Meanwhile, there was a sleeping giant.
Ryan Villopoto is showing the motocross world that we have all underestimated him. His early rampage in the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season has everyone on the bandwagon, and rightly so. He came from the wheelchair to the penthouse by taking the season opener, and then followed it up by absolutely hounding Stewart at Phoenix before washing out. Last weekend pretty much left everyone with their lower jowls in the gutter.
Is it a surprise? It shouldn’t be. With my own two eyes, I watched RV ride the fastest I’ve ever seen anyone ride a motorcycle at the 2008 Motocross of Nations at Budd’s Creek. I was standing at the bottom of the finish line sweeper and saw him shift about four gears while standing on the pegs around a crusted outside line, and I’ll never forget it. During that moto he led the world’s best (on a 250F) by a twenty-second margin. Then he fell down and the gap closed to maybe ten bike lengths...then he pulled out another fifteen-second lead.
Lest you forget in 2010, he was beating Dungey almost every race before he carted huge and blasted his leg. He was winning when he broke, and he’s winning now that he’s healed. Ryan’s leg isn’t even fully healed from what I’ve heard, nor is his wrist. But, there is no stopping the heart of the champion. The eye of the tiger gives no quarter to anyone, and as it sits, RV Park is eating his fill and leaving no tip. No mercy.
Which one of these heroes are you behind as we stare down round four? Man, it’s a really beautiful thing to look at as a fan. What a setting we have on our hands in Oakland. The tension is already so thick in the pits that it seems like the title is on the line and we’re only getting warmed up. This is what it’s all about. This is why we love our sport so much. This is American Supercross.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.