Final Stretch: Ryan Villopoto Victorious at Supercross-Salt Lake City, Pads Championship Lead


Salt Lake City was sure to be ultra intense.

With Supercross Championship standings implications, yet another epic battle was set to unfold. And it did – with Oakley Star Ryan Villopoto topping the field of title challengers for a resounding victory, effectively padding his previous lead in the race for the title going into the Finals in Las Vegas this coming Saturday.

With just two stops left in the season coming into this past weekend, the drama was at its peak before anyone even set foot in Utah. And with four riders (Villopoto, fellow Oakley Stars James Stewart and Ryan Dungey – as well as Chad Reed) in position to make a charge at the title (all within nine points of the leader), the SLC stop was as crucial as ever. The tension was surely in the air.

But reflective of his brilliant riding all season, Villopoto emerged at the front of the pack following yet another heavy battle.

When the gates dropped for the 450 Main Event, it was O’s Bubba Stewart who grabbed the Holeshot – with Justin Brayton, Reed and Villopoto just behind. But it wouldn’t last, as Villopoto and Dungey powered past Reed and Brayton in Lap 2, pushing the top four title contenders out front.

And the front of the pack would remain until Lap 7, when Villopoto would charge for the second spot behind Bubba after pulling past Reed.

Lap 8 brought the jaw dropping drama, as Bubba lost the front end in a 180-degree left-hander, allowing Villopoto to grab the front spot, crashing again soon after to effectively erase hopes for a Championship (Bubba finished 10th).

Although Reed challenged the leading Villopoto in the final stages, O’s star wasn’t to be caught – as he smashed through the checkered flag with his sixth victory of the season.

And although his points lead extended from six to nine, he’s still not resting easy.

“In my mind, I wanted to get a win for sure so I could go into Vegas not having to win or finish in a certain spot,” Ryan said, rockin’ his signature series goggles. “It definitely makes it nice to know that fifth or better will do it, but we’re out there to win races, and the ultimate goal is to win a championship.”

A fifth finish in Vegas will crown him with the Title.

But don’t hold your breath. Oakley will be onsite in Las Vegas for the Final this coming Saturday. Follow @OakleyRacing1 on Twitter for onsite updates from Sin City as Villopoto and Dungey vie for Supercross glory!

Supercross Main Event
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
2. Chad Reed (Honda)
3. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki)
4. Andrew Short (KTM)
5. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha)
6. Kevin Windham (Honda)
7. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki)
8. Tommy Hahn (Yamaha)
9. Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
10. James Stewart (Yamaha)
11. Nick Wey (Yamaha)
12. Kyle Regal (Yamaha)
13. Michael Byrne (Suzuki)
14. Chris Blose (Kawasaki)
15. Tyler Bowers (Kawasaki)
16. Jason Thomas (Suzuki)
17. Robert Kiniry (Kawasaki)
18. Cole Siebler (Kawasaki)
19. Ben LaMay (Yamaha)
20. Mike Alessi (KTM)

Supercross Point Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto 318
2. Chad Reed 309
3. Ryan Dungey 306
4. James Stewart 295
5. Trey Canard 255
6. Andrew Short 214
7. Kevin Windham 202
8. Davi Millsaps 172
9. Justin Brayton 153
10. Nick Wey 139


Andrew De Lara


May 03, 2011

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