Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto Wins Daytona Supercross By Honda
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto put on a dominating performance leading all 20 laps on way to his first career Daytona Supercross victory on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.
The Seattle, Wash., native took the hole shot in the 20-lap event staged inside the Speedway’s tri-oval and held off a late charge from Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey to secure a 4.445-second victory. Honda’s Trey Canard rounded out the podium.
“I got a great start and was able to get that hole shot,” Villopoto said. “The track was tough. It’s easy to make little mistakes here. It’s important to get out front. I think it’s a lot easier to pass here than in a stadium. But it doesn’t matter what track it is, a hole shot is 90 percent of the race.
“It’s nice to finally add this race to the list of wins,” Villopoto added.
The win was Villopoto’s fourth of the AMA Supercross season while Dungey maintains a 20-point lead in the AMA Supercross standings.
In the 15-lap Lites East Supercross event, France’s Christophe Pourcel, aboard a Kawasaki, captured his third straight victory of the season. Austin Stroupe and Dean Wilson rounded out the podium.
“Daytona, it’s a huge race,” said Stroupe. “It would be an honor to win this race but to be on the podium and finish second, it feels just as good.”
Three-time Daytona Supercross By Honda champion Chad Reed sat out Saturday’s event. Reed, coming off surgery for an injured wrist, practiced and qualified but opted not to return to competition just yet.
For the third straight year, the Daytona Supercross By Honda course was designed by five-time Daytona Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael and built by three-time National Champion Mark Burnett.
The course had a couple of new twists such as the relocation of the starting gate to the West end of the tri-oval and the placement of the finish line in the center of the track closer to the fans.
“Ricky did a great job with the course,” Dungey said. “I can’t believe all the people that showed up here tonight.”
Next up at Daytona will be the Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross Championship on Sunday and the Ricky Carmichael University on Monday. Tickets are available at the gate or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.