Title In Hand, Villopoto Heads To Las Vegas
Once the two regional championships are decided, the top riders from each coast will take part in the 10-lap Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout in a best-of-the-best showdown. The only active 250SX Class rider who has won this race is Rockstar Energy Racing’s Ryan Sipes, who triumphed in 2011.
Villopoto captured the 33rd win of his career en route to winning the 450SX Class championship, leading all 20 laps of the Main Event after an early pass on Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award winner Ryan Dungey. Rockstar Racing Suzuki’s Davi Millsaps challenged Dungey in the early stages before making the pass to secure second place.
“It’s unreal,” said Villopoto, who tied his career best total of nine wins in a season. “It was a crazy race and the track was really technical. Any little mistake would make it anyone’s game. We [Monster Energy Kawasaki] started the season off really rough and had a lot of stepping stones to overcome, but we did it as a team and we did it well.”
Villopoto became the fifth rider in Monster Energy Supercross history to win three championships, joining Bob Hannah, Jeff Stanton, Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael.
The hotly contested battle for second place will be resolved this weekend as Davi Millsaps, who rides for the Rockstar Energy Racing team, aims to protect a three-point lead over Ryan Dungey, who rides for the Red Bull KTM team. Millsaps is enjoying a banner year having led the points lead through the first nine races before suffering a knee injury that hindered his performances. Dungey is a former champion and has two wins on the season.
During the 2012 supercross stop at Sam Boyd Stadium, former 450SX Class Champion Dungey won his fourth race of the season for Red Bull KTM to close out the year third overall in the season point standings.
In last year’s 250SX Class action, current Team Honda Muscle Milk rider Justin Barcia won his sixth race of the season en route to the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship. His teammate Eli Tomac won his fifth race of the season and the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship. Later that evening, Barcia captured the Dave Coombs Sr. 250SX Shootout to end his time in the division on a high note.
The first race held in Las Vegas was on March 17, 1990, when Jeff Matiasevich won the 450SX Class on a Kawasaki and Jeremy McGrath won the 250SX Class, also on a Kawasaki. McGrath, the seven-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion, also holds the all-time win record in both classes with four in the 450SX Class and three in the 250SX Class.