was an understatement in Seattle. Villopoto’s day was one of the busiest of the year as the pits were jammed surrounding the Monster Energy Kawasaki truck all day as hundreds of RV fans looked on to get a glimpse of the their local boy. On the final laps of the main event, the crowd roared as Villopoto circled the track on his way to only his second 450SX win in Seattle.
Although Wilson has already stated that he plans to move up to the 450SX class in 2015, after his fourth place finish in Seattle he has officially pointed out of the 250SX class. He did so by accumulating a total of 135 points in three separate seasons of supercross. Wilson proved earlier in the season that he has the speed to mix it up with the 450SX class and will be one of the top rookies making their full-time debut next year.
With just two rounds remaining in the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross season, the riders get their first weekend off after 15 straight races. The series will resume and make its debut at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on April 26th. The Eastern Region will be back in action as Martin Davalos plans to extend his points lead before the final round in Las Vegas, while Villopoto will have the opportunity to wrap up his fourth-consecutive championship.
Monster Energy Supercross
CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Wash.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
450SX Class Main Event
1. Ryan Villopoto, Monster Energy Kawasaki
2. James Stewart, Suzuki
3. Ryan Dungey, KTM
4. Eli Tomac, Honda
5. Justin Barcia, Honda
6. Trey Canard, Honda
7. Ken Roczen, KTM
8. Andrw Short, KTM
9. Josh Hill, Suzuki
10.Mike Alessi, Suzuki
450SX Championship Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 318
2. James Stewart, Suzuki – 270
3. Ryan Dungey, KTM – 267
4. Ken Roczen, KTM – 249
5. Justin Barcia, Honda – 214
6. Justin Brayton, Yamaha – 196
7. Andrew Short, KTM – 194
8. Broc Tickle, Suzuki – 126
9. Josh Hill, Suzuki – 124
10.Wil Hahn, Honda – 122
250SX Western Region Main Event
1. Cole Seely, Honda
2. Jason Anderson, KTM
3. Justin Hill, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
4. Dean Wilson, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
5. Jessy Nelson, Honda
6. Zach Osborne, Honda
7. Cooper Webb, Yamaha
8. Jake Canada, Honda
9. Malcolm Stewart, Honda
10.Shane McElrath, Honda
250SX Western Regional Points Standings
1. Jason Anderson, KTM - 178
2. Cole Seely, Honda – 170
3. Justin Hill, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 139
4. Dean Wilson, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 138
5. Cooper Webb, Yamaha – 121
6. Malcolm Stewart, Honda – 121
7. Jessy Nelson, Honda – 103
8. Zach Osbourne, Honda – 100
9. Shane McElrath, Honda – 96
10. Jake Canada, Honda – 72