2011 AMA Motocross
Spoiler Alert: Pala Raceway AMA Motocross results below
The 12 rounds in the 2011 AMA Motocross Championship brought about some of the tightest racing in the history of the series.
Halfway through the MX season, the battle was fierce between three riders – Two Two Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey.
But following his Millville Motocross crash, Reed began to fall behind in the point championship, leaving the battle up front between Villopoto and Dungey. Both riders entered the final round Saturday at Pala Raceway in San Diego County, Calif. with only 14 points between them, Villopoto having the advantage.
And when the series concluded, the title went to Villopoto, the Fortuna, Calif., native earning his first 450cc otocross championship. But it wasn’t an easy victory at Pala Raceway.
In the opening moto, it was Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi who got the holesot, followed by American Honda’s Justin Barcia. The CRF450R rider was soon the Motocross leader, but Villopoto and Dungey were making their way through the field.
On the 12th lap, Villopoto took the lead, quickly opening a gap on the field. Villopoto would take the win, followed by Dungey and Barcia.
In the second Moto, Reed would take the early lead. But the Australian crashed, losing a few positions. Barcia became the front runner, but was soon passed by Dungey. The two would battle intensely on the final two laps, with Dungey winning. Joining Dungey on the podium was Barcia and Villopoto.
This would be Dungey’s fourth overall Motocross win of 2011.
Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki RMZ450 Motocross) says: “It was a great day. 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.”
Villopoto’s 1-3 results allowed him to take second overall, and garner additional points to finish 12 ahead of Dungey, taking the 2011 Championship. With his win, Villopoto became the 12th rider in AMA Pro Racing history to take back-to-back Supercross/Motocross titles; Dungey did the same last seaosn.
Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F Motocross) says: “I didn’t want to just go out there and ride today. 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. If it weren’t for (Dungey’s) DNF at Texas, I would have come up a little shy (of the title). But, things like that happen. The turning point was at Unadilla, when we brought out our new bike. We made a lot of progress there.”
2011 AMA Motocross 450 Class (Moto Finish)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (2-1)
- Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki (1-3)
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (3-2)
- Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki (5-5)
- Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM (4-7)
- Kyle Regal, Howell, Mich., Suzuki (6-8)
- Chad Reed, Kurri Kurri, Australia, Honda (12-4)
- Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha (9-6)
- Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (10-12)
- Les Smith, York, S.C., Yamaha (14-9)
2011 AMA Motocross 450 Class Championship Standings
- Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 526
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 514
- Chad Reed, Kurri Kurri, Australia, Honda – 429
- Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki – 374
- Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM – 304
- Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki – 271
- Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha – 218
- Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM – 196
- Kevin Windham, Baton Rouge, La., Honda – 193
- Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha – 173