Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto crushed the competition Saturday night in Seattle, Wash., winning by a margin of 12.14 seconds in front of a hometown crowd of 53,927 fans.
Villopoto’s night started out rocky when he was forced to transfer out of the second 450SX semi-final race, but it only went uphill from there. The Seattle-area native nailed the holeshot in the main event and then led all 20 laps to claim his fifth Monster Energy Supercross victory of 2014.
“I don’t think I’ve ever raced in front of a crowd cheering me on this loud,” said Villopoto. “It’s tough to race at home and in the past I haven’t been that stellar here, so to have a race like that is awesome.”
The three-time reigning series champion extended his points lead to 48 over second-place James Stewart, who also have five race wins to his name in 2014.
Ryan Dungey finished third and remains third in the championship standings, but is now mathematically eliminated from the title fight with only two races remaining. A trio of Honda-backed riders rounded out the top six with rookie Eli Tomac leading the red brigade in fourth ahead Justin Barcia and Trey Canard.
Stewart looked to be the only rider able to challenge Villopoto in Seattle, but a close call over the quad-jump and several minor errors forced the Yoshimura Suzuki rider to back off and settle for a second-place result.
“Ryan got the start on me and I cased the quad one lap just ridiculous – that took like five brownie points away from me,” said Stewart. “I just tried to make time up through the whoops and stuff and just kept making mistakes.
It was one of those tracks I’d kinda catch up but it’s so easy to override it. He [Villopoto] rode good and there wasn’t really nothing much I could do and just about halfway I just kinda said ‘I’m gonna hit the ground if I try to do that [catch Villopoto].’”
The series will now head to East Rutherford, N.J. in a fortnight’s time before wrapping up the season in Las Vegas, Nev. on May 3.
450SX Class Results: Seattle
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
2. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
5. Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda
6. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
7. Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
8. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
9. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Suzuki
10. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki
450SX Class Season Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 318
2. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 270
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 267
4. Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 249
5. Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 214
6. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha, 196
7. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 194
8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 126
9. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Suzuki, 124
10. Wil Hahn, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 122