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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Supercross invades Indianapolis

Friday, February 19, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ryan Dungey, Josh Hill and Ryan Villopoto bring their tight battle for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross title to Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday.

Dungey and Hill are tied for the lead with 123 points and Villopoto has 120 with six of 17 rounds completed. Villopoto, a 21-year-old Kawasaki factory rider from Poulsbo, Wash., has won two of the past three events, including last week's stop at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.

This is Villopoto's second season in Supercross, one of the AMA's premier series that also carries the prestige of an FIM World Championship. He won two of the final three events last season, coming back from an injury that forced him to miss four events. Villopoto finished sixth in the prestigious stadium motocross championship.

Villopoto led all 20 laps last Saturday en route to his fourth career Supercross victory, finishing 4.6 seconds in front of Hill. Kevin Windham was third and Dungey fourth.

"I think I'm in a great position heading back East," Villopoto said. "I think it's anyone's race at this point and it will boil down to whoever is the most consistent."

It was the fourth consecutive runner-up result for Hill, a factory Yamaha rider in his third Supercross campaign.

"It's cool to be tied for the lead, that's where I want to be," Hill said. "But I've just been riding in my comfort zone every week and I need to break out of that and ride like I know how to ride. I know I can win one of these, but at the same time, I'm happy to be where I'm at."

Dungey has two wins in his rookie Supercross season, back-to-back at Phoenix's Chase Field in round two and at Anaheim II in round three. The 20-year-old factory Suzuki rider from Belle Plaine, Minn., opened the season by finishing second to James Stewart at Anaheim I, but has had two fourths and a sixth in the most recent three rounds.

"I'm just pumped on the nice performance," Dungey said after his first Supercross win at Phoenix. "This is a big step in my career. I owe a lot of thanks to all the people supporting me. I'm glad to get this out of the way and I'll never forget it. It's great to come out with a win here in round two."

Phoenix was eventful, reshaping the championship. Stewart, the 2007 and 2009 Supercross champion and the favorite to win this season, broke his wrist in a heat race. He took the last chance qualifying race to make the main event, where he finished 15th. Stewart finished third at Anaheim II, but had surgery following the event. He'll be out of the series for a couple more weeks.

Reed, the 2004 and 2008 Supercross champion, broke his hand in a crash with rival Stewart in the main event at Phoenix and was forced to have surgery. He's expected to return in a few more weeks.

With Stewart and Reed out of contention, it's become an unpredictable championship that figures to be decided between Dungey, Hill and Villopoto. Davi Millsaps, the winner at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, is fourth with 98 points. He's been climbing in the standings, finishing third at San Francisco and fifth at Anaheim III with his San Diego triumph in between and has an outside shot at moving into contention with consistency like that.

Saturday's racing begins at 7 p.m. Practice and qualifying start at 12:30 p.m. Reed won last year's main event at Lucas Oil Stadium.