Hot In Here: Hahn And Villopoto Shake-Up The Championships In St. Louis

Photos by Jeff Kardas

The Monster Energy Supercross Championship made its annual stop in the Gateway to the West, St. Louis, MO, for round nine of the 2013 season. Last week in Atlanta, those in attendance witnessed Wil Hahn’s confidence go through the roof, as the Geico Honda rider claimed the first main event win of his career, and in St. Louis, Hahn added another victory tally to his name, as he ran a flag-to-flag win over Dean Wilson and stole the points lead from the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider.

In the 450 class, James Stewart seemed destined to repeat his own ATL performance, but a well-timed and executed charge by Ryan Villopoto swayed the control to the Monster Energy Kawasaki racer’s favor. Villopoto would take the win and narrow down Davi Millsaps’ point margin in the 450 championship standings.

250 East Coast Supercross Class

250 Supercross Heat Race One

Zach Bell claimed yet another holeshot aboard his Geico Honda CRF250, and the rookie rider sped off with the lead ahead of the stacked and experienced field. Turns later, veteran Blake Wharton would slide beneath Bell to steal the position. Wharton has had great success in St. Louis; it was the site of his first Supercross main event win, and he motored away to take the first heat race win of the night.

Behind Wharton, the rookie class of Bell, Justin Hill, and Jeremy Martin fought for the runner-up spot. Martin, who had timed well in the day's qualifying session, and Hill, both would get by Bell when the Honda rider crashed in the bowl turn just before the finish line and dropped out of the top-10. Marvin Musquin suffered from an opening lap crash, and the Red Bull KTM racer quickly clawed back to eighth place and a spot in the main event.

Results

1. Blake Wharton (Suz)
2. Justin Hill (Kaw)
3. Jeremy Martin (Yam)
4. Shawn Rife (Hon)
5. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
6. Zack Freeburg (Hon)
7. Mitchell Oldenburg (Hon)
8. Levi Kilbarger (Hon)
9. PJ Larsen (Yam)

250 Supercross Heat Two

Munn Racing's Lance Vincent was the first to the stripe in the second heat race of the night, and had Wil Hahn close in tow. The race would be quickly interrupted, however, as Vincent's Munn Racing teammate Todd Krieg was down and out in the bowl turn just after the whoops. This would bring a red flag to the track and the field headed back behind the gate for a second go.

Vincent again grabbed the lead in the second start, and again Hahn was in a close second place. Dean Wilson mounted a charge in the opening lap and climbed from third to overtake the lead as the pack hit the finish line, and would go on to take the heat race win.

Results

1. Dean Wilson (Kaw)
2. Wil Hahn (Hon)
3. Vince Friese (Hon)
4. Lance Vincent (KTM)
5. Daniel Herrlein (Hon)
6. Jimmy Decotis (Hon)
7. AJ Catanzaro (Kaw)
8. Cole Thompson (Hon)
9. Kyle Hussey (Kaw)

250 LCQ

A late-race crash and stall knocked Zach Bell out of a transfer spot and into the LCQ, but the rookie racer appeared unfazed by the required extra laps. His Geico Honda was once again the first bike to the odd left-hand turn and he raced away to an uncontested win over second place finisher Gavin Faith.

Results

1. Zach Bell
2. Gavin Faith

250 Main Event

The start to the 250 main event was oddly similar to the previous week's main in Atlanta, as Wil Hahn once again claimed the holeshot and Dean Wilson found himself buried in the pack. Hahn wasted no time in distancing himself from the other riders, but his efforts were not enough to outrun the 15 of Wilson. In just moments, Wilson worked his way through the talented pack of Vincent, Friese, and Wharton, and then was closing on the Geico Honda. Wilson's speed through the whoops allowed him to close every lap on Hahn, but the Honda rider would ease pull away in other areas of the layout. A look at the timing charts showed that Wilson was in fact the quicker of the two, but his “go for broke” passes in the final moments would be his undoing. Hahn noticed that Wilson was squaring the corners of the track in efforts to ride across the leader's racing line, and every time Wilson would unleash an attempted block pass, Hahn would slow or stop early, allow Wilson to throw the back end, and then dive beneath the Kawasaki rider and retake the lead. These tactics would end up costing Wilson valuable time and in the final lap, it was evident that Hahn was on his was to claiming the second straight main event of the season and his career. The win in St. Louis also swayed the championship standings, as Hahn overtakes the championship by a mere point.

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Main Event
1. Wil Hahn
2. Dean Wilson
3. Blake Wharton
4. Marvin Musquin
5. Jeremy Martin
6. Vince Friese
7. Jimmy Decotis
8. Cole Thompson
9. Zach Bell
10. PJ Larsen
11. Gavin Faith
12. Zach Freeburg
13. AJ Catanzaro
14. Kyle Hussey
15. Mitchell Oldenburg
16. Justin Hill
17. Levi Kilbarger
18. Daniel Herrlein
19. Lance Vincent
20. Shawn Rife
250 Class Championship Points Standings (After 3 of 9 rounds)
1. Wil Hahn (70pts/2 winas)
2. Dean Wilson (69pts/1 win)
3. Blake Wharton (60)
4. Marvin Musquin (53)
5. Vince Friese (39)
6. Gavin Faith (38)
7. Justin Hill (36)
8. Jimmy Decotis (34)
9. Jeremy Martin (32)
10. Kyle Peters (31)

450 Supercross Class

450 Supercross Heat One

Ryan Villopoto charged out of the gate and into the first turn aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki to claim the early lead in the first 450 heat race. Just behind him waited Team Honda Muscle Milk's Justin Barcia and the two riders immediately established a gap on third place rider Justin Brayton. For the full duration of the race, the top-two riders closed and gapped one another; Barcia would close on one lap, Villopoto would pull away slightly on the next. Despite this game of cat and mouse, no battle truly occurred and Villopoto took the heat race win.

