Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto rode to his fifth win of the season at the Rogers Centre in Toronto leading 19 laps on his way to the top step of the podium. In the supercross lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel finished third and Canadian Dean Wilson earned his first heat race win of the season and finished fourth in the main event.
Since finishing 19th in Atlanta, Villopoto has been on a mission to erase his points deficit winning the last two races in dominating fashion. On Saturday night in Toronto, Villopoto took the lead on the second lap and never looked back on his way to his fifth win of the season.
"It definitely feels good to win tonight," said Villopoto. "The track was tough. We had lap times of almost a minute, which is big for a typical supercross track. I left Atlanta down 23 points in the standings and now it's down to 17. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and give myself a chance to win the championship."
Despite a hard crash in his heat race, Pourcel recovered to finish third in the main event. The defending East Coast lites champion currently leads the standings in his title defense as the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Region season passes its midpoint.
"I've got bruises everywhere from the crash," said Pourcel. "But I'm not really hurt. The crash was my fault. I hit the kicker on the tabletop and went over the bars. I didn't get a good gate pick for the main and got an okay start. The track was good tonight and I rode a smart race and still have the points lead."
Wilson's supercross lites debut in Canada couldn't have started any better as he rocketed to the holeshot in his heat race and went on to get his first heat race win of the season. In the main event he got a good start and rode near the front for all 15 laps coming home fourth.
"Getting a heat race win is awesome," said Wilson. "I knew I had the speed and the heat race just went my way. In the main event I didn't get the start I wanted and I rode as best as I could. I'm a little disappointed finishing fourth at my home race, but only because I know I have the speed to be on the podium every week."
Villopoto had his hands full all night on the difficult track in Toronto as he lapped more than half the field on his way to the win.
"The lappers were tough out there tonight," said Villopoto. "They built the rhythm sections with a couple of different options which helped, but because the track was so tough, lapped riders were going to be a part of the race."
Wilson, who is Canadian, had a busy week in Toronto as he flew in early to help promote the race. The media attention paid off, as the crowd was clearly partial to Wilson as he received more cheers than any other rider.
"Hearing all the fans cheering for me was amazing," said Wilson. "I wasn't nervous racing in Canada, it was a lot of fun. I had a busy week up there doing a lot of interviews and making appearances."
The Rogers Centre in Toronto has the largest stadium floor in the series, which gives the Dirt Wurx crew an opportunity to put together a great layout. They also brought new dirt to the stadium, which made for some good racing.
"With the huge floor in Toronto, they built a good track," said Villopoto. "This was my first race up here and from I've seen of the dirt on TV, tonight was a lot better than the past. It got hard packed and slippery out there with a lot of rocks. I think that is typical of the dirt up north, it was a lot like Seattle."
Chad Reed wasn't in Toronto this weekend as he continues his recovery from a broken hand. Reed is working hard to get back to racing as soon as he can and may return this week in Dallas.