First pro title for young Villopoto; Monster Energy-backed teammate Ben Townley makes the Glen Helen podium as well
CARLSBAD, Calif., (Sept. 12, 2006) – With a dominant 1-1 performance on the highly rugged Glen Helen Raceway (San Bernardino, Calif.) track, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto laid claim to the overall Lites class title of the 2006 Toyota AMA Motocross championship.
In both motos Villopoto came from behind, tracked, caught and passed rival Mike Alessi to put an exclamation point on his first-ever pro motocross title.
“Man, you can’t believe how happy I am,” said Villopoto. “This is something I’ve worked for my whole life. And to be able to share this with my family, friends and the great sponsors that backed me this year – including Monster – makes it a day I’ll never forget. And congrats to my teammate Ben Townley as well. Good to see him up on the podium.”
Villopoto came from behind in both motos to catch and pass Alessi (2-2), doing so on lap nine in the first moto (after an 8th place start) and on lap four in the second moto. Villopoto topped Alessi by more than two seconds in both motos with the fastest overall lap times.
For Townley, who’s 3rd place finish was his first-ever podium at the Nationals (5th at RedBud being his only other race), Glen Helen would put a highlight on a highly anticipated season for the rookie racer from New Zealand. Townley benefited from great starts on his Kawasaki KX250F, pulling out in 4th and 3rd place after the opening laps of both motos and running with the leaders through out for a 3-3 moto finish – good enough for 3rd place overall.
Next up for Villopoto and Townley is the Sept. 24th running of the Motocross Des Nations at Matterley Basin in England.