450 Words: Anaheim 2

450 Words Anaheim 2

February 5, 2012 5:45pm

Many probably guessed that Ryan Villopoto would be the first man to win to two main events in the 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Series, especially after he flat-out dominated the first round at Anaheim. But few might have guessed that it would took a full month and a return to Angel Stadium before the defending champion would get that second win. Last night the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider finally found himself back at the front of the pack and the red plate of the points leader back on his bike with a solid win at Anaheim 2. RV out-dueled Chad Reed for the early lead and then started riding away from everyone, something he has not done since January 7. The win marked RV's third at Angel Stadium in the last four visits, making him the new super of the House That Jeremy Built.

Behind him was James Stewart. His night was one we've seen before, albeit with a much less happy ending. The JGR Yamaha rider had another bombastic night, crashing heavily while riding all by himself out front in his heat race. A collective roar/groan went up from the grandstands as #7 lawn-darted into the face of a jump after getting sprung off his bike. He DNF'd the heat and left many to wonder if he would show up for the LCQ. Of course he did, he made the final, and then he rode a seemingly cautious (for James, anyway) 20 laps to secure second. It was a strong effort considering the big crash (and a near-crash he had during practice where he almost looped out in the toughest whoops section we've seen all year).

Villopoto regained the points lead after a win in Anaheim.
Photo: Simon Cudby

Chad Reed also had a decent night, despite feeling under the weather. He and fourth-place Ryan Dungey collectively lost the red plates they shared, but the veteran has to feel good about being just three points down on the frontrunner after five rounds of racing. As for Dungey, two straight four-place finishes does not bode well for the Red Bull KTM, but with the entire KTM brass here from Austria for the next week, one can image he will be getting extra attention as he tries to get back up front.

Next week's San Diego SX—the end of the “California Supercross Season”—would be a great place for Reed or Dungey (let alone Stewart) to get their own second win of the year, but the favorite there has to be the same favorite as the one when the whole season started, and that's the champion himself, Ryan Villopoto.