Pala: Ryan Villopoto Claims 2011 Pro Motocross Championship in Season Finale, Ryan Dungey Takes Race
The drama raged on…all season long.
And it all came to an action packed close with the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship remaining within Team Oakley – as Ryan Villopoto’s second place finish at Pala was enough to crown him with the heralded Outdoors title. The triumph adds to Villopoto’s glorious Supercross Championship earlier this year.
And what a year it’s been in Outdoor Motocross.
Laced with compelling headlines, all-time racing and an ongoing battle at the top of the standings for overall glory – the series dropped into the Finale in Southern California with O Stars Villopoto and Ryan Dungey separated by 14 points in the overall standings. ‘Poto’ was on track to grab the No. 1 plate from the defending champ.
But there was still some serious racing to be done. And neither of the Ryans would come out the gates blazing.
Mike Alessi was the one to grab the holeshot in Moto 1 – and at the end of Lap 1, the two Ryans were back in ninth and tenth. But of course, they wouldn’t stay back long.
Justin Barcia eventually snatched the lead from Alessi on Lap Four – but a charging Villopoto smashed past the leaders and out front with five laps remaining.
Dungey chipped away himself – eventually powering to a second place finish in the race.
Flash forward to the Second Moto, and it was just as heated. Justin Brayton sprung to the holeshot, with Chad Reed stealing the lead. But lo and behold, the two Ryans clawed their way to contention – reflective of their amazing racing all year long.
Dungey, who fought tooth and nail to defend his Outdoors Title, yanked the lead with two laps remaining – blazing through to the Moto win and the overall win.
But it wasn’t enough to keep the No. 1 plate.
Finishing in third in the Moto, Villopoto claimed the 450 title – wrapping up what was truly an epic Outdoors season and overall year for the Kawasaki rider.
A huge congratulations to Ryan Villopoto for the Championship – and to Ryan Dungey for another amazing year!
1. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) 2-1
2. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) 1-3
3. Justin Barcia (Honda) 3-2
4. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki) 5-5
5. Mike Alessi (KTM) 4-8
6. Kyle Regal (Suzuki) 6-8
7. Chad Reed (Honda) 12-4
8. Justin Brayton (Yamaha) 9-6
9. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 10-12
10. Les Smith (Yamaha) 14-9
450 Final Point Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto 526
2. Ryan Dungey 514
3. Chad Reed 429
4. Brett Metcalfe 374
5. Mike Alessi 304
6. Jake Weimer 271
7. Justin Brayton 218
8. Andrew Short 196
9. Kevin Windham 193
10. Davi Millsaps 173