Grant got a fantastic start, taking the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Holeshot by more than a bike length ahead of Team Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia. Grant kept the throttle pinned through the opening laps as well, leading for the first third of the race. Barcia held to second for a short period with Metty24 Racing’s Brett Metcalfe following in third and Villopoto in fourth. RV made short work of Metcalfe, however, and then soon after passed Barcia.
Grant was obviously hungry for a win in front of his home crowd and pushed hard to keep himself in the lead, but after the first 10 minutes of racing Villopoto was right on the Yamaha rider’s rear tire. Grant put up an admirable fight but a slight error coming off a double, which forced him wide in the following turn, allowed the ever-steady Villopoto to make his way to the front. All was said and done for RV after that, he maintained an unbeatable pace and was lapping riders in the top-18 by the checkers.
Dungey had to work for his runner-up spot, battling up the ranks from fifth off the start. His charge continued until the final laps and he finally caught up with Grant after close to 30 minutes had elapsed. Grant fought to stay ahead of the KTM rider but a few near-offs gave Dungey the opening he’d been waiting for.
Behind Grant, Barcia’s teammate, Trey Canard, moved into the number-four spot while Barcia ended the moto fifth. BTO Sports’ Andrew Short took sixth ahead of Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray while Villopoto’s teammate, Jake Weimer, finished in eighth.
Villopoto made it a clean sweep, winning Moto 2 well ahead of Dungey in second. Barica made it to the podium in third.
Prior to Moto 2, Grant was declared unfit to race because he sought an IV to rehydrate between motos. Once underway, JGRMX’s Justin Brayton got off the line quickest, earning the Motorcycle-Superstore.com holeshot, which thereby clinched the $25,000 prize for Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart. Though Stewart is out with injury, he led the Holeshot Championship into the final round with nine points ahead of Barica, who had eight. After Moto 1, Bam Bam was the only rider within reach of besting Stewart, and falling short of the white line means JS7 earns the end-of-year prize.
Brayton quickly lost the lead to Villopoto, and though he held steady in the lead pack for a period, the Yamaha rider eventually slipped back to finish in ninth. Barcia and Dungey quickly settled into the number two and three spots, respectively, and within the opening minutes the KTM ace found a line to second-place. The top-three riders held their positions to the checkers.
There was a more spirited battle waged for fourth between a number of others including Brayton, Troy Lee Designs’ Malcolm Stewart, Metcalfe, Weimer and Short. Brayton remained fourth early on, but behind him Stewart, while running in fifth, took a hard fall coming off a jump. He was able to remount and return to action, but not before watching nearly the entire field pass him by. Rattray moved up in position and soon made a pass on Brayton for fourth. Metcalfe dispatched the JGRMX rider soon after for fifth. As the moto wore on Weimer made his push up the ranks and got by a number of riders to take fourth-place from Rattray. Late in the game, Motoconcepts’ Mike Alessi found his pace and worked his way up to fifth, pushing the South African rider back to sixth, where he’d finish. Privateer rider Weston Peick also staged a late moto charge, making it up to seventh before the checkers. Metcalfe settled in eighth.
With the season now over, Villopoto will head to surgery to have an injury repaired while Dungey, Barcia and 250 class champion Eli Tomac prepare for the upcoming Motocross of Nations.
Lake Elsinore 450 Motocross Results 2013:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) 1-1
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 2-2
3. Justin Barcia (Honda) 5-3
4. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 8-4
5. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 7-6
6. Trey Canard (Honda) 4-10
7. Mike Alessi (Suzuki) 12-5
8. Brett Metcalfe (Kawasaki) 10-8
9. Andrew Short (KTM) 6-12
10. Broc Tickle (Suzuki) 11-11
11. Josh Grant (Yamaha) 3-38
12. Justin Brayton (Yamaha) 14-9
13. Ryan Sipes (Suzuki) 13-14
14. Malcolm Stewart (Honda) 9-18
15. Weston Peick (Suzuki) 33-7
450 Motocross Championship Points 2013:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 563
2. Ryan Dungey, 507
3. Justin Barcia, 411
4. Trey Canard, 332
5. James Stewart, 289
6. Jake Weimer, 275
7. Andrew Short, 262
8. Broc Tickle, 236
9. Mike Alessi, 229
10. Josh Grant, 228