Ryan Villopoto Wins Again with Seventh Victory of 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Season in Toronto

Justin Barcia Grabs Fifth Win in Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class

The 12th race of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, hosted 47,010 Canadian enthusiasts on Saturday night, to boast its largest crowd to date inside the Rogers Centre. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., captured his series-leading seventh win of the season to extend his points lead and inch closer to defending his Supercross Class title. In the Supercross Lites Class, GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia, of Ochlocknee, Ga., raced to his fifth win in six races of the Eastern Regional Championship.

As the gate dropped on the Supercross Class Main Event, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton, of Murrieta, Calif., grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award with Villopoto and Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX’s Davi Millsaps, of Murrieta, Calif., in tow. Brayton led the opening lap of competition, but Villopoto made what would be the winning pass a short time later.

Once he took over the lead, Villopoto quickly pulled away. However, a slight bobble in the whoops on Lap 3 allowed Brayton to close in briefly, but Villopoto rebounded and laid down the quickest laps of the evening. He took the checkered flag over nine seconds ahead of the field.

“Out of the first turn, it was just me and Brayton right off the bat,” said Villopoto. “I made some pretty big mistakes in the whoops. They were tough. We’ll go to Houston, where I think there’s a chance to wrap up the title. That’s the plan.”

Brayton recorded his second consecutive runner-up effort, while GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham, of Centreville, Miss., made an impressive climb from a fifth-place start to grab the final spot on the podium in third.

Villopoto now holds a 79-point lead over Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn.

In the Supercross Lites Class Main Event, Barcia was the first out of the gate to grab the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award, while Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, of Murrieta, Calif., and Eleven10 Mods Honda’s Alex Martin, of Millville, Minn., followed. Roczen took advantage early, moving past Barcia on the opening lap and setting a quick pace early.

The duo followed one another through the first few laps before Barcia took an inside line on Lap 3, making contact with Roczen in the process and pulling away. Behind them, an exciting battle for third ensued between Martin, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Darryn Durham, of Butler, Pa., and Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Blake Wharton, of Pilot Point, Texas. After a three-wide battle, Durham assumed the spot, but fell just a few laps later, allowing Wharton to take over the position.

Once out front, Barcia continued to pull away from the field, winning by over seven seconds. Roczen went unchallenged en route to a second-place finish, while Wharton held on for third.

“Right now I couldn’t be (happier),” said Barcia. “I got my first win here two years ago. My GEICO Honda was hooking up great. This track was really tough tonight. You had to be really smart and really smooth. I made a great pass for the lead and kind of just rode my own race from there.”

Barcia extended his lead in the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class standings to 28 points over Wharton.


Round 12 – AMA/FIM Supercross Series 2012 – Toronto

Round 12 – AMA/FIM Supercross Series 2012 – Toronto

Round 12 of the 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Series at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, home of MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays. In the Supercross Class, Ryan Villopoto took the big win in front of an excellent Canadian crowd. In East Lites, Justin Barcia took his fifth win of the season, further extending his points lead.

Supercross Results
1. R. Villopoto KAW
2. J. Brayton HON
3. K. Windham HON
4. D. Millsaps YAM
5. J. Weimer KAW
6. M. Musquin KTM
7. K. Chisholm KAW
8. B. Tickle KAW
9. R. Kiniry YAM
10. W. Hahn HON
11. J. Sipes KAW
12. J. Grant KAW
13. M. Alessi SUZ
14. M. Goerke SUZ
15. J. Albertson SUZ
16. J. Alessi SUZ
17. K. Regal KAW
18. B. Metcalfe SUZ
19. N. Izzi YAM
20. G. Fatih HON
Supercross Pts
Ryan Villopoto 271
Ryan Dungey 192
James Stewart 177
Davi Millsaps 169
Kevin Windham 166
Justin Brayton 165
Jake Weimer 150
Brett Metcalfe 145
Mike Alessi 136
Chad Reed 128
Broc Tickle 108
Kyle Chisholm 106
Josh Hansen 87
Nick Wey 76
Marvin Musquin 59
Andrew Short 59
Matt Goerke 52
Bobby Kiniry 52
Weston Peick 39
Cole Seely 37
250 Lites East Results
1. J. Barcia HON
2. K. Roczen KTM
3. B. Wharton SUZ
4. J. Canada HON
5. D. Durham KAW
6. A. Martin HON
7. T. Weeck HON
8. J. Bogle HON
9. M. Lemoine KAW
10. J. Gibson HON
11. A. Catanzaro KTM
12. S. Sewell KTM
13. M. Stewart KTM
14. T. Bowers KAW
15. B. Baggett KAW
16. D. Tedder KAW
17. L. Vincent KTM
18. K. Peters YAM
19. S. Rife HON
20. P. Nicoletti HON
250 Lites East Pts
Justin Barcia 145
Blake Wharton 117
Darryn Durham 114
Ken Roczen 102
Jake Canada 90
Blake Baggett 86
Justin Bogle 74
Malcom Stewart 50
Alex Martin 50
Matt Lemoine 46
Kyle Cunningham 43
PJ Larsen 38
Shane Sewell 37
Les Smith 34
Cole Thompson 32
Hunter Hewitt 31
Tommy Weeck 29
Tyler Bowers 28
Lance Vincent 25
Phil Nicoletti 20

