Ryan Villopoto. Monster Energy Kawasaki. Villopoto rebounds from his mistakes at A2, gets back to the top step on the box, and reclaims the red plate. With two Ws to his name, Villopoto is starting to gather momentum on his factory KX450F– not good for other top contenders’ psyches. Win.James Stewart. Yoshimura Suzuki. Stewart started 6th and spent the first six laps getting around Hahn, Dungey, and Brayton. It took him the next six to get his RM-Z450 close enough to launch past Reed by doing a difficult quad in the rhythm section. Stewart wasn’t able to chase down Villopoto, but with consecutive second place finishes, Stewart has found his groove. We’re all happy to see his smile back this year. Win.
Chad Reed. Discount Tire Racing Kawasaki. Reed seems to have gotten his KX450F’s starts down, allowing him to run up front and stay in contention for the title. He sits 2nd in points, seven behind Villopoto. Better results than everyone except Reed expected this year, even if he acted on the podium like it wasn’t a surprise. Win.Andrew Short. BTOSports KTM. Short has four top 10 results in four races, no small feat with the stacked field this year. Win.The Riders. Everyone seemed to be happy with the dirt and the technical track, and they weren’t shy about expressing it.The Fox Sports 1 Viewing Audience. The insightful commentary by The King of Supercross is a huge improvement over the tired “rubbin’ is racing” clichés from The GOAT.LosersRyan Dungey. Red Bull KTM. This is the second weekend in a row the two-time champ did not put his factory KTM 450 SX on the box. Dungey started in 4th and finished in 4th, and is now 9 points behind the other Ryan. While being beaten by Villopoto and passed by Stewart is nothing to apologize for—except to Roger DeCoster, perhaps—not being able to catch Reed can’t be good for Dungey’s confidence. Lose.Justin Barcia. Team Muscle Milk Honda. It looked like Barcia was in for an ugly crash when he got out of shape in a rhythm section on lap 7. He still went down, lost a few positions, remounted, and finished the night a distant 7th. Four races in and he’s already a race behind, despite having finished every round. He trails Stewart—who didn’t finish A1—by 10 points. Lose.RCH Racing Soaring Eagle. Bad luck left the team without either 450 rider starting the main event in Oakland. Josh Hill suffered a broken collar bone when he went down hard in his heat race, and Broc Tickle sprained his wrist when he went down in his heat trying to avoid Weimer, who had gotten Bam-Bammed in front of him. Ricky Carmichael and Carey Hart need to find riders for their RM-Z450s.Photography by Don Williams