Supercross Anaheim 3 Preview: Villopoto Leads into Round 5
2014 Anaheim 3 Monster Energy Supercross Preview
With four rounds down in the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, three riders were victorious – Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki’s Chad Reed, and the reigning SX Champion, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto.
The KX450F pilot Villopoto is the only rider to win two races – Phoenix and Oakland – though he hasn’t won this season at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.
But the California native has one more chance this Saturday as the 2014 AMA Supercross Championship heads to Angel Stadium for the third and final time of 2014. And due to his victories, he has the points lead with 84 points, seven ahead of Reed, who won at Anaheim two weeks ago.
Villopoto needs to maintain this edge as he chases a fourth consecutive title – something only completed by two other riders in Supercross history, Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael.
Villopoto does have one stat that may give him a bit of extra incentive this season; for the past 11 years, the first rider to win two races in a single season has gone on to win the championship. And of course, Villopoto has already completed this feat.
But he’s not the only one impressing after four of 17 rounds. The competitiveness is beyond impressive; besides the three different main-event winners, there were six different winners in eight races in the 450SX Class Heat Races, and six different riders have finished on the podium in four Main Events.
The 450SX Class Semis have also had seven different winners in eight races while the LCQ’s have boasted a different winner each week.
And along with his two main event victories, Villopoto has wins throughout all pre-race activities. His latest main-event win arrived last weekend at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. (for some commentary on the race, click here.) Villopoto returned to dominate form, leading all 20 laps. He was joined on the podium by Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart and Reed.
Speaking from the podium, Villopoto said “it feels good to be up here tonight. We have put in a lot of work at the test track, and I have a great team behind me and a great bike under me. I hope I can carry this momentum into Anaheim next weekend.”
This momentum may have an extra force behind it, considering the new price at this weekend’s Anaheim 3 round of 2014 SX; it will be the first round of the Toyota Triple Challenge that posts $250,000 to the rider that can win the Main Event this weekend Anaheim, and also the following rounds in Arlington, Texas, and East Rutherford, N.J.
In the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson will seek his fourth win of 2014.
At Oakland last weekend, Anderson took the win with a last-lap pass for the third time this season. Anderson captured the first two races of the 2014 season by surging by Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely on the final lap of competition over consecutive weeks and did so again last Saturday when he moved past Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson following a brief loss of power with Wilson’s motorcycle, Feld Motor Sports says.
Anderson reclaimed the points lead with the victory to rebound from a penalty that cost him four points the week prior and give him four wins in his past six Main Events, dating back to last season, Feld Motor Sports says.
Wilson recovered to finish second and claim his first podium finish of the season, while his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Justin Hill secured his first career podium result in third, Feld Motor Sports says.
History of Supercross at Anaheim
Just two weeks after it hosted the 40th Anniversary of Monster Energy Supercross, Angel Stadium will host its 63rd race in the 450SX Class and its 54th Western Regional 250SX Class race, Feld Motor Sports says.
The first race held in Anaheim was on December 4, 1976, and Mart Smith won on a Honda. This weekend will mark the 62nd time the gate will drop for a 450SX Class race in Anaheim and the 24th time the city has played host to the season opener. James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath are tied on the all-time 450SX Class win list at Anaheim with eight victories. Ivan Tedesco holds the 250SX Class all-time win record in Anaheim with five victories. Angel Stadium is the only stop on the tour that will host three races – January 4, January 18 and February 1, Feld Motor Sports says.
The first two races in Anaheim during the 2014 season produced two different winners. Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen captured his first career victory at the season-opening race on January 4, while Reed raced to his 42nd career win at the second race on January 18, ending a near two-year winless streak, Feld Moto Sports says.
2014 Anaheim 3 Monster Energy Supercross TV Schedule
Fox Sports 1 will air the action live beginning at 10 p.m. ET Saturday, Feb. 1.
2014 Monster Energy Supercross 450SX Class Season Standings (after four of 17 rounds):
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 84
2. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 77
3. Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 75
4. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 75
5. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha, 71
6. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 66
7. Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 56
8. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 49
9. Wil Hahn, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 43
10. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 37
Western Regional 250SX Class Season Standings:
1. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM, 93
2. Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 87
3. Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki, 72
4. Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 69
5. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 65
6. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 64
7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda, 54
8. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 49
9. Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 42
10. Dean Ferris, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 42