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Between the Motos with...Ryan Villopoto

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For the third time in his career, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto has been chosen for Team USA. We all know what happened last year when RV put on what might have been the most impressive ride ever from a Team USA rider (with apologies to Danny Chandler.) It’s also the last race for Villopoto on the powerful Pro Circuit team before he leaves for the 450s and the factory Kawasaki squad. After trading phone calls and text messages, we got a hold of Ryan the night before he was to leave for this short interview.
  • Ryan Villopoto's MXoN bike
Racer X: Ryan, there’s a big race for you this weekend in England. What are your thoughts about going back over there and defending America’s honor?
Ryan Villopoto: I think it’s going to be good, I think the track suits the Americans the best. It looks like it's pretty hard pack and that’ll be fine for us. As long as the rain holds off, we’ll be fine. I think if it doesn’t rain, we shouldn’t have any problems. It means a lot to be picked for the team; it’s going to be good. I’ve been to England one time already and it was fun. It’s a cool race for sure, a week-long deal and that’s a little unusual.
Have you checked out who’s in your class at all?
Well, I’m bummed that [Tony] Cairoli isn’t going to race, I’d like to race against him again but I know Tyla Rattray is in my class and Tommy Searle. Those two will be the main guys and all I can remember right now.
What are your feelings on the track? I know you guys all got the GP DVD to check out.
I think the track's going to be fun, looks kind of tight. Kind of like Perris Raceway we have in California. It looks like it's hard pack and I’m not sure how hard it’s going to get. Hard pack tracks aren’t super fun when they get really slippery. There are a lot of jumps for sure, and I’m looking forward to it. 

Seeing as how you might have had the best ride that has ever taken place at a MXDN last year, is it possible to top Budds Creek for you?
You know, I’m not going there to try and do what I did last year. I’m going to try and help America win and I would like to win one moto. I’m not going to try and win two, although if that happens, great! It’s not an individual race, it’s a team race and I want to help my team win. We all gotta do it right.
Since Steel City has it been all business for you? Just riding on the 250F and doing motos?
Well, right after Steel City I took a vacation to the Bahamas. We were supposed to be there 10 days but we were only there for four because Hurricane Ike was supposed to be right over us. So they asked us to leave and we did, we actually went to Cancun for the rest of the trip. Since I’ve been home it’s been the same as always, riding every day and training. After I got home, I went right into the regular program.
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Have you done anything on a 450 at all since the last race, getting ready for your jump?
Yeah, actually I did ride one right before Steel City. Just a little bit for practice. It was the old one, not a fuel injected 2009. Right after the MXDN, I will start on the 450 full-time for supercross.
What about this being your last race with the Pro Circuit guys, you’ve won a bunch for them and are now graduating to the 450s. Thoughts?
It’s going to be OK. I’m leaving the team but obviously will be pitted right next to them. I just won’t be dealing with them on a day-to-day basis. It’s been great to work with everyone there, they are all the best at what they do and helped me out a ton. I mean, it’s not a bummer or anything and I’ll miss the guys for sure, but they’ll be a hundred feet away at the races and I can just go see them.

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