Five Straight For Villopoto
HOUSTON — Inside Reliant Stadium, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto won his fifth consecutive Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race in front of 49,438 fans.
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton won his first Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event of the year.
In the 450SX Class Main Event, MCR’s Mike Alessi won the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award as Villopoto, Team Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia and Trey Canard followed him through turn one in second and third, respectively.
Villopoto gained the lead on the opening lap, and after five laps, Canard, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart held down the second, third and fourth positions. Dungey passed Canard for second place on Lap 7, and on the same lap, Stewart took over third place.
While challenging Dungey for second place, Stewart crashed on Lap 10 before the finish-line jump. Dungey finished second and Canard third in his first race back since an injury sidelined him for a race.
It was Villopoto’s second-consecutive win at Reliant Stadium and he extended his point lead to 21.
“It was tough out there tonight,” said Villopoto. “The track was breaking down out there, and there were several variables that we had to deal with. You had to move quickly out there tonight, and that is what I did in the early part of the race. I wanted to establish a lead before the lapped riders would begin to play a factor in the race.”
Zack Freeberg opened the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event with the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award but was quickly passed by Wharton and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, the winner of the last three races. Musquin made a move around Wharton on the opening lap.
On lap one, Wharton answered back, passing Musquin for the lead. Musquin ran into bad luck when he crashed on lap five and lost several places. GIECO Honda’s Wil Hahn, who came into tonight’s race as the point leader, took over the number-two position and gave chase to Wharton but several mistakes kept him making the pass. Hahn finished second and extended his point lead to eight with two races remaining.
“It’s important to be aggressive out there,” said Wharton. “I had a great start and it was pretty intense during get first few laps, but I was able to give myself a nice cushion until Wil [Hahn] pressured me at the end.”
After re-entering the race, Musquin worked his way through the field, eventually securing third place, where he finished.
Three-time AMSOIL Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers finished a career-best fourth place in his debut ride for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team.