Kawasaki/Racer X Race Report: WashougalMonday, July 30, 2007 | 3:56 AM
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At first, the Unbound Energy National at Washougal, round eight of the series, looked like it would be a yawner. The first motos were simple, as Ryan Villopoto and James Stewart showed a big edge in speed over their competition and opened up big leads. They looked like the big men on the motocross campus for the weekend, but it didn’t work out that way.
In the first Lites moto, Villopoto quickly passed Racer X Holeshot Award winner Ryan Dungey and started pulling away quickly. RV’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Ben Townley moved into second quickly but had no answers for Villo, who had his home state fans cheering him as he went on to win by a whopping 18 seconds.
t that point it was clear that Villopoto and Stewart had their competition covered and only a major disaster could keep them from the winner’s circle. For Villopoto such a disaster came with a first turn crash in the second moto, as he got bottled up and stopped in turn one and then tipped over in the sand. Dungey had grabbed another holeshot but was quickly passed by Yamaha’s Broc Hepler and Townley. Hepler looked strong in the lead holding off Townley, but BT101 got past him after a few laps, although Hepler and Dungey kept him honest for most of the race.
Townley with a 2-1 won the overall, which edged out Villo’s 1-3. It also breaks the tie on top of the standings and Townely now owns a two point gap over his teammate.
“I could see Ben after I got to Hepler and Dungey,” said Villopoto. “I was thinking maybe I could catch him, but then I fell, so you’ll never know.” Indeed, Villopoto seemed to show a larger edge on speed on the same day when he lost the points lead. Stewart’s story in moto two would be similar.
In fact, it
started out almost exactly the same as Villopoto when Stewart crashed early and
found himself way back.
With that, Langston was set to win the race with his 4-1, until even more crazy happenings on the last lap, when Windham somehow thought the moto was over and slowed down, allowing Ferry to slip past into second, giving him a 2-2 situation and enough points for the overall.
It was another wild and crazy day. For good measure, Langston even nailed himself in the face with the cork on his champagne bottle on the podium, giving himself a fat lip. "That was probably the second dumbest move of the day, after Kevin's mistake," joked Langston.
“I think Grant deserved the overall today,” said Ferry. “But I threw it away at the last two races, so it looks like my luck has turned around.”
For sure. Ferry now sits just seven points behind Stewart in the championship standings, and at this time Stewart’s condition isn’t fully known. Word is his knee went back in place and the pain subsided, but pending an MRI, anything can happen.
Now more than ever, that’s the motto for this series.
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Check out 10,000 MILES FROM HOMEin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Australian Dean Ferris hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his legendary countrymen. Now contesting the FIM Grand Prix series, he made a huge impression at the Motocross of Nations. Page 138.