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Supercross champ Ryan Villopoto wins again at Angel Stadium

February 4, 2012 | 10:34 pm


Reigning supercross champion Ryan Villopoto repeated his season-opening win at Angel Stadium with a second victory there Saturday night.

The Kawasaki rider took the lead on the opening lap of the 20-lap main event and finished nearly five seconds ahead of second-place James Stewart. Chad Reed finished third.

"The track was really slippery," Villopoto said. "I really couldn't make a mistake."

Villopoto, Stewart, Reed and Ryan Dungey -- all former champions in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series -- each had won one of the first four races in the 17-race season, so Villopoto becomes the first two-time winner this year.

Before the main event, the field was divided for two preliminary heats to set the field. Stewart, 26, was holding a comfortable lead in the first heat when he crashed midway through the eight-lap race.

Stewart, who rides for the Yamaha motorcycle team of Joe Gibbs Racing of NASCAR fame, then had to finish first or second in a "last chance qualifier" race to reach the main event, which he did by winning that six-lap race.

In the AMA's second-tier "supercross lites" series, Honda rider Eli Tomac of Cortez, Colo., won his third consecutive main event and Cole Seely of Murrieta finished second.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Ryan Villopoto collects a win last year at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press