MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — With the 38th running of the Motosport.com Washougal National, presented by Peterson CAT, rapidly approaching, MX Sports Pro Racing has announced that Ryan Villopoto, a five-time Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Champion from Poulsbo, Washington, will be honored as the event's grand marshal. Villopoto will not only serve a crucial role at the ninth round of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, but he will also compete in the 125 All Star Series race.
Villopoto is the most successful rider to ever come out of the Pacific Northwest, and he was one of the sport's most high-profile stars during his hugely successful career that spanned from 2005 until his retirement in 2015. In the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Villopoto boasted an undefeated record in any full season in which he competed. He won three straight 250 Class titles from 2006-2008 and claimed a pair of 450 Class titles in 2013 and 2015. Throughout his career, Villopoto enjoyed a captivating rivalry with Ryan Dungey that began in the 250 Class and carried over into the premier division, which ultimately helped push the sport to new heights as the "Battle of the Ryans" became a must-see affair.
While injuries ultimately limited the levels of success Villopoto would have likely achieved in American motocross, his 31 combined Pro Motocross wins (450 Class and 250 Class) places him fifth on the all-time wins list. In addition to his nationals accolades, Villopoto also won four consecutive supercross titles and became the first million-dollar winner in the history of the sport at the inaugural Monster Cup in 2011. Villopoto became a true bona fide star on a global scale when he led Team USA to victory at the 2007 FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN) on a 250cc Kawasaki. In total, Villopoto won an incredible four MXoN titles.
On Saturday, Villopoto will make his highly anticipated return to the track at his home national as a participant in the 125 All Star Series. The Yamaha rider has one 125cc start under his belt this season, finishing second at Hangtown, and would love nothing more than to take a win in front of the Washougal crowd. Ironically, Villopoto enjoyed limited success at his home race throughout his career, earning just one win in five career starts. Fittingly enough, that victory came in his final start at the track in 2013, and the Pacific Northwest fans have patiently waited for him to hopefully make a return to their beloved National.
"It's going to be really great to see Ryan Villopoto back at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. He was one of the most dominant figures American motocross has ever seen, and it's always been bittersweet to know he stepped away from the sport while he was still in his prime," Davey Coombs, president of MX Sports Pro Racing, said. "We've never had the chance to properly celebrate all of Ryan's success and contributions to the championship, so we're honored that he's accepted the invitation to serve as grand marshal of the Washougal National. We're even more excited to see him take to the track once again at his home race, which is sure to bring the crowd into a frenzy."
The Motosport.com Washougal National, presented by Peterson CAT, kicks off on Saturday, July 28, with a full slate of action featuring the most talented riders on the planet in the world's most prestigious off-road motorcycle racing championship. On-track activity begins at 11:00 a.m. EDT with practice and qualifying, followed by opening ceremonies at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Racing gets underway with a total of four motos across the 250 Class and 450 Class at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
Broadcast coverage of the Motosport.com Washougal National begins with first motos live on MAVTV at 1 p.m. PDT/4 p.m. EDT. The second motos will air via tape delay that same night on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. PDT/11 p.m. EDT. Additionally, all of the action can be seen as it unfolds online via the "Pro Motocross Pass" on NBC Sports Gold.