Ryan Villopoto earns seventh victory of 2012 season


The 12th race of the 2012 AMA Supercross season 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.

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