Title March: Villopoto And Tomac Win Unadilla National

The week away did nothing to change the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. If anything, it made the top two title contenders stronger as we head into the final stretch of the season. Ryan Villopoto and Eli Tomac have control of their respective divisions, and both were on a higher level than their competitors when the gate dropped at New Berlin, New York’s Unadilla Motorsports Park.

450 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship

450 Moto One

Ryan Villopoto claimed the holeshot in the opening race of the day, with his title rival Ryan Dungey along in tow. Starts have eluded Villopoto this season, but with a clear track ahead, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider immediately began to build a lead over field. His pace was utterly unmatchable, and despite the wet, rutted conditions, he managed to post a 2:12:854 lap time. After running a truly torrid pace in the opening moments, he settled into a groove and put in laps roughly 10 seconds slower. Villopoto was never pressured through the course of the moto and was 20 seconds ahead of second place finisher Ryan Dungey at the final flag.

This is not to say that Dungey’s moto was not impressive. The Red Bull KTM racer was easily the second quickest rider on the track, and although he was briefly under pressure from James Stewart, he pulled back away from the Yoshimura Suzuki rider. His consistent finishes at Millville and Unadilla have helped him manage the damage made from his rough day at RedBud over a month ago.

After a first moto crash while leading Unadilla last year rocked Michael Byrne’s career, the BTO Sports KTM racer looked to settle his issue with the upstate circuit. Sadly, another first moto incident tweaked the Australian’s knee and he pulled out for the day.

After scoring a podium finish at Millville, Trey Canard’s luck changed drastically in New York. The Team Honda Muscle Milk rider was near the front of the pack at the start of the moto, but in the middle of the race Canard’s pace dropped off and he pulled into the mechanic’s area with a faulty engine. His crew managed to swap motors between races, and Canard was back on the line in the second go.

450 Moto One Results

1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Ryan Dungey
3. James Stewart
4. Justin Barcia
5. Josh Grant
6. Andrew Short
7. Justin Brayton
8. Broc Tickle
9. Jake Weimer
10. Brett Metcalfe
11. Tyla Rattray
12. Mike Alessi
13. Phil Nicoletti
14. Matt Goerke
15. Zack Freeberg
16. Akira Narita
17. Chad Reed
18. Derek Anderson
19. Jeremy Medaglia
20. Joey Peters

450 Moto Two

The right hand turn at the end of the start straight was far too tight for 40 riders to get through without incident, and a number of racers were collected in the second mot, including Trey Canard, Justin Brayton, Malcolm Stewart, and Mike Alessi. The impact damaged Alessi’s MotoConcept bike too much to continue on, and Canard needed to have the front wheel of his bike changed before he could continue.

Ryan Villopoto emerged from the first turn with another holeshot and picked up where he left on in the first moto. Sunshine and the 250 class changed the way the track had formed, and despite the rough conditions lap times managed to drop. Villopoto worked away from second place Justin Barcia and the rest of the field in dominating fashion to take the second moto win and overall on the day.

Although Villopoto’s run at the front was anticlimactic, the racing behind him made up for the lack of action. His title rival Ryan Dungey came from sixth at the midway point in the moto, fought a multi-lap battle with Josh Grant for fourth place, and then reeled in Jake Weimer for the final podium spot. Despite the pressure, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider never faltered and held off Dungey in a tense late-race duel. Weimer’s ride in the second moto boosted his overall score to fourth place, and allowed Barcia to take second place overall from Dungey.

The three riders that were involved in the first-turn crash that were able to continue did so in impressive fashion. Brayton came from far back to take 13th place in the second moto, Malcolm Stewart 11th, and Trey Canard came from the farthest back to earn 26th.

450 Moto Two Results

1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Justin Barcia
3. Jake Weimer
4. Ryan Dungey
5. Josh Grant
6. Brett Metcalfe
7. Andrew Short
8. Broc Tickle
9. Phil Nicoletti
10. Jake Canada
11. Malcolm Stewart
12. Chad Reed
13. Justin Brayton
14. Matt Goerke
15. Akira Narita
16. Ben LaMay
17. Bobby Kiniry
18. Jeremy Medaglia
19. Broc Schmelyun
20. Tyla Rattray

Overall Results
1. Ryan Villopoto (1-1)
2. Justin Barcia (4-2)
3. Ryan Dungey (2-4)
4. Jake Weimer (9-3)
5. Josh Grant (5-5)
6. Andrew Short (6-7)
7. Brett Metcalfe (10-6)
8. Broc Tickle (8-8)
9. Justin Brayton (7-13)
10. Phil Nicoletti (13-9)
11. James Stewart (3-40)
12. Matt Goerke (14-14)
13. Chad Reed (17-12)
14. Jake Canada (25-10)
15. Akira Narita (16-15)
16. Tyla Rattray (11-20)
17. Malcolm Stewart (34-11)
18. Mike Alessi (12-39)
19. Zackery Freeburg (15-24)
20. Ben LaMay (22-16)
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450 National Championship Points Standings (After 9 of 12 rounds):
1. Ryan Villopoto (463/14 moto wins)
2. Ryan Dungey (419/5 moto wins)
3. Justin Barcia (346)
4. James Stewart (289/1 moto win)
5. Trey Canard (263)
6. Andrew Short (220)
7. Jake Weimer (216)
8. Broc Tickle (209)
9. Josh Grant (209)
10. Mike Alessi (204)