Turns out there wasn’t much wrong with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto that a week off couldn’t cure. After a couple of so-so rides for the supercross champion outdoors, RV came out at Mt Morris and dominated the first moto like so many expected him to do from the start of the series. Second moto out he ended up second in the slop, but it was enough to give him the overall. After the press conference I caught up to RV as he was waiting for Tyla Rattray to get the car.
Racer X: Well Ryan, it appears that you’re feeling better.
Ryan Villopoto: I felt good at Texas, body-wise. Coming from supecross, there’s not a lot of time to do testing for the motocross series and really, there was only one race for me on a 450, which was Glen Helen two years ago, and I didn’t do much this year. I couldn’t ride the bike very well this year and that’s all I have to say. During the weekend off, Kaipo (Chung- Kawasaki suspension guy) came to Florida and we tested and rode every day. The bike is completely different now. It was mostly my fault and a little bit of theirs that we just didn’t get it right. But it’s all good now, we’re on it and there’s a lot of racing to go right now and the bike is working great.
Villopoto went 1-2 at High Point for his first overall in two years.
Photo: Simon Cudby
It must’ve been nice to be out front there in the first moto and sprinting away like you’ve done so many times before.
Yeah, it’s always good. I rode good that first moto and felt in control and bike was awesome. The rain came in the second moto and obviously it was a totally different ballgame from there. But yeah, in the first moto I was feeling good and if I lost a second or two in one lap I felt like, and I did, go a little harder and pull it back out. I felt like everything was there in the first moto and like I said, the bike is completely different than in the first two races.
In the second moto, it was pretty bad there the first few laps- did you have any close calls or was it a matter of the track coming back that allowed you to catch Reed at the end?
I think I stayed really steady the first few laps. I didn’t want to crash and get my gloves dirty because that just causes problems. I took it real easy the first few laps. (Ryan) Dungey fell twice and I was able to get by him. Then I got around Mike (Alessi) and Chad was a little ways ahead. Then with like two, three laps Dungey started closing and I put in a push and pulled out a decent amount.
Well, you’re 13 points down and you were a lot further back than that so this has to feel pretty good today.
I was down 21 or something like that so it does feel good, but there’s a lot of racing left. I’m just glad that we put in the time this past week and got the bike done right. It’s tough to come into the season with just one outdoor race in the 450 class under my belt. I’m glad we could get on top of the ball early with the bike and not get too far behind.
This next week is Budds Creek, and someone told me today that you’ve never lost a moto there in your career so you have to be feeling good about the race this weekend.
Yeah, that’s true. We’ll see if I can defend that title. I raced there three years on 250 class and then once at the Motocross des Nations. I like the track and we’ll see how it goes but yeah, I think it will be good.