Ken Roczen Races to First Supercross Lites Class Win of 2012 Season
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., clinched his second Supercross Class Championship tonight at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, at Reliant Stadium in front of 48,962 fans. Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, of Murrieta, Calif., captured his first Western Regional Supercross Lites Class win of the season.
JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps, of Murrieta, Calif., opened the Supercross Class with the Nuclear CowboyzÂ® Holeshot Award but was quickly passed by Villopoto. Star/Valli/Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry, of Holland Patent, N.Y., secured the number-three spot on the opening lap but was passed by Motoconcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi, of Hilliard, Fla., on Lap 2.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, of Rupert, Idaho, passed Alessi on Lap 3 and held this position to lock in his second third-place finish of the season. Millsaps picked up his second runner-up finish of the season.
“It’s huge,” said Villopoto. “There is a lot of hard work that went into this, and I am only one piece of the pie; the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team has worked very hard all year to help me make this happen.”
Millsaps moved into third place in Supercross Class point standings.
“I want to congratulate Ryan (Villopoto) on his championship; he rode great all year,” said Millsaps. “It was slippery out there all day, so you had to choose your lines wisely. I am excited to be back up on the podium.”
In the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class Main Event, GIECO Honda’s Justin Barcia, of Ochlocknee, Ga., won the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award with Roczen and Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton, of Pilot Point, Texas, following in second and third, respectively. Roczen passed Barcia on the opening lap, and one lap later, Barcia re-passed him to take over the lead.
On Lap 7, Blake Baggett, of Grand Terrace, Calif., moved around Wharton to take over third place. On his way to what was expected to be his sixth win of the season, Barcia collided with another rider on the final lap of the race and crashed. He re-entered the race and finished second. This allowed Roczen to move into the lead and ride to the second victory of his career.
“This is so awesome,” said Roczen. “This is not how I want to win a race. Justin (rode a great race and was really fast tonight, so it is unfortunate that he crashed. I am super happy to be back on top of the box.”
Barcia still leads the championship points race by 32 points over Wharton.
“I don’t know what I can say,” said Barcia. “There is nothing I could do about the crash. I will fight through this and be back in New Orleans.”
CBS will broadcast the Supercross class race at 12:00pm EST Sunday, April 1, 2012.