Monday Conversation II: Team USA's MX2 rider, Ryan Villopoto

Ryan Villopoto is quickly building a reputation for shining at the Motocross des Nations. In his third year at the event (and his second time racing it in England), Villopoto won his third individual MX2 overall and his third Chamberlain Trophy. He even won another moto (to add to his two moto wins last year at Budds Creek) along the way. We caught up with Villopoto just as his team had begun celebrating back in the pits, so the interview didn’t last that long...

Racer X: So that’s now three Motocross des Nations events and three overall victories in your class. You seem to get along with the event pretty well, even considering the trouble you’ve had...
Ryan Villopoto: Yeah, it was good. It was a lot of fun. We did what we came here to do, and had a few obstacles thrown in our way, but we rode over the top of them. It was rocky, but at the end of the day, we’re obviously the ones with the trophy, and that’s what matters.

I know James Stewart was pretty bummed at Sebastien Pourcel, and you were, too, can you talk us through it? Do you guys really feel like this might be a regular thing, for you guys to have a target on your back at this race?
Yeah, we definitely do. I got taken out by him, and he was trying to take James out... It was just not a good deal. Bumping and rubbing is racing, obviously, but it was a little bit more than that – especially with mine. There’s not much more to say about it.

When he knocked you down, was it one of those situations where you look up and see him riding away after you hit the dirt?
Actually, he went down, too, but he got up in like fourth, and I was on the bottom of the deal, so I got up last.

How much different is it being in a foreign country doing this?
It’s definitely a disadvantage. We were at an advantage last year, and we really killed ‘em. This year, we were at a disadvantage, and we still won, so it was good.

This was also your very last race on a 250F. How does that make you feel?
It’s my last race on a 250F, but we’re [Kawasaki and Pro Circuit] pitted right next to each other, so I’ll still be over there all the time. I’m ready to move up. It’s kind of a bummer, but we’re ready.

Would you stay on 250Fs forever if you could?

So this is something you’re looking forward to, then...
I’m ready.

[And then Villopoto was stolen away to drink a bit of beer out of the Chamberlain Trophy. And before anyone complains, legal drinking age in England is 18.]