Ryan Villopoto has already secured the 2012 AMA Supercross Championship but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to let up and take it easy over the remainder of the season.
The Monster Energy Kawasaki racer clinched his second consecutive title two weeks ago in Houston, Texas, but he continued his dominance in AMA Supercross’ return to New Orleans’ Superdome, taking the holeshot and leading all 20 laps for his ninth win of the season in 14 rounds.
The New Orleans round may have lacked some big names currently nursing injuries such as Ryan Dungey, James Stewart and Chad Reed, but Villopoto provided a star effort in the first AMA Supercross race in the city since 2009.
“The track was tough, so the bike was a big key,” says Villopoto, who won by 10.485 seconds. “The track was breaking down and it had a lot of ruts, so it was easy to get caught off guard. You had to stay on toes and try to log consistent laps.”
For most of the race, it looked like Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki‘s Josh Grant and MotoConcepts Suzuki‘s Mike Alessi would fill the remaining two podium positions. Grant sat comfortably in second place for most of the race while Alessi tried to narrow the gap from third. Alessi’s efforts were for nought however, as he clipped a lapped rider on Lap 16, knocking him to the ground and out of contention.
Alessi’s crash allowed Muscle Milk Honda‘s Justin Brayton to move up to third place where he finished 5.892 seconds behind Grant.
With his podium finish, Brayton moved past Dungey into third place in the championship standings with 201 points. Davi Millsaps of JGRMX Yamaha also moved past the idle Dungey with his sixth-place result in New Orleans, putting him in second place with 206 points.
[Source: AMA Supercross, Jeff Ward Racing (Facebook)]