After an intense night of racing at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto rode to his eighth win of the season to clinch his second consecutive Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship title. His teammate Jake Weimer rode strong all night to finish on the podium in third place. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle also put together his best supercross finish to date, landing in seventh place. In the supercross lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett put together a solid ride to finish on the podium in third. His teammate Darryn Durham battled back from a first turn pile up, reaching as high as seventh, but went down in the last couple laps of the race and finished 17th.
Villopoto’s goal coming into Houston was to clinch the title in one of the last closed-dome stadiums before the final three rounds, where all of the racing action is open to Mother Nature’s fury. He got the night off to a great start by winning his heat race and knew with a main event win, the championship could be his. When the gate dropped for the main event, Villopoto got a great start and quickly took over the lead aboard his KX™450F. He led wire-to-wire to take the checkered flag and secured the second supercross class title of his career.
“It’s awesome to get the championship out of the way and takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” said Villopoto. “I definitely felt more prepared coming into this season. I came in healthier than last season, since I was coming off an injury last year, and had more seat time on my Kawasaki. Last year we battled until the final race for the title while this season was more like survival and I was the last man standing, but that’s our sport. You have to be able to ride fast and smart. This season I was able to wrap it up earlier than it has ever been done before which is really cool. Since we have next weekend off I’m going to head down to Miami to relax a little before New Orleans.”
Back On the Box
Weimer came to Houston feeling confident on his KX450F, but knew he would need an incident free evening to finish on the box. He got the night off to a great start in his heat race where his smooth and consistent riding landed him in the runner-up spot. In the main event, Weimer came around the first lap in fifth place and started looking to make his move. By the third lap he worked his way into third where he stayed for the remainder of the race. Weimer currently sits sixth in the points standings.
“Anytime you’re on the podium it’s a good night,” said Weimer. “The track in Houston was a little tricky and kept breaking down as the night went on, but I felt pretty good on it. I knew in the main it would be important to stay consistent and smooth so I really focused on connecting all my lines. There was one rhythm section that was pretty difficult, so I just made sure that I nailed it every lap. I was able to stay in third most of the race and finished on the podium. The past few weekends I feel like I’ve been riding well, but kept getting tangled up with other riders until tonight. I’m just going to keep training hard and come into New Orleans ready to fight. Overall, It was a great weekend for the team.”
For more information and the final results of the race, visit Kawasaki.com