TORONTO -- Ryan Villopoto raced to his seventh AMA Supercross victory in the first 12 rounds of the season Saturday night, holding off Justin Brayton in front of 47,010 fans at Rogers Centre.
Villopoto, the Kawasaki star from Poulsbo, Wash., has a 79-point lead over KTM's Ryan Dungey in his bid to successfully defend the series championship. Dungey, from Belle Plaine, Minn., is sidelined by a broken collarbone.
Justin Brayton, the Honda rider from Murrieta, Calif., led the opening lap, but Villopoto made the winning pass a short time later and quickly pulled away. However, a slight bobble in the whoops on the third lap allowed Brayton to close in briefly, but Villopoto rebounded and won by more than 9 seconds.
"Out of the first turn, it was just me and Brayton right off the bat," Villopoto said. "I made some pretty big mistakes in the whoops. They were tough. We'll go to Houston, where I think there's a chance to wrap up the title. That's the plan."
Earlier in the Supercross Lites, Justin Barcia, a Honda rider from Ochlocknee, Ga., raced to his fifth win in six races in the Eastern Regional Championship.
"This track was really tough tonight," Barcia said. "You had to be really smart and really smooth. I made a great pass for the lead and kind of just rode my own race from there."
He has a 28-point lead in the season standings.