Defending champion Ryan Villopoto won his third consecutive AMA Supercross race in Arlington, Texas, but the victory was overshadowed by a season-ending injury suffered by one of his main challengers Chad Reed.
TwoTwo Motorsport Honda‘s Reed trailed Villopoto in second place for the first six laps at Cowboys Stadium. Disaster struck on Lap 7 however as Reed crashed hard in the whoops. Initial evaluations revealed a broken tibia and fibula, a torn anterior cruciate ligament, two broken ribs and a broken vertebrae. Doctors are waiting for the swelling in Reed’s knee to subside before conducting surgery.
As a result, Reed’s Supercross season is over and the veteran will instead focus on recuperating in time for the outdoor AMA Motocross season.
“To say I am hurting right now would be a major understatement,” Reed said. “I am just trying to figure out what hurts more, the injuries or the fact that I am going to be out for a while with knee surgery.
Reed arrived in Texas second in the standings, trailing Villopoto by just 7 points. Reed has been a consistent podium threat all season and was poised for a title run.
“This is bitterly disappointing, I felt like I had everything in my corner this time,” says Reed. “I’ve never felt more comfortable, from the bike and team to my riding.”
With Reed out on Lap 7, Villopoto proceeded unchallenged to win the Arlington race by over 8 seconds, leading every lap along the way. The win represented the third in a row and fourth of the season for the Monster Energy Kawasaki racer.
Villopoto’s teammate Jake Weimer, Red Bull KTM rider Ryan Dungey and MotoConcepts Suzuki rider Mike Alessi battled for the other two podium positions for much of the race. Weimer was firmly set in third place for the first few laps before getting promoted to second with Reed’s crash. Meanwhile, Dungey worked his way up from the middle of the pack to challenge Alessi. Dungey finally went through on lap 10 and began setting his sights on Weimer.
Dungey and Weimer fought for second place, trading positions a couple of times before Dungey ultimately emerged to beat Weimer to the line by over a second.
Heading into next week’s round in Atlanta, Ga., Villopoto strengthened his grip on first place with 158 points. Dungey moved past Reed to step into second place at 145 points.
JGRMX Yamaha’s James Stewart started strong in Arlington but lost ground after running into teammate Davi Millsaps who had fallen going into a corner. Stewart salvaged a sixth place finish but at 116 points, he needs a strong second half to challenge for the title.
[Source: AMA Supercross, TwoTwo Motorsports; Photography by Hoppenworld.com]