Villopoto crashes on lap five of 15, re-mounts and races back to 2nd place from as far back as 8th; teammate Branden Jesseman holeshots and gets 6th
CORONA, Calif., (March 4, 2008) – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto bounced back from rough weekend in Atlanta to make the podium in Indianapolis this past Saturday, despite hitting the deck in the main event and having to charge from behind versus the fast field at the final event ever at the RCA Dome, Round Nine of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship.
Villopoto, who with his 22-point effort at Indy moved into the top ten in the ESX Lites class’ overall standings despite finishing the Atlanta opener with zero points, had to overcome a lap five crash when he was trying to overtake Trey Canard for the lead. The wreck sent Villopoto careening off the track and back to 8th place before he was able to right his Pro Circuit-tuned KX250F and give pursuit.
Said Villopoto on the crash: “I dove into that turn and got on the front brakes hard and it lifted the rear end up, moved it over to the left and I caught a Tuf Block. Before I knew it I was flying over the top of the berm. Sort of ruined my night, but I salvaged as much as I could.”
Villopoto added that he hasn’t had the “greatest two weeks in a row,” but his plan is to turn it around at Daytona this Friday.
Finishing 2nd to Villopoto in the second heat race was his teammate, Branden Jesseman – giving the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team a 1-2 finish. Jesseman parlayed that momentum into the main where he pulled the $1,000 Progressive Insurance holeshot. Leading early, Jesseman gave up the top spot to Canard and then the No. 2 position to Villopoto – but held on strong in 3rd. He’d (Jesseman) then inherit the lead back when Canard and Villopoto were involved in a crash, only to lose the lead on a crash of his own on lap seven.
Jesseman had the speed, though, and was able to make it back to 6th place from outside the top ten – clocking the third fastest lap time of the night in the Lites class main (47.629).
“I got the holeshot and it shows you how good these bike are,” said Jesseman of his Pro Circuit-tuned KX250F. “I made a little mistake, stalled it in the corner – those things happen. I’m feeling more comfortable, work to do my best and hopefully I’ll get up on top of the box one day or another.”
Next up for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is the Friday (March 7th) running of the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Supercross, Round Ten of 2008 Monster Energy Supercross.