In front of 49,834 fans inside Chase Field, reigning three-time 450SX Class Champion Ryan Villopoto won his first Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race of the season aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki.
Yoshimura Suzuki‰Ûªs Australian import Matt Moss grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyzå¨ Holeshot Award to start the 20-lap 450SX Class Main Event, with Toyota/Yamaha/N-Fab/JGRMX‰Ûªs Justin Brayton and Red Bull KTM‰Ûªs Ryan Dungey in tow.
Villopoto started in ninth, behind the likes of Yoshimura Suzuki‰Ûªs James Stewart, Team Honda Muscle Milk‰Ûªs Justin Barcia, and Red Bull KTM‰Ûªs Ken Roczen.
Brayton took over the lead after the second corner, bringing Dungey and Barcia with him. Barcia surged towards the front, passing Dungey for second and then setting his sights on the lead. Barcia briefly passed Brayton, but the Yamaha rider countered back, which allowed Dungey to reclaim second from Barcia. A six-rider battle ensued with Brayton, Dungey, Roczen, Barcia, Villopoto, and Stewart all within just a few seconds of one another.
On Lap 7, Barcia and Roczen made contact while battling for third, sending Roczen to the ground. Villopoto pressured Barcia shortly thereafter and made the pass for third.
As Dungey looked to make a move on Brayton, Villopoto closed in and made the pass for second on Lap 11. On Lap 13, Villopoto passed Brayton and fended off a late charge to win in Phoenix for the first time in the 450SX Class.
‰ÛÏJustin was riding a hell of a race,‰Û