Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto Wins in Oakland and Regains Monster Energy Supercross Points Lead
January 27, 2014
Irvine, Calif. (January 26, 2014) – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto dominated in Northern California on Saturday in Oakland, setting the fastest lap time in qualifying, winning his heat race and leading every lap on his way to his second straight Monster Energy Supercross win at O.co Coliseum. His teammate Jake Weimer charged through the field after some early trouble to finish ninth and Discount Tire and Two Two Motorsports Chad Reed put his KX™450F back on the podium finishing third.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson and Justin Hill put on a show at the front of the field in the 250SX main event with Wilson rocketing to the holeshot and Hill taking the lead on the first lap. Wilson would take back the top spot on lap 7 and he would stay out front until a problem on the last lap saw him drop to second. Hill held on for third earning his first career podium.
After losing the championship lead and the familiar red backgrounds that come with the honor, Villopoto was determined to get back to the top. He started early in the week at the test track continuing to customize his KX450F to fit him and his riding style and the work during the week paid off. The Washington native set the fastest time in qualifying, then went on to lead every lap of his heat race. In the main event, Villopoto was center stage and left everyone chasing the #1 on the back of his jersey as he made an aggressive pass just after the split section and never looked back.The Champled all 20 laps and became the first multiple time winner this season.
“It feels great to get the win tonight,” said Villopoto. “I feel like we did last season. My whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team is putting in a lot of work at the test track so we can get the best possible setup on the bike. We made a few changes this week including the triple clamp and the results show the hard work is paying off. I feel like we are just starting to hit our stride.”
Reed was determined to show his win last weekend wasn’t just a one-off run as the Australian rider launched out of the gate in the 450SX main and ran near the front for the entire race. Reed placed his Two Two Motorsports KX450F on the podium for the third time this season riding a consistent pace right behind the leaders to finish third.
“I want to show these young guys out here that I’ve still got it,” said Reed. “I’ve been working hard and we have been able to get the bike to work well. The bike may even be working better than me right now but I’m putting in the laps and we are seeing some great results.”
Hill posted the best supercross result of his career in Oakland finishing third and on the podium for the first time. After getting the lead on the first lap, Hill made some small mistakes and eventually fell back to third.
“Tonight is really bittersweet,” said Hill. “Being on the podium for the first time is awesome, but I know I can race with the top guys and win out here too. Once I got into the lead I started to get a little nervous and I made some mistakes, but overall I thought I rode pretty well. I know I can win out here and tonight was a stepping stone for me.”
After getting the holeshot, Wilson fell back a little but he was able to regain the lead from his teammate on the seventh lap. Once he grabbed the lead he started to gap the field with consistent lap times but a problem on the last lap forced him to miss some of the obstacles and he lost the lead. He quickly got things sorted and pressured the leader but with only one lap to go, there wasn’t enough time to make the pass.
“I’m disappointed with tonight’s result,” said Wilson. “I was riding strong and I set the fastest lap in qualifying and won my heat race. I know I can win out here and it is tough to keep getting back up. I’m going to work hard to get the win next week in Anaheim.”
After the champagne was sprayed on the podium, Villopoto and his team got right back to work, heading out onto the track to take a look at the whoops section to see how they could improve for the next event. Rather than rest on his three consecutive titles, Villopoto is determined to out work and out race everyone in the field.
3rd Time’s the Charm
For the third time this season Monster Energy Supercross returns to Angel Stadium in Anaheim. With the Southern California drought conditions along with a dirt surface that has been abused by Monster Trucks and dirt bikes, the show should be a great one as everyone will be looking for traction.