CORONA, Calif., (May 26, 2008) – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Stroupe combined a runner-up first moto finish with another podium finish (3rd) in the in the second moto to win the overall 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship opening round at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif., this past Sunday.
Stroupe, who finished 3rd overall in the WSX this past supercross season – which included a win at Houston – won his first-ever overall MX National event with his two podium finishes at Glen Helen. Said Stroupe at the post-event press conference: “I came (into the season) ready to go. But it's going to be tough. Ryan (Villopoto) got a really bad start in the first moto and we had to play catch up with Jason Lawrence. But other than that, me and Brett (Metcalfe) rode a strong race and had a good battle. In the second moto I made a mistake. We were running a faster pace and he (Villopoto) was pressuring me and my front wheel washed out and put me on my back. It took me a couple laps to get back but I made a clean pass on Brett later on.”
In the first moto Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto barely made it into the top ten after the first lap and worked hard to climb back into podium contention, ultimately finishing 5th in moto one with a fourth-best lap time of 2:43.740 The second moto would be a different story as the Washington native and two-time defending AMA Motocross Lites class champion got out in 3rd, then took over the lead from teammate Stroupe on lap four, clocking in with a 2:42.684 lap time – which would stand the best of the day for the Lites class and second only to Monster Energy/Kawasaki rider and AMA Motocross class winner James Stewart.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe would stand on the podium with Stroupe in the first moto (3rd), and finished just a click off the podium in the second moto with a 4th. Normally this might be good enough for an overall podium finish, but given the dispersed Lites class scoring at Glen Helen, Metcalfe had to settle for 5th. The final Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Lites class racer, Branden Jesseman, finished 14th on the afternoon (9-24).
Next up for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is round two of the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship at Prairie City SVRA (Calif.), aka “Hangtown,” June 1st.