There was little doubt in anyone’s mind at San Francisco that Ryan Villopoto would win. The track was tacky, he’s on a roll, Pourcel is gone, and his other primary competitors—Josh Grant, Jason Lawrence, and Josh Hansen—spent most of their qualifier banging the hell out of each other. After following his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit teammate Chris Gosselaar for a little while, RV51 made a pass, then stomped off for his third win in four January races.
The guys to feel sorry for were Gosselaar and Martin Davalos, the super-nice Red Bull KTM rider. As they battled for second, Goose crashed right in front of the mechanics’ area and gathered Davalos up with him. It cost both a real shot at the podium and gave Josh Grant and his SoBe/Samsung Honda teammate Jake Weimer free passes to the podium (and congrats to you, Jake, on your first box!).
So Kawasaki—and specifically the Pro Circuit team—remains undefeated in the West, and young Villopoto now has a chance to earn an Anaheim sweep this weekend. Few will be betting against him.