Villopoto Caps Championship Season with Supercross Finale Win

May. 05, 2014 By Scott Rousseau, Photos by Rick Shepherd
Ryan Villopoto put an exclamation point on his championship season with his 41st career victory Saturday night.

Although he already put a wrap on the championship, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto closed out the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season with a solid win at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Although the 450 class gets a great deal of attention throughout the season as the premiere class, the 250 classes get more attention at the finale in Vegas. Rockstar Energy Racing KTM’s Justin Anderson and GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle both clinched 250cc titles in their respective regions this past weekend, and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Justin Hill scored a huge win in the Dave Coombs Sr. East-West 250cc Shootout.

Villopoto had little to prove heading into Saturday’s race, but he rode hard anyway, shooting past teammate Jake Weimer early on the first lap of the main event to build a 13.9-second lead over second place on the rough Sam Boyd track. The win marked Villopoto's 41st career AMA 450cc Supercross victory.

Ryan Villopoto (middle) earned the win, while KTM teams Ryan Dungey (left) and Ken Roczen (right) finished second and third, respectively.

“The whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team has been working hard,” Villopoto said. “Something clicked. I don’t know if it was me or the bike, but it was something minor, and I was able to reel off these wins.”

Red Bull KTM teammates Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen finished in the second and third positions, respectively, with Dungey pulling clear of Roczen to finish second with just under 5 seconds in hand. Roczen finished third ahead of Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia in fourth, while Weimer rounded out the top five in fifth.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart did not have a great night after trying to rebound from the knee injury he suffered in the main event a week ago in New Jersey. Stewart won the second heat race on Saturday night, but a fork issue in the main event left him unable to complete the race and was forced to pull off and credited last place.

Sam Boyd Stadium was packed for the Supercross finale.

The Las Vegas finale is equally a showcase for the 250cc ranks, and the titles to be decided in both the East and West regions, along with the tremendous bragging rights afforded to the winner of the Dave Coombs Sr. 250cc East-West Shootout.

Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb had a great start in the 15-lap 250cc Western Region main, with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson and Justin Hill slotting into the second and third positions early. Seely was sitting in seventh after the start, with Anderson right behind him in eighth. All Anderson needed to do was follow Seely around the track to clinch the title.

Dean Wilson (15) and Cooper Webb (37) battled in the 250cc Western Region finale, with Wilson ultimately holding off Webb for the win.

Wilson managed to catch Webb on lap eight, which was aided by the fact that Webb rolled a set of jumps in a rhythm section where two riders had crashed. There was no medical flag shown, and Wilson jumped the section normally, putting him on Webb’s rear wheel as the two entered the long whoop section. The two battled back and forth before Wilson took the lead over the finish line jump. Webb retook the lead by blocking Wilson in a right-hand corner, but Wilson got it back with six laps to go.

Meanwhile, Seely had moved to fourth, with his Troy Lee Designs Honda teammate, Malcolm Stewart, fifth, and Anderson way back in sixth.

Webb took one last run at Wilson on the last lap, but Wilson held on for his eighth career 250cc win, followed by Webb and Hill. A few seconds later, Anderson crossed the line in sixth place, behind Seely and Stewart to claim the AMA Western Region 250cc Championship.

“I won this race, and it’s awesome, but Jason got the championship, and that’s something that I have always wanted." Wilson said. "You know, maybe it’s just not in the cards for me, but congratulations to Jason. [He was] solid all year. He rode awesome, so you’ve just got to give it to him.

“But it was a really good race with me and Cooper,” Wilson continued. “The middle rhythm section, it was super muddy in the middle. Every lap it was tricky, and I messed it the last lap, and I was stressed. “Coop Dog” rode awesome. He was throwing it in there, and it was good racing.

Jason Anderson earned his first career AMA 250cc Western Region Supercross title at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Anderson said earlier in the day that he dreamed of winning Supercross title, and now he could return home the Western 250cc Champion.

