After 17 rounds of the tightest racing in AMA Supercross history, a another first-timer claimed the Championship title following the SX finale in Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Saturday night.
Before almost 40,000 fans, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopto claimed his first AMA Supercross title with a third-place finish in the 20-lap main event. Taking the win in Vegas was Chad Reed on the Two-Two Motorsports Honda CRF450R, with second going to Ryan Dungey on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RMZ450.
Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki KXF450) says: “I just have to thank everyone at Kawasaki. The team believed in me through thick and thin. We’ll enjoy this. It was a hard-fought battle. I saw James and Kevin go down – the whoops were tough tonight.
“We all had to run the same line and you couldn’t avoid it. Luckily I got around (the crash). I wasn’t pulling away form Chad, so I just let him by and Ryan (Dungey) was right behind him so then I let him by. I just cruised from there.”
Taking the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot was Mike Alessi on the Red Bull KTM SXF350, He was followed by GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham and San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart. By the end of lap one, Windham would take first from Alessi, but would lost the lead two laps later to Stewart.
On lap six, Stewart crashed in the whoops, which eventually took down Windham as the senior Supercross rider attempted to avoid the Floridan. This gave the lead to Villopoto, with Reed on the Kawasaki rider’s tail.
By lap 11, Reed passed Villopto and held the lead to the checkered flag. Villopoto would then be taken by Dungey with five remaining. The win was Reed’s second, and Dungey’s second-place finish was his 13th podium in 2011 SX.
Chad Reed (Two-Two Motorsports Honda) says: “We gave it all we had. I feel totally blessed this season. Congrats to Ryan (Villopoto). He earned (the championship). He had the most wins this season and to come back form what he went through last year, he has my respect. We did all we can and sometimes, you come up short.”
Also for the first time, the Bret Michaels (singer of Poison) “Rock Hard – Ride Hard” Award was given out for the first time; the award honors the “hardest charging, comeback supercross rider who ultimately proves to push the limits in a quest towards winning the Monster Energy Supercross championship.” Reed earned the award Friday night.
2011 AMA Supercross Class Results: Las Vegas
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
3. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
4. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
6. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki
7. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Yamaha
8. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha
9. Kyle Regal, Murrieta, Calif, Yamaha
10. Tye Simmonds, Menifee, Calif., KTM
2011 Supercross Class: Final Season Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 338
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda – 334
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 328
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 301
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 255
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 230
7. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 207
8. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 180
9. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 155
10. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha – 152