Dominant performance in Detroit cuts Trey Canard’s points lead to three with one round remaining; Monster/PC/Kawi’s Jesseman also podiums
CORONA, Calif., (April 16, 2008) – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto has been on a mission since coming away from his opening round 2008 Monster Energy Supercross Eastern Regional Lites class ‘zero points’ opener at Atlanta.
The Poulsbo, Wash., native is on an absolute ESX class tear as of late, this past weekend at Detroit’s Ford Field winning his third consecutive main event and cutting current class point leader Trey Canard’s seemingly insurmountable points lead (31 points after Daytona, Fla., round three of six) to a mere three, 122-119, with one round remaining on the schedule.
“It’s definitely going to be a close race,” said Villopoto of this weekend’s St. Louis ESX final.
Villopoto was on fire at Detroit. Having sent a message early with the fastest lap time in practice (50.32), then winning his heat race by nearly seven seconds, Villopoto bolted out of the start in the main and scored his first $1,000 Progressive Direct Holeshot award of the season – and never looked back for the next 15 laps.
“It felt good to get out in first with a clear track,” he said. But not so good for current points leader Canard, who went down on turn seven in the opening lap. Canard had a difficult time re-firing his bike and Villopoto capitalized. “I figured he’d (Canard) just play it safe. Then I saw he was down and the next time I came around my pit board said he was in 15th.”
As it stands Villopoto had cut that 31-point lead to 17 points heading into Detroit. His win now makes for a pretty cut-and-dry scenario: Win St. Louis and win the ’08 ESX title. “That’s kind of a good position,”
Another fine highlight at Detroit for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki team was the effort of Branden Jesseman. The Pennsylvania native put his KX250F on the box (3rd) for the first time this season, which was also the first time since Anaheim 3 (Austin Stroupe & Brett Metcalfe) that Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki has two guys on the podium.
“I tried my best, been working really hard and the bikes have been great,” said Jesseman, who also ran well at Detroit last year. “I’d like to thank everyone for not turning their back on me.”
Next up for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is the Saturday (April 19th) final round of the 2008 Monster Energy Supercross ESX series in St. Louis.