Ryan Villopoto a Lone Star in TexasTuesday, April 8, 2008 | 6:03 AM
In this article…
Irvine, Calif. (April 7, 2008) – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Ryan Villopoto won his second-straight AMA Supercross Lites event, earning the victory at Texas Stadium in Dallas. His teammate Branden Jesseman finished eighth. In the Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM Championship premier class, Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Timmy Ferry finished fifth and Travis Preston nailed the holeshot before finishing 10th.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Under the Tent
Villopoto’s march to the top of the podium was a dominant one. The 19 year old won his six-lap heat race by more the 19 seconds and the main event by more than 10 seconds.
“Tonight was good,” said Villopoto. “I got a great start in the heat and being in front allowed me to ride my own race. In the main I wanted to do the same thing. I wanted to break a gap and get out front as quickly as I could. You can ride your fastest when you’re leading.”
After running a strong heat race and working his way through the field to finish second, Jesseman was hit from behind during the first lap of the main event. After a rider landed on him and took him down, Jesseman regrouped and rode a strong race to get back into the top 10.
“I came from behind in my heat race,” said Jesseman. “I rode well and came up through the pack to finish second. In the main event I kind of hesitated on the start and in the first turn I was sixth or seventh. Then in the first set of obstacles someone jumped on my back which pushed me off of the track. I worked back up to eighth. I think I rode pretty well. I just need to get better starts.”
Giving it his all
After the good start, Ferry rode a strong race. With three laps to go, he changed his line through the fast, flat section and hit one of the tuff blocks causing him to fall. He got up quickly and didn’t lose a spot to earn his sixth top-five finish of the year.
“I got a good start,” said Ferry. “I was up front and out of the craziness. During the race I was trying everything I could without overdoing it and my front end washed out on the flat section. I almost saved it, but I touched the tuff block and that knocked me down. It was more of a tip over and I got up quickly. My conditioning is coming along and I gave everything I had this weekend. I feel good about the result.”
Back up Front
Preston got off to an impressive start in the main event racing to the outside and beating his teammate for the holeshot. He then led the first lap and was running in the top five before a fall sent him back to his finishing position of tenth.
“Timmy cut underneath me at the start,” said Preston. “I don’t know if he went on-off on the tabletop, but I did and I beat him to the line. I was up front and led the first lap. It was good to run with those guys. It’s nice being in first place and having a clear track in front of you. For a while, I wasn’t really thinking out there. I was just riding and holding my line and some guys made good, clean passes. Then I had a tip over and I would have got up faster, but I was in an awkward position and it took me a little time to get back up. Crashing takes a little bit of energy out of you too, so I just need to keep it on two wheels next week in Detroit.”
All Kawasaki Battle
In the main event, a sea of green battled for the holeshot with Ferry and Preston leading the field through the first turn.
“My starts were really rough last week,” said Ferry. “I don’t know if that was because I hadn’t raced in a month or what, but this weekend it was better. I almost got the holeshot in the main. It was good knowing Travis (Preston) was outside of me in the first turn. I tried to cut underneath him and get some traction to get on the tabletop. I’m still pumped about getting out in second.”
For the third straight event, Preston finished fourth in his heat race. For him though the main goal of the heat race is to transfer to the main event.
“I got a good start,” said Preston. “I rode a good pace. Really though I don’t think too much about the heat race. I just want to qualify for the main and make things happen.”
During the last two events, Preston has been able to practice in the seeded group. That means he gets to ride with the fastest riders, which is showing in his riding during the main event. With only two months of supercross training, Preston is continuing to improve.
“Travis has come a long way,” said Ferry. “Anaheim 3 was his first race. He was really aggressive in the first turn and I think things are looking up for us right now.”
Native Texan Tommy Hahn qualified his Motosport Xtreme Kawasaki KX™450F for the main event by finishing third in his heat race. The home track advantage didn’t pay off as he finished 20th in the main event.
“I didn’t get a whole lot of practice so I followed Travis during the heat race,” said Hahn. “I picked up some of his lines and how he was going through the corners. After I got comfortable, I picked up the pace and was able to get by him for third. It’s disappointing not to get a good finish at my home race. I’m going to be ready to go to Detroit and come out swinging.”
Two Wheels or Four
While the Monster Energy Supercross was at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, NASCAR was racing just up the road at Texas Motor Speedway. After racing Saturday afternoon, Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kasey Kahne came by the Kawasaki pits to check out the two wheel action. Montoya was particularly interested in taking to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki owner Mitch Payton. The former Formula One champion is looking to buy a couple of Kawasaki’s tricked out with the latest Pro Circuit aftermarket parts.
Like a Fine Wine
The dirt at Texas Stadium proved to be like a fine wine as it got better with age. As the day wore on, the slippery track surface improved with the help of the Dirt Wurx. The hard and slippery clay wreaked havoc during practice, but during the evening program it gave the riders a good surface to race on.
“Last week I said that was the toughest supercross track I had ridden on,” said Ferry. “I was rethinking that during practice. It was really slippery here, but they did a good job of working on the track all day. It came in pretty good for the main event.”
Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series
Texas Stadium – Irving, Texas
April 5, 2008
AMA Supercross Results
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha
2. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha
3. David Millsaps, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda
4. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
5. TIMMY FERRY, LARGO, FLA., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
7. Charles Summey, Huntersville, N.C. Yamaha
8. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Honda
9. Troy Adams, Homosassa, Fla., Honda
10. TRAVIS PRESTON, HESPERIA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
AMA Supercross Points Standings
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha, 287
2. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda, 260
3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 205
4. David Millsaps, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 204
5. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 173
6. TIMMY FERRY, LARGO, FLA., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 167
7. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha, 147
8. Davis Vuillemin, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 123
9. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Honda, 120
10. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., KTM, 117
AMA Supercross Lites Results (East Coast)
1. RYAN VILLOPOTO, POULSBO, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
2. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Honda
3. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., KTM
4. Trey Canard, Elk City, Okla., Honda
5. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Yamaha
6. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
7. Nico Izzi, Saint Clair, Mich., Suzuki
8. BRANDEN JESSEMAN, NEW BRIGHTON, PA., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
9. Michael Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., KTM
10. Bill Payne, Simi Valley, Calif., Honda
13. KYLE CHISHOLM, SEMINOLE, FLA., MOTOSPORT XTREME KAWASAKI
AMA Supercross Lites Points Standings (East Coast)
1. Trey Canard, Elk City, Okla., Honda, 111
2. RYAN VILLOPOTO, POULSBO, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 94
3. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., KTM, 73
4. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Honda, 69
5. Nico Izzi, Saint Clair, Mich., Suzuki, 68
6. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., KTM, 67
7. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Yamaha, 61
8. Ben Coisy, Manosque, Honda, 53
9. Bill Payne, Simi Valley, Calif., Honda, 53
10. BRANDEN JESSEMAN, NEW BRIGHTON, PA., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 52
14. KYLE CHISHOLM, SEMINOLE, FLA., MOTOSPORT XTREME KAWASAKI, 30
21. PHIL NICOLETTE, COCHECTON, N.Y., MOTOSPORT XTREME KAWASAKI, 15