Title In Hand, Villopoto Heads To Las Vegas
AURORA, Ill. – Ryan Villopoto etched his name into the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, record books Saturday night in Salt Lake City when he captured his third consecutive 450SX Class title, a feat accomplished by only three other riders in the sport’s 40 year history.
However, this weekend at the season finale at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium, Villopoto will race for his 10th win of the season, which would signify a career-best achievement. Villopoto’s championship will serve as this weekend’s subplot as both the Eastern and Western Regional 250SX Class Championships and second place in the 450SX Class are still up for grabs.
At the penultimate Western Regional 250SX Class Championship race in Salt Lake City, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen entered the event with a 20-point advantage over GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, but after failing to qualify for the Main Event in Salt Lake City, Roczen now has just a five-point lead. Fortunately for Roczen, Tomac, the defending Western Regional 250SX Class Champion, struggled throughout the Main Event and finished in sixth place, his second-worst finish of the season.
“I started the race in second, but just blew it in the whoops,” said Tomac. “It was a section that just got me all day. There were a couple passes where I got through them ok, but there were others where I got wild and out of control.”
In order for Roczen to claim the first championship of his career, he would need to finish in second place if Tomac were to win the Main Event as Tomac holds the advantage in a tiebreaker by virtue of the most wins in the region.
While the drama unfolded in Roczen and Tomac’s battle for the championship, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson won the first 250SX Western Regional Supercross Championship race of his career.
“It’s crazy,” exclaimed Anderson from the podium in Salt Lake City. “The last five laps were definitely tough to be out front. To come out with a win, I’m stoked. This team has been there for me from the beginning and to get a win for them is awesome. I always seem to race well here [in Salt Lake City]. I’m not sure what it is, but I like it.”
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship offers as much excitement as its West Coast counterpart. GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn leads Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin by five points heading into this weekend’s finale.
Hahn has two wins on the season and has yet to finish off the podium, while Musquin boasts a division-leading four wins. Hahn needs to finish in second place if Musquin wins the Main Event by virtue of Musquin’s possession of the tiebreaker as the winningest rider in the region.