Monday Conversation:  Ryan Villopoto

Monday Conversation: Ryan Villopoto

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The St. Louis Supercross has not always been kind to Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto but he rectified all of that on Saturday night by grabbing a good start and the race win. He made it look simple by getting out front early, but his lead shrunk down the stretch as Ryan Dungey kept pushing all the way to the end. Matthes caught up to RV after the race to see how it all played out.

Racer X: Good ride tonight, you kind of got out front early and checked out.
Ryan Villopoto: The track was pretty good up until lap ten, but then there ended up being a lot of concrete showing. Like the turn after the mechanic’s area before the triple, there ended up being about eight feet of concrete showing. So I ended up going around it. Mikey [mechanic, Williamson] told me [Ryan] Dungey was going to the outside, which was clearly faster than where I was going, you know, where I was going there wasn’t a rut or a line. So I was watching Ryan and I knew he was catching me, but with the track and with the lappers, I didn’t feel like pushing the limit to keep the gap where it was. No reason to push it.

He was getting you at the end, but you feel you could have turned it up?
Yeah I could have rode a little harder, but I did what I had to do.

So you're not worried at all?
No. But he’s riding good, though, so he’s the guy I have to watch out for.

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After losing three points to Ryan Dungey in Atlanta, Villopoto was determined to stretch his lead again in St. Louis.
Photo: Carl Stone

What did you think of the dirt? It seemed looser than before.
I thought it was a little dry, and I figured it would get a little more rutty. Then need to get about a half a supercross track more dirt underneath, because with the concrete showing underneath, we can’t be having that while we are racing.

The announcers were talking about you and St. Louis. You and [Trey] Canard here for the Lites title in 2008, and then two years ago your injury. Does that even play into this at all? Do you think about it?
No not at all. I just tried to set myself up well, get that inside gate, and it worked out really well for me. The first turn was really long, and I knew I could sneak around the inside even if I didn’t get a good start. And I ended up getting a good start.

The first rhythm lane, tripling from the inside was gnarly.
After the start? There was a lot of loose dirt on the start. It got pretty beat down and there was not much there.

Who was the worst lapper tonight?
There are always worse ones than others. Tonight no one was really bad, but there were a lot of them, and it was tough because you had to get out of the main line, and I was trying to not go there and make a mistake on the concrete and stuff.

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With his win in St. Louis Villopoto has now won four of the last five Supercross class races.
Photo: Carl Stone

Had to do a pee test tonight?
Yup, random drug test tonight. Drank some water and passed on the first test.

Good to be back in Florida?
Yup, good. You coming down?

Yeah I’ll come down.
Good, we’ll get you out on the farm.

You’ve done well before at Daytona. What are you thoughts going into next weekend?
Yeah, Daytona should be good, looking forward to it. It’s obviously pretty physical, you’re looking at longer lap times and maybe a twenty-two minute main event or so. Should be good.

Chad Reed in the past had a Daytona section built into his track. Do you do that?
I’ve never had a Daytona section built before, but I had one worked into the supercross track now, so it should be fun.

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