Pourcel and Villopoto Show Dominance In Houston Houston, Texas. -- Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel claimed his second-consecutive AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Region title with a dominating win at Reliant Stadium,...
Pourcel and Villopoto Show Dominance In Houston
Houston, Texas. -- Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel claimed his second-consecutive AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Region title with a dominating win at Reliant Stadium, while Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto led wire-to-wire after grabbing the holeshot in the AMA Supercross main event. Teammate Chad Reed made his return to racing after being absent for three months from a main event, finishing fourth after starting outside the top-10. Pourcel's teammate Dean Wilson rode a great race, running in the top-three until the final lap, but a crash in the whoops sent him back to ninth.
Back to Back
Pourcel retained his title as the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Region champ as he clinched the title with one round to go. Pourcel had run a great season, claiming his fifth win in seven races to earn another No. 1 plate for the Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki transporter.
"I normally don't think about the championship at the races, I just want to put in a good race," said Pourcel. "I am really happy that I was able to wrap it up early, but next week I still want to go out with a win."
Villopoto started the day with a few ups and downs, but he made it count when he needed it, flying out to the holeshot in the main event and pushing hard to keep a gap between him and second place. With his consistent lap times, he did just that and took the win by 6.9 seconds.
"It definitely wasn't a perfect day, by any means, but I really wanted the win," said Villopoto. "I've made mistakes in the past, but my goal was to put in 20 solid laps. I feel like I did that and I was able to get my seventh win."
In The Hunt
Coming into Round 13 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM Championship, Villopoto faced a 21-point deficit, but with his win and the points leader finishing fifth, he made up nine points and put himself in position to make a run for the title.
"Since I fell in Atlanta, the main goal for me was to keep winning races and hopefully (Ryan) Dungey would make a mistake," said Villopoto. "Tonight he made a pretty big mistake and I was able to capitalize, especially with the win. I want to go out in the next couple races and try to chip away the best I can at the points gap."
Reed made his return to racing after taking time off to completely recover from the hand injury he sustained during Round 2 of the series. He posted fast lap times all day and showed his enthusiasm to be back after being away for three months.
"It feels really good to be back racing and not sitting in the stands watching," said Reed. "It was really hard for me to watch and be out that long. To be honest, it was good to finally get 20 full laps in. I haven't really done that with this team other than Australia, but that was a different format. So it was nice to get out there and be in the top-five my first race back."
A Good Ride
Wilson's ninth place result didn't reflect how well he rode after competing in only his fourth supercross event of his career. After a decent start, he worked his way up to third and was constantly looking for a place to pass for second. On the last lap, Wilson decided to go for it, but went down and had to settle for ninth.
"I was so disappointed that I made that mistake," said Wilson. "I know everyone makes mistakes, but that one hurt a little bit. I really wanted to be on the podium. Next week I want to finish with my best result."
Put It On The Wall
With the championship all wrapped up, Pourcel had one more task at hand when he got back to the truck. As team member gathered around, Pourcel hung his No. 1 plate on the doors of the team semi, a Pro Circuit tradition.
Making His Return
Wilson made his return to the Eastern Region AMA Supercross Lites competition in Houston. After missing the last two events, he was in great spirits and was extremely happy to be back with his team.
"It was really hard to be stuck and want to race so badly," said Wilson. "I'm glad we got it all worked out and now I want to finish the season strong."
During his first race back, Reed didn't get to focus solely on the race. In the back of his mind was the approaching birth of his son with his wife Ellie.
"Racing was a little different this weekend compared to the past because I have the possibility of being called home to be with Ellie," said Reed. "Every time I came in off the track, I wanted to go back and check my phone to see if anything had progressed. We were lucky to have it work to where I could come to the race this week, but now we have to wait and see what happens throughout this upcoming week."