Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto Storms Away With His Fourth Straight Championship
Although the weather in East Rutherford, N.J. was questionable on Saturday night, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto put an end to anyone’s questions by leading all 20 laps of the main event to clinch his fourth consecutive Monster Energy Supercross championship at the inaugural race at MetLife Stadium. Returning from injury, Jake Weimer showed speed on his KX450F and overcame a first-lap crash to finish 11th. Misfortune struck the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team again this season as both 250SX East Region championship contenders Martin Davalos and Blake Baggett suffered injuries leading into New Jersey that took them out of competition.
After winning his hometown race in Seattle two weeks ago, Villopoto only needed three points in order to wrap up the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross championship; but no champion settles for the minimum requirement. Villopoto got out front in his heat race as the rain came down to assure he had the best gate pick for the main event. The rain let up for the 450SX main event and RV jumped out front to take his fourth holeshot of the year. From there Villopoto attacked the evolving track and walked away from the competition to take his sixth win of the season. The win marked Villopoto’s 40th career win, which came during the 40th anniversary of Kawasaki’s KX brand. In the past three races, he has got all three holeshots and led all 60 laps.
“It’s been a long season and it feels so good to wrap up the championship,” said Villopoto. “I knew I just needed to finish to clinch it, but sometimes the easiest and safest way to do that is to just get out front. Without my Monster Energy Kawasaki team and family I certainly would not be standing here tonight.”
Back At It
Weimer has been sidelined since crashing at San Diego and injuring his shoulder and wrist. After taking the proper time to let his injuries heal, he was eager to get back behind the gate. Weimer got a great jump in his heat race and settled into his teammate’s pace and finished third to transfer directly to the main event. He got another good start in the main before getting collected by another rider and going down after the whoops. Weimer remounted and charged through the field, pushing from 22nd to finish 11th by the checkered flag.
“It feels great to be back,” said Weimer. “The result wasn’t what we wanted but I rode good and felt strong for the full 20 laps. I’m looking forward to finish strong in Las Vegas next week to finish the season.”
Dark clouds and winds hovered around the New Jersey sky all weekend, opening up a few times for showers, but the track in MetLife Stadium was able to take the rain and provided great racing.
“The track actually held up great,” said Villopoto. “Although it was soft and muddy in spots, there was still traction everywhere and you were able to be aggressive.”
In the Spotlight
The top supercross riders in the world came into New Jersey early in order to take advantage of the press in New York City. Villopoto appeared on multiple national television shows, visited the NASDAQ stock exchange in Times Square and even sat in on Fox Sports 1’s Crowd Goes Wild evening sports show to talk about the sport in front of a live studio audience.
Viva Las Vegas
The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team will be back in action next weekend at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas as the West Region riders Dean Wilson and Justin Hill will look to take the bragging rights of the fastest 250SX rider when the two coasts come together for the East/West Shootout.
Source: Kawasaki Racing
Justin Bogle Poised To Clinch 250SX East Championship
GEICO Honda rider Justin Bogle scored his second career victory Saturday night in New York and all but officially clinched the 250SX East title in the process.
Bogle’s big win moved him into the points lead by 17 markers, and with only one dirt bike race left and the next three riders in the standings all sidelined with injuries, Bogle seems assured of extending the GEICO Honda team’s streak of championships to five straight years.
“It’s a great feeling,” Bogle said. “I certainly feel a lot better about it now than I did at the beginning of the night. Everyone wanted to talk about the points, but I still had a black number plate on my bike (the points leader is signified by a red number plate). I just tried to tune it all out and do what I’ve been doing all season. I knew it would all work out if I stayed with the program.”
Consistency has been key to Bogle’s remarkable season, and his steady riding on a very muddy track in the Meadowlands kept the drama to a minimum. Bogle won his heat race by a large margin and repeated the feat in the main, even though he had to fight through a few riders early in the race.
“It was raining during the main and the track was greasy in a lot of spots,” Bogle said. “The one thing I wanted to avoid was going down early, so I was a little careful. Once we got rolling I just fell into a rhythm and kind of checked out. There were a few moments when things got gnarly, but I kept my focus and rode it out.
“I’m so happy to be in this position. We’ve got one more race next weekend in Vegas and I want to do the same thing I did here. One of my team guys reminded me to enjoy myself today and I really kind of took that attitude.”
Racing in his first year on a 450, Tomac scored his second runner-up finish of the season. He shared the podium with Ryan Villopoto, who wrapped up his fourth straight championship with his sixth victory of the year.
“We’re getting closer and closer to that No. 1 spot,” Tomac said. “My congratulations to Ryan on his championship. He’s the best and he’s done what I want to do several times. He’s where I want to be.
“I’m always satisfied to get on the podium, but of course you want the win. It’s my first year in the class and I’ve learned a lot. Hopefully, we’ll finish strong next weekend and then get ready for outdoors.”
