Irvine, Calif. – Explosions and fireworks marked the start of the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season Saturday night in front of a sold out Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto started the new season right where he left in 2011, on top of the podium. The intensity was high from the gate drop of the first heat race when another rider collided with Villopoto on the start, forcing him off track. But as a proven champion, he went on to make a statement in the main event by leading from start to finish.
His teammate Jake Weimer also started the season off strong, riding through the pack to finish fifth, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle made his supercross class debut with a 12th place finish.
In the supercross lites class, Tyla Rattray rode a consistent main event to start off the season with a second place finish. Teammate Dean Wilson hounded Rattray all night but was one of the many victims of the tricky track design and fell on the final lap, dropping back three spots to finish sixth.
The 2012 supercross class is one of the most highly competitive fields the sport has ever seen. Saturday night, Villopoto made it seem almost effortless as he led every lap of the 20-lap main event building a lead as high as 20 seconds over the competition.