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Villopoto claims fifth straight victory

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto continued his winning ways at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas by capturing his eighth victory of the season.

 

Three-time defending Arenacross champion Tyler Bowers made his debut with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki in the 250SX class and raced through the field to finish a career-best fourth place.

 

Villopoto has been on a roll since his win in St. Louis and has won every main event since. In Houston the defending champion qualified in fifth and looked to have his hands full, but that was not the case come the race event.

 

Villopoto jumped out of the gate on his KX450F and took the early lead in his heat race until the red flag was waved on lap three. The field was lined up for a staggered restart in which Villopoto maintained his lead to take the win. In the 20-lap main event, he took control of the lead just four corners into the first lap and was never challenged. Winning his fifth consecutive main event, he extended his lead to 21 points in the championship with only four rounds remaining.

 

“Getting five in a row is incredible,” said Villopoto. “We've come a long way since Anaheim and have constantly improved to the point where we are now on top. The field is so close that you really need to have everything dialed in order to win and we've been able to do that these past few weeks.”

 


Three short weeks ago, Bowers wrapped up his third consecutive Arenacross championship and was planning on taking some time off until he got the call from Pro Circuit's Mitch Payton. Bowers tested with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki over the past two weeks and got the KX250F dialed for his debut with the team in Houston.

 

Although he didn't have any expectations for himself, he took many by surprise when he qualified third overall in the 250SX class just a hair off the speed of the championship contenders. Bowers rode a strong heat race to finish second, but in the main event he tangled with another rider and nearly found himself on the ground in the first turn. He made quick work of the field and caught the leaders, battling for third but ultimately finishing just off the podium in fourth place.

 

“I know that with this great team behind me, paired with my ability, we can be upfront battling,” said Bowers.  “The main event was a bit hairy the first few laps. I rounded the first turn in 19th after a rider went down in front of me and within the first few corners I had made my way into the top-10. From there I just concentrated to riding my lines and trying to keep with the leaders. With another week on the bike and we'll come out swinging in Minneapolis.”

 

Although Arenacross and Supercross have many similarities, the racing is extremely different. Bowers is no stranger to Supercross, he is a stranger to not being on the podium and battling for wins. Bowers scored his best career finish on Saturday in fourth, but will not be happy until he is back to his winning ways.