Villopoto Title Caps Wild Evening in Vegas in which Vans Riders Broc Tickle Claims West Lites Title and Blake Baggett Wins East Main
Las Vegas, NV (May 8, 2011) – The Vans family extends a proud congratulations to Ryan Villopoto whose tremendous 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross slate culminated with his first Supercross crown. In a season being hailed as the most exciting and competitive ever, Ryan placed 3rd at the circuit's final race Saturday night before 39,506 fans at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Capping off a sensational season in which he claimed a circuit leading seven victories, Ryan came into Las Vegas clinging to just a 9-point lead with two-time champ Chad Reed, defending champion Ryan Dungey and another two-time champ in James Stewart all in close pursuit. In a wild race that saw a then-leading Stewart lose control in front of him, Villopoto kept his eye on the big prize and played it smart in taking third behind Reed and Dungey to claim the overall title by a slim 338 to 334 margin over Reed.
Villopoto's relationship with Vans goes back to when he was a 13-year-old amateur and received free shoes from the company. After an amateur career in which he dominated at virtually every level, Villopoto became one of the few pros to win in his rookie season by taking the 2006 Motocross Lites Championship and winning Rookie of the Year. He followed that up with his dual Supercross and Motocross Lites titles in 2007 and another Lites title in 2008. Ryan was also a member of the 2006 and 2007 Team USA Motocross des Nations championship squads. Transworld Motocross and RacerX both named Villopoto their Rider of the Year in 2007. Following a promising rookie season on the big bikes in 2009 in which he claimed two victories, Ryan's 2010 championship aspirations were derailed by a broken leg after winning 7 races in 14 starts.
"We've been envisioning this day since back in the years when we were flowing Vans to a young kid small in stature, but with unparalleled determination," said Vans' Vice President of Marketing Doug Palladini. "That dedication and tenaciousness has paid off as Ryan has overcome major injury and the tribulations of any young rider to rise to the absolute pinnacle of Supercross."
Ryan's sponsors in addition to Vans include Kawasaki, Monster Energy Drink, Thor, Volcom, Oakley, Alpinestars, Incipio, Parts Unlimited and Falken Tires.
Joining Ryan Villopoto on the Vans motocross team are Jake Weimer and 2011 West Lites Champion Broc Tickle, Josh Hansen, Dean Wilson, Tyla Rattray, Blake Baggett all in support of the famed Monster Energy Pro Circuit racing program.
For more information on Vans and Vans' Motocross, please visit www.vans.com/mx/.