Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Racers Wrap Up 2008

Villopoto takes a best-ever 2nd place finish in the Dave Coombs East/ West Shootout; teammates Metcalfe & Stroupe also make all-star races’ top ten

CORONA, Calif., (May 5, 2008) – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto was dominant in his heat race, pulled the holeshot in the Dave Coombs East/West Lites Shootout and led the main before eventually winding up in 2nd place overall in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, 17th and final event of the season.

Villopoto, who battled back from a wrist injury that ended up costing him the ESX Lites title, led the first 14 of 15 laps but was caught by race winner Ryan Dungey about a third of the way into the final lap. And though Villopoto would counter and show Dungey a tire on several occasions soon thereafter, a couple mistakes late in the lap would cost Villopoto the win.

“That was definitely one of the fastest supercross tracks I’ve ever  ridden, great racing and Ryan (Dungey) rode really good,” said 
Villopoto. “I had the lead and could see he (Dungey) was watching me, but it wasn’t until we ran into the lappers that he was able to make up the most ground and capitalize on my mistakes.”

Still, the 2nd place podium finish was the first podium finish for 
Villopoto at the East/West Lites Shootout. And he let it be known  early that it was his main event for the taking, beating Nico Izzi in 
60 mph drag race to the first turn and racing the most dominant heat of the evening to score a 16-second win in the four lap contest.

Also making a statement in his heat race was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Stroupe. The rookie Lites class racer set the stage in the first heat race with a blistering 1:09.815 best lap – only two tenths of a second behind Supercross class winner Chad Reed’s fastest time up to that point. Stroupe cruised to victory and took that momentum to the main where he overcame a first lap disaster to make the top ten – a feat in and of itself considering he was racing against a field of the fastest Lites class supercross racers on the planet. In the Lites main Stroupe recorded the third-fastest lap time in his charge back from last to the top ten, just a couple clicks 
behind Villopoto and Dungey.

Also getting collected in that first lap mayhem was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe. The Aussie/American transplant would battle back from just a bit better position than Stroupe and place 7th overall in the main, giving Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki three racers in the top ten – not bad for the East/West Shootout.

On the year both Villopoto (ESX) and Stroupe (WSX) ended up on the overall Monster Energy Supercross Lites podium, Villopoto in 2nd and Stroupe in 3rd. Metcalfe (WSX) and Jesseman (ESX) would both finish 4th overall, each just five points back of the 3rd place overall podium spot. In addition, Metcalfe would make the podium three times and Jesseman two times this season.

Next up for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is the  opening round of the 2008 AMA Outdoor Nationals, Sunday, May 25th, at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif.