Villopoto Takes 1st Supercross Event as Bridgestone Keeps Piling Up Wins

NASHVILLE, TN – Ryan Villopoto became the newest Bridgestone rider to win a Monster Energy AMA Supercross event and Ryan Dungey won for the fourth time this season in Supercross Lites, as the tire maker continued its domination in 2009 competition.

Villopoto (Monster Energy / Kawasaki) won before his hometown crowd or more than 50,000 Saturday night at Qwest Field in Seattle. Meanwhile, in the battle for the AMA Supercross championship, James Stewart (Team San Manuel / JSE Yamaha) reclaimed the points lead over Chad Reed (Rockstar / Makita Suzuki) with just two events left. Stewart finished second to Villopoto on Saturday while Reed wound up seventh following a crash at the start.

Stewart holds a three-point edge over Reed in the standings, with only this Saturday’s event at Salt Lake City and the May 2 Las Vegas finale remaining. Only Stewart and Reed are mathematically eligible for the championship, assuring Bridgestone of its fifth straight AMA Supercross title and 12th in the last 14 seasons. Stewart (10 wins), Reed (three), Villopoto (one) and Josh Grant (one) have combined to deliver Bridgestone victories at every 2009 Supercross event. Villopoto stepped up to Supercross this season after winning the last three AMA Motocross Lites and 2007 Supercross Lites Western Regional championships on Bridgestone tires.

Dungey (Rockstar / Makita Suzuki) extended his ’09 Supercross Lites Western Regional championship lead to nine points with Saturday night’s race win. Ryan Morais (Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki) gave Bridgestone a 1-2 sweep by finishing second Saturday. With only this week’s Salt Lake City event remaining in the Western Regional, Dungey has 160 points to 151 for Morais’ teammate, Jake Weimer. Morais is third with 146.

Bridgestone already locked up the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional crown with Christophe Pourcel (Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki), and the tire maker has clinched both the Supercross and Supercross Lites Western Regional titles. With those championships included, Bridgestone has now supplied 29 of 42 Supercross and Supercross Lites champs since 1996, and 19 of 26 Motocross and Motocross Lites titlists in the same period.

About Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations:

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. Reporting into the BATO business unit are the company's Latin American tire operations, the U.S. and Canadian consumer tire businesses and the U.S. and Canadian commercial tire businesses. BATO develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The business unit is focused on retail, wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in the Americas. In addition, through its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions unit, retreading customers have access to industry-leading research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire solution.