2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship
Following five consecutive wins, Ryan Villopoto enters round 14 of 17 in the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Saturday night in the most optimal spot to earn a third straight SX title.
The Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F rider heads to the Minneapolis round in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” with a 21-point lead over the only other rider to lead the championship so far in 2013 – Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Davi Millsaps.
Villopoto has luck in Minneapolis, though it was a while back. This is the first time the Supercross series is being held in Minneapolis since 2008. During that year, Villopoto took the win while competing in the 250SX class.
The Washington native has been on a Supercross tear lately, winning a total of eight rounds this season. The most races Villopoto ever won in a season was nine (recorded in 2012 en route to the title), but he has never won more than four races consecutively as he did this season. And if he wins in Minneapolis, Villopoto will equal last season, which was his career best.
The last meet at Houston was pure domination for the RV. Villopoto took the lead within a few turns, and led all 20 laps of the main event, taking the victory ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Muscle Milk Honda’s Trey Canard.
Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F Supercross) says: “Getting five in-a-row is incredible. We’ve come a long way since Anaheim and have constantly improved to the point where we are now on top. The field is so close that you really need to have everything dialed in order to win and we’ve been able to do that these past few weeks.”
Although Villopoto’s biggest threat on a third SX title is Millsaps, Dungey will be putting up a fight due to racing in his home state. Dungey, the 2010 AMA Supercross Champion who gre up just outside Minneapolis, sits third in the championship, 25 points behind Villopoto. With his second-place finish at Houston SX, Dungey took his fourth consecutive podium, and his ninth of the season.
The Monster Energy Supercross race inside the Metrodome was attended regularly by the Dungey family and it also served as the sight of a breakout performance for the KTM rider who stole a surprise runner-up finish during the 2008 race during a guest appearance in the 450SX Class. This marks the championship’s first visit to the state since that memorable night for Dungey, who finished behind Dodge/Sycuan/RCH Racing Suzuki’s Josh Hill. It was Hill’s first-career SX victory.
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship welcomed its fourth different winner in Houston as Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton captured his third career victory with an impressive performance. After grabbing the early lead, Wharton gave up the position to Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musqin on the opening lap, but fought back to reclaim the position a lap later and lead the final 14 laps of competition, Feld Motor Sports says.
Blake Wharton (Rockstar Energy Suzuki RM-Z 250 Supercross) says: “We had a weekend off with Easter, but I trained and did my thing,” said Wharton. “There’s no rest even with a weekend off; these guys are riding good. It’s the first win of the season for me. It was a little slower than I’d like to have done it, but it’s a win and it’s Houston, which is always awesome.”
In his attempt to track Wharton down again and resume the battle for the lead, Musquin lost control in the whoops and careened off the track, giving up second place to GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn. Musquin carried a three-race winning streak into Houston, but saw his hopes of continuing that streak come to an end with the incident, Feld Motor Sports says.
Hahn closed to within a wheel of Wharton and made multiple attempts to pass for the lead. The pair battled for several laps, bringing the crowd to its feet. Several mistakes by Hahn in the duo’s heated battle ultimately prevented him from making the pass, but his runner-up finish maintained Hahn’s distinction as the only rider in the Eastern Regional Championship to finish on the podium in every race, Feld Motor Sports says.
Musquin held on to the third position, but now sits eight points behind Hahn in the championship standings. Wharton, who sits third, moved to within 23 points of Hahn.
Only two races remain in the Eastern Regional Championship, but the return to Minneapolis will be lead into a two-week break from competition before the season finale in Las Vegas. The rider able to gain an edge in Minneapolis will have much needed momentum heading into the last race of the year, Feld Motor Sports says.
The last 250SX Class race in Minneapolis in 2008 saw Villopoto edge out Josh Grant for the win. It was Villopoto’s first win of that season and led to a three-race winning streak en route to finishing second in the championship, Feld Motor Sports says.
2013 Minneapolis AMA Supercross on TV
CBS will provide next-day coverage of Minneapolis Supercross at noon EDT Sunday, April 14. Coverage of the 250 SX class will be at 4:30 p.m. EDT on SPEED.
2013 AMA Supercross 450 Class Season Standings:
- Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 277
- Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 256
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 252
- Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 202
- Chad Reed, Australia, Honda, 196
- Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 185
- James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 171
- Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 162
- Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha, 137
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 133
2013 AMA Supercross Eastern Regional 250 Class Season Standings:
- Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 156
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 148
- Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki, 133
- Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Honda, 89
- Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki, 87
- Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Honda, 82
- Kyle Peters, Greensboro, NC, Honda, 78
- Cole Thompson, Canada, Honda, 72
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 71
- Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 68
Past AMA Supercross Winners in Minneapolis
- March 15, 2008: Josh Hill
- February 21, 2004: Kevin Windham
- February 15, 2003: Ricky Carmichael
- February 16, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
- March 17, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
- March 26, 2000: David Vuillemin
- March 20, 1999: Jeremy McGrath
- March 21, 1998: Jeremy McGrath
- March 15, 1997: Jeremy McGrath
- January 20, 1996: Jeremy McGrath
- January 21, 1995: Jeremy McGrath
- April 16, 1994: Jeremy McGrath
- March 15, 2008: Ryan Villopoto
- February 21, 2004: James Stewart
- February 15, 2003: Branden Jesseman
- February 16, 2002: Chad Reed
- March 17, 2001: Travis Pastrana
- March 26, 2000: Derrick Shae Bentley
- March 20, 1999: David Pingree
- March 21, 1998: Stephane Roncada
- March 15, 1997: Kevin Windham
- January 20, 1996: Kevin Windham
- January 21, 2005: Damon Huffman
- April 16, 1994: Damon Huffman