Coming off his third consecutive Monster Energy Supercross championship, Ryan Villopoto made his return to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series in a big way, earning two impressive moto wins on Saturday at the season opener. The Hangtown National just outside Sacramento, Calif. brought out impressive crowds to watch Villopoto race to margins of victory over 20 seconds each 450MX moto. Villopoto will run the coveted red number plate at the second round as he holds a six-point lead in the 450MX class.
hor’s Tyla Rattray made his 450MX class debut at Hangtown and came through the pack in both moto to race inside the top 10. His 9-9 moto result panned out to a ninth-place overall finish. His Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Dean Wilson was also making his 450MX debut, while also coming back from his supercross injury, and scored a 17-14 moto finish to end up 17th overall.
Also coming back from injury, Josh Grant started strong in the opening moto, but had some bad luck with collisions with other riders, was forced to come through the pack. He ended up 24th overall.
The 250MX class saw the return of 2012 champion Blake Baggett. Thor’s Baggett was also another rider returning to action from injury, and while he was completely 100 percent, managed to lead laps, and left Hangtown with a second-place overall finish.
Also putting together a great ride at Hangtown was Marvin Musquin, who was in the thick of the podium hunt on Saturday. He was able to put together two solid motos, and even came back from a crash in Moto 2 to finish 4-4 for fourth overall.
Rookie Justin Hill got through the first two motos in the 250MX class, showcasing his charging speed to finish 10th overall. In Moto 1, he overcame a 31st place start to work his way up to a 13th-place finish. He improved upon that result to claim ninth in the second moto.
Thor’s Darryn Durham took to the track for the first time since the end of the 2012 supercross season and in the opening moto proved that his speed remained. He finished sixth in the opening moto, and was running sixth in the second moto before going down, leaving him unable to return. Despite his 6-36 moto result, he still finished 14th overall.
Martin Davalos also had trouble in a moto, but came back in the second moto to finish with a 38-12 moto result for 17th overall.
Photos: Simon Cudby