Six more rounds remain in the 2012 AMA Supercross season and the championship is more or less decided. The first third of the season was a thrilling four-man fight for the title. The middle of the season saw contenders drop like flies and now, what looked to be a dramatic battle for the title is shaping up to be a second consecutive AMA Supercross Championship for Ryan Villopoto.
First it was TwoTwo Motorsports Honda rider Chad Reed suffering a season-ending injury at the Arlington round. Then, before the St. Louis round, Villopoto’s biggest challenger Ryan Dungey crashed hard in training. Dungey competed in St. Louis but missed the ensuing Daytona round as well as this past weekend’s race in Indianapolis. And finally at Indy, JGRMX Yamaha‘s James Stewart suffered a concussion during practice and was forced to withdraw from the event.
While his rivals were going down with injuries, Villopoto kept winning. The Monster Energy Kawasaki racer captured his sixth win at the season at Lucas Oil Stadium, putting him firmly in the lead in the title chase at 246 points, and 54 points ahead of an idled Dungey.
Perhaps it was the absence of his chief rivals that led to Villopoto’s slow start at Indy. Villopoto finished the first lap in fifth place with Motoconcepts Suzuki rider Mike Alessi taking the holeshot and leading the opening few laps. Behind Alessi were Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton, Dungey’s Red Bull KTM teammate Marvin Musquin and Yoshimura Suzuki‘s Brett Metcalfe.
Alessi led the first five laps before making a mistake that gave up the lead to Brayton. A lap later, Alesss lost more ground, falling behind Metcalfe and Villopoto.
The defending champion moved into second on Lap 10 and then into the lead on lap 16. He would hold on the rest of the way for the win despite leading only the final five laps. The race was probably Villopoto’s least dominating win of the season but without the other main title contenders in the race, no one was able to capitalize and prevent another Villopoto victory.
Second place went to Brayton followed by JGRMX Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps in third, both riders earning their second podium finishes of the season.
The 2012 AMA Supercross Championship now shifts north to the Rogers Center in Toronto, Canada. Villopoto holds a commanding lead at 246 points. Dungey stays in second despite missing two rounds at 192 points while Stewart sits third at 177.
[Source: AMA Supercross, Yamaha]