New Points Leader Ryan Villopoto Carries Two-Race Win Streak into Monster Energy Supercross Return to Indianapolis
Wil Hahn Holds On To Slight Advantage in 250SX Class
AURORA, Ill. (March 11, 2013) – For the first time in 2013, a rider other than Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps will carry the red number plate in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, as the world’s best riders make their return to Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night for the 11th race of the season. Following a dominant outing at Daytona en route to his 450SX Class-leading fifth win of the season, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto surpassed Millsaps atop the championship standings and carries a two-point lead into Saturday night’s race.
Live broadcast coverage of the action from Indianapolis can be seen exclusively on SPEED, beginning at 7:30 PM ET.
Villopoto has gained considerable momentum in the championship over the past month of competition. In the last four races Villopoto boasts three victories and a runner-up effort, compared to second, third, sixth, and 10th-place efforts for Millsaps over that span. Villopoto has made up a 24-point deficit with his recent surge, passing both Millsaps and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey along the way.
In Daytona, Villopoto grabbed the holeshot and opened a slight gap early, only to lose traction in his rear wheel, turn sideways, and ultimately launch off the side of the track in an effort to prevent falling over. He dropped to third following the incident, but worked his way past Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia for second and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen for the lead by Lap 4. Once back out front, Villopoto pulled away from the field for perhaps his most convincing effort of the season and now has posted at least five victories for four consecutive seasons.
“We’re in a good place,” said Villopoto following the race. “The track was so tough [in Daytona], you just had to keep on your toes and be ready for anything. We didn’t expect to be back in the points lead this fast, but from here we will try to keep the wins coming.”
Saturday in Indianapolis will mark the first time Villopoto has carried the red number plate, which signifies the current championship points leader, since the opening race in Anaheim, when it signified Villopoto as the defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion. The timing to reclaim his possession of the red plate couldn’t be better as Lucas Oil Stadium could very well be considered Villopoto’s favorite venue, taking the checkered flag for three consecutive seasons.
On the heels of his worst two results of the entire 2013 season, Millsaps will be looking up in the standings for the first time this year, albeit just two points out. Millsaps is enduring some lingering effects from incidents at the St. Louis stop of the championship as well as practice in the week leading up to Daytona. Admittedly, he wasn’t at his best last weekend settling for a season-worst 10th-place finish, but after such a strong start to his championship campaign, Millsaps is still well within reach of his first career title.
“Well, Daytona was the worst race of the season so far, [so] I got that out of my way,” said Millsaps. “Now it’s time to climb my way back up to the top. It’s supercross, it’s going to happen. Other guys had bad races and now I just got rid of mine.”
Should Millsaps finish in front of Villopoto on Saturday night in Indianapolis, he would almost be guaranteed a share of the points lead.
The third member of this developing championship battle is Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. In Daytona, Dungey posted a quiet runner-up effort to claim his sixth podium finish of the season, ending a two-race drought. He was gaining on Villopoto in the closing stages of the Main Event, but took the strong result as a step towards gaining more momentum in Indianapolis. He enters Lucas Oil Stadium with a 14-point deficit to Villopoto in the standings.
“It was a pretty rough track [in Daytona],” commented Dungey on the podium. “Luckily, we got my suspension dialed in after practice and my bike worked really well. I got off to a great start and was able to put myself in a good position early on. It feels great to get back up on the podium.”
This trio of championship leaders will lead the highly-talented lineup of riders set to make their anticipated return the “Circle City,” arguably the mecca of motorsports in America. A total of five different winners have stood atop the podium thus far in 2013, and with seven races still remaining, the 450SX Class title fight is only beginning to heat up.
During the 2012 stop from Lucas Oil Stadium in front of nearly 60,000 spectators, Villopoto needed to overcome a bad start in order to capture the win. After climbing through the field throughout the Main Event, Villopoto made a late pass on leader Justin Brayton with only four laps remaining to claim his sixth win of the year en route to the title.
Through its first four races, the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship has boasted three different winners, making for a parity-filled start to the season. In Daytona, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin became the second rider this season to claim his first career Monster Energy Supercross victory, joining championship leader Wil Hahn.
Musquin timed the drop of the gate perfectly in the Main Event to pull an easy holeshot and establish himself as the early leader. Following several laps of pressure from Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson, Musquin maintained control of the lead and eventually began to pull away from the field to become the 90th different winner in 250SX Class history and the fifth Frenchman to ever win a Main Event in the division.
“Obviously I had a lot of fun riding the [Daytona] track,” said Musquin after the race. “I knew everyone was going to be fast, so I stayed calm out front and tried to have fun. I am so happy to get this win and to also gain more confidence knowing that I was pulling away from them each lap.”
Hahn maintained control of the championship lead aboard his GEICO Honda, finishing second to follow-up his back-to-back victories. He is now the only rider in the Eastern Regional Championship to finish on the podium in each of the four races this season.
Hahn currently holds a five-point lead over Wilson, who ultimately settled for a fourth-place finish in Daytona after challenging for the lead early.
Last season’s Eastern Regional 250SX Class race in Indianapolis was a memorable one for Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton, who raced to his second career victory inside Lucas Oil Stadium following a late pass for the lead.
The first 450SX Class race held in Indianapolis was March 21, 1992, when Jeff Stanton won aboard a Honda. Jeremy McGrath has the most wins in Indianapolis with six, all of which came inside the old RCA Dome, which hosted Monster Energy Supercross from 1992 to 2008. Since 2009, only Villopoto and Chad Reed have emerged victorious inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Reed, Ricky Carmichael, and Ezra Lusk are the only riders to win at Indy in both the 450SX Class and 250SX Class. Jimmy Button claimed the first 250SX Class victory in Indianapolis in 1992 while riding a Yamaha. Since Lucas Oil Stadium began hosting Monster Energy Supercross in 2009, four different riders have claimed the 250SX Class win, making it one of the unpredictable stops of the Eastern Regional Championship.
Tickets are available at the Lucas Oil Stadium Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge by phone at (800)745-3000, and online at www.supercrossonline.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Practice and qualifying begin at 12:30 p.m., and the Main Event begins at 7:00 p.m. Total Access Passes are available for $125 Adult/Child (Total Access Passes includes one (1) ticket to club seating and access to the Pit Party one (1) hour before the general public; Club Level Tickets are $55 Adult/Child; Gold Circle Tickets are $37 Adult/Child; Mid-Level Tickets are $25 Adult/Child and Treadhead Seats are $10 Adult/Child. Plus, for the first time ever, fans can enjoy an outdoor Party in the Pits from 12:30pm to 6pm Race Day when they purchase a $10 pit pass through Ticketmaster.com or the box office (valid only with an event ticket.)
450SX Class Results: Daytona
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
Chad Reed, Australia, Honda
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
450SX Class Points
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 202
Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 200
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 188
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 163
Chad Reed, Australia, Honda, 163
Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 152
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 135
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 122
Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha, 104
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 99
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results: Daytona
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM
Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha
Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki
Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki
Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki
Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda
Zachary Freeberg, Riverview, Fla., Honda
Cole Thompson, Canada, Honda
Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Honda
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Points
Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 92
Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki, 87
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 78
Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki, 76
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 52
Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 51
Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Honda, 50
Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda, 45
James Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda, 43
Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Honda, 40