Halfway through the main event of Monster Energy AMA Supercross an FIM World Championship in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey was leading Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto by just over two seconds. The two Ryans were tied for the points lead coming into the race, making the battle all the more important.
As they hit lapped traffic, Villopoto made one small mistake at the beginning of a rhythm lane and lost momentum. He still tried to triple through the center of the section, but came up short and crashed hard, going over the handlebars. His Kawasaki slammed down, and dirt shoved inside of the exhaust pipe, making the bike impossible to start. Villopoto pushed his bike to the mechanic’s area, and they cleaned the pipe out and got him back into the race. By then he had dropped all the way to 20th, and Dungey had all the momentum back in the series.
Dungey went on to his third win of the season, collected $1500 from Spike for grabbing the holeshot award, and also now enjoys a 20-point lead in the standings over Josh Hill and a 23-point lead over Villopoto. Hill crashed in practice and was only able to muster sixth in the main, while Villopoto ended up 19th.
Meanwhile, Honda Red Bull racing scored two podium finishes courtesy of Trey Canard and Davi Millsaps. Canard was racing a 450 for just the second time, but it went much better than last week, when he crashed out. This time he started second behind Dungey, held off Villopoto for a few laps, and then held solid the rest of the way. He inherited second when Villopoto crashed, and held on. Millsaps, struggling with a shoulder injury, took third ahead of Valli Motorsports Yamaha’s Ivan Tedesco and Muscle Milk Toyota Yamaha’s Justin Brayton.
If Villopoto fans can find any solace in the race, they can point to just a few weeks ago, when Villopoto was down 20 points to Dungey in the standings and marched back into the title picture. If he wants to do it again, he’ll have to start next week in Daytona.
Tough night for Kevin Windham, who crashed while running fifth early.
Momentum nearly swung in an absolutely crazy Lites main event. GEICO Powersports Honda’s Justin Barcia had gotten into it with a few riders early in the day, one tussle leading to a fight with Martin Davalos, and Davalos was disqualified from the evening program for the altercation. Barcia took a few others down in his heat race. It all didn’t sit well with defending East Champion Christophe Pourcel. While Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rookie Dean Wilson grabbed the Spike holeshot, Pourcel ran Barcia high in a corner early in the main. For whatever reason, the normally smooth Pourcel seemed more interested in pushing Barcia around than he did racing forward, and so Wilson led several laps, and Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Austin Stroupe stalked him in second. Then Stroupe passed Wilson and tried to get away, with Barcia and Pourcel still battling over third. Wilson began to drop off the pace a bit due to pressure, and then Barcia pushed the envelope and ran Stroupe down.
Last year, Stroupe led most of the Atlanta main until he stalled his bike in the turn after the finish. This year he led the Atlanta main until he crashed in the turn after the finish. And when he fell, Barcia got stuck with him, allowing the crafty Frenchman, Pourcel, to sneak past and steal the lead.
But Barcia wasn’t done, he ran Pourcel down again, but then crashed in a rhythm section. He crashed again picking his bike up, and ended up disappointing 18th. Meanwhile, Pourcel won over Stroupe and Barcia’s teammate Brett Metcalfe, but it wasn’t nearly as easy as his victory last week at Indy.
The shows re-air on SPEED Sunday at 5 p.m. EST (Lites) and 6 p.m. EST (SX). And of course, look for coverage and analysis all week here at RacerXOnline.com, including full results from the race in Monday Morning Wakeup Call.