Hometown hero Ryan Dungey put a stop to Ryan Villopoto‘s winning streak, taking the victory before 48,846 supportive fans at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Red Bull KTM rider from nearby Belle Plaine, Minn., stalked Monster Energy Kawasaki‘s Villopoto for most of the race before taking the lead and winning the 20-lap race by just 0.903 seconds. The win put Dungey into second place in the standings ahead of Rockstar Suzuki‘s Davi Millsaps and perhaps more importantly, cut away at Villopoto’s points lead.
The main event started with holeshot specialist Mike Alessi of MotoConcepts Suzuki first around the first turn. It didn’t take long however before Villopoto with an inside pass to take over the lead. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider won five straight races heading into Minneapolis and took aim at his sixth in a row but Dungey remained close behind ready to strike.
Meanwhile, Yoshimura Suzuki rider James Stewart was dueling RCH Suzuki‘s Josh Hill for fourth place on Lap 7 when Stewart suddenly pulled off the track favoring his right hand. Stewart had injured his wrist in a crash during a qualifying heat and appeared to aggravate the injury during the race.
Back up front, Villopoto rode conservatively in the lead for the first 15 laps until Dungey began to close the gap on Lap 16. The two riders then staged a fierce duel before Villopoto was slowed by a lapped rider, giving Dungey the lead with three laps to go. The two rivals swapped the lead, making contact a few times and even found themselves stopped side-by-side for a split second on a 180-degree corner. Dungey finally managed to create a gap, carrying a lot of speed through the whoops while Villopoto dropped back.
Villopoto made one final push at the end of the final lap but Dungey with the inside path through a split section held on for the win. Millsaps sat in third place with a sizable cushion for most of the race to complete the podium and remain in the championship picture.
The series now moves on to Villopoto’s hometown of Seattle, Wash., hoping to capitalize on the local support as Dungey did. Villopoto has a comfortable 22-point lead on Dungey but with three races to go the championship is far from decided.
|2013 AMA Supercross: Minnesota Top Five Finishers|
|450cc Class Top Five Standings After 14 Rounds|
[Source: AMA Supercross; Photos by Cudby S.]