250 Words: Glen Helen

September 10, 2007 9:06am
  • RV went 1-2 to take his second championship.
Right from the onset at Hangtown on May 20, the race for the 2007 AMA Motocross Lites Championship was a race inside a race. There were Monster Energy Kawasaki teammates Ben Townley and reigning AMA Motocross Lites Champion Ryan Villopoto and, well, the 38 other guys who lined up with them on any given Sunday. In fact, Townely and 19-year-old Villopoto split moto wins in five of the 12 Nationals, with Townley winning the tiebreaker four times. The duo also won 11 of the 12 Nationals and 22 of the 24 motos (Josh Grant and Broc Hepler won the other two). But what really did Townley’s title hopes in were his back-to-back 6-2 overalls at Steel City and Freestone. As a result, upon arriving at Glen Helen Raceway—effectively his home track—Villopoto had a 19-point edge on his rival. When it came time to race on the 1.5-mile, 36-obstacle track — complete with three hills hovering at 2000 feet in altitude — Townley and Villopoto came flying out of the Talladega turn side by side. Townley led for the first six laps before Villopoto raced by to steal the moto win.

With 22 points to make up, Townley went straight to the front in moto two, and by the 9-minute mark had a 7-second lead on Villopoto. When the 2-lap card was flashed, Townley was long gone, some 20 seconds ahead. But it was to no avail, as Villopoto happily raced alone in second to win his second consecutive red and black Number One plate.

So that makes Ryan Villopoto the fastest Lites rider on the planet, right? Well, there is one more challenged—and his plane from Italy has already landed. The Motocross of Nations could turn out to be the battle of the year!