Ryan Villopoto Named AMA/SPEED Athlete of the Year

Monster Energy-backed Mark Burkhart (Graves/Yamaha), the 2007 AMA Supermoto champion, was also nominated along with Villopoto

CORONA, Calif., (Nov. 20, 2007) – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto was named this past weekend as the AMA/ SPEED Athlete of the Year for his spectacular performances in the AMA Supercross and Outdoor Nationals seasons, along with his winning performance in the recent Motocross of Nations (Moto Des Nations) in Budds Creek, Md.

“Last year I watched Ricky get the award and it’s just awesome to be one of those guys,” said Villopoto from the stage at the AMA Awards banquet, of course referring to Monster Energy’s Ricky Carmichael who won the award in 2006.

Villopoto also congratulated the rest of the nominees, which included Monster Energy’s Mark Burkhart, the 2007 AMA Supermoto champion.

“I was pumped just to be nominated,” said Burkhart. “Congrats to Ryan. Glad another Monster guy won it!”

Villopoto, 19, from Poulsbo, Wash., won the Supercross West Lites title, then defended his Outdoor Nationals’ Lites crown. He highlighted his season when he spanked the rest of the world at the Motocross of Nations at Budds Creek, helping fellow Monster Energy- backed racers Carmichael and Tim Ferry (Monster Energy/Kawasaki) win the coveted Chamberlain Trophy as the world’s top motocross team.

“Everybody at Monster Energy would like to congratulate Ryan on an unreal season, capped off with the AMA and SPEED’s most prestigious award,” said John Lee, Monster Energy’s Director of Sports Marketing. 

“Ryan is one of the hardest-working guys in the sport and sets and excellent example for the rest of our Monster Army members. Again, congrats, Ryan, you certainly deserve it.”