For the first ten laps it was on!
The fastest five riders were first through fifth off the start in Toronto. The top three in the championship bullied their way past Chad Reed early and proceeded to take the pace to another level.
Millsaps lead the way in an intense opening ten laps. Rejuvanted after his injuries, Davi was proving to everyone that he is going to fight to the end for the championship. He was back to his aggressive and fluid riding style that had took him to the championship lead but there was one problem – Ryan Villopoto.
In the last couple of races when Davi has struggled RV has grabbed the momentum of the series. Villpoto was passed by Millsaps in turn two on lap one but once he got into second, the defending champion turned the tables and put the heat on Rockstar racing rider. That heat included regularly banging into the back with of Davi on a tight right hander. RV doesn’t care, he just wants to win and he will do what it takes.
Meanwhile catching the duo was Ryan Dungey. The Dunge was third in the series and still in contention for the championship and as he inched closer to the leaders it looked like a three way battle to the end between the three title contenders who all wanted the win badly.
It was everything you wanted in a race but then lap eleven came into play. That was the moment when everything changed and RV perhaps got one hand on the title.
Just when Dungey had caught both Villopoto and Millsaps, RV moved to the inside of Davi and took the line away to pass for the lead. A couple of corners later Dungey stalled and lost a place to Chad Reed.
And there in just one lap, the entire race had changed.
Millsaps, had he held on to the win, would have narrowed the points gap to just six. If Dungey had got Villopoto, it would have been four. But it didn’t happen.
Like he has done many times before, when it really matters, when it is crunch time, Villopoto makes it happen.
That race could be a microcosm of the championship. Millsaps rides well but when the pressure is on Villopoto can go to another level, while Dungey starts behind them, tries to catch up and makes a mistake.
Interestingly Villopoto had the third best lap time of the race- both Millsaps and Dungey had faster one off lap times in that main event. But when it really counted Villopoto made the pass and put in two fast laps that Millsaps couldn’t match while Dungey stalled when he saw RV attempting to clear off. Villopoto saw his moment and took it and the other guys couldn’t match him.
That is the mark of a champion and that is why this title is now Ryan Villopoto’s to lose because under pressure he is just phenomenal.
Credit must also got to Davi Millaps, he did keep Ryan honest and is the main rival for Villopoto now after Dungey lost a further five points. He came out fighting in Toronto and if Ryan makes a mistake Davi will be there to capitalise.
But that was a classic six pointer and despite Davi’s brilliant ride, the pass on lap eleven meant a six point swing in the championship.
RV wins the big races, he has the x factor and is odds on to win his third title in row.
Article by Jonathan McCready