Bisceglia had a great start in the main and actually led three laps early in the race after getting around holeshot winner Jimmy Decotis. Unfortunately, he stalled his bike on Lap 8 and fell back to fourth. Still, that equaled his best finish of the year.
“I’m really upset with myself,” Bisceglia said. “I felt great out there and I was really riding well. My mechanic said the timing sheets showed I was turning the quickest laps of the race. I just got back there in a tricky turn and the bike just stalled. I restarted as quickly as I could, but it was so close up front that a few guys had gotten past me.”
Source: GEICO Honda
Jersey Boys Upstaged By A Couple Kids From Oregon
RCH Racing Soaring Eagle’s Josh Hill Takes A Bite Out Of The Big Apple
All season long the hype has been leading up to Supercross showing off in the media center of the universe… and the SX flying circus exceeded the expectations. More than 8 million people are packed into the New York/New Jersey area and it seems as if all of them embraced the Monster Energy Supercross series invasion of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ (better known to the locals as the home of the New York Football Giants). The only possible damper on SX’s first visit to New York/New Jersey in the past 23 years was the threat of rain… which had Oregon native Team RCH Racing Soaring Eagle’s Josh Hill licking his chops.
Although much of the week was spent with media commitments and dealer visits, Hill was ready to race on Saturday. In fact, he had his best qualifying time of the season. Hill’s Top 5 time in the afternoon qualifiers was less than a second behind the fastest two on the day, Ken Roczen and James Stewart. By taking a flyer in the qualifiers, Hill was pitted against Roczen and third fastest qualifier/defending champ Ryan Villopoto in his heat race. Unfortunately a first lap mishap had Hill running dead last. He quickly went from last to 17th and then up to 14th on the third lap of the 6 lap Heat. With nothing to lose, Hill continued his charge, moving into 12th with two laps to go and then into 10th, but to no avail as only the top four transfer to the Main.
The one thing that could have rained on the SX parade was Mother Nature and she started dumping buckets before the 250 LCQ. This played to Hill’s advantage, however. Josh headed to the Semi on a mission, lining up in the inside gate position right in front of the Fox Sports camera. Good for the TV audience as the cameras didn’t leave Hill during the race as he went into the first turn in 4th. By the end of the first lap he was up into 3rd, battling with Phil Nicoletti for 2nd. While the camera’s focused on the battle for second, Hill already had his sights set on the lead as he blitzed into the lead on lap #3 of the 5 lap Semi and never looked back. This was his third Semi win of the season and Hill showed his exuberance with the win as he pulled off his patented wheelie through the whoops, despite the deteriorating track conditions.
The rain held off for the start of the 450 Main event, but the deep ruts and muddy surface played right into the hands of a couple of Oregon boys in Jersey as Ryan Villopoto just nipped Josh Hill for the holeshot. The two were joined by Eli Tomac, who eventually got by Hill on lap 6 of the 20 lap Main. The top three continued to pull away from the pack as RV took his 40th career win and cemented his place in history by winning his fourth consecutive SX championship, in front of a sell-out crowd of 62,217.
“This has been a long time coming,” said an elated Hill of his first podium since Anaheim of 2010. “I put in tons of work, countless hours with Doctor G and eight surgeries to get back up here. The night started off rough with a pretty big crash in the Heat race, but the team managed to get the bike straightened out and we rebounded to win the Semi and almost pull the holeshot in the Main. Once I was at the front of the pack, I thought I could run the pace… but lappers did make it pretty nerve-wracking!”
With all the media emphasis on the penultimate SX round, it was nice to have RCH Racing Soaring Eagle team principal Ricky Carmichael back in the Fox Sports broadcast booth. “How about my guy! Happy for Josh and earning that podium he has been wanting,” said RC. “I’m also happy for the guys in the shop that work hard to make the bike the best it can be!”
In addition to the insight offered the TV viewing audience by the “Greatest Of All Time”, the other Team Principal Carey Hart was on duty in NYC, including taping a Today Show segment with host Willie Geist at MetLife Stadium during Thursday’s media day. “Really proud of Josh’s ride,” said Hart. “Josh and the whole RCH team have worked really hard and it looked like Josh has finally found his stride. I think this will be some great momentum for the team going into the last race of the year.”
Even injured team leader Broc Tickle was on hand to meet and great fans at Motorcycle Mall in Belleville. NJ on Friday night, as well as doing a full day of autograph signing in the RCH Racing/Soaring Eagle pits all day Saturday. “It was awesome to be back at the races and around the team.,” said Tickle, who is still on the mend after his crash in Toronto. “I’ve been laid out for four weeks and it was nice to be out and around the crew! It made me want to get back out there. I’m doing everything I can to heal up.” Great to have BT#20 back with the team!
