CARLSBAD, Calif., (Jan. 22, 2007) – Monster Energy-backed Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki) was back on top of the podium at the second Anaheim (Calif.) round, winning the AMA Lites class main event in a near wire-to-wire performance that put him back on top of the Western Region Lites class points chase in the 2007 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series tour.
Villpoto took the series lead back from his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate, Christophe Pourcel. The upstart French great had won his heat race and all signs pointed to another great showdown between the two hyper-fast teenagers – tied in the overall WSX Lites points chase. But a mid-pack start by Pourcel followed by a race-finishing cased jump would end the Frenchman’s night, and American supercross season as he’s expected to return to France this week.
Running well in addition to Villopoto was Chris Gosselaar, who finished 5th overall in the Lites main event and is in third place overall in the WSX standings – just six points behind fellow Monster Energy-backed racer Jason Lawrence in 2nd.
Villopoto got his night going with a convincing 14-plus second win in the second heat race over Josh Hansen. The Poulsbo, Wash., native then put the hammer down in the main event, getting out in second place after the first lap, then taking the lead for good over Steve Boniface on lap two.
“It was a good night,” said Villopoto. “I had a couple bad starts, in my heat and the main, but once I got passed a few guys up front (in the main) I had a clear track.”
As it stands Villopoto has a comfortable lead (72-55) over 2nd place Lawrence for the overall AMA Western Region Lites class lead. Gosselaar is in 3rd overall with 49 points.
Next up for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is Round Four of the 2007 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series at San Francisco’s SBC Park (Jan. 27th). Last year at San Francisco Villopoto finished a disappointing 6th overall in the muddy event.
“I made some stupid mistakes up there in San Francisco,” said Villopoto. “Hopefully I’ll learn from those mistakes.”