Villopoto Thrills Record Oakland Crowd
OAKLAND, Calif. — Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., raced to his second-consecutive Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, 450SX Class Main Event win at O.co Coliseum before a record crowd of 46,896.
Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, of Germany, won his first Western Regional 250SX Class race of the season, snapping Eli Tomac’s three-race win streak.
Villopoto jumped out to an early lead, scoring the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award. JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha’s Justin Brayton, of Cornelius, N.C., and Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps, of Murrieta, Calif., followed Villopoto in second and third, respectively.
A huge crash in turn two collected TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart and Team Honda/Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia. Stewart and Reed re-entered the race near the back of the pack and Barcia was forced to withdraw from the race.
By lap three, Villopoto established a seven-second lead over Millsaps, who passed Brayton for the number-two position on the same lap. Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., passed Brayton for second place on lap 11. Millsaps finished second and Dungey finished third.
“The points race is what we are going after, and winning the holeshot gives you a great advantage,” said Villopoto. “We made some changes to the bike today that I think really helped us out there tonight, so hats off to my team. It is a long season, and we are going to keep plugging away.”
JDR KTM’s Joey Savatgy, of Thomasville, Ga., opened the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event with the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award, leading Roczen and Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Cole Seely, of Newbury Park, Calif., respectively, through turn one. On the opening lap, Seely passed Savatgy for the lead and Roczen followed suit, passing Savatgy for second place. Current points leader Eli Tomac, of Cortez, Colo., crossed the finish line on the opening lap in eighth place.
Tomac, who rides for the GEICO Honda team, crashed on lap one 1 and re-entered the race in 18th place. On lap five, Tomac crashed again in the whoops section and was unable to finish the race. Tomac came into night’s race undefeated and had a nine-point lead in season point standings. He now sits third overall, 15 points out of the lead.
Roczen stalked Seely until lap 11 when he made the pass for the lead. Seely finished second and Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson, of Edgewood, N.M., finished third. Roczen has an 11-point lead in season point standings over Seely.
“I am so happy with this win tonight,” said Roczen. “There was a lot of bar banging on that opening lap, but I charged hard and got out front. I am excited to bring this momentum back to Angel Stadium next weekend.”