AURORA, Ill. – As the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returns to Seattle’s CenturyLink Field this Saturday night, Monster Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who is from nearby Poulsbo, Wash., carries a 45-point lead in the 450SX Class point standings.
With his fourth win in the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson continues his pursuit of winning his first title.
Last weekend, Villopoto won his fourth race of the 2014 season in front of 49,759 fans at NRG Stadium.
Despite a difficult path to the Main Event that included a hard crash in his Heat Race and a needed win in the Semi, Villopoto put himself up front early after racing to the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award to start the 20-lap 450SX Class Main Event.
“It was awesome tonight considering everything we had to overcome,” said Villopoto. “With the start the way it was, I don’t think I could have asked for anything more and it made my life easy. The track was tough, but our Kawasaki was able to handle everything. That’s not the way I wanted the heat race to go, but we were able to bounce back even stronger.”
Team Honda/Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia secured his third consecutive podium finish in second, while Dungey’s teammate Ken Roczen finished on the podium for the first time in three races in third. Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart, who was battling an illness all day, rode to a fifth-place finish that allowed him to take over second in the 450SX Class standings while Dungey battled back from his opening lap crash to pass 11 riders and finish seventh.
En route to his win, Villopoto extended his lead in the championship to 45 points over Stewart as he chases a fourth straight title with three races remaining.
Saturday night’s Western Regional 250SX Class Race was the first since the San Diego stop on Feb. 8, and Anderson welcomed the challenge as he built on the four-point lead he brought into Houston.
“It feels great to come back strong after such a long break. I’m super stoked to get the win,” said Anderson. “We did a lot of work over the break and it paid off. We killed it off the start and were able to run our own race. That’s going to be the key to winning this championship over the last few rounds, put myself up front and move into a position so we can do what we need to do.”
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson overcame a dislocated shoulder he suffered in a crash during his Heat Race to finish second and grab his third podium in four races, while Troy Lee Designs/MAVTV’s Malcolm Stewart posted the third podium result of his career in third. Anderson’s main challenger in the Western Regional Championship standings, Cole Seely, finished fourth aboard his Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda.
Anderson’s lead over Seely in the championship now sits at 11 points with two races remaining in the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship.
In front of a crowd of 53,862 fans during the 2013 race in Seattle, Barcia took home the second 450SX Class win of his career. Roczen captured his third Western Regional 250SX Class victory in four races last season in Seattle.
The first race in Seattle was held on Feb. 18, 1978 and Jimmy Ellis won on a Honda. The first 250SX Class race was held on Feb. 8, 1985 and Bader Mannea won on a Kawasaki. The 2014 season marks the 43rd time the gates will drop for a supercross race in Seattle.