Villopoto woke up Saturday morning with a minor discomfort in his stomach that progressively turned into unbearable intestinal pain. Unable to keep anything down, the champ was advised by the Asterisk Medical Team to visit the hospital for treatment of food poisoning and rule out anything long term. After spending the day getting tests done, Villopoto returned to the stadium with just enough time to get dressed and ride out for opening ceremonies. Having not even walked the track, he was able to take advantage of a provision that allows a rider in the top-10 in points to line up with the last gate pick for first heat race. RV used the heat race as a practice session and was able to then transfer to the main event via the semi. In the main event he rode conservative and finished a hard-earned sixth place, losing only five points in the championship hunt.
“Lining up for the heat race I wasn’t even sure if I could push it at all,” said Villopoto. “I just tried to get the track down as quick as possible and in the main event I got a decent start and just rode within my means and salvaged a ton of points.”