Speaking of the party in the pits, Carey Hart, Sierra Merchant, RC, BT#20 and Josh Hill were on hand to sign autographs. Throw in the Suzuki Holeshot experience and a chance to win an all-expenses-paid four-day/three-night get away to Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, The “Presented by Sponsor for East Rutherford SX” and it always makes the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle pit the place to be!
By virtue of his 3rd place finish at MetLife Stadium, Hill passed his injured teammate Broc Tickle. Hill now holds 8th over Tickle who drops to 9th place in the overall point standings, going into the final round of racing in Las Vegas. Look for the 2014 season to wrap up at Sam Boyd Stadium on May 3,2014.
About RCH Racing Soaring Eagle:
RCH Racing is in its second season of the partnership between Ricky Carmichael and Carey Hart to campaign the Feld Motor Sports® 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship season. Ricky Carmichael merged his Suzuki relationship and technical development with the established five year marketing giant of Hart & Huntington Racing in 2013. The RCH Racing Soaring Eagle Team continues its partnerships with Suzuki, Fox, Dodge, Sycuan Casino, Yoshimura and Bel-Ray. Stay up to date on all RCH Racing Soaring Eagle news, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @RCHRacing and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hartandhuntington.
Source: RCH Racing Soaring Eagle
Red Bull KTM Factory Team Finishes 5th And 6th At New Jersey Supercross
Due to some rain overnight, the race day scheduled was revised and reduced to only two practices instead of the usual three. Rain in the second practice made for slower times and Ken Roczen’s fastest lap time in the opening session remained fastest of the practices. Ryan Dungey qualified 7th fastest.
Both riders were allocated the second heat race. Dungey got a good start on the KTM 450 SX-F and was among the frontrunners rounding the opening turn. He soon moved into second spot which he maintained until the races end. After spinning on the start line, Roczen was positioned mid-pack through the first turn working his way to 9th spot by the completion of the opening lap. He continued to gain ground on those ahead of him and was in sixth place with two laps to go. Roczen went on a tear charging hard on the final lap to get by both Josh Grant and Andrew Short securing the final transfer spot finishing 4th.
Come main event time, the rain started to fall making the track conditions very challenging. Both Dungey and Roczen didn’t get great starts and were buried mid-pack in the first turn. Dungey was positioned 10th ahead of Justin Barcia and Roczen was a spot back in 12th. A three-way battle between the trio ensued for the majority of the race with all three trading places at some point. With Dungey leading chase he had rallied his way to 5th spot by lap six. He held onto this spot until lap 15 at which time a harder charging Barcia successfully got by. A lap later Dungey lost another spot, this time to his teammate Roczen who too was on the move. At this time Dungey made several small mistakes and he was forced to settle for 6th overall with Roczen finishing ahead in 5th place.
“I didn’t get a great start but I feel I rode a pretty good race considering I was coming from a fair way back after a terrible start,” said Roczen. “The leaders just got too big a lead for me to catch up with the track conditions. It was a pretty tough track and it got very rutted but I think I rode a solid race considering.”
“The track was technical and I fought it quite a bit tonight,” explained Dungey. “I didn’t ride anywhere near as good as I should have. I got a terrible start and was buried mid-pack early in the opening lap. Both Ken and I had to come from quite a ways back. I had moments where I started to get it together but mistakes here and there really cost me. I’m not happy with sixth place but unfortunately I have to take it.”
Next Round: May 3, 2014 – Las Vegas, NV
Source: KTM North America
James Stewart Injures Knee At New Jersey SX
The first-ever AMA/ FIM World Supercross race at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, was a tough one for Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart.
The two-time Supercross Champion came into the penultimate round of the series second in the overall championship points. But after turning-in two solid qualifying sessions and finishing second in his heat race, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider twisted his left knee on the third lap of the Main Event and was forced to pull out of Saturday night’s race.
“This was a bummer,” said Yoshimura Suzuki Team Manager Mike Webb. “James was about fourth into the first turn but then he got shuffled around and came out about ninth. Then he worked his way up and was going for fourth when he went into the off-camber turn and lost the front end and planted his leg. He twisted his knee pretty good and so he pulled off. It’s a pretty bad twist but we don’t know the extent right now, so we’re going to get it checked-out next week. Hopefully, we’ll be good to go. Right now, we’re keeping our fingers crossed and looking forward to getting ready for Motocross.”
