Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto celebrated his first double victory of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Unadilla. On his birthday the 23-year-old proved his mid-season switch to the 2012 KX450F was not a mistake by staying consistent and aggressive in the early laps. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey earned two second-place finishes in New York for second overall, with Honda’s Justin Barcia posting third overall during his debut ride in the 450 class.
In the first moto Barcia got a terrific start in the 450 class by blasting into the lead with the holeshot. TLD Honda’s Christian was right behind, with Dungey quickly snatching third from Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer. Meanwhile Villopoto had a decent start in fifth, which he quickly capitalized on to move toward the front behind Barcia. TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed suffered a mediocre start and was running sixth behind KTM’s Mike Alessi, but the Aussie soon made it by to move into the top-five. As Barcia and RV continued to fight for the lead Dungey remained nearly 10 seconds behind while Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe and Alessi began battling for sixth. Shortly after Villopoto shot into the lead.
On Lap 8 Metcalfe moved ahead of Alessi for sixth as Reed set his sights on Weimer. The duo became caught in a tight battle, trading sports back and forth until Reed made his pass stick. Through his consistent lap times Dungey made up
Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey posted another solid ride at Unadilla in second, but lacked aggression in the early laps.
significant ground on Barcia, eventually passing the rookie after a brief stalemate. By then RV2 had gained a clear advantage ahead of the field, allowing his to snag the Moto 1 victory ahead of Dungey, Barcia, Reed and Weimer.
In the second heat Weimer claimed the holeshot, but it was Alessi who got around for the lead. Barcia earned another solid start inside the top-three ahead of Villopoto and Dungey, making quick work of Weimer to jump into second behind Alessi. Unable to hold back the torrent behind him, Weimer also lost ground to RV and Dungey as they were both eager to get up front. Villopoto displayed intensity early on by putting an aggressive pass on Barcia for second. Just moments later, RV completed his passing streak by overtaking Alessi for the lead.
Once again Reed suffered a mediocre start which kept him from attacking the leaders. In only his second 450 race Barcia kept pace with Villopoto by getting ahead of Alessi, with Dungey quickly doing the same. After things settled the order was: RV, Barcia, Dungey, Alessi, Weimer, Reed and Metcalfe.
A series of brutal battles erupted in the middle of the second moto, starting with Reed going after Weimer. Reed seemed like he had the pass made, but Weimer refused to call it quits while putting in the best ride of his season so far. The Aussie made a final pass around Weimer, but as he got on the gas to exit a turn he went down, falling back to eighth. Though it seemed Reed was destined to finish outside the top-five, he was gifted a position when Muscle Milk Yamaha’s Justin Brayton crashed after passing Weimer. Next Weimer and Metcalfe collided with each other, giving Reed two more positions in the carnage.
In the end Villopoto secured his second moto victory of the day by more than eight seconds. Dungey recorded second place after he managed to stay upright following a collision with Barcia, the rookie having to settle for third after his scrap with RD5. For the third round in a row Reed was absent from the podium after finishing fourth. The result leaves the Aussie 25 points behind RV in the championship with three rounds left.
450 Motocross Unadilla Results:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) 1-1
2. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) 2-2
3. Justin Barcia (Honda) 3-3
4. Chad Reed (Honda) 4-5
5. Mike Alessi (KTM) 7-4
6. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 5-6
Honda’s Justin Barcia had a great debut ride in the 450 class despite a heavy collision with Ryan Dungey in Moto 2.
7. Justin Brayton (Yamaha) 8-7
8. Kyle Regal (Suzuki) 10-9
9. Jimmy Albertson (Yamaha) 12-11
10. Jake Canada (Yamaha) 11-14
11. Nick Wey (Yamaha) 14-13
12. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki) 6-25
13. Ricky Dietrich (Yamaha) 18-10
14. Andrew Short (KTM) 37-8
15. Christian Craig (Honda) 9-22
450 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 391
2. Ryan Dungey, 384
3. Chad Reed, 366
4. Brett Metcalfe, 262
5. Mike Alessi, 210
6. Andrew Short, 196
7. Kevin Windham, 193
8. Jake Weimer, 190
9. Davi Millsaps, 173
10. Tommy Hahn, 140