Four-time consecutive AMA Superbike Champion Ryan Villopoto is ready to move on to the next stage of his career, signing on to represent Kawasaki in the World Motocross Championship in 2015.
Villopoto will race in the newly- christened MXGP class. Formerly known as the MX1 class, MXGP allows 450cc four-stroke machines and 250cc two-strokes. Villopoto will be joined by 2008 MX2 World Champion Tyla Rattray.
“I am ready for the next chapter in my career and to accomplish new goals,” says Villopoto. “I’ve never been one to look at the record books so when an opportunity like this comes around, to race against the best in the world and represent U.S.A., I have to see it through. It will be a major change of pace, but I am extremely excited about the opportunity and also to be joined by a former champion like Tyla (Rattray). He knows what is needed to succeed on the world championship stage and I know I can learn a lot from him.”
Villopoto has little left to prove in AMA racing, having three Motocross titles to go with his four Supercross championships.
“Ryan Villopoto is a truly global motocross star; for fans around the world to see him race on their home tracks will indeed be a privilege,” says Steve Guttridge, racing manager for Kawasaki Motors Europe. “After such dominance in Supercross it is refreshing and characteristically brave to see Ryan take on the world’s best MXGP riders and set his sights on supremacy in this class as well.”
The 26-year-old Washington-state resident is leaving the Monster Energy Kawasaki Energy in good hands with former 250 class champions Davi Millsaps and Wil Hahn racing the KX450F.
“We are extremely anxious to begin the 2015 season,” says Dan Fahie, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Manager. “We have big shoes to fill after winning four-straight supercross titles but I could not be more excited to have both Davi and Wil on the team. Both riders have proven to be top contenders in the 450 class and they are just as enthusiastic as we are to get back racing and on top of the box.”
The Kawasaki AMA team will also enter Adam Cianciarulo, four-time Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers, Chris Alldredge and Arnaud Tonus in the 250 class.