Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto became the third winner in the 450 class when he crossed the finish line Saturday night. After setting the fastest qualifying time and winning his heat, RV was on a roll, showing why he is the reigning champ. After grabbing the lead on lap six from Factory Honda mount Trey Canard, it was all Villopoto to the checkered flag, leading 15 laps of the 20-lap main event.
“I am so thrilled to get the first win out of the way,” said Villopoto. “We made tons of progress every weekend but the luck just wasn’t there. I felt good about today and coming into it. My starts were what they should have been since the first round which made the race easier. I took my time and was patient to make clean passes. It was nice to finally get this win and get some momentum for the rest of the season.”
RV’s win puts him in the fourth place spot in the point standings with 52, four points behind Chad Reed and 11 out of the lead.
Before the night began rumors flew around the pits that Kevin Windham would retire during opening ceremonies. Sure enough, the people’s champ was introduced last and after about five of his signature transfers, announced that after 18 years of professional racing he was done.
Kevin WIndham said goodbye to his fans on Saturday night as the Geico Honda rider retired from professional racing.
“I would love nothing more than to ride forever,” Windham said. “To the fans of Supercross, this might seem to be a hasty decision, but I’ve been talking to a lot of people for a lot of months. I thought I would be able to come into the season and ride myself out of that funk and that mental hurdle I was having to overcome. With every passing lap – be it at the test track, my home track, or the stadium – it became more and more difficult to ride with the clarity I needed to be safe, fast, and successful.”
“The common comment from the people I’ve spoken to was that if you aren’t riding with clarity, you are asking your fears to come upon you. It wasn’t the storyline I wanted to write or the final chapter I envisioned, but it became obvious, and we’ll try and figure out what’s next.”
Some may have heard that last week’s winner, Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia, pulled out of the main event for unknown reasons near the end of lap two in the whoop section. Reliable sources tell us when Barcia cased the triple in the lane before
Barcia gets a ride back to the pits after smashing his face in the main event when he cased a triple.
the whoops, the impact of his face on the bars broke his nose and cut open the eyebrow area of his forehead. Barcia attempted to continue racing but was unable to due to blood dripping into his eye, ultimately blocking his vision. We are still waiting on word as to whether Barcia will be racing in Oakland next weekend.
Factory Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart announced earlier last week that the knee injury he suffered at Round 1 is in fact a torn ACL. The injury didn’t seem to have much effect on Stewart, although he was saving his best for the main event. After qualifying third and finishing second in his heat behind Villopoto, JS7 looked promising going into the main. But after starting outside the top ten and a mid-race slide-out in a corner, James found himself in the back of the field. He had to put in an immense effort to pick off as many riders as possible, eventually crossing the finish line with a 12th place finish.
“I felt much more confident on the bike today than I have in the previous two rounds,” explained Stewart. “To finish like this is definitely a disappointment. I really like Oakland though, so I’m confident that we will get all this turned around next weekend.”
Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac kept his undefeated streak alive when he crossed the finish line in the 250 main event on Saturday night. So far the Colorado native is three-for-three as we head to Oakland this weekend. After a third place start, Tomac kept his cool behind TLD’s Cole Seeley and KTM mount Ken Roczen. As soon as the opportunity for a pass presented itself, Tomac pounced and took it to another level ending in a 3.5-second win over Roczen.
“We had a good battle going,” said the Honda rider. “Those guys are probably my two best competitors in the class right now. It made for some good racing. I had some really smart lines and clean laps. It was a fun race for sure. You can’t ask for anything more than getting three wins this early in the season.”
It seems like the Troy Lee Designs boys really have their starts figured out this year. Between Jesse Nelson and Cole Seeley, we may not see another rider get a holeshot this season. Seeley nabbed it in the main event and ran a good pace until the halfway point when he was passed by Roczen. He seemed to slow after that and eventually finished third, seven seconds down from the KTM rider.
“I’d have to say it was good racing tonight everybody kept it clean,” said Roczen. “It was fun out there but I have to give Eli
The Monster Energy Supercross Series heads to Oakland in Northern California next weekend for Round 4.
credit he’s riding super strong right now. I was pushing the whole 15 laps, I actually got a good start and couldn’t make the pass on Cole right away but I am getting closer, I can feel it. I believe in myself and at one point it will come. We are still in the championship so it’s all good and I am happy with that.”
The 2013 Monster Energy Supercross Series makes its one and only stop in Northern California next weekend in Oakland for Round 4. Last year we saw James Stewart grab the 450 win over Chad Reed and Ryan Villopoto. The win marked Stewart as the fourth rider to win in 2012. Will he do it again and be the fourth rider to get a win in 2013? We’ll have to wait until Saturday night to find out. For those not attending be sure to catch the race on CBS Sunday, January 27th at 12:00 p.m. (EST).