Record Crowd Watches Villopoto In St. Louis
ST. LOUIS — A record 60,178 fans at the Edward Jones Dome watched Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto win his fourth Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race.
For the second consecutive race in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship, GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn was victorious, and he is now the new points leader.
Motoconcepts’ Mike Alessi jumped out to an early lead, winning the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award. Team Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia tucked into the number-two position on the opening lap with Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart in third. Championship point leader Davi Millsaps started in eighth place.
On lap one, Stewart moved into second place and advanced to the lead a few turns later as Villopoto assumed fourth. The race was stopped due to a red flag on lap three, and the field had to be re-started. Stewart, Barcia and Reed held down the top three positions after the re-start, and on lap five, Villopoto moved around Reed for third.
Villopoto continued his charge, passing Barcia for second place. During laps nine through 11 Stewart and Villopoto traded places several times, and Villopoto successfully moved into the leader position. After passing Stewart for second place on lap 13, Barcia made a mistake a lost several spots. This allowed TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed to move into third place. Stewart finished second and Reed finished third.
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Millsaps holds a 12-point lead over Villopoto in season standings and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey is in third.
“That was a good race for us, we’re slowly getting better out here,” said Stewart. “Villopoto caught me by surprise on the pass, but I was still able to keep it together and hold the second place spot. It was one heck of a race tonight. That’s what it’s about.”
“It was a crazy night out there,” said Villopoto. “I made a costly mistake on the first start, so I knew my work was cut out for me. I was able to make things happen on the second start and get out in front after some wild racing. It’s coming down to crunch time and we were all able to make it happen tonight.”
After winning the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award, Hahn led Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton, who moved into second place on Lap 1, and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson, who moved into third place on Lap 3.
After a mid-pack start, Wilson continued his charge past Wharton on Lap 7 to secure the number-two position. On lap nine, Wilson was 1.5 seconds behind Hahn, patiently waiting to make his move. The two traded positions on lap 12, but Hahn quickly regained the lead and rode to the second win of his career. Wilson finished second and Wharton finished third.
“It was a tough race,” said Wilson. “I didn’t make things easy on myself tonight with that bad start. I passed him [Hahn] once, but it wasn’t good enough.”
“That wasn’t an easy race,” said Hahn. “It was a tight race tonight with Blake [Wharton] pressuring me early and Dean [Wilson] came on strong late in the race. Tonight was awesome, and my family was here tonight to enjoy this with me.”
Hahn has a one-point lead over Wilson in season standings and Wharton is in third.