For the second straight week, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto dominated Saturday’s Monster Energy Supercross, delivering a commanding win at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. Villopoto led wire-to-wire after nailing the holeshot to earn his 26th career victory. In the 250SX class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos finished fourth and Tyla Rattray came home in 11th. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer was unable to compete due to illness.
Coming off a dominating victory last weekend, Villopoto expected nothing less in Oakland. After getting a good start in his heat race, the Poulsbo, Wash. native grabbed the lead and never looked back in the 8-lap race. In the main event, Villopoto once again rocketed out of the starting gate, grabbing the holeshot and leading all 20 laps.
“This was a good win for us,” said Villopoto. “My guys on the Monster Energy Kawasaki team made a few minor changes to the bike today and they paid off tonight. Everything is starting to come together for us right now.”
Davalos got a good start in his heat race and parlayed that into a third place finish to advance to the main event. In the main, he once again got out of the gate well and looked to be in position for a return trip to the podium. As the race went on, he was stuck in fourth position and he started to tighten up.
“I got a good start in the main event,” said Davalos. “But, I just didn’t feel like I was going anywhere. I was riding well the first couple of laps but then I started to tense up and I felt my riding style was stuck in a rut. Even though I finished fourth, I’m disappointed. I felt I threw away a podium. Our team works really hard and I need to be up there on the box.”
After getting the holeshot in the main event, Villopoto built a five-second gap on second place in the first three laps. With such a large cushion, the tough track made it difficult for him to keep pushing hard.
“It was a difficult balance for me tonight,” said Villopoto. “The track was very challenging and it was easy to fall into a groove where you go a little slower. I built a big lead early so without being pushed from behind, I had to concentrate on going fast and getting the lap times I needed.”
After finishing second in his heat race, Rattray was looking to get back on the box and compete for the win. A slow start put him back in the field and while he did his best to carve his way through the pack, the technical track hampered him throughout the 15 laps.
“I just didn’t get the start I needed tonight,” said Rattray. “The way the track was setup you needed to get out front. To make passes out there, you either needed to really hang it out or wait for a mistake. I’m going to work on starts this week and get ready for Anaheim.”
Every new season brings an array of challenges for the teams and riders and 2013 was no different. Every week the Monster Energy Kawasaki team is testing to try and find the one little thing that will translate into victory on Saturday night. As the season has progressed, the test sessions are paying off and Villopoto has now been on the podium each of the last three weeks, winning the last two.
“We are always working to improve the bike,” said Villopoto. “Every week we continue to work on our settings to get the bike dialed-in. We’ve been making progress each week and we need to build on this momentum.”
Under the Weather
Weimer has been battling illness the last two weeks and it had him out of commission and off of the practice track all week heading into Oakland. Despite the setback in his training, the Rupert, Idaho native gave it a valiant effort putting in some quick laps in practice before he and the team decided to sit out the night program to help get better for next week’s race in Anaheim.
“I’ve been fighting this sickness all week,” said Weimer. “I haven’t been able to train or ride until today. After riding in practice I knew I could go hard for one or two laps but I didn’t feel strong enough to be able to go a full 20. After practice the team and I decided to sit out this week and hopefully be ready for Anaheim. I’m on the upside of this thing so I’m hoping to get back to training and getting back onto the track.”
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship will head back to Angel Stadium for it’s third engagement in Anaheim on February 2, 2013 for Round 5.
Monster Energy AMA Supercross – Round 4
O.co Coliseum – Oakland, Calif.
January 19, 2013
Western Regional 250SX Main Event Results
1. Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
2. Cole Seely, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
3. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki
4. MARTIN DAVALOS, CAIRO, GA., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
5. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla. KTM
6. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, NM, KTM
7. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
8. Austin Politelli, Riverside Calif. Honda
9. Christian Craig, Wildomar, Calif., Honda
10. Zach Osborne, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
11. TYLA RATTRAY, WILDOMAR, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO
Western Regional 250SX Class Points
1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM – 91
2. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 80
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 76
4. Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda – 58
5. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki – 52
6. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha – 49
7. MARTIN DAVALOS, CAIRO, GA., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO
CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI,, Kawasaki – 48
8. Christian Craig, Wildomar, Calif., Honda – 47
9. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., KTM – 45
10. TYLA RATTRAY, SOUTH AFRICA, MONSTER ENERGY/PRO
CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, – 45
450SX Class Results: Oakland
1. RYAN VILLOPOTO, POULSBO, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
2. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
5. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
7. Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., KTM
8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
9. Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Honda
10. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha
450SX Class Points
1. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki – 85
2. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 78
3. RYAN VILLOPOTO, POULSBO, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI – 77
4. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 68
5. Chad Reed, Australia, Honda – 65
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda – 56
7. JAKE WEIMER, RUPERT, IDAHO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI – 47
8. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha – 42
9. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda – 41
10. Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., KTM – 39