“It’s surreal, you know?” Anderson said. “Everyone on that line out there dedicates their life to this sport, and very few are able to hold up this number one plate. For my family, for all my supporters and for my team, Rockstar Energy Racing, this is for them. I’m just beyond excited. I’m just happy. This is a great accomplishment for me.”

Next up was the 250cc West main event was the Eastern Region 250cc series finale. GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle practically had the title sewn up and merely needed a finish, but Bogle put forth a solid effort to grab the holeshot in the 15-lap East main event and challenge for the win. Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin got away in second place, followed by GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia.

Bogle was content to click off smooth laps out front, but Martin was hungry to land a win in the final race of the season, and he charged after Bogle, catching him in one of the whoop sections on lap six and passing for the lead shortly thereafter. Bogle tried to get back around Martin in the next corner, but Martin pushed him aide and held onto the lead. Bogle then decided wisely to focus on the championship rather than the race win, and he let Martin ride away. Bisceglia continued to circulate in third place.

Martin earned the win by a margin of 1.5 seconds over Bogle, who lost the battle but won the war to claim the AMA 250cc Eastern Region Supercross Championship. Bisceglia finished third, earning his first career podium finish in Supercross.

Justin Bogle finished in second on Saturday night but he earned the AMA 250cc Eastern Region Championship on Saturday night.

“It’s definitely emotional,” said Bogle who missed most of last season due to injury. “It has been a long, bumpy road for me to get up to this point, and I just have to give it up to my team. I’ve got to give thanks to the man above for even blessing me with the opportunity to be racing this year and making this comeback. I’m definitely happy. I’m going to celebrate this tonight and this weekend, and then it is back to work.”

Martin felt like his win proved that he is for real and can win at the top level.

“At the beginning of this season, I didn’t even qualify,” Martin said. “To be able to leave the last round with a win is awesome, and it shows that I overcame a lot.”

Bragging rights were on the line in the Dave Coombs Sr. East-West Shootout after the titles were decided. This is the one race a year that pits the best riders from both regions in the same race, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who would come away with the win.

Early on, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit’s Justin Hill staked his claim by grabbing the holeshot in the battle of 250cc supercross elites, followed by GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson. Anderson was the first of the two 250cc champs to round turn one, in fourth, and he quickly drew closer to Wilson, who slammed Bisceglia off the track to take over second place.

Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs Honda’s Malcolm Stewart moved into fourth place, but his time there was short-lived, as he endo’d over a jump in the sand section on lap three and crashed hard. Stewart was able to limp away from the crash, but his race was over.

Hill continued to run up front through lap five, but Wilson was slowly reeling him in, while Anderson remained third, ahead of Cooper Webb, Justin Bogle and Jeremy Martin, all of whom had been major players in the 250cc mains earlier in the night. Bogle turned a horrific-looking moment into humor when he drifted off line over a jump, tagged a Tuff Blok and crashed hard with four laps to go. Bogle was unhurt, and he quickly jumped to his feet and gestured the baseball “safe” signal.

Justin Hill ran away with the win in the Dave Coombs Sr. 250cc East-West Shootout.

Hill stayed solid despite Wilson’s advances, and he pulled off a huge win, followed by Hill and Anderson. Webb and Martin completed the top five.

“This is unbelievable,” Hill said. “I felt throughout the season that I was a podium guy, for sure, and that I could win races. I honestly was a little timid coming into that East-West Shootout just because we have more guys. I was like, ‘I’ve got to get a good start, and I’ve got to run away.’ I executed as good as I could, and it worked.”

The 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series is now in the history books. For most of the professional motocross riders and teams, focus shifts toward the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, which kicks off its season at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, May 24.

