Villopoto Shakes Up the Championship at Washougal
After Ryan Dungey won his hometown national last weekend at Millville’s Spring Creek MX National, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto hoped to keep the streak going at Round 8 of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro MX Championship at Washougal MX Park. Villopoto (a native of Poulsbo, Washington) has never won at his home track but served notice early in the day when he pulled the holeshot in Moto 1 ahead of his 450cc rivals Dungey aboard the Rockstar Makita Suzuki and the factory Honda of Trey Canard. TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed seemed to be a tick off the leader’s speed and may still be recovering from his spectacular crash at Spring Creek.
Up front, Canard continued to impress the E3 motorcycle spark plugs racing fans as he was able to match the pace of Villopoto and Dungey. After missing the first half of the 2011 National Championship season with a broken femur, the Honda rider has shown that he still has the speed to win. At the mid-point in the race, Dungey powered his Suzuki alongside Villopoto and challenged the Kawasaki rider for the race lead. In a similar move to the one that allowed Dungey to get by Villopoto at Spring Creek, Dungey dropped his bike in a rutted corner allowing Villopoto to escape with the moto win. The Suzuki rider remounted and held on for a second overall just ahead of a hard-charging Canard. The series points leader Reed would finish a disappointing seventh.
In Moto 2, Villopoto again charged to the front of the pack off the start with Dungey and Canard in hot pursuit. But, disaster struck early on as Canard cross-rutted on the face of a steep uphill and was launched over the handlebars. The Honda rider slammed into the Washington dirt and was unable to get up. Race officials red flagged the event as Canard had to be carted off by the expert medical team. On the restart, Dungey managed to swap positions and led Villopoto through turn one. Reed had his best start of the day in third followed by a very determined Bret Metcalfe aboard the other Rockstar Makita Suzuki. Early on Metcalfe would take advantage of Reed’s off day and passed his fellow Aussie for a third place.
At the mid-point in the race, it was all Ryan Dungey as he began to pull away from Villopoto for the win and his second national overall win in a row for the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA championship. Villopoto would hold on for second and finished second overall on the day. After a promising outdoor season last year, Metcalfe would claim third in Moto 2 for an overall podium finish, his first of the season. Reed’s fourth place finish in the second race was good enough for fourth overall but dropped the Honda veteran to third in championship nine points behind the new series leader Villopoto. Dungey trails Villopoto by a single point.
With the points race heating up, riders and teams have two weeks off before traveling to the east coast for Round 9 at the famed Unadilla MX National in New Berlin, NY. If you’re looking to avoid the “Honey Dos”, join E3 Spark Plugs racing fans at another race venue or take the time off to tune up your favorite ride with a set of our high performance replacement plugs. You can always rely on the plugs that are Born to Burn for your outdoor fun when you hit the trail, road, water or snow.