News 7 Apr 2015

Villopoto on steep learning curve of MXGP series

American quickly adjusting to world championship competition.

Source: Kawasaki Racing.

Source: Kawasaki Racing.

Multiple American champion Ryan Villopoto has detailed his steep learning curve as a rookie in the MXGP World Championship following the first three rounds.

Villopoto, in his final season of professional competition, has opted to take on the challenge of a single season in Europe and currently sits fourth in the standings.

“It’s tough because our tracks in the States are much different than the tracks here,” Villopoto explained in a blog on his official website,

“The speed you can ride is so much different. We can push on our tracks, but on theirs the dirt is very particular and you have to be very aware of when you can and cannot push.

“Sometimes you have to go slower to go faster, which for me is hard to wrap my head around. The bike settings are much different as well because of the dirt.

“You have to run a softer fork setting because you don’t have the same load on the suspension. I think we are getting closer each day so we can more or less do some fine-tuning from here on out.”

While Villopoto has one moto win on his way to the overall victory in Thailand, he is still adjusting to the full schedule of an MXGP weekend.

“The racing itself over here is just different as well,” he continued. “In America, I like to say, we play checkers, while here, they play chess. There is a lot of strategy involved since the races are stretched out over two days.”

Villopoto had Australia’s two-time MotoGP World Champion in his corner at the recent Argentine round, enjoying the fresh experience of the world championship.

“Got to spend some time with my buddy Casey Stoner, his wife Adriana and their daughter Ally who flew in from Aussie,” he added. “Cool having him around as he is pretty good with track stuff and its always helpful to get another perspective.”