WASHOUGAL, Wash. – Heading into round eight of the 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, Poulsbo native Ryan Villopoto carried a winless record in his home state of Washington.
On Saturday, Villopoto went head-to-head with this season’s biggest rival, Ryan Dungey, where he captured his first ever overall victory at Washougal for the 33rd Annual Peterson CAT Washougal National.
Perhaps Villopoto’s 450 Class victory was a personal milestone for the 2011 450 Class Champion, but it also served as an end to Dungey’s five-year win streak at Washougal. Villopoto and Dungey split moto wins for the day, providing an exciting afternoon of racing at the championship’s only stop in the Pacific Northwest.
In Moto 1 of the 450 Class, Dungey put himself in a favorable position right away by securing his second Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot of the season. The trio of BTO Sports/KTM’s Andrew Short, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia and Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart trailed close behind Dungey in the opening laps, while Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto started the first moto just outside the top five. Villopoto quickly set his sights to the front of the pack where he began making passes on the field.
Barcia upheld the second place position early on but the 450 Class rookie had a small tip over in a corner that allowed Stewart and Villopoto to get by. After a few laps of back-and-forth racing, Villopoto made the pass on Stewart for second, where he continued to chase Dungey for the lead position.
Dungey maintained his poise in the final laps of Moto 1 to secure the win by less than two seconds over a hard charging Villopoto. Stewart held on for the third place finish, while Barcia took fourth.
In Moto 2 of the 450 Class, it was Toyota/JGR/Yamaha’s Josh Grant who grabbed the Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot but Dungey’s momentum from Moto 1 carried him to the front on the opening lap. Villopoto and Stewart quickly moved past Grant in an intense second place battle, ultimately setting their sights on Dungey for the lead. Villopoto separated himself from Stewart and quickly latched onto Dungey in the opening laps. Villopoto patiently followed the leader before seizing the opportunity to move into the lead, and he never looked back.
Villopoto ended the day with a statement as he captured the Moto 2 win and the 450 Class overall with a (2-1) moto score, giving the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider his first ever win at Washougal.