Ryan Villopoto picks up second Supercross victory of the year in Oakland; Anderson wins Supercross Lites West
For the second time this season in four events, Ryan Villopoto picked up the Supercross victory. Going into the event, Villopoto was happy with the track conditions.
“We’ve got a good track under us," he said. "We’ve got hard packed dirt – harder than all season – so I think the fans are really going to get a good show all weekend.”
For Villopoto, it marks the 36th win in his career as he retakes the points lead, seven points ahead of Chad Reed.
“I’m just going to try to be there at the end to pick up the win," Reed said going into the night.
In the first heat, James Stewart took the early lead ahead of Tedesco and Ken Roczen. The rookie Roczen, who came into the weekend leading the points, would move into second. Peick then moved past Tedesco on lap three to move into third. Tedesco then fell out of the top four and a transfer spot when Justin Barcia passed him with three to go. Stewart took the win ahead of Roczen while Barcia got along Peick for third with a cut off just past the finish line jump on the final lap. Weston then snuck by Peick on the last lap to grab the final transfer spot.
“Consistancy," Stewart said. "Got to ride good. Getting a good start would make it easier on myself. Track is difficult; the split lane is a little unnerving. Got to improve a little in the whoops.”
In the second heat, Villopoto would get the holeshot while Reed moved into second ahead of Friese. Dungey and Hahn would then both get by Friese on lap two, with Brayton following suit on lap three. With three to go, Hahn moved past Dungey for third while Brayton tried to follow suit on the last lap, but failed. Ryan Villopoto won ahead of Chad Reed, Will Hahn and Ryan Dungey.
“I think the track is really good tonight," Villopoto commented. "This is the first track we’ve had where you come to and you can really push and see what the bike has and what you’re doing…..”
In the first semi, Patridge would take the early lead while Blouse went down in the first turn. Short ran second followed by Bopping and Friese. Friese would get by Bopping for third on lap two while Short uses the split line to his advantage to grab the lead on lap three. With two to go, Chisholm would get by Bopping, with Decotis following suit. Andrew Short grabbed the win followed by Partridge, Friese, Chisholm and Decostis.
“It’s great to be here," Short said. "The track is amazing. I got to work on quick passes, getting a good start and running that race was good for extra track time.”
In the second semi, Grant took the lead early ahead of Brayton, Weimer, Tedesco and Alessi. Brayton then got by Grant for the lead on lap two, though Grant passed him back. It didn't last long as Brayton was able to get by the next lap in the first couple of turns. With two to go, Weimer would follow suit, passing Grant. Tedesco tried to set up Grant on the final lap, but goes off the edge of the berm and wrecks. Brayton took the win ahead of Weimer, Grant, Alessi and Albertson.
“You usually run the heat and then you don’t get a lot of time on the track and the woops get deeper and there are ruts forming," Brayton started. "I was a little bummed at first that I didn’t mae it out of the heat – but I used it to my advantage by getting another gate drop and getting to check out the track.”
In the LCQ, Tedesco took the early lead ahead of Parks, Wey and Enternap. Enternap would then fall back on lap three as he was passed by Schmidt, Georike and Parks. Parks would try to make a move on Goerike for the last transfer spot, but would go down. Tedesco took the win ahead of Wey, Goerike and Schmidt.
When it came to the main event, Friese grabbed the early lead, but didn't stay there long as Villopoto got by Brayton and then passed Friese for the lead. On lap 2, Villopoto led Reed, Brayton, Dungey, Hahn, Stewart, Friese, Barcia and Roczen.
Barcia would make his way by Friese on lap three, followed by Roczen, while Stewart made the move on Hahn. Barcia then went to follow Stewart through, though took Hahn up to the tough blocks, causing Hahn to go down. With Hahn out, Villopoto led Reed, Brayton, Dungey, Stewart, Barciaa and Roczen on lap four.
Stewart would continue to make his move to the front after a poor start, passing Dungey for fourth on lap five. Stewart then passed Brayton on lap eight for third, while Dungey followed suit. On lap nine, Barcia would go down when he would get crossed up and go over the tough blocks. As a result, this allowed Roczen to move up a spot. Roczen used it to his advantage, moving past Brayton with eight to go. At the front, Stewart would then jump the 'quad' rather than a 'triple' to get by Reed for second. Now with seven to go, Villopoto led Stewart, Reed, Dungey, Roczen, Brayton, Hahn, Weimer, Barcia and Short.
With four to go, Barcia continued his charge back to the front as he passed Weimer for eighth.
At the front, Ryan Villopoto had the clear advantage three seconds ahead of Stewart and held on for the win. James Stewart finished second followed by Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey, Justin Brayton, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia.
“Felt pretty good that event," Villopoto commented afterwards. "Obviously James had a trick up his sleeve over there after the start. I felt it was faster but not that I needed to do it over the 20 laps here."
Villopoto added that the competition will be tough all year.
"You have to have a great team behind you and a great bike under you like I have," he said. "We’re going to do more work this week and try to get better.”
For Stewart, it marked his best finish in a while after he struggled for a couple weeks.
“It’s the best I’ve ridden since Anahiem so yeah, feeling good," he said. "Blew the start – did it well in the heat, sucked in the main. I had to make some risky passes there and making my way up there, almost crashed in the whoops. Second feels good.”
Rounding out the podium, Chad Reed was happy with the effort following last week's big victory.
“My confidence is good," he commented. "For me, the quad drove me nuts in the main. I tried there in the main and it got me off balance. It was just throwing my lap off. I just want to keep riding like this and keep it going.”
As a result, Ryan Villopoto leads the points standings, seven points ahead of Chad Reed. Rookie Ken Roczen sits third tied with his KTM teammate Ryan Dungey, both nine points back. Justin Brayton rounds out the top five, 13 points back.
In Supercross Lites West, Jason Anderson picked up his third win of the season in four events after he passed Dean Wilson on the final lap. Anderson leads the points, six ahead of Cole Seely, with his worst finish of the year being second and a heat win every week.
“That one I got lucky with Dean stalling his bike," Anderson commented. "I was just keep trying to stay up there and bring it home each week. As long as I am up in that lead battle, I am happy. Just happy to be up here again and get that points lead back.”
Wilson looked to have it locked up, when the bike suddenly slowed down in a section on track. Wilson sits third in points, 21 points back.
“It’s a shame," Wilson commented. "I thought I had it. I just came around the corner and had a mechanical malfunction – it just died on me. I don’t know what happened.
"It’s unfortunate but what do you do? I’m just doing my best every weekend and it’s just not working out. We’ll move to next week and hope it does.”
Justin Hill finished third for his first career podium finish.
“I’ve been working so hard," he said. "It’s a great feeling. A little bummed that I wasn’t able to win that thing, but I’ve gotta take something good from it. It’s my first podium so I’ll take it.”
Next weekend the Supercross riders return to California as they hit up Anaheim.
Weston Peick’s night ended early with a mechanical issue
Josh Hill broke his collarbone in a heat crash.
Anaheim marks race one of the Toyota Race Challenge. The Toyota Race Challenge will include Anaheim, Atlanta and Detroit. The rider that scores the most points in those three events will win a brand new Toyota Tundra truck. If a rider can score the win in each of those events, they will win a money bonus.