Teammate Jake Weimer matched his best performance of the year by finishing on the podium in Moto 2 and fourth overall on the day. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett battled through both motos to finish fifth overall and Martin Davalos rounded out the top-10 overall after picking up the holeshot in Moto 2. In the 250 class Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Hill and Darryn Durham finished 15th, 19th, and 21st respectively, while Tyla Rattray finished 16th in the 450 class.
After missing the podium in Millville two weeks ago and earning the Ricky Carmichael Hard Charger Award, the current points leader reassured his spot at the top of the standings by dominating the track and competition at Unadilla. Villopoto earned his sixth Oakley Bomb Award as top qualifier in the muddy, rutted conditions. He went on to grab both holeshots, lead every lap, and won both motos by more than 12 seconds. Celebrating his 25th birthday on Tuesday, Villopoto also celebrates a 44-point lead in pursuit of his second 450 Pro Motocross Championship.
“Unadilla is slowly becoming one of my favorite tracks,” said Villopoto. “The track had tons of lines. You could go from right to left, inside to outside, and you never really had to follow. I was pumped after the first moto holeshot, but to get both was amazing.”
The second moto at Unadilla was another breakthrough ride for Weimer as he achieved his second podium finish of the season. He rocketed out of the gate behind his teammate on his KX™450F and rounded the first turn shuffling for the lead. Weimer established himself in third and concentrated on running consistent lap times. He kept tabs on his competition all the way to the end and was able to hold off pressure from the field including the reigning champion. Weimer sits seventh in the championship standings.
“The podium is where I belong,” said Weimer. “I got the start I needed and rode to my full potential. I plan to keep this momentum going into the final two rounds and see if I can climb a bit higher in the points.”
After the first practice it was evident that the track was going to be one of the most challenging the Pro Motocross Championship has seen this season. Rain leading up to Saturday left the soil extremely soft which led to multiple ruts and lines in every corner and on each jump face. Rocks have always been a factor at Unadilla therefore many riders opted to run hand guards and chest protectors to shield themselves. Although they sifted the dirt to try and remove as many rocks as possible, Durham and Weimer were both victim to the painful roost. Durham caught a rock to the cheekbone in the first moto, blurring his vision and Weimer took a rock off the back of a 450, which chipped his front tooth significantly. Despite the pain, both riders pressured on to finish their motos with Weimer finishing on the podium.
“It was gnarly out there,” said Durham. “The ruts were long and deep. You took off out of one rut and had to spot your landing into another rut in some spots. The track developed well, but that roost is no joke.”
Monster Energy/Leading Edge/Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalf returned to the Pro Motocross Championship after wrapping up his first Monster Energy Canadian Motocross Championship last weekend in New Brunswick with one round remaining. Metcalfe put his Kawasaki in the top-10 in both motos finishing 10-6 for seventh overall.
Kawasaki showcased the undisputed power of the KX450F and KX™250F at Unadilla as they claimed three of four holeshots on Saturday. Villopoto cleanly grabbed both starts in the 450 class and Davalos put his KX out front with his first holeshot of the season in Moto 2 on his way to seventh.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads back west for the final two stops of the tour. Round 11 will visit a new track at Miller Motorsports Park, who will host the Utah National in Tooele, Utah on Saturday, August 17th.