AURORA, Ill. – Just one week after Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto became the second rider in Monster Energy AMA Supercross history to win four-consecutive titles, the 17-race season will come to its dramatic conclusion on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
A capacity crowd is expected to cheer on the world’s fastest riders inside Sam Boyd Stadium on one of the most anticipated nights of the year.
Last weekend Monster Energy Supercross ended a 23-year absence from the New York metro area by making its anticipated return to East Rutherford, N.J., and the inaugural race inside MetLife Stadium. On one of the biggest nights in the history of the sport, Villopoto dominated with his third straight wire-to-wire effort to not only claim his class leading sixth race of the season, but also secure his historic fourth-consecutive world championship.
“It’s been an awesome day here at MetLife Stadium,” said Villopoto, who also achieved the 40th win of his 450SX Class career. “We had a little bit of rain, but I couldn’t believe how well the track held up. It feels great to lock in my fourth-consecutive championship. It’s been a hard-fought season with a few ups and downs, but it was obviously my most consistent, so I’m glad to be able to close it out on top.”
Villopoto’s memorable night capped off an impressive 2014 championship campaign that was arguably the most successful of his four-year reign. While Villopoto’s win total this season is currently the lowest it’s ever been over the last four years, he’s been more consistent than ever before, boasting a 2.13 finishing average and a lowest result of sixth. With a three-race win streak in tow, he’ll come into Las Vegas as the favorite and will look to cement his historic season with a dominant run through to the finish.
With the pressure of the championship now over, the entire 450SX Class field will also be in search of a win to end their respective seasons on a high note. Spearheading that group are Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, Team Yoshimura’s James Stewart, and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen. The pair of former champions and star rookie has each won previously this season, but more importantly they are engaged in battle for the runner-up spot in the final championship standings.
Stewart appeared to suffer a knee injury in East Rutherford, bowing out of competition during the Main Event. However, his status is uncertain as it is assumed he will be on the gate. Dungey didn’t have the result he was hoping for at MetLife, dropping positions en route to a sixth-place finish, while Roczen was only able to parlay the fastest lap in practice to a fifth-place effort.
Based on their respective outings in East Rutherford, motivation will be high for these three riders to get back to the front of the field and battle for the win, or at least a spot on the podium. All three riders have won before in Las Vegas and will look to take advantage of that experience. Additionally, the Team Honda Muscle Milk duo of Justin Barcia and Trey Canard have shown impressive speed in recent weeks and each will be looking to do all he can to break through for his first victory of 2014.
Even though the championship has been decided, the excitement in Las Vegas will be as big as ever thanks to one of the fastest and most thrilling tracks of the season. Las Vegas is known for producing memorable racing and with the motivation the biggest names in the sport are carrying into Sam Boyd Stadium, that trend is sure to continue. Here are additional talking points for the season finale: