Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Villopoto Extends Points Lead at Hometown Race

April 16, 2011

Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto added one more point to his championship lead with a come-from-behind fourth-place finish in front of his hometown crowd at Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash. Villopoto now leads the Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM Championship by six points with two rounds remaining.

The AMA Supercross Lites, Western Region returned from an eight-week break in Seattle with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle taking over the points lead with a third-place finish. Josh Hansen is now two points back from Tickle after battling through the pain of an injured hand to finish sixth. Tyla Rattray worked through the rutted track to finish in fifth. In his last race with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team, Fabien Izoird placed 13th in the supercross main event.

Through The Pack
Washington native Villopoto was looking to maintain his lead in the points standings at his hometown race. In front of family and friends, Villopoto achieved his goal as he gained one point on second place. On the start, he got caught up in a first turn pile-up, but quickly got back on track and was in 10th after the field came through on the first lap. He picked off riders and was able to come close to third, but eventually settled for fourth.

“The race didn’t start how I was hoping and I had to work my way through the pack,” said Villopoto. “I almost had third, but I made a mistake and was thankful that I was able to get up quick and get fourth. I really wanted to get a win here for my family and friends. I am happy to get one more point in the championship, which is my main goal right now.”
Taking Over
Tickle’s consistency over the first six rounds had put him in championship contention coming into Seattle. With another solid finish, that consistency put him in to the points lead in the AMA Supercross Lites, Western Region championship standings. Getting out to a great start, Tickle was riding in second most of the race, making few mistakes to eventually finish third.

“I haven’t been able to ride much after breaking my collarbone a few weeks back, but I don’t want to put it on that,” said Tickle. “I know I could have done better. The track was tough and it was hard to not make mistakes. I’m really happy to have the points lead. I wasn’t expecting it because I know Josh has been doing well with his injury. It’s a bummer he got hurt, but I know he’s not giving up so I have to stay on my game.”
Sign Of A Champion
Over the break, Hansen was able to have surgery on his broken hand he suffered at Anaheim 2. Unfortunately, he went down in practice and re-injured the same hand. Determined to not go down without a fight, Hansen suited up for the night show. He came out swinging with a win in his heat race and took that momentum into the main, finishing 6th.

“I was in a lot of pain, but I’m in this for the championship,” said Hansen. “I couldn’t just give up. I’m definitely thankful that we have a break so I can try and do what I can to get ready for Salt Lake City. I really want this championship and I’ll do whatever I can to be there when it goes down to the final race.”
Finishing in the top five for the fourth time this season, Rattray continued to prove he is a serious competitor on the supercross circuit. The former MX2 World Champion has adapted well to supercross, showing consistency once again with a fifth-place finish.

“My main goal was to put in 15 solid laps since the track deteriorated pretty early in the race,” said Rattray. “I want to be on the podium, that’s what I race for every weekend. I know I am capable of the podium. I just want to get through these next two rounds healthy so we can concentrate on outdoors, which is my favorite to ride.”
Saying Goodbye
The race in Seattle marked the final race for interim rider Izoird, who had been called in to replace Jake Weimer who was injured before the season opener. With Weimer healed up and ready to race, Izoird returns to France to start training for the supercross season in Europe. In his last race, Izoird showed the team once again he would fight to the finish, ending the night in 13th.

“I am really sad to leave the team because everyone has been so great to work with,” said Izoird. “I wish I could have done a little better, but the track was really tough. The ruts were very big by the end of the race and I was trying to push as much as I could. I’m thankful for this experience and I am happy to have made such good friends with everyone on the team.”
Hometown Crowd
Villopoto fans were out in full force at Qwest field. The rider from Poulsbo, Wash. was the obvious favorite amongst the Washington fans and their cheers helped push him at the end of the race.

“I could really hear the fans cheering at the end when I went in for the pass on Chad (Reed),” said Villopoto. “It’s always great to have the backing of the fans because it make the racing that much more exciting for me.
Two More Rounds
While Villopoto has the championship on his mind, he really wants to push for another win before the season’s end.

“I really want another win before the season’s over,” said Villopoto. “It would be nice to get it in Salt Lake City so I will have an even bigger advantage going into Vegas. We’ll see how it goes. I didn’t get to race there last year, but everyone said it was a tough track.”
MX for Children
On Friday, Villopoto, Tickle and Izoird visited the Seattle Children’s Hospital to visit with fundraisers for the charity MX for Children. The supercross fans that raised money for the charity were treated to a meet and greet with several riders, getting autographs and fielding questions to their favorite riders.
One-Week Break
After 16-straight weeks of racing, the Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM Championship will take a one-week break. The series will pick back up at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 30.

“I like going to the race in Salt Lake City,” said Tickle. “It’s pretty similar to what we saw here in Seattle and I think I could do well. I usually like the rough and rutted, and I want to redeem myself and hopefully get a win.”
AMA Supercross Series
Qwest Field – Seattle, Wash.
April 16, 2011

AMA Supercross Class Results

1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
2. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
3. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
5. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki

AMA Supercross Lites Results, Western Region
1. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
4. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha

AMA Supercross Class Points
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda, 287
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 286
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 284
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 255

AMA Supercross Lites Points, Western Region
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 138
4. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda, 113
5. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 110