Ryan Villopoto took his third win on the bounce at the Indianapolis super cross on Saturday to put a serious dent in the hopes of his title competitors.
Kawasaki’s ginger ninja came into the race with a handy 23 point lead after a couple of inherited wins when the competition imploded in front of him, but was in no mood to wait for fate to push him towards the title - this one he won all on his own.
Australian Chad Reed took the holeshot aboard his Honda at Indy, but Villopoto was right with him and soon past into the lead.
Behind them, Ivan Tedesco led Ryan Dungey and Yamaha’s James Stewart, whilst Trey Canard had his great start turn into a wooden spoon, the Honda rider stalling on lap one and dropping to the back of the pack.
Reigning champion Tedesco and Stewart made short work of Tedesco and set off after Reed, who was unable to live with Villopoto’s pace and soon found himself under heavy pressure from a determined Dungey.
Dungey made several concerted efforts to dislodge Reed but was unable to make a pass that stuck, dropping his Suzuki after running right into Reed in an attempt to pass the Aussie, gifting Stewart the last place on the podium at the halfway mark.
Stewart took a couple of laps to find his way past Reed’s Honda into second, then set gamely off after Villopoto but by that time, ‘Poto was a long way down the road - Stewart capable of logging the faster laps, but Villopoto‘s times were far more consistent.
Dungey launched a feisty comeback that brought him back up to Reed’s back wheel, but the Thunder from Down Under refused to capitulate, edging Dungey to the line after a frantic last-lap battle for third. Canard’s spirited recovery brought the reigning American 250 motocross champion through to sixth.
The result means that ‘Poto now has 26 points in had over Stewart, Reed three points behind the Floridian with Dungey nine points behind Reed, whilst Canard is now 14 points behind Dungey.
There’s still plenty of racing to be done so the title is still up for grabs, but there’s no doubt that Villopoto’s mitts are dangerously closer to the trophy than anyone else’s.
The East Coast 250 class saw yet another debut win - Blake Baggett led after getting his first victory last weekend but Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes was in close attendance.
Baggett errored out, getting squirrelly and jumping his Kawasaki off track to gift Sipes the lead, but Justin Barcia was on hand to make sure Sipes didn’t have an easy ride to the flag, Barcia closing up and showing every intention of taking the win.
Sipes refused to be ruffled, however, and closed the race out for his first supercross win, ahead of Barcia and Baggett, with James Stewart’s little brother Malcolm in an excellent fourth.