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s next event is the 17th and final round of the 2014 AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championships on Saturday, May 3rd at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Source: Team Suzuki
East Rutherford Overview And Point Standings
2014 AMA Supercross East Rutherford Image Gallery (Click for full size images)
Overall Results – Supercross Class Race Time: 18:37.193
|1||1||Ryan Villopoto||Kawasaki KX 450F||20 Laps||54.693|
|2||3||Eli Tomac||Honda CRF 450||+09.757||55.183|
|3||75||Joshua Hill||Suzuki RM-Z450||+12.203||56.163|
|4||51||Justin Barcia||Honda CRF 450||+15.030||54.931|
|5||94||Ken Roczen||KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition||+16.394||55.455|
|6||5||Ryan Dungey||KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition||+27.254||55.438|
|7||800||Mike Alessi||Suzuki RM-Z450||+52.928||57.027|
|8||29||Andrew Short||KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition||+58.197||57.132|
|9||41||Trey Canard||Honda CRF 450||19 Laps||55.740|
|10||40||Weston Peick||Suzuki RM-Z450||+01.613||57.568|
|11||12||Jacob Weimer||Kawasaki KX 450F||+04.679||56.180|
|12||38||Phillip Nicoletti||Yamaha YZ450F||+19.798||58.155|
|13||27||Nicholas Wey||Kawasaki KX 450F||+22.699||59.387|
|14||606||Ronnie Stewart||Suzuki RM-Z450||+32.551||59.107|
|15||68||Chris Blose||Honda CRF 450||+34.947||58.732|
|16||33||Joshua Grant||Yamaha YZ450F||18 Laps||57.128|
|17||48||Ben Lamay||Yamaha YZ450F||+00.562||59.211|
|18||285||Tony Archer||Kawasaki KX 450F||+31.681||1:00.320|
|19||77||Jimmy Albertson||Honda CRF 450||+45.956||59.436|
|20||374||Cody Gilmore||Kawasaki KX 450F||17 Laps||59.839|
|21||211||Tevin Tapia||Suzuki RM-Z450||13 Laps||1:02.896|
|22||7||James Stewart||Suzuki RM-Z450||3 Laps||56.685|
Rider Point Standings – Supercross Class ( Race 16 of 17 )
- Ryan Villopoto – 343
- Ryan Dungey – 282
- James Stewart – 271
- Ken Roczen – 265
- Justin Barcia – 232
- Andrew Short – 207
- Justin Brayton – 196
- Joshua Hill – 144
- Broc Tickle – 126
- William Hahn – 122
Manufacturer Point Standings – Supercross Class ( Race 16 of 17 )
- Kawasaki – 359
- KTM – 333
- Suzuki – 323
- Honda – 284
- Yamaha – 212
Overall Results – Supercross Lites East Class Race Time: 14:27.281
|1||32||Justin Bogle||Honda CRF 250||15 Laps||57.052|
|2||19||Jeremy Martin||Yamaha YZ250F||+03.365||56.745|
|3||42||Vince Friese||Honda CRF 250||+05.480||57.428|
|4||96||Matthew Bisceglia||Honda CRF 250||+09.102||56.497|
|5||78||Matthew Lemoine||Kawasaki KX 250F||+14.754||57.869|
|6||30||Kyle Cunningham||Honda CRF 250||+21.001||58.427|
|7||55||Alex Martin||Yamaha YZ250F||+26.629||57.954|
|8||62||Mitchell Oldenburg||Honda CRF 250||+28.527||58.357|
|9||56||James Decotis||Honda CRF 250||+32.364||57.042|
|10||60||Jackson Richardson||Honda CRF 250||+33.938||59.182|
|11||533||Gannon Audette||Kawasaki KX 250F||+50.493||1:00.347|
|12||99||Justin Starling||Honda CRF 250||+55.446||1:00.779|
|13||57||A J Catanzaro||Honda CRF 250||+59.568||59.808|
|14||91||Jacob Baumert||Kawasaki KX 250F||+1:01.920||1:00.847|
|15||69||Levi Kilbarger||Honda CRF 250||14 Laps||59.948|
|16||812||Luke Vonlinger||Honda CRF 250||+02.917||1:01.989|
|17||874||Zack Williams||Honda CRF 250||+04.477||1:01.820|
|18||761||Cade Clason||Honda CRF 250||+19.314||1:02.254|
|19||395||Taylor Potter||Honda CRF 250||+44.298||1:04.072|
|20||581||Kyle Evoy||Honda CRF 250||+1:26.341||1:03.848|
|21||854||Landen Powell||KTM 250 SX-F||9 Laps||1:00.661|
|22||386||Aaron Gulley||Kawasaki KX 250F||+6:05.081||1:04.054|
Rider Point Standings – Supercross Lites East Class ( Race 8 of 9 )
- Justin Bogle – 166
- Martin Davalos – 149
- Adam Cianciarulo – 120
- Blake Baggett – 120
- Vince Friese – 120
- Kyle Cunningham – 109
- Matthew Lemoine – 90
- James Decotis – 90
- Cole Thompson – 89
- Alex Martin – 86
Manufacturer Point Standings – Supercross Lites Class ( Race 16 of 17 )
- Kawasaki – 354
- Honda – 344
- KTM – 268
- Yamaha – 234
- Suzuki – 16