It was an off night in Dallas for Ryan Villopoto on his Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F, who scored a fourth place finish at the new Cowboys Stadium’s first AMA Supercross race.
Snow fell outside the enclosed stadium on the first day of spring while Ryan Dungey extended his points lead with the race win on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450.
The 21-year-old Villopoto posted the third fastest time in SX practice and was second in his heat race. Ryan was hoping to add another race to his 2010 win count and further close the gap on the points chase. Dungey had other plans.
Some riders claimed that the dirt at Cowboys Stadium was inconsistent outside of the main line. That made passing difficult for Villopoto who suffered a poor start in the main event on his Kawasaki KX450F.
Villopoto rode a strong race as he worked his way up from 10th on the first lap. He eventually finished just off the podium in fourth place but never got the chance to challenge Dungey.
Ryan Villopoto Quote
"Everything was a little bit off," said Villopoto. "The first problem I had was not getting a good start in the main event. I knew I should have picked a more inside gate. With the way the track was, the start was even more important than normal. It was 100 percent of why I finished where I finished tonight was the start."
"You had to take the main line everywhere tonight," said Villopoto. "The dirt wasn’t the greatest. If you got off line the track was super clumpy and you didn’t know what the bike would do."
"We should have some better dirt for sure in Jacksonville," said Villopoto. "I’m going to go there and do my best to get as many points as possible, but I’m going to need some help."
After finishing fourth in Dallas, Villopoto slipped from 17 to 24 points behind Dungey in the Supercross championship. The Washington native isn’t throwing in the towel and he knows he can work his way back.
With Chad Reed and James Stewart still out, anything can happen with the field of younger riders all gunning for SX stardom. As well, Roger Decoster has been hinting that Dungey has been riding to protect his lead rather than win races. Dungey proved Decoster wrong in Dallas but can he do it again.
Villopoto has 6 races left to hunt down the 24-point difference with Dungey.
March 27 – Jacksonville Municipal Stadium – Jacksonville, FL
April 10 – Reliant Stadium – Houston, TX
April 17 – Edward Jones Dome – St. Louis, MO
April 24 – Quest Field – Seattle, WA
May 1 – Rice-Eccles – Salt Lake City, UT
May 8 – Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, NV