Sam Boyd Stadium
Las Vegas, Nevada
Results: May 3, 2014 (Round 17 of 17)

450 Main
1. Ryan Villopoto-Kaw
2. Ryan Dungey-KTM
3. Ken Roczen-KTM
4. Justin Barcia-Hon
5. Trey Canard-Hon
6. Josh Hill-Suz
7. Josh Grant-Yam
8. Jake Weimer-Kaw
9. Chris Blose-Hon
10. Andrew Short-KTM
11. Kyle Chisholm-Yam
12. Ben Lamay-Yam
13. Jimmy Albertson-Hon
14. Nick Schmidt-Hon
15. Cody Gilmore-Kaw
16. Kyle Regal-Hon
17. Mike Alessi-Suz
18. Ronnie Stewart-Suz
19. Bracken Hall-Hon
20. Weston Peick-Suz
21. Tyler Bowers-Kaw
22. James Stewart-Suz

Monster Energy AMA 450cc Supercross Series Points Standings (After 17 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto-368/7 wins
2. Ryan Dungey-304/1 win
3. Ken Roczen-285/2 wins
4. James Stewart-272/5 wins
5. Justin Barcia-250
6. Andrew Short-218
7. Justin Brayton-196
8. Josh Hill-159
9. Broc Tickle-126
10. Mike Alessi-123
11. Wil Hahn-122
12. Weston Peick-120
13. Eli Tomac-115
14. Chad Reed-111/2 wins
15. Nick Wey-102
16. Josh Grant-98
17. Chris Blose-78
18. Trey Canard-Hon/77
19. Matt Goerke-KTM/75
20. Jake Weimer-Kaw/73

250cc Western Region Main (Round 8 of 8)
1. Dean Wilson-Kaw
2. Cooper Webb-Yam
3. Justin Hill-Kaw
4. Cole Seely-Hon
5. Malcolm Stewart-Hon
6. Jason Anderson-KTM*
7. Zach Osborne-Hon
8. Shane Mcelrath-Hon
9. Jessy Nelson-Hon
10. Jake Canada-Hon
11. Michael Leib-Hon
12. Scott Champion-Yam
13. Zackery Freeberg-Yam
14. Dakota Tedder-Kaw
15. Preston Mull-Yam
16. Chad Gores-Hon
17. Blake Lilly-KTM
18. Chris Howell-Yam
19. Ruben Alanis-KTM
20. Colton Aeck-Hon
21. Aaron Siminoe-Kaw
22. Ross Johnson-Hon
*Clinched series championship

250cc Eastern Region Main (Round 8 of 8)
1. Jeremy Martin-Yam
2. Justin Bogle-Hon*
3. Matt Bisceglia-Hon
4. Kyle Cunningham-Hon
5. Jimmy Decotis-Hon
6. Mitchell Oldenburg-Hon
7. Alex Martin-Yam
8. Gannon Audette-Kaw
9. Jackson Richardson-Hon
10. Vince Friese-Hon
11. Landen Powell-KTM
12. AJ Catanzaro-Hon
13. Levi Kilbarger-Hon
14. Zack Williams-Hon
15. Jacob Baumert-Kaw
16. Justin Starling-Hon
17. Taylor Potter-Hon
18. Bryce Stewart-Yam
19. John Pauk-Hon
20. Kyle Evoy Bitterman-Hon
21. Matt Lemoine-Kaw
22. Nick Desiderio-Hon
*Clinched series championship

Dave Coombs Sr. East-West Shootout
1. Justin Hill-Kaw
2. Dean Wilson-Kaw
3. Jason Anderson-KTM
4. Cooper Webb-Yam
5. Jeremy Martin-Yam
6. Cole Seely-Hon
7. Jake Canada-Hon
8. Kyle Cunningham-Hon
9. Shane Mcelrath-Hon
10. Jessy Nelson-Hon
11. Michael Leib-Hon
12. Matt Bisceglia-Hon
13. Jackson Richardson-Hon
14. Alex Martin-Yam
15. Mitchell Oldenburg-Hon
16. Landen Powell-KTM
17. Justin Bogle-Hon
18. Gannon Audette-Kaw
19. Jimmy Decotis-Hon
20. Malcolm Stewart-Hon
21. Matt Lemoine-Kaw
22. Zach Osborne-Hon Newsletter
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