Villopoto re-signs with Kawasaki team


Two-time Monster Energy Supercross champion Ryan Villopoto has been officially re-signed by Monster Energy Kawasaki to a multiyear deal. Jake Weimer will rejoin Villopoto on the KX450F for 2013 and beyond. Villopoto's deal makes him the last major name to come off the board.

Villopoto's signing isn't a surprise even despite the April knee injury from that caused the 2011 champion to miss the entire 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. It was the third time in four years that Villopoto missed the series with injury.

Rival and also two-time supercross champion Chad Reed created buzz in July when he was quoted on Fox Sports Australia's website saying: "Ryan's contract is up and we're talking to him. We really want to try and make it happen. He's a great kid and we've been teammate [sic] before."

Reed rode for Kawasaki in 2010 but now owns and competes on his own team, TwoTwo Motorsports, where he competes on Hondas.
Villopoto was surprised by the amount of attention the quote got but doesn't deny that he and his agent were entertaining new deals. His contracts, from clothing to bikes, were all up for renewal.

"… I do know that [my] contract was up and it was contract time and I had said from the beginning that anybody out there that wants to talk and has a legitimate offer, there's always time to talk if there is a legitimate offer," Villopoto told ESPN.com.

Villopoto, who also has three 250 motocross championships to pair with his three 450 MX/SX titles, will return to racing at the Monster Energy Cup on Oct. 20 in Las Vegas. He won the inaugural event in 2011, pocketing $1 million.

On Saturday at the Red Bull Lake Elsinore National, Weimer will conclude his second season at Monster Energy Kawasaki. He missed most of 2011 with injury but finished fifth overall in the 2012 Supercross class and currently holds fourth in AMA Motocross in the 450 division. He is six points behind Andrew Short for third overall.

Weimer is the 2010 Supercross Lites West Region Championship, and a member of Team USA's victory at the 2009 Motocross of Nations in Italy.

Weimer will also compete in Las Vegas at the 2012 Monster Energy Cup.