By the time the dust settled on the second moto of the 250F class at the blazing hot Freestone National in Texas, barely half the field was still circulating. The Asterisk Mobile Medic’s unit looked like a triage center, with riders staggering in or, in the case of the valiant Brett Metcalfe, carried in on a stretcher. The temperature was well past 100, and the riders were dropping like flies.
Yet somehow, at exactly the same time, Ryan Villopoto was dropping his lap times to ridiculous sub-Stewart levels. The two-time champion had worked his way through the pack to take the lead just after the halfway mark, then he just kept on going. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider rode with a ferociousness that left even runner-up Ryan Dungey flustered and confused as to what to do to get back the two or three seconds a lap Villopoto was making time on him, let alone everyone else. It is obvious to all that not only is Villopoto back at the top of his game, he’s also getting better and stronger—no matter how hot it gets.
Behind him, there are some real wrecks, from spent bikes to spent bodies. But everyone is starting to talk about one wreck in particular. Jason Lawrence of the Yamaha of Troy team acted like he was on Spring Break in Texas, and it caught up with him in a hurry when he cart-wheeled through the whoops, then was fortunate to walk away from his second big crash of the weekend.
Talent is a terrible thing to waste.