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450 Words: Dallas

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There is a reason for the saying that nice guys finish last. No, it’s not always true, but when you’re talking about riders’ attitudes on the track, there might be something to it.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto is racing for a championship, but that doesn’t mean the people he’s racing against should just move out of his way. When he caught JGR/Muscle Milk/Toyota Yamaha’s Justin Brayton in the main event, it was lap seven of 20, and the two of them were running fifth and six, and when Villopoto finally made the pass (a very frustrated, aggressive pass), it was after the two-to-go board went out.

  • Justin Brayton
  • Ryan Villopoto
Basically, it took Villopoto well over 10 laps to make a pass stick on Brayton. Hey, it’s Brayton’s job to try and hold any and every position he’s in throughout the course of a race, and obviously to try and move forward in the standings too. But Villopoto has the same job. And unlike Brayton, Villopoto has a realistic shot at the 2010 Monster Energy/AMA Supercross Championship title. And 10 laps to pass one guy, unless it’s for the lead, is too long.

It seems a lot of modern motocross or supercross fans think that if a rider runs into another rider in the process of making a pass, that’s a “dirty move”, but we all need to get real for a second: These racers are all out for themselves, and if any of them gets a bad start, they have, in the case of the Dallas Supercross, less than 17 minutes to pass as many people as possible and get as close to the win as possible. To put it succinctly, they don’t have the luxury of waiting for a major mistake, or waiting to find a place to pass “clean”. If they need to use their elbows, knees and handlebars to shove their way around a competitor, that’s what they need to do. They can’t wait around. The race isn’t going to keep going until they get up to the best position they can live with.

Ryan Villopoto ended up losing all of the points he gained on Dungey for the last couple of weeks, plus one more, putting him right back where he started after his crash in Atlanta. If that ends up the difference in the championship, you can bet that he will kick himself about this race.

However, that’s not to say that Brayton doesn’t have every right to the position as Villopoto has. That’s the thing about racing: there is no royalty (sorry, MC). No one is entitled to anything. At every race, you have to earn it.

And that’s why racing is the coolest sport on earth.
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