Irvine, Calif. (February 24, 2013) – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Dean Wilson both scored runner-up finishes at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Jake Weimer returned to racing while recovering from fractured ribs to score an eighth place finish in the 450SX class while Justin Hill came home in sixth in the 250SX class.
On the Podium
Villopoto came into Atlanta looking to gain ground in the championship standings and left the Georgia Dome sitting second in the points race. In his heat race the Washington native got a great jump out of the gate but was pushed wide in the first turn and got tangled with another rider. From there he steadily moved up to qualify for the main event. In the feature race, Villopoto once again rocketed out of the starting gate and settled into second place. On the slippery Georgia clay, he rode as aggressively as he could, but was unable to get by the leader.
“The track was really slippery out there tonight,” said Villopoto. “I felt good all day. My goal is to get another championship so I wanted to make sure we got a good finish tonight. All year the tracks have been slippery and we haven’t been able to push as much as I’d like during the race.”
Wilson came to Atlanta with a lot of momentum from the last event in Dallas and through his heat race, he looked like the rider to beat in the 250SX class. Wilson got a good start and came around the first turn in second place, applying pressure to the leader through the 15-lap main event, but he could not find a place on the tight track to make the pass. With his second-place finish, Wilson currently holds a two-point advantage in the standings.
“The track was tricky tonight and it was tough to make passes out there,” said Wilson. “I was trying to be patient and wait for the leader to make a mistake and unfortunately he didn’t. I was able to get a good finish and keep the red plate for another week and now we will get ready for St. Louis.”
Hill came to Atlanta hoping to repeat his top five finish in Dallas and maybe even score a podium. In the main event, Hill got a good jump and was running near the front early in the race. As the race progressed Hill worked to conquer the slippery surface and finished sixth.
“I’m not very happy with my result tonight,” said Hill. “Sixth place isn’t bad, but I put myself in position to be better than that tonight. I need to ride a little more aggressive and stay on those guys. Each race is a learning experience and I’ll take what I learned tonight to get better for the rest of the year.”
Down But Not Out
Weimer returned to the track after missing the last two races with fractured ribs. Despite not being 100-percent, Weimer rode valiantly in both his heat race and the main event. In both races, the Idaho native got good starts and worked to stay near the front. In the 20-lap main event, Weimer did have to fight through some pain from his ribs but he was able to hold on for eighth.
“Finishing eighth isn’t where I wanted to be, but it could have been worse,” said Weimer. “I’m still feeling the effects of my broken ribs and I’m getting better each day. I haven’t been able to train as much as I would like, but tonight gave me some confidence heading into next week.”
The Bone Collector
Michael Waddell’s the Bone Collector joined the Monster Energy Kawasaki team at the Georgia Dome. Based just down the road in Columbus, Ga., The Bone Collector did a one-race sponsorship with the team and Michael joined the riders during their afternoon autograph sessions. Once the racing started, Waddell and the Bone Collector crew enjoyed some great racing while entertaining partners from their acclaimed Outdoor Channel TV Series.
Spirit of St. Louis
The Monster Energy Supercross series now heads to the “Gateway of the West” as St. Louis will play host to the next round in the series.
Monster Energy AMA Supercross – Round 8
Georgia Dome – Atlanta, Ga.
February 23, 2013
450SX Main Event
1. James Stewart, Suzuki
2. RYAN VILLOPOTO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
3. Davi Millsaps, Suzuki
4. Justin Barcia, Honda
5. Trey Canard, Honda
6. Ryan Dungey, KTM
7. Eli Tomac, Honda
8. JAKE WEIMER, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
9. Chad Reed, Honda
10. Mike Alessi, Suzuki
450SX Points Standings
1. Davi Millsaps, Suzuki, 174
2. RYAN VILLOPOTO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 152
3. Ryan Dungey, KTM, 148
4. Trey Canard, Honda, 135
5. Chad Reed, Honda, 127
6. Justin Barcia, Honda, 116
7. Andrew Short, Honda, 102
8. James Stewart, Suzuki, 100
9. Justin Barcia, Honda, 91
10. Matt Goerke, KTM, 79
13. JAKE WEIMER, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 48
250SX Eastern Region Main Event
1. Wil Hahn, Honda
2. DEAN WILSON, MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
3. Marvin Musquin, KTM
4. Blake Wharton, Suzuki
5. Jeremy Martin, Yamaha
6. JUSTIN HILL, MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI
7. Gavin Faith, Honda
8. Kyle Peters, Honda
9. Vince Friese, Honda
10. Zach Bell, Honda
250SX Eastern Region Points Standings
1. DEAN WILSON, MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 47
2. Wil Hahn, Honda, 45
3. Blake Wharton, Suzuki, 40
4. Marvin Musquin, KTM, 35
5. JUSTIN HILL, MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 31
6. Kyle Peters, Honda, 31
7. Gavin Faith, Honda, 28
8. Vince Friese, Honda, 24
9. Jimmy Decotis, Honda, 20
10. Lance Vincent, KTM, 20