Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto secured his third straight moto win in Moto 1 at Thunder Valley, putting in another commanding performance after making his way to the front of the pack. Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey came across the line in second-place followed by Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia in third.
Barcia was fastest off the start, grabbing his first Motorcycle-Superstore.com
Holeshot of the year. He didn’t let up on the throttle after the start either, settling into lead position through the first half of the contest. Behind, Dungey lost second within the first lap as RV charged ahead, but regained position when the Kawasaki rider made a small mistake a few minutes later. Villopoto didn’t fall too far back though and was quickly back on Dungey’s rear tire as the three riders separated themselves from the rest of the pack.
Though Bam Bam tried to stretch out the lead through the first half of the moto, Dungey and RV were relentless and never gave the Honda rider much room. Mid-race Dungey finally got the best of Barcia and moved into the lead. The KTM ace started to create a bit of room on Barcia and but was never able to pull away completely. RV, meanwhile, overshot a jump and ran off track briefly while in third, but he remained upright and lost little ground on the front runners.
Five minutes later Villopoto seemed to have found an extra gear, blasting past both Barcia and Dungey within the same lap. Once out front, RV was unstoppable. He ended the moto over just over 10 seconds ahead of Dungey, a gap he built in the final 10 minutes of competition.
Elsewhere, Barcia’s teammate, Trey Canard tousled with European motocrosser, Clement Desalle riding for Rockstar Suzuki. Canard held off pressure from the Suzuki rider and finished fourth, with Desalle close behind in fifth. FMF’s Mike Alessi scored sixth-place while Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray took seventh.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart had a disappointing moto, getting a bad start and then crashing early when Villopoto's teammate, Jake Weimer, went down right in front of him, causing JS7 to hit the dirt as well. Bubba struggled to restart his RM-Z450 and fell to almost last place. He charged back through the moto to salvage points though, making it to 15th before the checkers.
Villopoto continued his reign at the top with the Moto 2 win, beating Dungey to the checkers by over six seconds. Stewart had a much better showing in Moto 2, sliding up the ranks to settle in third before the finish.
Barcia once again grabbed the holeshot and was able to hold the lead for a period while Canard and RV traded punches in the battle for second. Canard was successful in defending against the Kawasaki rider for the opening minutes, but RV eventually found his way past, leaving Canard to dual with Dungey for a spot in the top-three.
Bam Bam held out as long as he could against pressure from Villopoto, but a small mistake saw Barcia run wide, giving RV a clear line to the front. Dungey slipped past Canard soon after, moving into third and Stewart, who was in fifth, made the pass into fourth-place past the Oklahoma native within the same lap.
Dungey made up the short ground on Barcia quickly and moved ahead of the Honda rider as the contest reached its mid-point. Stewart had to push to catch Barcia and with six minutes remaining, finally found a line into podium position.
Barcia held to fourth followed by Canard in fifth. Alessi, who battled within the top-three during the early laps, fell back in the pack and finished sixth. Desalle grabbed seventh followed by his teammate, Kevin Strijbos, in eighth. Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson finished ninth and his teammate, Tyla Rattray, rounded out the top-10.
Villopoto and Dungey went one-two in the overall rankings and Barcia earned third with his 3-4 result. Canard finished fourth with a 4-5 showing and Alessi grabbed fifth thanks to his 6-6 performance.
RV retains the points lead over Dungey, who sits 12 points adrift of the Kawasaki ace. Barcia is now mathematically tied with Canard for third, though Barcia is ranked one position higher thanks to his podium in Moto 1. Stewart rounds out the top-five.
Thunder Valley 450 Motocross Results 2013:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) 1-1
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 2-2
3. Justin Barcia (Honda) 3-4
4. Trey Canard (Honda) 4-5
5. Mike Alessi (Suzuki) 6-6
6. Clement Desalle (Suzuki) 5-7
7. James Stewart (Suzuki) 15-3
8. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 7-10
9. Kevin Strijbos (Suzuki) 10-8
10. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki) 11-9
11. Malcolm Stewart (Honda) 9-11
12. Josh Grant (Yamaha) 8-18
13. Weston Peick (Suzuki) 13-14
14. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 16-12
15. Broc Tickle (Suzuki) 14-15
450 Motocross Championship Points 2013:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 100
2. Ryan Dungey, 88
3. Justin Barcia, 70
4. Trey Canard, 70
5. James Stewart, 66
6. Mike Alessi, 54
7. Tyla Rattray, 49
8. Ryan Sipes, 37
9. Weston Peick, 36
10. Andrew Short, 34