The Moment: San Diego

The Moment San Diego

February 14, 2012 5:00pm
For the first time this year, we are starting to see a bit of an edge to our beloved 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Championship. San Diego presented the first late-race battle for the lead between Monster Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Team TwoTwo’s Chad Reed that we’ve seen and what a race it was. Reed trailed for most of the race but like a beaver gnawing on a tree, he slowly chipped away at the gap with some tremendous whoop speed. Reed got closer and closer but the laps were winding down, would it be enough?

Well, with some help from lapped riders, it was. With two laps to go Reed got close, Villopoto got a little sideways and backed off, and that was all Reed needed to get by the Kawasaki rider. RV retaliated a couple of times by going in hot, and then he just decided that he wanted that lead spot back. In the turn before the finish, RV over-jumped the triple, came in really hot and retook the lead. Between the two riders, there were five close contact passes or attempted passes in two laps.

Afterwards Reed was a little surprised at the aggressiveness of Villopoto but the man known for his own aggressive moves welcomed the ante being upped.

Reed made a late pass on Villopoto, but couldn't make it stick.
Photo: Garth Milan

“Yeah, clearly you have guys who want to win the championship, and tonight he showed he wanted to win more,” said Reed. “I’m not mad at him for anything, it’s just that he showed me, that’s what it takes to win, and that’s cool. Let’s race now! Rubbin’ is racing, and really nothing is off limits because he was sending it.”

Villopoto for his part saw nothing wrong with the close proximity of his passes:

“I don’t think there’s any “nice” when the season starts, but there’s respect,” he explained. “I didn’t touch him at all, so I think that’s respect. Obviously if you come in there and if you’re hitting each other and this and that, then that’s where people start to think, “Okay, well was that respectful?” Are you respecting each other or not? But it’s racing and you never know, so that’s why you have to watch your back.”

So the moment of the race was when Villopoto passed Reed back for the lead but in our eyes, the San Diego supercross as a whole could be a moment. As in, the moment the series took a little more of a personal edge to it.