Ryan Villopoto won a major battle with Ryan Dungey at Steel City to claim the double victory and a 14-point lead in the series.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto gained a tremendous advantage in the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday at the Steel City circuit. The 23-year-old claimed his second double-victory of the season to push his lead in the championship to 14 points over series rival, Ryan Dungey. RD5 picked up second overall with 2-2 moto scores, the defending champ being dealt a crucial blow after losing the first moto on the final turn. Meanwhile, for the second round in a row Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe finished on the podium after scoring top-four results in both motos in Delmont, Pennsylvania.
The first race featured one of the most entertaining battles of the season between Villopoto and Dungey. After RV nailed the holeshot he was cut-off by Honda’s Justin Barcia, who allowed Dungey to scrape by for the lead. On the opening lap RV fought his way ahead of Barcia for second as TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed was back in sixth and struggling to get around Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer. Traction proved to be an issue for many riders as rain the night before exacerbated the slick track conditions. The highlight of the moto took place just after the two-minute warning was issued when Villopoto had caught-up with Dungey. At this point the duo were well ahead of the field by more than a minute as RD5 looked good to secure the win. But with the white flag out Dungey made a series of mistakes that opened the door for RV. On the final turn Dungey guarded the inside line – unaware that Villopoto was railing the outside of the berm. The two nearly collided as Dungey thought about a block pass but decided against it, with RV taking the checkers less than a second ahead.
In the second race Dungey was quick off the line and claimed the holeshot, but Villopoto pushed hard for the lead in the first few turns. Reed had a much better start in third, the Aussie fighting for second with Dungey and eventually securing it. Meanwhile Barcia was struggling at the back of the field as RV started separating himself from the pack. Shortly after Dungey reclaimed second from Reed, but the damage had already been done. Villopoto grabbed his third overall win of the season and his ninth moto victory. Reed finished fourth overall with 5-3 moto scores, followed by Weimer who rounded out the top-five.
The final round of the championship takes place September 10th at Pala Raceway in California.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammates Ryan Dungey (above) and Brett Metcalfe (below) finished second and third respectively.
450 Motocross Steel City Results:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) 1-1
2. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) 2-2
3. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki) 3-4
4. Chad Reed (Honda) 5-3
5. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 6-6
6. Mike Alessi (KTM) 8-5
7. Justin Brayton (Yamaha) 7-7
8. Kyle Regal (Suzuki) 9-8
9. Nick Wey (Yamaha) 11-10
10. Michael Byrne (Suzuki) 13-9
11. Kyle Chisholm (Yamaha) 12-11
12. Colton Facciotti (Honda) 10-13
13. Justin Barcia (Honda) 4-31
14. Les Smith (Yamaha) 14-14
15. Tye Simmonds (KTM) 15-16
450 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 481
2. Ryan Dungey, 467
3. Chad Reed, 402
4. Brett Metcalfe, 342
5. Mike Alessi, 272
6. Jake Weimer, 251
7. Andrew Short, 196
8. Kevin Windham, 193
9. Justin Brayton, 191
10. Davi Millsaps, 173