Monster Energy rider Ryan Villopoto may have four motocross championships to his name, but a Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship overall win at his hometown track in Washougal, Wash., had eluded him throughout his professional career until 2013. On Saturday, Villopoto was able to put in a strong 2-1 moto result, scoring him his first win at Washougal MX Park and his fifth overall victory of the season.
Even though Villopoto entered Washougal with a 42-point lead in the championship standings, he had one goal in Washington, and that was to win. Villopoto didn’t let a second-place finish in Moto 1 stand in his way of victory, as he caught, passed and gapped his rival Ryan Dungey in Moto 2 to finish with an 8.5 second lead. With Dungey and VIllopoto scoring the same amount of points at Round 8, Villopoto takes his 42-point lead into Round 9 at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minn.
It was a great weekend for Monster Energy’s Jake Weimer, who has overcome adversity through the first half of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season. Weimer’s comeback second moto where he finished fourth allowed him to grab his best finish of the season in fourth overall with 10-4 moto scores.
Weimer wasn’t the only one scoring his best finish of the season. Monster Energy rider Chad Reed had a difficult first half to the season as he rode through an energy-depleting illness. Reed never threw in the towel and has made plenty of progress along the way, with it all paying off in Washington. Two great starts helped Reed challenge for top-10 results, eventually collecting 9-7 moto scores for eighth overall.
Like Villopoto, Monster Energy rider Justin Hill grew up not too far from the scenic circuit in Washougal. Wash. The rookie seemed to feel right at home, scoring his best moto results of his career during Moto 1 with a fifth. The second moto he came through the pack from outside the top 10 to finish seventh and grabbed an impressive fifth overall.
After being absent from racing for three rounds because of illness, Monster Energy rider Martin Davalos raced like a man on a mission at Washougal. In the opening moto, Davalos got out to a great start in the top-five and was able to hold on to finish just behind his teammates in seventh. He followed up that impressive finish with another great ride in Moto 2 where he scored ninth for eighth overall.
In only his fourth professional start, Adam Cianciarulo continued to show improvement as he gets a feel for the single-day event. The first moto saw him jump out to a great start and end up with his best moto finish of the year in sixth. The second moto was a bit tough with the track’s infamous shadows from its tall trees coming into play, and Cianciarulo would eventually score 16th for a season-high 10th overall.
Known for being extremely fast at the Washougal circuit, Blake Baggett started the day just how he had hoped. He jumped out to a great start and was running second in Moto 1, but an unfortunate bike issue in the final 10 minutes of the race pushed him out of podium contention. Moto 2 had him in decent position on the start, and was able to finish the tough final moto in eight for 15th overall.
In both motos, Darryn Durham happened to be squeezed out of a top-15 start and was forced to work his way through the pack. During Moto 1, Durham battled to finish 13th, while the second moto was especially tough with the shadows, allowing him to come across the finish for 14th and collect 14th overall.
After missing the last round in Michigan due to a crash during practice that tore some cartilage in his ribs, Tyla Rattray made his return to racing at the Washougal National. Despite not being 100 percent, Rattray was able to push on the difficult, hard-surfaced track and finish inside the top-20 with 16-21 moto scores for 19th overall.
The riders will take on the tough circuit known as Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minn. next week as the series keeps moving toward the finale just over a month away. Known for its big sand whoops, the Millville National will be another character-building track for the rugged Monster Energy riders of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.