Ken Roczen vs. Ryan Villopoto (450SX Main Event):
Ken Roczen (1st):
Ryan Villopoto (2nd):
Following a disappointing time in Arlington, Ken Roczen rebounded in a big way in Atlanta on Saturday night, as he claimed the second 450SX victory of his career. Interestingly, Ken won the race after a chess match with his training partner, Ryan Villopoto, so it was really interesting to see how the two riders raced each other. Unsurprisingly, they kept it clean, and were respectful of each other. Ryan Villopoto has definitely changed his approach this year – he is not as frustrated when he hands over a win, instead he is happy that he controls the standings.
Although some fans are arguing that Roczen was handed the win (when Villopoto had to roll the triple on lap fifteen), you must remember that Ken had to roll the finish earlier in the race. So, they both made similar mistakes, which evened things out. In my opinion, RV seemed to lack some fire again, which was odd. Maybe we would have seen more aggression if Roczen was not his training partner?
If you look at the times highlighted above, it is clear that the two were very close in speed, as their lap times are almost identical for the most part. Roczen started to pull out a bit of a gap in the final two laps, but perhaps this was because RV had thrown in the towel? Ken was pushing all the way to the checkered flag, so he must have been feeling the heat, even if Ryan had accepted second. It looks like we have a title fight on our hands, folks!
Martin Davalos vs. Adam Cianciarulo (250SX Main Event):
Martin Davalos (1st):
Adam Cianciarulo (2nd):
Although Martin Davalos had control of the race from the first lap, it started to seem like Adam Cianciarulo could challenge the veteran as the main wore on, as he was seemingly faster in the second half of the race. Unfortunately, AC lost a lot of time when the yellow lights came out, as he didn’t understand what was required of him in that situation. However, he regrouped following that, and clocked off consistent lap times in the 54.4 second range – that consistency is quite impressive, especially late in the race.
In that time period, Martin Davalos was almost a second slower on each lap, so he certainly lost time. If I had to guess, I think that this was because Martin started to think about the situation too much, which has been his downfall in the past. In fact, his big mistakes on the last lap support this theory. In the end, Davalos held on to take his first victory after nine years, and sixty-four starts in the 250SX class. However, it could have been much closer. It will be interesting to watch the battle between these two riders (who seem to be good friends) grow in the coming weeks.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: James Lissimore