Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett both earned victories for Team USA in their respective classes during the Saturday qualifying races at the Motocross of Nations (MXON) at Circuit du Puy de Poursay in St. Jean-D’Angely, France. Helping Great Britain qualify seventh for Sunday’s race by earning third in the MX2 class, Dean Wilson came from behind to land on the podium. In his first race aboard the 2012 Kawasaki KX™450F, Tyla Rattray made his move to finish fifth in the MX1 class, helping South Africa qualify sixth.
Getting out to the lead after the first turn, Villopoto turned up his speed to lead by more than 10 seconds at one point in the race. With two motos run before him, Villopoto was faced with a tough track to tackle aboard his championship winning 2012 Kawasaki KX450F.
“I was the last moto and the track had deteriorated pretty bad,” said Villopoto. “I knew with our 1-1 going into the third race we were in and my goal was to get out there and to get some track time.