Villopoto Passes Eight Riders to Claim First Win of 2014 Monster Energy Supercross Season in Phoenix and Anderson Uses Last-Lap Pass for Second-Straight 250SX Class Victory

Race Report: Field, Photos: Scott Hoffman

Main Event
Main Event

PHOENIX (January 11, 2014) – In front of 49,834 fans inside Chase Field, reigning three-time 450SX Class Champion Ryan Villopoto won his first Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race of the season aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki. For the second consecutive week, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson used a last-lap pass to post back-to-back victories in the  Western Regional 250SX Class Championship.

Ryan Villopoto 450 winner

Ryan Villopoto 450 winner

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Jake Moss grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award to start the 20-lap 450SX Class Main Event, with Toyota/Yamaha/N-Fab/JGRMX’s Justin Brayton and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey in tow. Villopoto started in ninth, behind the likes of Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia, and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen.

450 Main Start
450 Main Start

Brayton took over the lead after the second corner, bringing Dungey and Barcia with him. Barcia surged towards the front, passing Dungey for second and then setting his sights on the lead. Barcia briefly passed Brayton, but the Yamaha rider countered back, which allowed Dungey to reclaim second from Barcia. A six-rider battle ensued with Brayton, Dungey, Roczen, Barcia, Villopoto, and Stewart all within just a few seconds of one another.

450 battle-Brayton, Dungey and Villopoto
450 battle-Brayton, Dungey and Villopoto

On Lap 7, Barcia and Roczen made contact while battling for third, sending Roczen to the ground. Villopoto pressured Barcia shortly thereafter and made the pass for third. As Dungey looked to make a move on Brayton, Villopoto closed in and made the pass for second on Lap 11. On Lap 13, Villopoto passed Brayton and fended off a late charge to win in Phoenix for the first time in the 450SX Class.

Brayton and Barcia-early lead battle
Brayton and Barcia-early lead battle

“Justin was riding a hell of a race,” said Villopoto. “I have to give it to him, he made it tough. I didn’t get the start I wanted because the (starting) gate was slippery, but I just needed to be patient. The Phoenix (track) gets really slick so I had to take my time and make sure my passes stuck.”

Brayton’s runner-up effort tied his career-best finish, which came in Toronto in 2012.

“This feels so good,” Brayton exclaimed. “The new Yamaha is unbelievable. We did our homework this year. It’s been a lot of hard work, but being up [on the podium] pays off. I was trying to pay attention to what was going on behind me but still look ahead. I did all I could to stay up front, but Ryan (Villopoto) got by me.”

Dungey finished third, giving him back-to-back podium results.

“That was a good opportunity to get a win,” said Dungey. “I kept making mistakes. I couldn’t get through the whoops, but all in all it was a good ride. The track was super slippery and it caught us off guard but we still put in on the box.”

With his win, the 35th of his career, Villopoto moves into the 450SX Class points lead. He holds a one-point advantage over Dungey.

250 Start
250 Start

MyPlash/Metal Mulisha/Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb raced to the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award to start the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event. Webb held onto the lead for most of the opening lap until Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely moved into the lead by passing both Webb and Anderson, who started in second. Webb went down moments later and lost several positions.

Cole Seeley
Cole Seeley

Seely and Anderson opened a comfortable lead on the field, with Seely extending his advantage over Anderson for most of the 15-lap Main Event. As the leaders approached lappers in the late stages, Anderson reduced his deficit to mere bike lengths. On the final lap, Seely made a slight mistake, which allowed Anderson to challenge for the lead, making the pass with about a half lap remaining.

Craig Anderson
Craig Anderson

“I was out for redemption tonight,” said Anderson, who failed to qualify for the Main Event in Phoenix the year prior. “I got a good start on my KTM, like I have been all season. I don’t plan on those last-lap passes, but it was there and I needed to take it. My goal is to keep control of the red number plate (signifying the points leader) so I’ll do whatever it takes to do that. I really want it.”

“I’m bummed,” said Seely. “I’ve been battling stomach issues all week, so was struggling with that. I felt (my stomach) tighten up late in the race and I just made a mistake and Jason got me again.”

Zach Osborne
Zach Osborne

GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson battled for the third position for the bulk of the Main Event, with Osborne eventually getting the edge to grab his second podium finish of the year.

With Anderson, Seely, and Osborne on the podium, it duplicated the finishing order from last week’s opening race. Anderson’s lead in the championship sits at six points.

Monster Energy Supercross returns to Anaheim, Calif., and Angel Stadium for the third race of the 2014 season. The race will be the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the championship.

Photos by Scott Hoffman.

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Here is a video of Kevin Windham as he tosses some huge transfers at the Phoenix Supercross track and does a lap with the GOAT Ricky Carmichael!!

250SX Class Results: Phoenix
• Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM
• Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
• Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda
• Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki
• Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda
• Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha
• Dean Ferris, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
• Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki
• Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda
• Cole Martinez, Rimrock, Ariz., Kawasaki

250SX Class Season Standings
• Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM, 50
• Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 44
• Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 40
• Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki, 36
• Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 31
• Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda, 29
• Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 28
• Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 24
• Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Kawasaki, 21
• Dean Ferris, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 21

450SX Class Results: Phoenix
• Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
• Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha
• Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
• James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki
• Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda
• Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
• Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
• Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
• Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki
• Wil Hahn, Menifee, Calif., Honda

450SX Class Season Standings
• Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 43
• Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 42
• Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 40
• Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha, 37
• Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 32
• Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 32
• Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 26
• Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 26
• James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 22
• Wil Hahn, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 21

KTM Junior Supercross Challenge
• Bryson Buller, Farmington, Mich., KTM
• Talon Hansen, South Weber, Utah, KTM
• Harley Jefferies, Rosburg, Wash., KTM
• Ayden Beckage, Jermyn, Pa., KTM
• Wyatt Storey, Cataldo, Idaho, KTM
• Logan Ellis, Pickerington, Ohio, KTM
• Chase Cannizzaro, Sparks, Nev., KTM
• Corinthia Crawford, Firestone, Colo., KTM
• Braeden Turner, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM
• Reese Monty, Vista, Calif., KTM
• Tyler Nelson, Pickerington, Ohio, KTM
• Michael Baker, Scottsdale, Ariz., KTM
• Cody McManus, Pickerington, Ohio, KTM
• Jaxon Chisholm, Pickerington, Ohio, KTM
• Cooper Ivie, Whittier, Calif., KTM