Villopoto Earns Fourth Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship

Apr. 27, 2014 By Scott Rousseau, Photos by Rick Shepherd
Ryan Villopoto secured his fourth AMA Supercross Championship Saturday night in New Jersey.

It only appeared a formality after needing only a few points to secure the title, but Ryan Villopoto put forth an impressive performance in New Jersey to win the 450 race and secure his fourth consecutive 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.

Villopoto celebrated Monster Energy Supercross’ first visit to the New York area in years by taking his 40th career win. He joins McGrath, James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed as the only riders to earn 40 AMA Supercross wins.

Villopoto’s closest challenger in Stewart didn’t have a good night. His main event run ended early with a knee injury that puts his status into question for the Monster Energy series finale in Las Vegas next weekend.
Villopoto had a great start to the evening by winning his heat race. He started off 20-lap main event by earning the holeshot by beating RCH Soaring Eagle Suzuki’s Josh Hill and MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi off the first corner. Stewart and Red Bull teammates Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey had bad starts in the main, sitting them in eighth, 10th and 12th place, respectively. GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac did get a great start, however, quickly shooting past Alessi to take over second place.

Meanwhile, Stewart was working his way through the pack, but when he attempted to pass Alessi it looked as though Stewart’s front end washed out in a left-hand turn, and he tweaked his left knee while trying to stay upright. Stewart slowed immediately, and although he tried to continue he pulled off on the next lap to end his race.

Eli Tomac put forth a great race on Saturday night in New Jersey to finish in second place behind Ryan Villopoto.

Tomac managed to catch and pass Hill for second place while Villopoto continued to run alone up front, giving himself a lead of just over 7.2 seconds on Tomac by the time the halfway flags flew. By the race’s end, Villopoto crossed the finish line with a 9.7-second margin of victory over Tomac. Hill was able to hold on in spite of challenges from Barcia, earning his first podium of the year.

After the race, Villopoto struggled to his feelings into words after his historic accomplishment.

“It’s, uh…It’ll set in eventually, I’m sure,” he said. “It’s definitely a big accomplishment. I’m just glad it’s over. It has been a long season, and it has been a hard season. I’m just glad that we were able to finish it off this way, with a win. It’s just been a great season.”

Tomac’s was pleased to earn his second podium of the season, noting he feels as though he’s finally getting his bike dialed in.

“I’m getting closer and closer,” Tomac said. “We’re making baby steps at improving, trying to get into that number one spot. You know, congrats to Ryan on the championship and the win. He is obviously the best guy out there right now, and it shows when you put in the hard work and you’re flowing on the bike. I’m trying to get there myself. This is my first year on the 450, and I’m always satisfied with a podium.”

Josh Hill earned his first podium since suffering a devastating crash at X Games in 2010.

Hill hasn’t seen an AMA Supercross podium since a 2010 X Games crash that set back his career. His failed backflip attempt left him with a broken right femur, broken right humerous, a fractured pelvis and a partially collapsed lung. Clearly it has been a long road back.

“It just feels good,” Hill said. “I put in hours and hours of work, so much time in Dr. G’s office, just getting physical therapy. I’ve had eight surgeries just to get back up here after that one bad accident. It has been four years, and it couldn’t feel better. I really just have to give it up the guys who have stuck behind me. There have been a lot of good people keeping me going.”

The Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team can’t seem to escape the injury bug, as team rider and points leader in the 250cc Easter Region heading into the race Martin Davalos was hurt while practicing earlier in the week. The injury put GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle in a great position to capitalize on Davalos’ misfortune and take over the series lead.

Bogle started the 15-lap main event in near the front in fourth place behind Jimmy Decotis, Matt Bisceglia and Vince Friese. Decotis, who has never finished higher than fifth in 27 starts, made contact with Bisceglia, which results in Decotis crashing and Bisceglia taking the lead.

Justin Bogle took the lead in the 250cc class and will look to earn the title at the finale in Las Vegas.

Bogle stayed patient and worked his way up to second place by lap six, eventually making an outside pass on Bisceglia to earn the lead on lap seven. Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin also passed Bisceglia to take over second place.

Bogle then began to pull away from Martin and the rest of the field, crossing the finish line with a 3.3-second margin of victory over Martin. Friese finished in third place 2.1 seconds behind Martin.

The win for Bogle gives him a 17-point lead heading into the final round of the Eastern Region series at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, May 3.

“Conditions were tough, no doubt,” Bogle said. “I had a good battle with my teammate. It was slick, but we had made some changes with Dunlop and got that handled. It was tough tonight, but I think that last thing I want to do is play it safe. I want to get wins and really make this thing happen. So, I’m excited and pumped for next weekend.”

Martin’s second-place finish was a career-best in Supercross.

“I had a little bit of break to be able to work on things and to fix what I was doing wrong,” Martin said. “You know what? I was at rock bottom in the beginning of the season, and turn it around like this, it’s awesome.”

Ryan Villopoto celebrates with his Monster Energy Kawasaki team.

450 Main
1. Ryan Villopoto-Kaw
2. Eli Tomac-Hon
3. Josh Hill-Suz
4. Justin Barcia-Hon
5. Ken Roczen-KTM
6. Ryan Dungey-KTM
7. Mike Alessi-Suz
8. Andrew Short-KTM
9. Trey Canard-Hon
10. Weston Peick-Suz
11. Jake Weimer-Kaw
12. Phil Nicoletti-Yam
13. Nick Wey-Kaw
14. Ronnie Stewart-Suz
15. Chris Blose-Hon
16. Joshua Grant-Yam
17. Ben Lamay-Yam
18. Tony Archer-Kaw
19. Jimmy Albertson-Hon
20. Cody Gilmore-Kaw
21. Tevin Tapia-Suz
22. James Stewart-Suz

Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series Standings (After 17 of 18 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto-343/6 wins*
2. Ryan Dungey-282/1 win
3. James Stewart-271/5 wins
4. Ken Roczen-265/2 wins
5. Justin Barcia-232
6. Andrew Short-207
7. Justin Brayton-196
8. Joshua Hill-144
9. Broc Tickle-126
10. Wil Hahn-122
*Clinched series championship

250 Main
1. Justin Bogle-Hon
2. Jeremy Martin-Yam
3. Vince Friese-Hon
4. Mat Bisceglia-Hon
5. Matt Lemoine-Kaw
6. Kyle Cunningham-Hon
7. Alex Martin-Yam
8. Mitchell Oldenburg-Hon
9. Jimmy Decotis-Hon
10. Jackson Richardson-Hon
11. Gannon Audette-Kaw
12. Justin Starling-Hon
13. AJ Catanzaro-Hon
14. Jacob Baumert-Kaw
15. Levi Kilbarger-Hon
16. Luke Vonlinger-Hon
17. Zack Williams-Hon
18. Cade Clason-Hon
19. Taylor Potter-Hon
20. Kyle Evoy Bitterman-Hon
21. Landen Powell-KTM
22. Aaron Gulley-Kaw

AMA 250cc Eastern Region Supercross Series Standings
1. Justin Bogle-166/2 wins
2. Martin Davalos-149/2 wins
3. Adam Cianciarulo-120/3 wins
4. Blake Baggett-120/1 win
5. Vince Friese-120
6. Kyle Cunningham-109
7. Matt Lemoine-90
8. Jimmy Decotis-90
9. Cole Thompson-89
10. Alex Martin-86 Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!