17 August 2013
Fans at the Built Ford Tough Utah National Pro Motocross race were once again witnesses to the current dominance of Ryan Villapoto as he claimed another championship title here in the state.
After winning the Monster Energy Supercross Championship at Rice-Eccles in April, Villapoto kept his winning streak going and winning his 8 AMA Championship. With the win, Villapoto took the title back from Ryan Dungey.
In the past three years, Villapoto has two Outdoor Titles and three straight Supercross Championships.
With the win here in Salt Lake, Ryan Villapoto is now second all time on the wins list tied with Jeremy McGrath and behind Ricky Carmichael.
“I knew I needed two solid holeshots to give me a chance at winning this today,” Villapoto said. “I got one good holeshot in Moto 1 but had to really work to get to the front in Moto 2. To be back on top with a championship after injury sidelined me last outdoor season is great. It is tough being at this level at times and the things that keep me going is the winning. I take things race by race and year by year, and we continue to work hard as a team and I have been very blessed to be where I am.”
450 Class Moto 1 was dominated by Villapoto. After taking the holeshot, Villapoto raced away from the pack and won the race beating the field by 26.6 seconds. Villapoto averaged a track lap time of 2:01 nearly 5 seconds faster than everyone else in the race.
Ryan Dungey came in second place, keeping his chances at a back to back outdoor title alive.
Going into 450 Class Moto 2, Villapoto needed a win to clinch and Dungey needed a win to force the championship title to be decided in the final race of the season. After a bottled up holeshot, Villapoto was in the middle of the field but that did not last for long. After lap 1, Villapoto was in the lead and each lap after that he added one second to his lead over Dungey.
After the race Ryan Dungey spoke about losing the title.
“It is always tough to lose the championship,” Dungey said. “Ryan (Villapoto) is so fast. He makes us all better racers. He pushes me to get out of my comfort zone. Even though we came up just short of the title this year has been such a great year for us and I hope that our momentum and success carries us through the Supercross season.”
After the 250 Class Moto 1 win, Eli Tomac needed a win in Moto 2 and for teammate Ken Roczen to finish third or worse.
In the wildest race that featured late lap passing, a dust storm and a title being lost with 500 yards to go, Eli Tomac claimed the 250 Class Title.
Roczen seized control of the race out of the gates and for 14 of 17 laps it seemed as if the title was going to the final race of the season. Tomac, well back of the leader after the start, rode very consistent making passes on other riders finally passing Roczen for the lead on lap 14.
Points wise however this would not be enough to win the title, Roczen needed to finish third of worse. Reigning Champion Blake Baggett made that happen. With 500 yards to go to the finish, Baggett made an inside pass on Roczen allowing for his title to go to Tomac.
“I don’t know what to say right now,” Tomac said. “To win here at this race battling all of the wild conditions and to come out with not only a race win but the championship the way it happened it unbelievable. To have this win come from one of the wildest races I have ever been a part of is something special.”
Blake Baggett, the reigning outdoors champion spoke about his role in handing over the title to Tomac after the race.
“I just wanted to race really well today,” Baggett said. “I showed that I can still be a threat out there and got all the way into second place. It is tough losing the title, but congratulations to Eli (Tomac) on the win. You’re welcome for that pass.”
This was the first time that the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series has come to Utah. 450 Class 3rd Place winner Trey Canard after race spoke about the track and the fans.
“Salt Lake City is one of the best Supercross races on the tour and now they are one of the best stops we have ever had on the outdoor series,” Canard said. “This track was so big and one of the best challenges we have had all season. The fans are always the best. Each race here in Utah features sell out crowds. I cannot wait to be back here next season.”