Ryan Villopoto moved one step closer to repeating as AMA Supercross Champion with his seventh win of the season at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. With his chief rivals not making the trip north of the border due to various injuries, Villopoto can clinch the 2012 championship as soon as next weekend’s race at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, if they continue to be out of action.
The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider has 271 points with five rounds remaining. Mathematically speaking, Villopoto can still be caught by Red Bull KTM rider Ryan Dungey (192 points) and JGRMX Yamaha‘s James Stewart (177) should either of them win the remaining five rounds. Realistically however, the title is all but Villopoto’s.
Dungey however has missed the last three rounds while Stewart has missed the last two. They may still yet return for Houston, though they likely won’t be 100%. In their absence, Villopoto has been racking up the points. Villopoto only needs to stay healthy and continue finishing races to win the championship. That’s no easy task in itself, as Villopoto demonstrated in the whoops in Toronto.
Shortly after taking over the lead from holeshot-taker Justin Brayton of Honda Muscle Milk, Villopoto had a near miss on the tricky whoops section on the third lap. Brayton was able to gain some ground but Villopoto recovered and held on to the lead, eventually finishing 9.124 seconds ahead of Brayton for the win.
Finishing third was Geico Honda rider Kevin Windham, nearly five seconds behind Brayton. Windham and Brayton, along with fourth-place finisher Davi Millsaps of JGRMX Yamaha have benefited from the absence of Dungey, Stewart and TwoTwo Motorsports Honda‘s Chad Reed who was injured in the Arlington round in February. With the usual title contenders out of action, Windham, Brayton and Millsaps have scored seven podium finishes in the last four races. None of them had any podium finishes prior to that.
[Source: AMA Supercross]