Villopoto Debuts 2012 Kawasaki at Unadilla MX

Honda’s Justin Barcia moved up to the 450 cc class for Round 9 of the AMA Pro MX Championship over weekend. The nineteen year old New York native finished third overall in his debut race. Photo courtesy of

Since 1970, motocross racing fans have been traveling to the mid-state Leatherneck region of New York State for one of AMA’s oldest outdoor motocross events. This year was no exception as fans lined the fence three-deep for the start of the first moto of the 450 cc class. After the disappointment of not winning the Lucas Oil AMA Championship round at his home track in Washougal, Ryan Villopoto gave himself an early birthday present by winning both motos at the Unadilla National.

In his first ever professional race on the big bikes, Honda’s Justin Barcia took the early lead in front of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Villopoto and the Rockstar Makita Suzuki of Ryan Dungey. After season-ending injuries to Honda’s Trey Canard and Josh Grant, the factory race team decided to promote Barcia from the 250 cc Lites class. Barcia didn’t disappoint with solid top three performances in both motos. But nobody, including Barcia, could touch the new 2012 Kawasaki.

Villopoto slipped by Barcia early in race one and was never challenged for the win. After a good duel early on, Dungey also got past Barcia to claim a second place finish. TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed passed Jake Weimer late in Moto One for fourth and fifth place respectively. In Moto Two, Villopoto would work his way around early leader Mike Alessi on the factory KTM. Barcia and Dungey would have a classic battle for second overall before the two clipped handlebars and Barcia would again have to settle for third.

As the teams take a week off, Villopoto holds a seven-point lead in the AMA Pro MX Championship over Dungey. Reed’s fourth place overall at Unadilla would drop the Honda rider to 25 points behind Villopoto with three races remaining. Round 10 of the race for the national title will be held at the famed Southwick MX track in Massachusetts on August 27. If you’re looking for an advantage for your favorite ride, pick up a box of E3 motorcycle spark plugs at your favorite discount or auto parts store. E3 spark plugs were Born to Burn.