James Stewart vs. Ryan Villopoto (450SX Main Event):
James Stewart (1st):
Ryan Villopoto (2nd):
Evidently, the lap times set by James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto throughout the 450SX main event in San Diego were very similar, as just a couple of tenths separated the two guys more often than not. So with this in mind, it is undoubted that the crucial moment in this race was when James got around RV on lap one. Even Ryan admitted that it was a massive mistake on his part, as the track was difficult to pass on, and the lap times were quite short, so the main was not as long as it has been in previous weeks.
It is worth noting that in the time range highlighted in the table, the two riders did not come into any backmarkers. So, the times reflect the speed they were going with a clear track, and with no other factors playing a role. It was very much a game of cat and mouse between the two. There was a period of time (laps seven to nine) where Villopoto continuously closed in, but after that Stewart was faster on the next three laps.
On lap six, Villopoto lost more than half a second. But, this was because he made a big mistake following the finish jump and very nearly crashed. Ryan admitted that after the fifteenth lap he settled for second, as he realised that it was unlikely that he would be able to clinch the win. However, James kept on pushing; he set the fastest lap of the race on lap sixteen.
Ken Roczen vs. Chad Reed (450SX Main Event):
Ken Roczen (3rd):
Chad Reed (12th):
Ken Roczen and Chad Reed have been inseparable the last two weeks; they once again battled to the final lap in San Diego. Unfortunately, we all know how that ended up, but we will not focus on that here. If you want an update on Chad Reed’s condition, click here. Anyway, I digress. When Roczen got around Chad on lap eight, most presumed that he would make a run at the top two, as he was seemingly fast enough early on.
The 49:406 lap time was particularly bad for Chad. Was it a coincidence that this was the same lap that the German got around him? Perhaps Reed was a bit shaken when Ken made the pass? The Australian seemingly regrouped in the laps following that, but his times were slower than Roczen still; he was a full second slower than the top two on most laps at that point, as well.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: James Lissimore