Turning 40 in style

Ryan Dungey’s fourth straight victory at Washougal spoils Ryan Villopoto’s homecoming

Tens of thousands of screaming racing fans huddled around the track Saturday, as Washougal Motocross Park went live on the SPEED network, at 4 p.m., for the eighth round of the 2011 Lucas Oil Motocross Championship Series. Buy this photo

2011 Washougal AMA Motocross National Results

450 class (moto finish): 1, Ryan Dungey (2-1). 2. Ryan Villopoto (1-2). 3, Brett Metcalfe (4-3). 4, Chad Reed (7-4). 5, Justin Brayton (6-5).

Standings: 1, Villopotto 341 points. 2, Dungey 340 points. 3, Reed 332 points. 4, Metcalfe 247 points. 5, Kevin Windham 193 points.

250 class (moto finish): 1, Blake Baggett (1-3). 2, Tyla Rattray (2-2). 3, Dean Wilson (5-1). 4, Kyle Cunningham (3-7). 5, Gareth Swanepoel (7-4).

Standings: 1, Wilson 346 points. 2, Rattray 333 points. 3, Baggett 329 points. 4, Cunningham 233 points. 5, Eli Tomac 201 points.

Racing fans of the 40-year-old Washougal Motocross Park had never seen so many twists and turns, until Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto took the stage Saturday.

Back on Washougal’s famous Horsepower Hill for the first time in two years since injuries kept him sidelined, Villopoto flew around the tree lined track with the fastest time of 2 minutes, 5.99 seconds during the first moto in the 450 class. The Washington native captured the checkered flag in the first round, and drove his Kawasaki onto the podium to celebrate with his fans.

“It feels good to be back,” Villopoto said. “This is my hometown race. I missed you guys the last couple of years.”

Villopoto grabbed the holeshot again in the final moto, and appeared to be on his way to a sweep on his home track for the first time in his career. All of that changed at the start of the second lap, when Trey Canard flipped over his handlebars and hit the ground so hard that he could not continue. Officials had no choice but to throw up their red flags to stop the race, which forced a restart.

“You don’t want to see anybody get hurt like that,” Villopoto said. “It was a bummer for me because I had another great start. That threw a wrench in the program.”

With a clean slate, Dungey snagged the third holeshot and never looked back. With flip-flopped finishes in both motos, Dungey and Villopoto were tied with 47 points on the day. By virtue of the second-moto tiebreaker, Dungey became king of the hill at Washougal for the fourth year in a row.

“This is a special place for me,” he said. “Washougal is where I got my first outdoor win, back in 2008. It was a big step in my career.

“It’s nice to be able to get another win here, and to keep moving forward,” Dungey added. “When I look back at my career, I will always remember that here is where I made my big turning point.”

Villopoto did not go home empty handed. His first- and second-place finishes at Washougal propelled him to the top of the 450 class season standings. The 22-year-old from Poulsbo, Wash., leads with 341 points. Dungey is right behind, at 340 points. Chad Reed dropped to third in the rankings, with 332 points.

“It was a good day for me. I just didn’t have it there at the end of the second moto,” Villopoto said. “It’s always nice to come back to your home track. These great fans here have watched me grow up, and they have always been so supportive. I haven’t won at Washougal yet. Maybe next year.”

Kawasaki teammates Blake Baggett, Tyla Rattray and Dean Wilson continued their dominance over the 250 class Saturday. Wilson won the second moto to increase his season lead to 13 points.

“I need to be able to put two good motos together. Consistency is what it takes to win a championship,” he said. “It’s important to get along with your teammates. You never know when you’re going to need them out there.”

Baggett grabbed first in the first moto and third in the second. Rattray took second in both motos. Baggett scored 45 points for first place overall. Rattray followed with 44 points, and Wilson had 41.

“On this track, you have to be really smooth. And when the sun goes down, it can be a hair ball,” Baggett said. “I just rode as fast as I could. When they said I was number-one, I was like ‘no way.’”