Washington’s Own Ryan Villopoto Brings Championship-Winning Monster Energy Supercross Season to CenturyLink Field This Saturday Night

4/17/2012
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AURORA, Ill. (April 16, 2012) – After becoming the first rider in history to clinch the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, with three races remaining on the schedule, Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., returns to his home state Saturday night at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field for the 15th stop of the 2012 season.

Villopoto, who won the first Supercross Class race of his career in Seattle in 2009, dominated the 20-lap Main Event in New Orleans last weekend to secure his ninth win of the season. After winning the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award, Villopoto led Foremost Insurance/Motosport.com Kawasaki’s Nick Wey, of Dewitt, Mich., and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, of Rupert, Idaho, in the early stages of the opening lap.

“The track was tough, so the bike was a big key,” said Villopoto, who is in the midst of a four-race winning streak. “The track was breaking down and it had a lot of ruts, so it was easy to get caught off guard. You had to stay on your toes and try to log consistent laps. I’m looking forward to returning home this week (in Seattle).”

As Villopoto’s lead continued to extend, the battle for the remaining spots on the podium ensued, as Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki’s Josh Grant, of Corona, Calif., and MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi, of Hilliard, Fla., were both in search of their first top-three efforts of the season. Grant set a strong pace in second after a good start, keeping a consistent gap over third. Alessi, however, wasn’t as fortunate, making contact with a lapped rider while running third on Lap 16, falling to the ground. That allowed Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton, of Murrieta, Calif., to grab the final spot on the podium.

Grant’s runner-up effort was his best finish since winning the opening race of the 2009 Monster Energy Supercross season and also signified the inaugural podium finish for the first-year Jeff Ward Racing team.

After an eight-race hiatus, the Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Championship is set to resume this weekend in Seattle as Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson, of Murrieta, Calif., brings a two-point lead over GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, of Cortex, Colo. Wilson set the stage for this weekend’s race after taking advantage of Tomac’s horrific crash in San Diego that forced him to withdraw from the Main Event. In turn, this erased the 22-point lead Tomac had over Wilson heading into San Diego.

“We’ve made (the championship chase) interesting, which is something we didn’t want to do, but we’ve got plenty of time to recover and rest now so that’s what we’ll do,” Tomac said. “We’ll reload and get ready for the last three races. I’m not going to change anything I’ve been doing because it’s been a great season so far. We just had some unfortunate luck in San Diego.”

Tomac has three wins on the season and Wilson has two.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic with the win in San Diego,” said Wilson. “I knew I needed to run consistent laps out there and get through the whoops as fast as I could all night long. Eli [Tomac] is a tough competitor, so it’s a bit of a surprise to be in the points lead, but I worked my butt off during the break to try and stay there.”

Villopoto isn’t the only rider to clinch a title this season. GIECO Honda’s Justin Barcia, of Ochlocknee, Ga., came into New Orleans needing to finish fourth or better to clinch his second-consecutive Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class Championship. While Saturday night marked the first race in two seasons that Barica finished off the podium, he finished fourth and completed the job.

“It was quite the race,” Barcia said. “It was a really crazy race. Finishing in fourth place was good enough to get the championship, and I’ll gladly take it. I was trying to be as smart as I could. I was trying to block my inside and watching it, because the other guys were putting it in there hard. When I’d watch the inside, I’d get passed on the outside.”

Last year in Seattle, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart secured his fifth and final victory of the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross season. Cole Seely of Corona, Calif., also took home his second Western Regional Supercross Lites Class victory of the season.

The first race in Seattle was held on February 18, 1978, and Jimmy Ellis won on a Honda. The first Supercross Lites Class race was held on February 8 1985, and Bader Mannea, won on a Kawasaki. 2012 will be the 41st time the gates have dropped in Seattle.

SPEED will broadcast the Supercross class race LIVE at 10:30pm EST on April 21, 2012.

Tickets are available at the CenturyLink Field Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000, www.supercrossonline.com, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Practice and qualifying begin at 12:30 p.m. and the main events starts at 7:00 p.m. Gold Circle tickets are $45 Adult/Child; Price Level 2 $30 Adult/Child; Treadhead $10 Adult/Child. Fans can also get into the Pits for FREE Race Day when they recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium’s Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).

Supercross Class Results: New Orleans

  1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
  2. Josh Grant, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki
  3. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
  4. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki
  5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
  6. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
  7. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha
  8. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki
  9. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda
  10. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki

Supercross Class Season Standings

  1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 321
  2. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha – 206
  3. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Honda – 201
  4. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 192
  5. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 178
  6. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki – 172
  7. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki – 171
  8. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 166
  9. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki – 162
  10. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki – 133

Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Results: San Diego

  1. Dean Wilson, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
  2. Cole Seely, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
  3. Matt Moss, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
  4. Gareth Swanepoel, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
  5. Nico Izzi, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
  6. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Honda
  7. Billy Laninovich, Riverside, Calif., Honda
  8. Travis Baker, Temecula, Calif., Honda
  9. Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Honda
  10. Nike Paluzzi, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki

Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Season Standings

  1. Dean Wilson, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki – 116
  2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 114
  3. Cole Seely, Murrieta, Calif., Honda – 101
  4. Marvin Musquin, Murrieta, Calif., KTM – 89
  5. Nico Izzi, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha – 78
  6. Matt Moss, Sussex Inlet, NS, KTM – 73
  7. Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Yamaha – 67
  8. Travis Baker, Temecula, Calif., Honda – 63
  9. Tyla Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki – 60
  10. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki – 58

Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class Results: New Orleans

  1. Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Kawasaki
  2. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki
  3. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda
  4. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
  5. Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
  6. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
  7. Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda
  8. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
  9. Austin Politelli, Sun City, Calif., Honda
  10. Philip Nicoletti, Cochecton, N.Y., Honda

Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class Season Standings

  1. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda – 185
  2. Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Kawasaki – 143
  3. Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM – 143
  4. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki – 142
  5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki – 128
  6. Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda – 118
  7. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda – 107
  8. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha – 70
  9. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 67
  10. Matthew Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Kawasaki – 66

Past Winners in Seattle

Supercross Class

April 16, 2011:                           James Stewart
April 24, 2010:                           Kevin Windham
April 18, 2009:                           Ryan Villopoto
April 26, 2008:                           Kevin Windham
April 28, 2007:                           James Stewart
April 29, 2006:                           James Stewart
April 23, 2005:                           James Stewart
January 30, 1999:                      Larry Ward
January 31, 1998:                      Jeremy McGrath
February 1, 1997:                      Doug Henry
February 3, 1996:                      Jeremy McGrath
February 4, 1995:                      Jeremy McGrath
May 7, 1994:                             Mike Kiedrowski
January 30, 1993:                      Jeremy McGrath
February 1, 1992:                      Damon Bradshaw
February 2, 1991:                      Jean-Michael Bayle
February 17, 1990:                     Larry Ward
February 4, 1989:                      Rick Johnson
February 5, 1989:                      Rick Johnson
February 13, 1988:                     Rick Johnson
February 14, 1988:                     Ron Lechien
March 28, 1987:                         Rick Johnson
March 29, 1987:                         Rick Johnson
February 15, 1986:                     Jeff Ward
February 16, 1986:                     Rick Johnson
February 8, 1985:                      Ron Lechien
February 9, 1985:                      Ron Lechien
February 11, 1984:                     Jeff Ward
February 12, 1984:                     Rick Johnson
February 12, 1983:                     Bob Hannah
February 13, 1983:                     Bob Hannah
February 13, 1982:                     Donnie Hansen
February 14, 1982:                     Mark Barnett
February 14, 1981:                     Darrell Shultz
February 15, 1981:                     Darrell Shultz
February 9, 1980:                      Mike Bell
February 10, 1980:                     Mike Bell
February 9, 1979:                      Mike Bell
February 10, 1979:                     Bob Hannah
February 18, 1978:                     Jim Ellis

Supercross Lites Class

April 16, 2011:                           Cole Seely
April 24, 2010:                           Broc Tickle
April 18, 2009:                           Ryan Dungey
April 26, 2008:                           Ryan Dungey
April 28, 2007:                           Ryan Villopoto
April 29, 2006:                           James Stewart
April 23, 2005:                           James Stewart
January 30, 1999:                      Nathan Ramsey
January 31, 1998:                      David Vuillemin
February 1, 1997:                      David Vuillemin
February 3, 1996:                      Kevin Windham
February 4, 1995:                      Damon Huffman
May 7, 1994:                             Ryan Hughes
January 30, 1993:                      Phil Lawrence
February 1, 1992:                      Jeremy McGrath
February 2, 1991:                      Jeremy McGrath
February 17, 1990:                     Ty Davis
February 4, 1989:                      Jeff Matiasevich
February 5, 1989:                      Jeff Matiasevich
February 13, 1988:                     Jeff Matiasevich
February 14, 1988:                     Jeff Matiasevich
March 28, 1987:                         Donnie Schmit
March 29, 1987:                         Kyle Lewis
February 15, 1986:                     Willie Surratt
February 16, 1986:                     Donnie Schmit
February 8, 1985:                      Bader Manneh
February 9, 1985:                      Mike Healey

Tune into the enhanced exclusive weekly video content from Supercross LIVE! during the entire 2012 season on SupercrossOnline.com, the Official Website of Monster Energy Supercross.

Weekly Supercross LIVE! Video Content Schedule
The Official Supercross LIVE! Pre-Show              Race Days at 11 AM Local Race Time
Behind the Scenes with Supercross LIVE!           All Day on Race Days
2 Minutes on the Track                                       Race Days at 3:30 & 5:30 PM Local Race Time
And on the Podium Tonight                                 Following Each Round’s Main Events
The Official Supercross LIVE! Post-Show            Saturday Nights at Each Round
Toyota Tailgate Talk                                          Wednesdays at 5 PM ET
After The Checkered Flag                                   Thursdays at 5PM ET

For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to www.SupercrossOnline.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross. For all media requests, please contact Denny Hartwig dhartwig@feldinc.com or 630-566-6305. To follow Monster Energy Supercross on Facebook and Twitter, log on to http://www.facebook.com/supercrosslive and http://twitter.com/supercrosslive.

About Feld Motor Sports®
Feld Motor Sports®, Inc. is the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports entertainment.  Feld Motor Sports, Inc. productions include Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMA Arenacross Series, Nuclear Cowboyz®, and IHRA® Nitro Jam®.  Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is a division of Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment.  For more information on Feld Entertainment, visit www.feldentertainment.com.