Results

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Justin Barcia (Hon)
3. Justin Brayton (Yam)
4. Andrew Short (KTM)
5. Mike Alessi (Suz)
6. Trey Canard (Hon)
7. Weston Peick (Suz)
8. Kyle Chisholm (Yam)
9. Bobby Kiniry (Yam)

450 Supercross Heat Two

James Stewart dabbed the brakes on his Yoshimura Suzuki just a bit sooner than his competition, coasted around the inside of the first turn, and took control of the second 450 heat race over Rockstar Energy Racing's Davi Millsaps and Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey. Although Millsaps clocked a quicker lap time than Stewart, he could not close on the factory Suzuki racer and overtake the leader. The two riders circled the track at a blistering pace for the short qualifier and built a decent sized gap on eventual third place finisher, Ryan Dungey. TwoTwo Motorsport's lone racer, Chad Reed, climbed from a mid-pack start to fourth at the finish, while Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jake Weimer rose through the field in the final laps to snag the final transfer spot.

Results

1. James Stewart (Suz)
2. Davi Millsaps (Suz)
3. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
4. Chad Reed (Hon)
5. Broc Tickle (Suz)
6. Phil Nicoletti (Yam)
7. Matt Goerke (KTM)
8. Kyle Partridge (Hon)
9. Jake Weimer (Kaw)

450 LCQ

A rough go in his second career 450 heat race forced Eli Tomac to the LCQ, but the Geico Honda rider had no issues over the six-lap sprint that ended with his transfer to the main event. While Tomac's race was textbook, Jimmy Albertson's come-up through the field made up for the lack of excitement. Albertson took his Hansen Racing Team Honda from fourth to second in just a matter of laps, with his last-lap move on Blose being his ticket to the main.

Results

1. Eli Tomac
2. Jimmy Albertson

450 Main Event

For umpteenth time in his career, Mike Alessi flew out of the gate and ushered the 450 main event around the first turn. James Stewart was just behind the privateer, as he again took the slower yet controlled low line around the curve and into second place. As they sped down the starting straightaway in the opposite direction on the opening lap, Stewart kept the throttle open a bit longer and made the pass for the lead. But on the next time by, the red flag would wave, as JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha's Kyle Chisholm laid on the floor in agony. The fill-in Yamaha racer and Matt Goerke had crossed paths and the resulting impact ended with Chisholm between lanes and in need of medical attention. His injury (was later said to be a “stinger” but required a trip to the hospital) and position on the track forced the second red flag of the night to fly and the 450 field lined-up staggered and in single-file order for the flagged restart.

As they organized the second start, Ryan Villopoto was docked three positions for jumping on the yellow flag, which knocked him back to fifth. With his place at the head of the field, Stewart had no issue moving away from Alessi and the rest and looked to be headed for his second-straight win of the season. It was not meant to be, though, as Villopoto went from fifth to third in the first green flag lap, then showed Barcia a wheel and grabbed second place. With control of the race, it appeared that Stewart was cruising, which allowed Villopoto to reel him in and draw even before the midway point. Their passes were similar to the Hahn/Wilson main event duel, as Villopoto would unleash a planned and somewhat aggressive move while Stewart simply slowed, allowed the Kawasaki rider to swing around, then cut down and reclaim the spot. This would occur a handful of times before Villopoto made a pass stick as they passed through an area of the track enveloped in waving yellow flags. For the final portion of the race, Villopoto was in control and was never challenged, and he took the checkered flag just over three seconds ahead of Stewart.

Just after Villopoto made his final pass for the lead, a pack of riders were fighting for second place. With Stewart's concentration momentarily shaken, Justin Barcia also went by and Chad Reed closed in. A miscue by Barcia would see him nearly jump into the lining blocks on the track and drop to fifth, while Reed remained steady and finished third place.

Villopoto's pass while the yellow flags flew was questioned immediately after the race was over and a handful of teams filed protests with the AMA. After a considerable amount of time, discussion, and videotape review, Villopoto was scored with the win.

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Main Event
1. Ryan Villopoto
2. James Stewart
3. Chad Reed
4. Ryan Dungey
5. Justin Barcia
6. Davi Millsaps
7. Mike Alessi
8. Trey Canard
9. Justin Brayton
10. Andrew Short
11. Broc Tickle
12. Jake Weimer
13. Eli Tomac
14. Jimmy Albertson
15. Matt Goerke
16. Kyle Partridge
17. Bobby Kiniry
18. Weston Peick
19. Phil Nicoletti
20. Kyle Chisholm
450 Class Championship Points Standings (After 9 of 17 rounds)
1. Davi Millsaps (189pts/2 wins)
2. Ryan Villopoto (177/4 wins)
3. Ryan Dungey (166/1 win)
4. Trey Canard (148)
5. Chad Reed (147)
6. Justin Barcia (132/1 win)
7. James Stewart (122/1 win)
8. Andrew Short (113)
9. Justin Brayton (103)
10. Broc Tickle (87)