Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto notched his 10th moto win of the 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in Moto 1 at RedBud, outpacing his closest competition by over 27 seconds. Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart came across the line in second-place followed by JGRMX’s Josh Grant in third.
RV got pushed outside the top-10 off the start, but it proved to be a non-issue as he shot past riders during the opening laps to assume the lead within the first eight minutes of competition. Grant scored the Motorcycle-Superstore.com
Holeshot and maintained the front for a period, stretching a small gap on Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard as the two riders duked it out for second-place. Villopoto moved past all three with little trouble and was uncatchable once in the lead.
Grant’s stint in second-place was short-lived once Villopoto gained the front, with Canard powering past the Yamaha rider just a few minutes after RV’s pass. Grant was looking steady but made a mistake that took him off track briefly, opening the door for Canard. Dungey followed suit soon after for third and proceeded to bring the fight to Canard for the runner-up spot once again.
Half-way through the race Dungey finally found a line past the Honda rider and settled into second-place, but at that point Villopoto had built a 13-plus second gap on the field and was putting down consistent, faultless laps. Dungey, on the other hand, ran into serious trouble during the final minutes when a mechanical issue forced him to run off track. He desperately tried to bump-start the machine and return to competition, but couldn’t get the bike to start and eventually handed it over to his crew. The incident is a major blow to Dungey’s chance to challenge for this year’s title as he drops from a 12 point deficit on the lead to a 37 point disadvantage. Dungey’s misfortune allowed Stewart to settle into second-place after his race-long battle up the ranks.
BTO Sports’ Andrew Short provided fans with a last minute battle against Canard to hold to fourth-place. Canard had a mid-race off in the sand that saw him drop from podium position to outside the top-five, but he was able to battle back to fifth during the final laps. He challenged Short with all he had, and was on the KTM rider’s rear tire in the final lap but he came up short on LaRocco’s leap just before the finish line, sealing his result in fifth-place.
Grant’s teammate, Justin Brayton took sixth followed by Villopoto’s teammate Jake Weimer in seventh. Troy Lee Designs’ Malcolm Stewart finished in eighth followed by Canard’s teammate, Justin Barcia, in ninth. Barcia endured a long moto, fighting back after a first turn crash left him at the back of the pack. His bike was visibly damaged in the incident and he rode to the limit for his top-10 result.
Villopoto made it a perfect weekend with a decisive win in Moto 2, beating Stewart by 32 seconds at the checkers. Dungey rounded out the podium, earning a strong finish in light of a late race crash that saw the KTM ace go flying off his bike, with the machine tumbling through the air and landing directly on top of him. He had been challenging Villopoto from second-place until the incident, and struggled to restart his bike once again, but the three riders had built a large enough gap on the field for him to remain in third once he returned to competition.
Stewart ran out front early, earning the Motorcycle-Superstore holeshot, and held the lead for a number of laps. RV was back in the field once again, but not as far adrift of the lead as he was in Moto 1. He quickly picked off Dungey, Brayton and Grant, all who were within the top-four off the start. Stewart blocked RV a number of times as the Kawasaki rider challenged for the front, but a cross-rut bobble in the sand whoops gave Villopoto the opening he was waiting for with 12 minutes remaining in competition.
"We started the season in a very good position [winning the first five motos], but we kind of faded away and now it feels like we're back to where we need to be," said Villopoto. "The tracks are getting rougher and the speeds are getting higher and we were definitely pushing the pace pretty hard today."
Dungey got past JS7 a few turns later and gave chase to Villopoto, remaining within sight of the Kawasaki ace until the penultimate lap when he hit the dirt. Barcia was fourth and came within reach of the podium but was unable to get the best of Dungey before the checkers. Grant ended the day in fifth followed by Canard in third and Malcolm Stewart in seventh. Brayton crossed the line in eighth with Smartop’s Mike Alessi in ninth and Two Two Motorsports’ Chad Reed in 10th.
Villopoto retains the overall lead and now has a 42 point advantage on Dungey in second. Barcia is third, Canard fourth and Stewart rounds out the top-five.
RedBud 450 Motocross Results 2013:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) 1-1
2. James Stewart (Suzuki) 2-2
3. Josh Grant (Yamaha) 3-5
4. Trey Canard (Honda) 5-6
5. Justin Barcia (Honda) 9-4
6. Justin Brayton (Yamaha) 6-8
7. Malcolm Stewart (Honda) 8-7
8. Andrew Short (KTM) 4-12
9. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 7-13
10. Broc Tickle (Suzuki) 11-11
11. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 34-3
12. Chad Reed (Honda) 13-10
13. Ryan Sipes (Suzuki) 12-14
14. Les Smith (KTM) 14-15
15. Mike Alessi (Suzuki) 37-9
450 Motocross Points 2013:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 333
2. Ryan Dungey, 291
3. Justin Barcia, 249
4. Trey Canard, 200
5. James Stewart, 184
6. Mike Alessi, 170
7. Andrew Short, 137
8. Broc Tickle, 135
9. Josh Grant, 131
10. Jake Weimer, 131