Villopoto gets 1st Supercross win of season
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Two-time champion Ryan Villopoto got his first Supercross win of the season at Angel Stadium on Saturday night.
Villopoto, who tore his left ACL at Seattle last April after he had already clinched his second series title, ended a five-race winless streak -- tied for the longest since his first career win during the 2009 season.
The Kawasaki rider from Poulsbo, Wash., finished 16th in the season opener here two weeks ago and was a runner-up last week in Phoenix.
"The season didn't start like we wanted it to," Villopoto said. "I had a decent race in Phoenix and the team made good changes to the bike this week. We've finally got the ball going in the right direction and are digging ourselves out of the hole. Once I got into the lead, I was just trying to click of the laps and keep it consistent. The track was really slippery tonight, but I still tried to keep the pace up."
Honda's Eli Tomac, of Cortez, Colo., won the 250SX class race for this third victory in three races this season.
Kawasaki's Jake Weimer, of Rupert, Idaho, took the early start in the 20-lap main event, followed by Honda teammates Justin Barcia, of Ochlocknee, Ga., and Trey Canard, of Shawnee, Okla. Villopoto was sixth out of the first corner and quickly began to make his move.
Canard got past Barcia and Weimer for the lead on the first lap, and after Barcia came up short off a triple jump, current points leader Davi Millsaps, of Murrieta, Calif., and Villopoto moved behind Canard for second and third, respectively.
Villopoto passed Millsaps on the fourth lap, and then made an aggressive move to get past Canard on the following lap and went on to win the 450SX class event by nearly 7 seconds.
Canard held on for his second runner-up finish this season, while Honda's Chad Reed, of Australia, was third.
Millsaps still holds a three-point lead over Canard in series standings, with Reed another four points back in third. Villopoto's win helped move him into fourth, 11 points behind Millsaps.
Tomac got his 10th career win, and KTM's Ken Roczen, of Germany, made a late pass to finish second, while Honda's Cole Seely, of Newbury, Park, Calif., was third
"I definitely started off slower (today)," Tomac said.. "I was good in one practice and struggled in the other, so it definitely made the race matter that much for the (win). It was a great battle out there. The track was tough, so I had to keep my feet tight and the bike under control. From now on I just need to keep it on the podium."
Tomac's lead now stands at nine points over Roczen, who has finished second in all three races this season. Seely is in third, 17 points out of the lead.
Supercross moves on to the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., next Saturday.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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