by Charles Owens on 01/28/2014
By Paul Savage, @PaulSavageNZ TSM Editor
Sometime this week, Ryan Villopoto will pull up a seat, grab a cold can of Monster Energy, hoist his Kawasaki KX450F onto its stand and get to work – he can once again affix his bike with the red number plate.
At Overstock.com Stadium in Oakland on Saturday night, the Supercross came to town. Ryan Villopoto came out best off in the Main Event, but there certainly wasn’t much in it. The defending champ narrowly held off past champions James ‘Bubba’ Stewart and last week’s winner Chad Reed.
Regular commentary duo Ralph Sheheen and Jeff Emig were joined by record-breaking former champion Jeremy McGrath for the evening. McGrath – who is the only rider in history to take the championship for times in a row – spoke of the intense pressure Villopoto would be under to hold his current surge forward.
The former Suzuki two-stroke champion’s comments were more or less mirrored on the track that night as Villopoto zipped around the circuit, complete with a split mid section and a handful of very steep jumps, in a night of racing with a handful of crashes and a plethora of passes.
James Stewart and Wil Hahn looked hungry the entire race as holeshot placegetter Vince Friese faded back and back throughout the Main Event. Towards the second half, it looked like it could well have been Barcia’s until he crashed out in the mid section.
“It feels great to be up here [on the podium] tonight,” Villopoto told onlookers. “We’ve put in a lot of work at the test track and I have a great team behind me and a great bike under me. I hope I can carry this momentum into Anaheim next weekend.”
The 250 Main was all but Dean Wilson’s for the taking; his Monster Energy/Pro Curcuit Kawasaki machine appeared to stall or cut out in the triples section right towards the end, leaving the way for Jason Anderson to take the win of the night.
This Saturday, the series returns to Angel Stadium in Anaheim for the arena’s final of three AMA Supercross season races. Stay focused on Twostrokemotocross.com for more.