Thor’s Ryan Villopoto Retains Double Digit Points Lead at Series’ Halfway Point

Ryan Villopoto was a man on a mission at the final Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series event to be held at Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Mass. After going down in the first turn of Moto 1 and experiencing even more trouble on the opening lap, Villopoto crossed the line in 30th after the first complete lap. Despite the track’s ever-changing sandy conditions, Villopoto battled through the field and into the top five, ultimately finishing in fourth, just 3 seconds behind the moto winner.

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Villopoto put the first moto behind him and set his signs on rebounding in Moto 2,  jumping out to a great start and never letting off through the opening corners. Villopoto took the early lead and continued to put time between he and the the field, eventually coming across the finish with a margin-of-victory of 14.5 seconds. With six of 12 races in the books, Villopoto holds on to the coveted red plate by 12 points.

While on a break from the Canadian Motocross Nationals, Thor rider Brett Metcalfe made a guest appearance at Southwick, the venue where he claimed his first career 450 Class overall win. In both motos, Metcalfe found himself up front, finishing just off the overall podium in fourth with 5-6 moto scores.

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Over the past few years, Tyla Rattray has collected a pair of 250 Class overall victories and a moto win in the 450 Class at Southwick, making him a favorite at the sand track. While he wasn’t racing for the lead on Saturday, Rattray used his sand skills to help him come from behind in both motos to score sixth overall, despite starts outside the top 25 in each moto.

Rounding out Thor’s 450 Class effort was Josh Grant. While getting decent starts, Grant had to overcome a crash in both motos, but still finished 10th overall with 13-11 results.

Blake Baggett’s day started off well following an impressive second-place finish in the first 250 Class moto. He got out to a mid-pack start in the second moto and was able to work his way up to eighth, securing fourth overall.

In just his second professional race, Adam Cianciarulo was able to make improvements from his debut and score an overall finish inside the top 10. His good starts and quick learning curve put him ninth overall with 9-12 moto scores.

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Coming through the pack seemed to be a pattern for several of Thor’s 250 Class riders, but they all made their rides count. Marvin Musquin made his way through the pack in Moto 1, coming from 24th all the way up to 10th en route to eighth overall. Justin Hill, who finished 11th overall, went from 28th to 14th in the first moto, and 18th to 10th in Moto 2.

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Hill’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Darryn Durham got caught up in first turn pileups in each moto, but still grabbed 13th overall. Durham went from 30th on the first lap of Moto 1 to an impressive 11th, and in Moto 2 moved up from 28th to 14th.

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Round 7 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will take the riders to the infamous Red Bud National in Buchanan, Mich. to celebrate Fourth of July weekend.

Photos: Simon Cudby