Villopoto Clinches Championship
March 31, 2012 | 11:50 P.M. EST
"The whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team has worked very hard all year to help me make this happen.” (Photo: amasupercross.com)
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto clinched his second Supercross Class Championship on Saturday night at Reliant Stadium.
JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps opened the Supercross Class with the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award but was quickly passed by Villopoto. Star/Valli/Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry secured the number-three spot on the opening lap but was passed by Motoconcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi on lap 2.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer passed Alessi on lap 3 and held this position to lock in his second third-place finish of the season. Millsaps picked up his second runner-up finish of the season.
“It’s huge,” said Villopoto. “There is a lot of hard work that went into this, and I am only one piece of the pie; the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team has worked very hard all year to help me make this happen.”
Millsaps moved into third place in Supercross Class point standings.
“I want to congratulate Ryan (Villopoto) on his championship; he rode great all year,” said Millsaps. “It was slippery out there all day, so you had to choose your lines wisely. I am excited to be back up on the podium.”
Kevin Windham was battling James Stewart for several laps of the second Supercross heat race and appeared to be setting up the past series champion for a big pass on the final turn when his right footpeg dug into the face of a jump and pitched him off his machine. Windham had to be assisted off the track by the Asterisks Medical Team and was unable to return.
"I've hurt my left thumb and wrist and my right shoulder," Windham said. "They took some x-rays but they were inconclusive. They put a cast on my arm and wrapped up my shoulder. I'm going back home and I'll go to my personal doctor tomorrow. I really have no idea how serious it is because they just couldn't tell. It would be crazy for me to speculate on what might happen from here."
Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen captured his first Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class win of the season.
At the start of the east main event, GIECO Honda’s Justin Barcia, won the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award with Roczen and Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton, following in second and third, respectively. Roczen passed Barcia on the opening lap, and one lap later, Barcia re-passed him to take over the lead.
On lap 7, Blake Baggett moved around Wharton to take over third place. On his way to what was expected to be his sixth win of the season, Barcia collided with a lapped rider on the final lap of the race and crashed. He re-entered the race and finished second. This allowed Roczen to move into the lead and ride to the second victory of his career.
“This is so awesome,” said Roczen. “This is not how I want to win a race. Justin (rode a great race and was really fast tonight, so it is unfortunate that he crashed. I am super happy to be back on top of the box.”
Barcia still leads the championship points race by 32 points over Wharton.
"I've never been this upset about the outcome of a race," said Barcia, the No. 1 qualifier of the race. "That kid (Lance Vincent) stayed at my house and trained with me for a couple of weeks and then he does what he did. I'm not sure what he was thinking. This is about as frustrated as I can get.
"Big picture, we came in second and we earned a bunch more points. We're that much closer to where we want to be. I just feel bad that I let my emotions get the best of me at the end of the race. I went over to talk to Lance and I interfered with the Asterisks Medical Team and that was stupid. I apologize to all those guys big time.
"I had a great ride. It just didn't finish like I thought it would."
CBS will broadcast the Supercross class race at 12 p.m. (ET) tomorrow, April 1, 2012.