The Toronto round of the 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Series marked a turning point for the season. Not only are we now in the home stretch of all three championships (Supercross, Lites West regional, and Lites East regional), but both Ryan Villopoto and Justin Barcia edged closer to securing their second indoor titles in as many years.

While Canada was not very kind to Villopoto last year, this time around was a bit different as the Monster Energy Kawasaki star rode off to a seemingly easy win. While Justin Brayton took the holeshot, RV1 was not far behind off the start. Villopoto stalked the Honda Muscle Milk rider for a few laps before finally pouncing to take over the lead. At one point, Villopoto did stumble in the whoops and nearly went down, allowing Brayton to come back into striking distance. However, the multi-time national MX / SX champion regained his composure and went on to win the main event by a sizable margin.

Story, results, and points from last weekend’s race in Toronto

Brayton looks to be the next guy in line in terms of consistency and speed, but he will need to dethrone both Kevin Windham and Davi Millsaps if he wants to claim second in the final championship point standings.

Of course, second place still technically belongs to Ryan Dungey, and third to James Stewart. Speaking of which, news out of the Stewart camp was few and far between this past week until James himself dropped the news that every fan was likely hoping for on Thursday night via Twitter:

“I’m gonna give it a shot this weekend!! So here I come Houston!!”

So, if both his hand and knee are in good enough shape, not only could Stewart salvage second place in the championship, he could also add some excitement to a series that has lost too many of its star riders to injury this year.

As mentioned earlier, Justin Barcia looks to be on his way to another AMA East Lites Supercross Regional title. But never count your chickens before they hatch, especially in 250 class racing. Barcia’s own teammate, Eli Tomac, seemed poised to runaway with his first ever title on the West Coast series, until one whoop took him down and out of the series points lead (on that topic, Tomac looks like he is healthy once again and back to riding after breaking his elbow in that ill-fated whoop section incident in San Diego).

But Barcia, even after dealing with talents such as Ken Roczen, Blake Wharton, and Darryn Durham, seems to be unfazed by any challenges or challengers. Following his Toronto victory, Barcia is five for six in main event wins, and now sits 28 points ahead of Wharton in second place. This means that “Bam Bam” could take one full race off and still be in the lead when he returns.

What’s the smart thing to do though? Just keep winning and wrap up the championship one race early in New Orleans.

But before the series heads down to the Louisiana Bayou, it will first head back to Houston, Texas, inside Reliant Stadium.

In both classes, its do or die time for anyone not named Ryan Villopoto or Justin Barcia. With five rounds remaining in the premier class, and even fewer in the Lites, the competition needs to step up if they want to challenge for wins, media attention, and of course, good contracts for 2013.

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Notes courtesy Feld Motorsports

Ryan Villopoto “Out of the first turn (in Toronto), it was just me and Brayton right off the bat. 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.”

Justin Barcia “Right now (after winning in Toronto) I couldn’t be happier. 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.”

Since 1974, Houston has been on the Supercross Class schedule. From 1974-2000, the Houston Astrodome served as host to the Houston stop until it was moved to Reliant Stadium in 2003. The first Supercross Class race in Houston was on March 15, 1974, where Jim Pomeroy earned the win. Eddie Warren became the first Supercross Lites Class winner in Houston on April 20, 1985. Jeremy McGrath, the all-time winningest supercross rider, shares the all-time win record in Houston along with Mark Barnett with five.

CBS will broadcast the Supercross class race at 12:00pm EST on April 1, 2012.

Past Winners in Houston

Supercross Class

February 12, 2011: Trey Canard

April 10, 2010: Ryan Villopoto

January 24, 2009: James Stewart

February 16, 2008: Kevin Windham

February 10, 2007: James Stewart

April 1, 2006: James Stewart

April 30, 2005: James Stewart

February 14, 2004: Chad Reed

March 29, 2003: Chad Reed

March 23, 2002: Ricky Carmichael

March 24, 2001: Ricky Carmichael

February 5, 2000: Jeremy McGrath

March 13, 1999: Jeremy McGrath

January 17, 1998: Ezra Lusk

March 22, 1997: Jeff Emig

March 16, 1996: Jeremy McGrath

March 25, 1995: Jeremy McGrath

January 22, 1994: Jeremy McGrath

January 16, 1993: Damon Bradshaw

January 18, 1992: Damon Bradshaw

January 19, 1991: Jean-Michel Bayle

February 3, 1990: Damon Bradshaw

March 18, 1989: Jeff Stanton

February 6, 1988: Jeff Ward

February 7, 1987: Jeff Ward

February 2, 1986: Jeff Ward

April 20, 1985: Jeff Ward

March 24, 1984: David Bailey

March 19, 1983: Bob Hannah

March 20, 1983: Mark Barnett

March 19, 1982: Mark Barnett

March 20, 1982: Mark Barnett

March 13, 1981: Mark Barnett

March 14, 1981: Mark Barnett

March 14, 1980: Mike Bell

March 15, 1980: Broc Glover

March 16, 1979: Bob Hannah

March 17, 1979: Bob Hannah

March 17, 1978: Bob Hannah

March 18, 1978: Bob Hannah

March 18, 1977: Tony DiStefano

March 19, 1977: Jim Ellis

March 12, 1976: Jim Weinert

March 14, 1975: Jim Ellis

March 15, 1974: Jim Pomeroy

Supercross Lites Class

February 12, 2011: Justin Barcia

April 10, 2010: Christophe Pourcel

January 14, 2009: Christophe Pourcel

February 16, 2008: Austin Stroupe

February 10, 2007: Ryan Villopoto

April 1, 2006: Davi Millsaps

April 30, 2005: Andrew Short

February 14, 2004: James Stewart

March 29, 2003: Brock Sellards

March 23, 2002: Matt Walker

March 24, 2001: Travis Preston

February 5, 2000: Derrick Shae Bentley

March 13, 1999: Nate Ramsey

January 17, 1998: David Vuillemin

March 22, 1997: Kevin Windham

March 16, 1996: Kevin Windham

March 25, 1995: Damon Huffman

January 22, 1994: Ezra Lusk

January 16, 1993: Jimmy Gaddis

January 18, 1992: Brian Swink

January 19, 1991: Tallon Vohland

February 3, 1990: Jeff Emig

March 18, 1989: Mike LaRocco

February 6, 1988: Jeff Matiasevich

February 7, 1987: Keith Turpin

February 2, 1986: Willie Surratt

April 20, 1985: Eddie Warren

The first race in Houston was held on March 15, 1974 and Pierre Karsmakers won on a Yamaha

This will be the 46th time the gate will drop for a Supercross Class race in Houston

Houston, along with Daytona, are the only two original venues from the inaugural 1974 season and have been on the schedule every year since

Houston hosted the sport’s second ever double header in 1977

In 1978 and 1979, Bob Hannah swept the doubled header events

In 1981 and 1982 Mark Barnett also swept the double header events

Jeff Ward won four consecutive races in Houston from ’85 – ’88

This will be the 550th Supercross Class race

Supercross Class Laps Led: Ryan Villopoto: 121, Ryan Dungey: 33, James Stewart: 25, Chad Reed: 24, Justin Brayton: 11, Cole Seely: 7, Mike Alessi: 5, Jake Weimer: 5, Davi Millsaps: 4, Brett Metcalfe: 1

Supercross Lites Class Laps Led: Justin Barcia: 62, Eli Tomac: 40, Dean Wilson: 30, Cole Seely: 15, Blake Wharton: 9, Darryn Durham: 8, Ken Roczen: 4, Tyla Rattray: 3, Martin Davalos: 1, Alex Martin: 1, Blake Baggett: 1


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