Thunder Valley:  450 Moto 1 Report

Thunder Valley: 450 Moto 1 Report

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Buckle your seatbelts, because we could be in for a long season if nobody can stop Ryan Villopoto. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider started the first 450 moto in third, but overtook the lead in seemingly effortless style midway through the race.

Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia was able to hold onto the lead for nearly half the race after nailing the holeshot over Ryan Dungey and Villopoto through the first sandy turn. A slew of other riders weren’t so fortunate. Chad Reed, Justin Brayton, Brock Tickle and a handful of other riders piled up in the first turn while the rest of the field plowed through. James Stewart—who came into the second round third in points—was floating around the top ten off of the start, but a crash on the second lap put him back to last place after experiencing troubles starting his bike.

Barcia, Dungey and Villopoto quickly stretched their lead away from the rest of the pack. As they pulled from the pack, battles started brewing for fourth and sixth place. Trey Canard felt pressure from European import Clement Desalle for fourth, while Mike Alessi worked at fending off Tyla Rattray for sixth. The riders were closely matched, though, as none of them advanced or dropped back for a majority of the race.

Midway through the race, Dungey and Barcia barreled downhill towards a right-hand sweeper side by side. Dungey was able to hold off braking for a split second longer to make the pass for the lead. That’s all it took for Villopoto to smell blood in the water, and with that, the intensity from the number two bike turned up and the chase for the lead was on. Villopoto was less than a tire length behind Barcia going over the large quad jump, and when the two landed, Villopto opted for the outside line. He railed the turn around the outside to make an unlikely pass on Barcia. The lead Dungey had instantly diminished. In less than a half lap, Villopoto charged down the same hill to pass Dungey just like he passed Barcia. The riders held their ground until the checkered flag.

450 Moto 1 Results
1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Ryan Dungey
3. Justin Barcia
4. Trey Canard
5. Clement Desalle
6. Mike Alessi
7. Tyla Rattray
8. Josh Grant
9. Malcolm Stewart
10. Kevin Strijbos
11. Dean Wilson
12. Phil Nicoletti
13. Weston Peick
14. Broc Tickle
15. James Stewart
16. Jake Weimer
17. Derek Anderson
18. Andrew Short
19. Ryan Sipes
20. Robert Kiniry

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