Ryan Villopoto and Josh Hill took the victories in the 11th round of the AMA Supercross championship at the weekend in Minneapolis.
For Ryan Villopoto, it’s a welcome return to form for his first win of the year, whilst for Josh Hill, it’s an against-the-odds career first win in the 450 class.
As for Chad Reed, it seems the likeable Australian is intent on giving the Supercross series away, although at this stage he does still lead the championship by 17 points after this latest round in Minneapolis
Suzuki youngster Ryan Dungey got the holeshot in the 450 main, with Yamaha’s Josh Hill quickly jumping in behind him in second, forcing Kevin Windham back into third as he struggled to make a lasting impression on the two former schoolboy rivals.
Chad Reed, by contrast, started poorly but recovered through the field at speed despite the effects of an illness that’s affected him all week.
Up front, Josh Hill barged his way into the lead and began to motor off into the distance. As Dungey settled into a comfortable second, Reed jumped his way past Windham on lap five to make his way into the top three.
Championship leader Chad Reed kept plugging away, and caught Ryan Dungey, putting the pass on to take second and closing in on Hill.
Then, completely out of character, Reed crashed - by the time he picked his bike up and got going, he was back in eighth, and would only make up one more spot before the finish, looking distinctly out of sorts.
Windham finished comfortably in third, behind Dungey and an over-the-moon Hill, Reed now has a 17 point lead over Windham, with six races left. A 17 point gap is still a pretty big gap, but it’s only half the gap it was two races ago.
In the Lites class, there was a real battle for the win between Ryan Villopoto and Josh Grant. The pair ran nose-to-tail for the whole race, swapping places without either being able to make the decisive move.
At the end, it all boiled down to the last couple of turns.
Ryan Villopoto put his Pro Circuit Kawasaki into the lead as Grant took a risky outside line. But when the Torco Fuels Honda rider tried to return the favour a moment later, he lost control and went down, giving Villopoto the win at the death.
Deservedly, however, Grant was able to remount to take second place.
Championship-wise, with three rounds left, rookie Trey Canard has a healthy-looking 24 point lead after his fourth placed finish at Minneapolis.
This was a good result after a big crash in practice left him bruised and aching, but Ryan Villopoto is showing signs of returning to his brilliant best after recovering fully from his wrist injuries.
Canard has the pace to get the finishes he needs to take the title - as long as he can hold his nerve.
AMA Supercross Championship:
Round 11, Minneapolis
1 Joshua Hill - Yamaha
2 Ryan Dungey - Suzuki
3 Kevin Windham - Honda
4 Andrew Short - Honda
5 Thomas Hahn - Kawasaki
6 Davi Millsaps - Honda
1 Reed 237
2 Windham 220
3 Short 172
4 Millsaps 164
5 Ferry 137
6 Hill 135
AMA Supercross Lites East Coast Championship
Round 11, Minneapolis
1 Ryan Villopoto - Kawasaki
2 Josh Grant - Honda
3 Martin Davalos - KTM
AMA Supercross Lites East
1 Canard 93
2 Villopoto 69
3 Sipes 67