LAS VEGAS (May 5, 2013) – The 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season commenced with the year-end awards ceremony this at The Joint by Rouge inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas tonight. A total of 18 awards were presented to deserving industry personnel, teams and riders to recognize all of the hard work and dedication they put in during the 2013 season.
The 2013 Monster Energy Supercross season saw five different winners throughout the 17 race season with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto taking home over half of them with ten. With Villopoto and Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Davi Millsaps swapping roles as the season points leaders throughout all 17 races, it was Villopoto who came up on top securing his third consecutive 450SX Class Championship at last weekend’s 16th race at Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The reigning 450SX Class champion finished in 16th place at the season opener in Anaheim but successfully defended his title by fighting from a 20-point deficit. By winning his third consecutive title, Villopoto has become only the fifth rider in the history of Monster Energy Supercross to win three consecutive 450SX Class championships. Bob Hannah (’77-’79), Ricky Carmichael (’01-’03) and Jeremy McGrath (’93-’95) are the only other riders to accomplish that feat. Villopoto’s comeback is the third-greatest in Monster Energy Supercross history behind Ricky Carmichael’s 2002 season, where he started the season in 20th place, and James Stewart’s 2009 season, where he started in 19th place.
“It’s unreal,” said Villopoto, on the podium in Salt Lake City. “It was a crazy race and the track was really technical. Any little mistake would make it anyone’s game. We [Monster Energy Kawasaki] started the season off really rough and had a lot of stepping stones to overcome, but we did it as a team and we did it well.”
“There’s a core group of people that I have that are some of the best,” added Villopoto “Number one is my wife, I have the best mechanic and everyone behind the scenes. My trainer, it’s amazing to be up here for a third time. My mom and dad, family and friends, sponsors everyone knows who they are. Thank you all.”
After lining up at the starting gate for the opening race in Anaheim and the second race in Phoenix, GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham decided to hang up his boots at the second Anaheim race after 17 seasons in the sport. Windham racked up 207 career starts, earned 18 Main Event wins and 75 podium finishes. Windham also left the sport being third on the all-time consecutive start list with 100.
Tonight, Windham accepted the “14” award in front of his friends, family and people who admire him in the industry. The 14 award is similar to a life time achievement award and was created to celebrate the 17 years that Windham wowed fans across the country during his professional supercross career.
“There are so many people I can sit here and thank,” said Windham. “I have memories with so many of you. Feld, thank you for giving us a platform for doing what we love. Thank you for all my sponsors getting me through this tough time. Thank you everyone.”
Red Bull KTM took home their first title in the Western Regional 250SX Class with Ken Roczen battling with the 2012 champion Eli Tomac throughout the entire eight race season. The battle for the coveted Eastern Regional 250SX Class title came all the way down to the Las Vegas race where GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn prevailed over Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin to take home the championship by a mere three points.
“Getting that championship last night was amazing,” said Roczen. “I didn’t lie on TV, I said I was going to get it in Vegas. I have to give it up for the team. It’s been an amazing year, besides last weekend we didn’t finish worst than second, I think that’s a great thing.”
“2008 when I started my career, it took me a lot to get here now,” said Hahn. “First and foremost, my family got me here. They have been there since day one, I will never forget that. The last couple of years with GEICO Honda, I made a lot of mistakes but these guys all made it happen and believed in me. Every single person on my team deserves recognition right now. I wanted to accomplish this a long time ago, but it was worth the wait.”
2013 Award Recipients
Fans Choice – Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM)
450SX Rookie of the Year – Justin Barcia (Team Honda Muscle Milk)
Transport Driver of the Year – Andy Hall (Team Honda Muscle Milk)
250SX Class West Champion – Ken Roczen (Red Bull KTM)
MMI Top Tech – 2013 Winners
Champions Mechanic – Mike Williamson (Monster Energy Kawasaki)
Road 2 Recovery Main Jet – Steve Hudson
250SX Class Team of the Year – Red Bull KTM
Team Manager of the Year – Dave Gowland (Rockstar Energy Racing)
250SX Rookie of the Year – Joey Savatgy (JDR KTM)
250SX Class East Champion – Wil Hahn (GEICO Honda)
Impact Player – Dan Rambert
Team of the Year – Monster Energy Kawasaki
“14” – Kevin Windham
450SX Class Top Riders – Riders who finished 20th-4th place overall
450SX Class Third Place – Davi Millsaps (Rockstar Energy Racing)
450SX Class Second Place – Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM)
450SX Class Champion – Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki)