Supercross Champion! Ryan Villopoto Crowned With 2011 World Title in Las Vegas
There were no guarantees coming into the Finals in Las Vegas. Not even close.
With the Supercross Title on the line, the ultra intense battle was wide open for the collection World Class Riders at the top of the standings. But following a truly epic night of drama and masterful racing on all levels, Oakley Star Ryan Villopoto gloriously emerged with the 2011 World Championship after finishing the race in a solid third.
Nerves shook and tension built as RV charged into the last race of the series as the leader of the challenging pack. With riders like Chad Reed, Oakley’s Ryan Dungey and more riders hot on his tail with the possibility of stealing the title with a first place Sin City finish of their own, Villopoto could not and did not rest on his laurels.
A fifth place or above result would likely send him to the promised land. But as expected, the road to the title proved to be more than a rough ride before the dust would settle.
More than 39,000 screaming fans witnessed the gates drop in Vegas, with Mike Alessi taking the Holeshot. Kevin Windham and Oakley Superstar James “Bubba” Stewart were hot in pursuit.
Windham would push to the front of the pack at the end of Lap 1 – only to find Bubba powering to the lead on the third lap.
But reflective of several instances this season, Stewart would lose control in the whoops on Lap 6 – taking out Windham in the process. Villopoto would blaze forward to the front of the pack.
But Reed, hot on his tail, made the crucial pass on Lap 11 to run in front – with Dungey on the chase after Villopoto allowed the move. The race would end with a dramatic charge for the finish before an amped up crowd on their feet.
“It was a hard-fought battle,” Villopoto said, rocking his Signature Series MX Goggles. “I saw James and Kevin go down – the whoops were tough tonight. We all had to run the same line and you couldn’t avoid it. Luckily I got around (the crash). I wasn’t pulling away from Chad, so I just let him by and Ryan (Dungey) was right behind him so then I let him by. I just cruised from there.”
Ultimately, Reed would take his second win of the season – followed by Dungey and RV to round out the podium. But after the checkered flags calmed and the podium shots wrapped up, it was our own Ryan Villopoto who would emerge with the ultimate victory: The 2011 World Supercross Championship!
A huge congratulations to RV for a truly epic season and his inaugural Supercross Title!
Peep this brief Oakley Flip Cam glimpse of Supercross Finals: