Pala in Pictures
PALA, Calif. -- Ryan Villopoto won his first premier 450 Class title Saturday night, finishing second behind Ryan Dungey in the AMA Pro Motocross Championship's season-ending Pala National.
Villopoto, the Kawasaki rider from Poulsbo, Wash., won the first moto and finished third in the second.
"I didn't want to just go out there and ride today," said Villopoto, a three-time winner this season. "I felt good in the first moto, and I went into the second just looking to stay out of trouble. We started off outdoors not very good, but we finally came around. It's been a tough year."
Villopoto, also the AMA Supercross Championship this season, became the 12th rider in AMA Pro Racing history to win titles in both disciplines in the same year.
Suzuki's Dungey, from Belle Plaine, Minn., was second in the first moto and won the second to secure his fourth victory of the year. He was second in the season standings, 12 points behind Villopoto.
"It was a great day," Dungey said. "It's been a long, hard-fought season. I'm bummed I couldn't come out on top, but there is a sense of happiness along with it. Every race, you had to be on top of your game. Every single week, just trying to get more out of yourself. This is definitely the toughest season of my career. I know I gave it my all, and did everything I can, so I can walk away happy knowing that."
In the 250 Class, Kawasaki's Dean Wilson, from Scotland, capped his championship season by sweeping the motos for his third victory of the season.
"To win both motos today was a great feeling," Wilson said. "It feels so good to finish the season that way. I fought for it hard. I'm not sure why I do so well here. The track just maybe suits my style. We just gel together."
The season finale in the Women's Motocross Championship was a showdown between Honda's Ashley Fiolek of St. Augustine, Fla., and Yamaha's Jessica Patterson of Tallahassee, Fla.
Fiolek entered the day with a 22-point advantage, and relied on 2-3 moto results to finish third overall, and claim her third WMX Class title in four years. Patterson swept the motos for the overall victory.