Kawasaki‘s Ryan Villopoto won round seven of the AMA Supercross series in Indianapolis on Saturday night and moved himself to first equal in the championship standings.
In front of a packed crowd of more than 60,000 fans, the series made its East Coast debut at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
The premier AMA Supercross class entered the evening with a tie atop the standings between Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey and Yamaha’s Josh Hill, but when the chequered flag flew, it was Kawasaki’s Villopoto who stood atop the podium for his third win of the season.
Villopoto and Dungey now share the championship lead, both on 145 points, with Hill 10 points further back in third position.
Honda’s Davi Millsaps kicked-off the 20-lap AMA Supercross main event by grabbing the holeshot, with Honda’s Kevin Windham and Villopoto following in second and third respectively.
Millsaps and Windham fought a back-and-forth battle for the lead over the first couple of laps before Windham made a pass stick on lap two.
Villopoto worked his way to the front, along with Dungey, as both riders moved past Millsaps.
As the race hit the halfway mark, Villopoto battled with Windham, making the winning pass on lap 11 while Dungey took second the next lap. The trio would finish in that order – Villopoto, Dungey and Windham.
“Going out of the last chance I had the outside gate,” said Villopoto, who failed to finish his heat race after a crash and had to qualify for the main event through the last chance qualifier. “I was second to last to line up (for the main event) and I really just can’t thank the guys at Monster Energy Kawasaki enough. It was the fastest bike out there and I was able to get a good holeshot.
“Starting on the outside there killed me,” he continued. “I was able to make something of it, which was awesome.”
Villopoto’s second straight win and third victory in the last four races moves him into a tie at the top of the standings with Dungey.
Meanwhile, Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel grabbed the victory in the opening round of the AMA Arenacross Lites Eastern Regional Championship on Saturday night.
Honda’s Justin Barcia took the holeshot in the Lites race with Pourcel and Suzuki’s Austin Stroupe close behind.
Pourcel quickly moved into the lead and never looked back, leading all 15 laps of the main event. Barcia kept the reigning class champion honest, but fell on lap three, dropping several positions. Pourcel crossed the line 5.22 seconds ahead of Stroupe in the runner-up spot to open up an early points lead while Barcia recovered to finish third for his first-career podium in his series debut.
“I just felt pretty good,” said Pourcel. “Everything was ok today for me so I am just really happy to win the race tonight. The track was pretty tight tonight and I needed to win the race so coming into the main event I just gave my best (effort).”
The Monster Energy Supercross series heads to Atlanta, Ga. next Saturday, February 27, for its eighth race of the season at the Georgia Dome.
AMA Supercross class results: Indianapolis
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
3. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
4. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
5. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
6. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Honda
7. Grant Langston, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
8. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
9. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha
10. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
AMA Supercross Class season standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 145
2. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 145
3. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 135
4. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 114
5. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 106
6. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 105
7. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 97
8. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 74
9. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 69
10. Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Suzuki, 61
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class results: Indianapolis:
1. Christophe Pourcel, Groveland, Fla., Kawasaki
2. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Suzuki
3. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
4. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha
5. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
6. Dean Wilson, San Jacinto, Calif., Kawasaki
7. Kyle Regal, Kemp, Texas, Yamaha
8. Nico Izzi, Albany, Ga., Yamaha
9. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha
10. Troy Adams, Homosassa, Fla., Suzuki
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class season standings:
1. Christophe Pourcel, Groveland, Fla., Kawasaki, 25
2. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Suzuki, 22
3. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 20
4. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha, 18
5. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 16
6. Dean Wilson, San Jacinto, Calif., Kawasaki, 15
7. Kyle Regal, Kemp, Texas, Yamaha, 14
8. Nico Izzi, Albany, Ga., Yamaha, 13
9. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha, 12
10. Troy Adams, Homosassa, Fla., Suzuki, 11
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com