Not only did Ryan Villopoto make a statement with his 1-1 moto sweep at RedBud in Buchanan, Mich., he benefitted from mistakes made by his closest rival in the chase for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Villopoto bounced back from a two-round hiatus from the top of the 450 Class podium and walked out of Round 7 with a massive 42-point lead in the championship standings.
Thanks to past success at previous visits to the Red Bud National, Thor’s Josh Grant came into the seventh round more confident than ever. He started the day on fire, getting out to the holeshot in the opening moto and leading the first three laps. Once Grant settled in, he maintained a solid pace to come across the finish in third. Grant almost repeated his start from Moto 1 and set himself up for another good race. When the scores were tallied, Grant’s 3-5 moto scores were enough to stand on the overall podium for the first time this season in third.
In the stacked 250 Class, starts have become important component of race strategy. Marvin Musquin proved once again that he was able to make it happen out of the gate and ran up near the front of the field all afternoon. His consistent 3-4 moto scores nearly landed him on the podium, but the Frenchman happily took fourth overall. Musquin’s performance at RedBud also moved him into third in the championship standings.
It’s been an up and down year for defending 250 Class Champion Blake Baggett, but he continued to show his resilience at the RedBud National. In the first moto, Baggett made a good push to the front after starting outside the top 20, eventually finishing inside the top 10 in eighth. In the second moto, Baggett was running well and finished 10th to secure ninth overall.
In just his third professional race, Adam Cianciarulo continued to adapt to brand new circuits and the heightened pace of professional competition. Despite the learning curve, Cianciarulo continued to impress at RedBud. His opening moto had him finishing just outside the top 10 in 11th, while a great come-from-behind ride in Moto 2 saw him go from 38th to 15th. His 11-15 moto scores placed him 12th overall.
Another rider showing determination was veteran Darryn Durham. His opening moto was a fight until the end where Durham came back from a crash to score 18th. He picked it up in the second moto, finishing 13th to place 14th overall.
Like his teammate Cianciarulo, Justin Hill is another rookie learning the ropes of the 250 Class. After having to retire early in the opening moto with a bike issue, Hill was ready for redemption in the second moto. With the last gate pick in Moto 2 that forced him to start way outside, Hill came around the first lap in 23rd and went to work. He made his way all the way up to 14th, finishing the day 18th overall.
Two riders that were absent from the starting gate on Saturday were Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Tyla Rattray and Martin Davalos. Rattray suffered a crash during practice that ultimately forced him to forego competition. Davalos has been recovering from an illness that has kept him out of the past three rounds, but is expected to return at Round 8 in two weeks.
The riders get a weekend off before heading to the beautiful Pacific Northwest for the annual stop at Washougal MX Park in Washougal, Wash., just outside Portland, Ore.
Photos: Simon Cudby
Thor’s Ryan Villopoto picked up where he left off in Anaheim, earning back-to-back wins and becoming the first two-time 450SX class winner of the season at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. Villopoto grabbed his first holeshot award of the season and never looked back, eventually coming across the finish line over 10 seconds ahead of the runner-up. Villopoto’s consistency through the past three rounds have helped him climb the points standings where he currently sits third, just eight points out of the lead.
While Villopoto was earning the holeshot and breaking away from the pack, there was a huge pile-up behind him in the second turn that collected Thor’s Josh Grant. After a great start, Grant was in the top 10 before going down. He regrouped as quickly as possible, but had to start nearly a lap down in 18th. He made steady progress throughout the 20-lap race, finishing 16th.
In the Western Regional 250SX class, Martin Davalos bounced back from a tough weekend in Anaheim to finish just off the podium in Oakland. Davalos didn’t waste anytime getting to the front pack and remained consistent through the 15-lap main event where he finished fourth. His result helped propel him to seventh in the standings after entering the event 10th.
Tyla Rattray showed improvement throughout the day, but a mid-pack start forced him to work his way through the pack, eventually finishing eighth.
See you next week at A3!
Thor’s Ryan Villopoto began his campaign for a third consecutive Monster Energy Supercross title on Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Villopoto started the 2013 season in stylish fashion as he debuted the Spring 2013 Phase Coil Racewear. The Phase Coil racewear becomes available at Thor dealers starting today!
The Coil racewear comes from the popular Phase line at Thor MX, which has delivered the best value in motocross for many years. The Spring 2013 Phase Coil Racewear features an all-new pant chassis for an improved fit and better feel. Also, when combined with the micro-mesh constructed jersey, riders have a racewear kit that will pull away from the others with heightened style and performance.
The Western Regional 250SX Class also saw a shake up during its Main Event. Both Blake Baggett and Martin Davalos were caught up in a first turn pile up, which forced Davalos to retire before completing a single lap. Baggett started almost one lap down and ended up finishing the night in 14th. Tyla Rattray was able to get around the pile up and went on to finish the opening round in eighth.
The sold out season opener started with Villopoto racing to a runner-up finish in his 450SX Heat race, but the Main Event didn’t go his way. Villopoto endured bouts of misfortune but never gave up, fighting through the 20-lap Main Event to finish 16th. Fellow 450SX Thor rider Josh Grant raced to an 11th place effort in the opening round.
The Monster Energy Supercross riders will head to Phoenix’s Chase Field on January 12 for the second round of the season.
At the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas, Nev., Josh Grant made his Thor debut with an impressive fifth-place overall result. Grant came out swinging in the first of three main events, grabbing the holeshot, eventually finishing the opening race in sixth. He went on to finish fifth in the remaining two races, giving him the top-five result.
Defending Monster Energy Cup winner Ryan Villopoto looked on track to earn another Monster Million after dominating the opening main event, but a crash in the second main event took him out of the final race of the night, placing him 10th overall. Thor’s Jake Weimer had a 12-18-10 main event result to place 13th overall.
Thor MX welcomes JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha rider Josh Grant to its impressive 2013 line-up. Grant brings nearly a decade of experience to the Thor MX roster, highlighted by one victory apiece in AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross, in addition to a gold and bronze medal from the Summer X Games.
“It’s great that I was able to team up with Thor this year,” said Grant. “I’ve respected their brand for a long time and I’m really looking forward to building our relationship in 2013.”
Along with his previous accomplishments, Grant overcame injury early this past supercross season to finish on the podium in New Orleans. He also collected an overall podium result at Steel City Raceway during the summer’s outdoor nationals on his way to a sixth-place finish in the 450 class standings.
“We are very happy to bring Josh on board,” said Jim Gallager, Design Director at Thor MX. “With his move back to Yamaha, he seems more confident than ever to make his mark on the 450 class and we are excited to be a part of it.”