Ryan Villopoto wins at Chase Field
PHOENIX -- Three-time defending series champion Ryan Villopoto won the AMA Supercross race Saturday night at Chase Field, holding off Justin Brayton in the 450 Class.
Villopoto, the Kawasaki star from Poulsbo, Wash., raced to his 35th career victory a week after opening the season with a fourth-place finish in Anaheim, Calif.
Villopoto passed Brayton for the lead on Lap 13 in the 20-lap race for his first 450 win in Phoenix.
"Justin was riding a hell of a race," Villopoto said. "I have to give it to him; he made it tough. I didn't get the start I wanted because the (starting) gate was slippery, but I just needed to be patient. The Phoenix (track) gets really slick so I had to take my time and make sure my passes stuck."
A 10-time winner last season, Villopoto took a one-point lead over Ryan Dungey in the standings.
Brayton's runner-up effort matched his career-best finish, set in Toronto in 2012.
"This feels so good," Brayton said. "The new Yamaha is unbelievable. We did our homework this year. It's been a lot of hard work, but being up (on the podium) pays off. I was trying to pay attention to what was going on behind me but still look ahead. I did all I could to stay up front, but Ryan (Villopoto) got by me."
Dungey was third, followed by James Stewart, Justin Barcia, Anaheim winner Ken Roczen and Andrew Short.
"That was a good opportunity to get a win," Dungey said. "I kept making mistakes. I couldn't get through the whoops, but all in all it was a good ride. The track was super slippery and it caught us off guard but we still put in on the box."
KTM's Jason Anderson raced to his second straight Western Regional 250 Class victory.
"I was out for redemption tonight," said Anderson, who failed to qualify for the main event last year in Phoenix. "I got a good start on my KTM, like I have been all season. I don't plan on those last-lap passes, but it was there and I needed to take it. My goal is to keep control of the red number plate (signifying the points leader) so I'll do whatever it takes to do that. I really want it."
Cole Seely was second, and Zach Osborne finished third. Anderson, from Rio Rancho, N.M., has a six-point lead over Seely in the standings.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press