Rogers Centre

News coming into this weekend’s event – James Stewart will not be racing. You can read the latest of his condition and his quote here.

250 East Lites qualifying – In the closing laps, Justin Bogle was able to click off the fastest qualifying lap time (47.80). Justin Barcia qualified second (48.01), and Blake Wharton third (48.53). Malcom Stewart (48.85) and Darryn Durham (48.90) completed the top five.

450 Supercross Class qualifying – Justin Brayton again showed that he may be ready for his first win by taking the pole position (47.49). Ryan Villopoto was second (47.76) and Kevin Windham third (47.87). Jake Weimer (48.08) and Davi Millsaps (48.09) finished out the top five.

250 East Heat 1 – Justin Barcia nailed down the holeshot ahead of the Ken Roczen, Alex Martin, Malcolm Stewart, and Kyle Peters. While Barcia held strong in first, Stewart, having qualified in fifth, began to close the gap on Martin. On lap three, Stewart was able to force a pass just after the mechanics area to move up to third. On the final lap, Stewart had edged up on Roczen and got an excellent drive through the whoops, allowing him to make the pass for second as Barcia rode off for the win. Martin and Kyle Peters rounded out the top five.

250 East Heat 2 – Blake Baggett nearly had the holeshot but his teammate, Darryn Durham, was able to stay further to the inside to claim the first position. Shawn Rife held down second place for a lap before eventually being overtaken by both Blake Wharton and Baggett. In the closing laps, the fastest qualifier in practice, Justin Bogle, had a horrific crash over the finish line jump with Angelo Pellegrini that sent both riders to the ground violently. As Durham ran off with the win, Bogle was able to walk off the track, although seemingly bruised and battered. Wharton, Baggett, Rife, and Phil Nicoletti rounded out the top five finishers.

*Both Bogle and Pellegrini were able to continue racing later in the night. Bogle would win the LCQ, but Pellegrini suffered a poor start and did not make it into the main event.

450 Supercross Heat 1 Ryan Villopoto was able to get the best star followed by Broc Tickle and Jake Weimer. Villopoto seemed to be at his own level as he was more than five seconds ahead of second place before the close of the second lap. Further back, Mike Alessi rode in fourth until succumbing to Kyle Chisholm’s speed through the whoops. Chisholm continued with his momentum, displacing Tickle, then passing Weimer briefly before settling for third. Villopoto took the win with Weimer, Chisholm, Tickle, and Alessi completing the top five.

450 Supercross Heat 2 – Wil Hahn was able to grab the holeshot in his first ever 450 career start. However, before the first lap would end, he was passed by both Davi Millsaps and his temporary Muscle Milk Honda teaammate, Justin Brayton. Both riders began to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, as Brett Metcalfe and Kevin worked their way into third and fourth place. Windham eventually made a quick pass on Metcalfe that seemed to get the crowd going to take over third place. At the finish it was Millsaps with the win followed by Brayton, Windham, Metcalfe, and Nico Izzi in fifth.ÂÂ

250 East 15 lap Main Event – Barcia was able to take yet another holeshot for the season, but Roczen quickly overtook the current points leader before reaching the second turn. Durham, Wharton, and Martin held down the top five positions. On the third lap, a mistake by Roczen in the tricky and tight section following the mechanic’s area allowed Barcia to sneak by for the lead. Meanwhile, a great battle for third position was taking place between Durham, Wharton, and Martin.

First Wharton put the pressure on Durham heading back down the start stragiht. Then mistakes by both riders allowed Martin to block pass both heading into the whoops. However, both Wharton and Durham quickly retaliated and re-passed Martin just before the finish line. Less than one lap later, Durham made a mistake of his own, falling just before the whoops. The battle allowed Bowers to creep up on Martin, but he would eventually fall in the same place as Durham.

Martin also made a mistake, dropping several positions which allowed the likes of Jake Canada and Shawn Rife to slip into the top five. Unfortunately, Rife would also go down in the left hander following the mechanics’ are, taking a few other riders down with him.

