Catching Up With Ryan Villopoto
By Donn Maeda
With two weeks to go before the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross series gets underway, Ryan Villopoto looks to be set for an all-out assault on his competition. Fitter than we’ve ever seen him and equally as fast, we spent the past two days watching RV going through his paces as the New Year draws nearer…
How do you feel two weeks from the opener at Angel Stadium?
I feel good. I have just been doing the same stuff I’ve been doing with Aldon [Baker]. We’ve been in Florida for quite a while getting ready to race, but we came out here to California just as the rain was laying down a ton of water on all the tracks. Most of the test tracks have been under water, but luckily I have my house here with a track of its own to ride on. So we have just been going through the motions, trying not to crash, so we can show up to Anaheim ready.
Compare your fitness right now to this time last year.
It’s totally different. Last year, I didn’t come in as ready as I would’ve liked to, and it was really my fault. I’m far more ready this time around, and looking forward to seeing what will happen. I have worked hard and done everything I can do.
Were you a bit out of shape at the start of the 2010 season?
Starting at Anaheim, yeah, I was. I definitely was not where I should have been. There was races where I got tired, and I think I was probably a little over weight for what a professional athlete should be (laughs).
It seemed like the Supercross pre-show definitely forgot who I was, and that I won seven races last year. I missed the first 20 minutes, but the last 40 didn’t mention me (laughs). My injury, though, was a big one, and it took me a while to come back from it.
How is feeling/sensation in your leg?
The bottom of my foot has a really uncomfortable feeling, but it is slowly coming back. It’s not nearly as bad as it once was. They’ve said it will just take time, maybe two years.
So are you 100%, and just waiting for the gate to drop?
Yeah… We are two weeks out, like you said, and there isn’t much more you can do in two weeks, except maybe sharpen the blade a bit more. You aren’t going to make any more big gains in a couple weeks.
James is going to be fast, everybody knows that; Dungey will be good. It’s the same old story. I think everyone will be fast. Injuries will come into play, like they always do. It’s not anything new. I’ll be fast, James will be fast; Chad, Dungey, Canard, everybody is going to be good and ready. I wouldn’t say that Anaheim is the best indicator because of the hype that always surrounds it, and guys don’t always ride to their potential. As we get into the second, third, fourth rounds, we’ll see a better indication of how it will play out.
What is the goal for Anaheim, to win or just to survive?
Yeah, just to get through it really. If a win presents itself, then yes, I will go after it. But if not, then finishing inside the top five will be respectable. You can definitely lose a lot of points in the first round. It’s a big hole to dig yourself out of.
Can we address your Poison hair?
(Laughs) I definitely need a haircut. It’s alright on the sides and I the back, but for whatever reason, it just poofs up on top. Old ladies would totally dig this hair, because it poofs on the top.