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Supercross/Motocross | 4/7/2014
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto Takes Command in Houston
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto Takes Command in Houston
There were no problems in Houston on Saturday night for Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto as the three-time defending Monster Energy Supercross champion rocketed out to the holeshot at NRG Stadium and never looked back to earn his fourth win of the season. In the 250SX class, the Western Region riders returned to action and despite injuring his shoulder during the heat race, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson rode 15 strong laps to finish second. His teammate Justin Hill looked strong early but a couple of crashes in the treacherous whoops section saw him finish ninth.
Redemption
Villopoto entered the Houston round looking to regain some championship momentum but after a crash in his heat race, which sent him to the semi, the three-time supercross champ would have to dig deep. A thrilling last corner pass for the win in the semi to set up the rest of the night as Villopoto jumped out of the gate with a strong start, collected the holeshot and led wire-to-wire to get his fourth win of the season.

“As we get closer to the end of the season, I still want to win races,” said Villopoto. “There were some tricky sections on the track tonight and the whoops were gnarly. James (Stewart) has been on a roll recently and I knew I had to come out here and get a win to take away his momentum.” 
Riding Through
Wilson had strong start to his heat race as he took the early lead, but a mistake in the whoops sent him to the dirt where he injured his right shoulder. The Scottish rider got up to finish fifth in the heat, and a visit to the medical unit, along with some quick therapy allowed Wilson to line up for the gate in the main event. In the main, he got a good start and quickly moved into second place. As the laps continued to click off, Wilson slowly made gains on the leader and after some close racing on the final lap, he was able to come home in the runner-up spot.

“It hurts when you come that close to winning and you can’t make the pass,” said Wilson. “My shoulder was hurting as I was riding, but I knew if I could keep the pressure on, I might be able to get the win. The crowd was amazing tonight and I could hear them cheering, I just wish I could have gotten that win for them.”
Rough Night
The break in the 250SX schedule couldn’t have come at a worse time for Hill. The sophomore rider earned his first career victory in San Diego, but couldn’t build on the momentum as the series took as seven-week break. Hill came out firing and was running third early in the main event, but a crash saw him fall back in the standings. After remounting, Hill was able to fight back but two more crashes relegated him to ninth on the night

“Tonight wasn’t the night I wanted,” said Hill. “I was excited to get back to racing but the whoops caught me late in the race. It seemed like no matter what I tried I couldn’t get through them. But we have a race next week and I’m going to be ready to get back on the box.”
Prime Position
With his win in Houston, Villopoto took another step closer to claiming his fourth straight Monster Energy Supercross title. RV gained 10 points on his nearest competitor and he now holds a 45-point advantage with just three races remaining.
Whoop Monster
The dirt in Houston held up great in the indoor stadium but the long whoop section in the track design seemed to catch nearly every rider out. All three Kawasaki riders fell victim to the whoops at some point during the night but all three were also able to handle them better than most to score top finishes.
Pacific Northwest
Next week marks the return to the Pacific Northwest, home of both Villopoto and Hill. Both riders will be looking to take home a victory on their home soil as Monster Energy Supercross heads to Qwest Field in Seattle.
Results
Monster Energy Supercross
Reliant Stadium – Houston, Texas
Saturday, April 5, 2014

450SX Class Main Event
1. Ryan Villopoto, Monster Energy Kawasaki
2. Justin Barcia, Honda
3. Ken Roczen, KTM
4. Trey Canard, Honda
5. James Stewart, Suzuki
6. Andrew Short, KTM
7. Ryan Dungey, KTM
8. Mike Alessi, Suzuki
9. Eli Tomac, Honda
10. Chris Blose, Honda

450SX Championship Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 293
2. James Stewart, Suzuki – 248
3. Ryan Dungey, KTM – 247
4. Ken Roczen, KTM – 235
5. Justin Barcia, Honda – 198
6. Justin Brayton, Yamaha – 196
7. Andrew Short, KTM – 181
8. Broc Tickle, Suzuki – 126
9. Wil Hahn, Honda – 122
10. Josh Hill, Suzuki – 112

250SX Eastern Regional Main Event
1. Jason Anderson KTM
2. Dean Wilson Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
3. Malcolm Stewart, Honda
4. Cole Seely, Honda
5. Zach Osborne, Honda
6. Cooper Webb, Yamaha
7. Shane Mcelrath, Honda
8. Jake Canada, Honda
9. Justin Hill, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
10. Jessy Nelson, Honda

250SX Eastern Regional Points Standings
1. Jason Anderson, KTM -- 156
2. Cole Seely, Honda -- 145
3. Dean Wilson, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki -- 120
4. Justin Hill, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki --119
5. Malcolm Stewart, Honda –109
6. Cooper Webb, Yamaha -- 107
7. Jessy Nelson, Honda -- 87
8. Zach Osborne, Honda --85
9. Shane Mcelrath, Honda -- 85
10. Dean Ferris, KTM -- 63
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