All of the falls and crashes allowed Durham to make an excellent recovery back into the top five as Barcia rode off with the win followed by Roczen and Wharton. Canada and Durham completed the top five.

450 Supercross 20 lap Main Event – Justin Brayton got just the start that he needed, taking the holeshot  ahead of Ryan Villopoto and Davi Millsaps. Brayton would lead the opening two laps before being passed by Villopoto just before the whoops. One lap later, Villopoto made a mistake going through the whoop section, dropping his front end almost to the point of crashing. While Brayton came within less than a bike length, the points leader was able to regroup and again put distance between himself and the number 10 machine.

Further back, Jake Weimer had made his presence known by getting around Millsaps for third just as Kevin Windahm began to make his charge for fourth place. Several pass attempts would eventually yield fourth place for the veteran rider, relegating Millsaps back to fifth.

An unexpected tangle with a lapped rider that sent Weimer off the track would drop the factory Kawasaki rider from third back to fifth and Windham would inherit third place.

Back up front, Villopoto rode to a dominant win in front of Brayton and Windham. Millsaps and Weimer would complete the top five.

Round 12 - AMA/FIM Supercross Series 2012 - Toronto - Photo 1 of 2

After the race, in which the track had broken down considerably since the opening ceremonies, Villopoto commented, “The bike was working really well…except through the whoops. That was hard. You had to stay patient and take your time.” Ryan’s win is his seventh of the season and elevates him to more than 100 points ahead of Davi Millsaps, who sits in fourth behind the injured Ryan Dungey and James Stewart.

Round 12 - AMA/FIM Supercross Series 2012 - Toronto - Photo 2 of 2

L – R: Kenny Roczen, Justin Barcia, Blake Wharton

 

2012 World MX GP – Mr. Giuseppe Luongo

2012 World MX GP – Mr. Giuseppe Luongo

The world motocross championships are unique. Different countries. Different languages. Different cultures. Different tracks. And it’s history – it’s where the sport of supercross & motocross as we know it in the USA came from.

The designation ‘world motocross championship’ was originated by the FIM (Federation Internationale Motocycliste) starting in 1947 with the biggest motocross race in the world – The Motocross of Nations. (The Motocross of Nations is a ‘team’ race, with countries competing against each other. That first ‘Nations’ race was held in Holland, and won by Great Britain.)

Coincidentally, the 2012 World MX GP series starts in the Holland, Easter Weekend, April 8 & 9. (The 2012 World MX GP schedule is here.)

The World Motocross Championships, and the MX of Nations is organized by Youthstream. And the President of Youthstream is Mr. Giuseppe Luongo.

Giuseppe started in the sport just like most of us – with a simple love & passion of motocross. Giuseppe achieved great professional status by organizing the legendary 1986 Motocross of Nations in Italy, won by the USA dream team – David Bailey, Ricky Johnson, & Johnny O’Mara – and managed by Roger De Coster.

The 2012 season has new Grand Prix events in Mexico, and Russia. With that as a backdrop, and the 2012 World MX Championships ready to start, we talked to Mr. Luongo about the World Motocross Championships, and the 2012 season.

2012 World MX GP - Mr. Giuseppe Luongo - Photo 1 of 2

Mr. Giuseppe Luongo


What is ‘cool’ about motocross?

Giuseppe: Motocross in its entirety is cool. It’s the ultimate, original extreme sport. And look how it’s grown to what it is today – the competition, the show, the colors, the atmosphere. It is cool, it’s extreme and it’s very thrilling.

With the World Motocross Championships – Youthstream has taken the sport to a new level. Besides being ‘cool’, there is a professionalism and media coverage that is now unprecedented.

Many people, both fans and industry, are not aware of your experience in supercross. You actually have quite a bit of experience in putting on  supercross races as well. Can you tell the fans about all your different experiences with supercross events around the world over the years?

The experience was great and the racing was too. We produced Supercross events in Japan, the USA, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Monte Carlo (Monaco) among others. They were all very successful, with world wide TV coverage, and a huge number of fans followed these events.

More importantly I would say, was that the majority of American supercross and motocross stars, and the Motocross World Champions participated in these races. When I organized Supercross, practically all the stars of the sport between 1985 to 2000 took part.

How long have you been involved in putting on and promoting motocross races?

2012 will be the 29th year since the first International race I organized in Italy in 1983 at the age of 23.

Is there one race that stands out in your mind if we were to say ‘What is the most memorable race you have ever witnesses and been part of?’

Yes, certainly that would have to be the Motocross of Nations in Maggiora (Italy) in 1986. Many of us with a history of the sport know where this event ranks in history. It’s hard to put into words, but that was a very special event for so many reasons.

That race was fantastic and the American Dream Team (Bailey, Johnson and O’Mara) rode outstandingly.

