After one of the most successful single seasons in AMA history, Ryan Villopoto will enter 2012 as one of five pre-season favourites to defend his Monster Energy AMA Supercross title.
With four former champions lining up next year including Villopoto, Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey and James Stewart, the new year could present the greatest season of all time.
Villopoto captured the Monster Energy Supercross and AMA Motocross crowns this year, in addition to leading Team USA to a seventh straight win at the Motocross of Nations, and all eyes will be on the champion.
The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider capped off the 2011 season by claiming the largest purse in the history of the sport with the Monster Energy Cup Monster Million.
“It’s pretty unreal,” Villopoto said. “I’m happy we were able to pull it off. To back it up next year would be hard, so if we do, it would be great.”
Since making his move into the elite level of supercross in 2009, Villopoto experienced a slow, yet upward progression.
The trials and tribulations he endured as a result of his misfortunes built a mature and fierce competitor that learned to take advantage of every opportunity that presented itself. In 2011, Villopoto took the championship by the horns, and was rewarded for it.
With early access to his 2012 Monster Energy Kawasaki machine, Villopoto has already secured a leg up on the competition that he hopes will play to his advantage come January.
He will look to become the first rider since Ricky Carmichael, in 2005 and 2006, to win back-to-back Monster Energy Supercross titles.