250 Words: Minneapolis Lites

March 17, 2008 11:46am | by:
Check out Steve Cox's photo of Ryan Villopoto and Josh Grant embracing after their incredible main event battle at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. That had to be a bitter pill to swallow for Grant, who had control of the race for almost its entirety, only to get muscled out in the last corner by Villopoto. And yes, the same Villopoto whom he ran across at the Georgia Dome. So was it payback? Heck no. It was racing, and Grant would have done the same thing.
The irony is that if two guys needed a race like this—and fast—it’s RV2 and Grant. They had been completely upstaged by Grant’s Torco Racing Fuels Honda teammate Trey Canard, who ran through Atlanta, Indianapolis and Daytona with barely missing a beat. He finally lost a race this weekend, but by the way he celebrated his fourth with some goon-riding, you could just tell he was still smiling under his lid. 
But back to Villopoto and Grant. For Ryan, the 2007 Rider of the Year in every publication from Racer X to Cycle News to Transworld Motocross and American Motorcyclist, the season was not going according to plan. After absolutely dominating the MXoN at Budds Creek and putting a minute on everyone in both motos, getting beat by a rookie three straight times had to be frustrating. And Grant, who’s been in this class for four years and was considered the captain of the very team TC is riding for, it was probably even more difficult to accept. So they both came out firing, and the 40,000 fans on hand got to see one of the all-time great Lites SX races.
So what’s next? Villopoto has three races to make up 24 points on Canard. That means if he wins, Canard can still finish fourth—just like he did Saturday night—and still take the East Region title. Something tells me there’s more fireworks to come, and we may see Villopoto and Grant together again at the front soon, only this time they might have some company. 

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Josh  Grant (Hon)
3. Martin Davalos (KTm)
4. Trey Canard (Hon)
5. Ryan Sipes (KTM)
6. Tyler Bowers (Yam)
7. Ryan Morais (Yam)
8. Kyle Partridge (Hon)
9. Nico Izzi (Suz)
10. Billy Payne (Hon)
11. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
12. Branden Jesseman (Kaw)
13. Travis Sewell (Suz)
14. Matt Boni (Hon)
15. Ben Coisy (Hon)
16. Zach Ames (Hon)
17. Tyler Medaglia (Suz)
18. Phillip Nicoletti (Kaw)
19. Kyle Gills (Kaw)
20. Nathan Skaggs (Hon)
21. Jake Moss (Yam)
22. Ryan Mills (Hon)