The very first race you put on and promoted in 1983, how many people were on your staff?

(Laughs). Two. Me and my best friend!

As we get ready to start the 2012 season now, how many people are on your core staff now?

140. Many more outside of the core staff.

In 2012, the FIM MX1 and MX2 World Motocross Championships go to two new venues – Russia, and Mexico. First, tell us how the event came to be in Russia, and what fans in Russia can expect when ‘their’ Grand Prix week happens.

If we want our sport to have success and to have a bright future, we have to follow the economy and growing markets. The Russian, Brazilian, and Asian markets are growing the most at the moment, also you can see that is where large numbers of motorcycles are being sold now. Russia has many fans and sponsors, and now they also have some very good riders.

And how did the Grand Prix of Mexico come about, and what is exciting about that event?

The contact for the MX GP in Mexico was created by two-time World Motocross Champion Sebastien Tortelli. Motocross is developing in Mexico like in all of Latin-America, and it has a good future there.

How long is the process to have a GP in a new country?

It is a process. For both Russia and Mexico, we have working over three year’s for those Grand Prix races.

Right now, we are working on Grand Prix events in Qatar, Thailand, India and Argentina.

Part of the process is our staff visits the venues, and gives advice with regards to the circuit and infrastructures – we work in full partnership. And another important function is communication – we communicate almost daily with the various departments of each.

Additionally, we work together with the FIM, the local federations, the organizers and the local authorities.

Let’s talk about further into the future. 2013 and beyond. What plans do you and Youthstream have for 2013 and beyond?

We all know the economies right now in the USA and Europe. Therefore we currently want to invest in countries with a growing economy – Russia, Brazil, the Middle East, Asia – and develop the World MX Championships there. And that is what is needed to make it truly a global, world sport.

If you could sit down with an average motocross fan, and let them know anything about the World Motocross Championship, you, Youthstream, and your goals, what would you like them to know?

We are very passionate about motocross. The Motocross World Championship exists and is successful because Youthstream loves motocross. We manage our sport with heart and mind.

If the sport is managed only for business objectives then it won’t work long term (we have many study cases in our sport of this). And if it’s managed only with the heart it won’t work either (there are also many case studies of companies running out of money).

The secret is to manage it with both, and find the right balance.

Something that I personally am proud of, and I would like the average fan to know – when I started in MX (1983) up to today, we have created more than 1,000 jobs. In a difficult period like we have faced over the past few years with the economy, and where many people are losing their employment, I am happy that we have helped directly more than 1,000 families who “live” and work with us in this sport of Motocross. I am pleased to be able to help.


 2012 World MX GP - Mr. Giuseppe Luongo - Photo 2 of 2


James Stewart Injury Update, courtesy JGR MX

James Stewart Injury Update, courtesy JGR MX

Two time former AMA Supercross Champion, and former AMA Motocross Champion James Stewart will not race round 12 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship this Saturday at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON, Canada.

James, who suffered a crash at last weekend’s event in Indianapolis has been thoroughly examined by his medical team and the determination has been made that he is not yet ready to return to racing.

“Unfortunately injury is a part of sports,” said team JGR MX owner Coy Gibbs. “The safety of our riders is our highest priority and we want James to have time to recover and not risk further injury by coming back too soon.”

And from James, courtesy of Red Bull …

It really hurts me to say this, but after spending the last couple of days under the observation of doctors and my family, it looks like it would be best for me to sit out this weekend’s race in Toronto. The fall at Indy was big but aside from the obvious, it aggravated a couple old injuries and I’ll need time to fully recover from that.

I know you haven’t heard a lot from me over the last few of days, but we’ve been working hard to see what I could and should do. I’ve tried to push through it to see where my limitations are. And unfortunately it looks like that I wouldn’t be able push myself at the pace needed to run with the guys out there. I’m sorry for that.

So at this point, there’s no real time line for my return. But we’ll be working at it again next week to reevaluate my abilities for the race in Houston.

Trust me, this was a hard decision to make. And it really came down in the last few hours. After assessing myself again today, talking to my team, my sponsors and my family, it’s clear that I need to give myself the time to heal. So I just want to say thank you for supporting me. To my team, thanks guys and good luck this weekend to Davi; keep that podium streak alive! I’ll be back soon. To my sponsors, you guys are the best, I can’t say that enough. Thank you for the always sticking with me. And to my fans; man all you guys. I mean all you guys on Facebook with me, my Twitter followers, all you guys at the races or watching at home. Thank you for the love. You guys really are the greatest. I’m working so we can get back out there soon, win some more races and have a couple more dinners.

Thank you all,

– James Stewart #7

James Stewart Injury Update, courtesy JGR MX - Photo 1 of 1

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