Villopoto Is Flawless At Unadilla National
NEW BERLIN, N.Y. — The 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, descended upon central New York’s historic Unadilla MX on Saturday for the annual Built Ford Tough Unadilla National.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto took another step toward capturing the 450 Class Championship after sweeping both motos at Unadilla. It was a flawless day for Villopoto, beginning with his impressive performance in the morning’s timed qualifying session where he laid down the fastest lap time in the 450 Class.
From there, Villopoto captured the Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot in Moto 1 of the 450 Class to grab an early lead over Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. Dungey was accompanied in the early laps by BTO Sports.com/KTM’s Andrew Short and N-FAB/TiLube Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry. Kiniry soon ran into issues that forced the New York native to pull off in Moto 1, while Short eventually dropped outside the top five.
Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia and Trey Canard joined Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart in moving through the pack early on as the trio quickly caught up to Dungey in the second place position. Canard encountered a mechanical issue that removed him from the battle, allowing his teammate Barcia to move into fourth. Stewart pressured Dungey for the second place position in Moto 1 but the reigning 450 Class Champion held strong to finish 20 seconds behind Villopoto.
Villopoto’s success continued in Moto 2, where he grabbed his second consecutive Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot to gain an early lead on the field. Barcia also put himself in a favorable position off the start as he matched Villopoto’s early pace while running second. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer got through the first turn just in time to clear himself of the carnage that set Canard, Mike Alessi, Stewart and several others considerably behind on the opening lap.
Dungey began the second moto mid-pack but quickly worked his way up to the third place battle between Toyota/JGR/Yamaha’s Josh Grant and Weimer. Weimer and Dungey made their way around Grant before engaging in a battle of their own. Heading into the final lap of Moto 2, Dungey applied the pressure to Weimer and despite a hard charge by Dungey in the final corners; Weimer came away with third place in the moto.
Villopoto’s 1-1 score put the 450 Class points leader atop the podium for the sixth time this season for a total of 14 moto wins through the first ten rounds. New York native Justin Barcia produced a 4-2 moto score to capture second overall in his home state, while Dungey rounded out the podium with 2-4 finishes.
“The highlight of the day was definitely getting two holeshots and to be able to get two clean starts out front,” Villopoto said. “I really enjoyed the track. It has a lot of line choices and it’s honestly becoming one of my favorite tracks because you can go fast and take completely different lines than other people.”
In the 250 Class, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac put forth a flawless performance in New York to capture his fifth overall win of the season. Tomac wasn’t able to secure a good start in Moto 1 but his GEICO Honda teammate Wil Hahn captured the Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot and the early lead over MYPLASH/Metal Mulisha/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin. Martin then moved into the lead, leaving Hahn to battle with Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen in the second place position. Tomac proved to be unstoppable as he took over the lead and claimed the Moto 1 victory. Jeremy Martin maintained second and GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne claimed a last minute third place finish.
In Moto 2, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos captured his first Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot of the season but it was Red Bull KTM’s Roczen who commanded the early lead. Jeremy Martin, GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle and Davalos rode close in tow behind Roczen, while Tomac was forced to come from behind once again in Moto 2. However, Tomac quickly set his sights on the front as he challenged Roczen for the lead. After a hard fought battle in the final laps of Moto 2, Tomac emerged victorious to carry a 1-1 sweep at Unadilla.
Jeremy Martin held strong for third place in Moto 2, securing a career-best finish of second overall. Roczen bounced back from a fifth place finish in Moto 1, where a second place Moto 2 finish earned the previous points leader third overall for the day. With two rounds remaining, Tomac leads Roczen by 39 points in the 250 Class Championship.