Kawasaki‘s Ryan Villopoto nabbed a hard-earned first victory of the 2014 AMA Supercross season, overcoming a poor start that saw him ninth after the first lap for the win.
The three-time reigning champion found himself well back after the first corner as Yoshimura Suzuki‘s Jake Moss took the holeshot ahead of Yamaha‘s Justin Brayton and the KTM‘s Ryan Dungey. Brayton took over the lead by the second corner and would stay in front for the first 13 laps.
Meanwhile, Villopoto showed his championship poise, working his way back among the leaders. By Lap 5 Villopoto was back in the top five, and by Lap 8 he was back in a podium position. As Dungey focused on catching Brayton on Lap 11, Villopoto saw an opening and passed him to move into second. By Lap 13, Villopoto moved into the lead, holding on for the rest of the race and fending off a late effort by Brayton for the win.
“Tonight was not easy,” says Villopoto. “The track was really difficult and very slick which made it hard to be aggressive. It feels great to get a win this early and to have the points lead is ideal. We weren’t big fans of the white backgrounds.”
Brayton’s second-place finish tied his best ever result, set in 2012 in Toronto, Canada. Dungey was third across the finish, about five seconds before Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart. Ken Roczen, the surprise rookie winner last week in Anaheim, finished sixth behind Honda‘s Justin Barcia.
|2014 AMA Supercross: Phoenix 450 Top Five Results|
Meanwhile in the Western Regional 250SX class, Jason Anderson took his second-straight win for Rockstar Energy KTM on a last-lap pass on Troy Lee Designs Honda rider Cole Seely. Anderson tailed Seely in second for most of the race, managing to close the gap as Seely was slowed by lapped riders. Anderson waited patiently until Seely made a mistake about midway through the final lap, taking advantage of the miscue to take over the lead.
“I’m bummed,” says Seely. “I’ve been battling stomach issues all week, so was struggling with that. I felt (my stomach) tighten up late in the race and I just made a mistake and Jason got me again.”
|450 Class Top Five Standings
||250 West Class Top Five Standings|
|1||Ryan Villopoto||Kawasaki||43||Jason Anderson||KTM||50|
|2||Ryan Dungey||KTM||42||Cole Seely||Honda||44|
|3||Ken Roczen||KTM||40||Zach Osborne||Honda||40|
|4||Justin Brayton||Yamaha||37||Dean Wilson||Kawasaki||36|
|5||Chad Reed||Kawasaki||32||Cooper Webb||Yamaha||31|
[Source: AMA Supercross]