As the summer has ended and Motocross 2012 is in the books, the teams head into the offseason looking to secure their team rosters for next year. Not surprisingly, when the big names are up for a new contract- things tend to get done in a hurry. Such is the case with Ryan Villopoto, arguably the very best rider in the world. With their own event coming this October and SX 2013 right around the corner, Monster Energy Kawasaki moved swiftly to re-sign both Ryan Villopoto and Jake Weimer to contracts extending beyond 2013. With these two back in the fold, Kawasaki will once agin have a stranglehold on the 450cc class as we move to the stadiums in January. Here’s the press release from Team Green themselves, announcing this landmark deal:
Direct from Kawasaki USA: Monster Energy Kawasaki will continue with its successful team of Ryan Villopoto and Jake Weimer on board the championship proven KX™450F for 2013 and beyond.
“Our goal from the beginning was to have the best riders on the track and we have that with Ryan and Jake,” said Reid Nordin, Kawasaki Senior Manager of Racing. “The guys work extremely well with each other, and have both had exceptional seasons. The entire team continues to work hard to improve. We are looking forward to having two Kawasaki’s on the podium and continued success for many years to come.”
In 2011, Villopoto had a dominating season winning the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship title, the AMA 450 Motocross Championship, the Motocross of Nations Chamberlin trophy, and the Monster Energy Cup. He successfully defended his Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship in 2012, but an injury forced him to miss his title defense in the AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Villopoto has been with Kawasaki since his amateur career as part of Team Green. He has a Supercross Lites West Region Championship and three 250 motocross championships. Earning his first supercross class win in 2009, Villopoto has since accumulated a total of 24 supercross wins and sits seventh on the all-time win list.
Villopoto’s teammate Weimer competed in his first full season on the KX450F this year, finishing fifth overall in Supercross. He has carried the team through the summer by consistently battling for the podium during the outdoor nationals. Weimer made the jump up to 450 class after a successful lites career. Weimer captured the 2010 Supercross Lites West Region Championship, earned a total of eight supercross lites wins, three 250 motocross wins, and helped Team USA win the 2009 Motocross of Nations in Italy. After a broken arm hindered his debut 450 season in 2011, Weimer scored five supercross podiums in 2012 and currently sits fourth in the AMA Pro 450 Motocross Championship.
Weimer wraps up the 2012 motocross season at Lake Elsinore and then he will be rejoined by Villopoto at the Monster Energy Cup on October 20, 2012 in Las Vegas.
Shrewd move to say the least by Team Green, keeping the most dangerous man on two wheels in the fold for the forseeable future! And Jake Weimer’s star is on the rise- this is a ridiculously formidable lineup. The Monster Energy Cup will be the launching point, but 2013 Supercross is where these two should really put up the fireworks. Can’t wait til they strap up the dirtbike boots at A1 – it’s gonna be awesome.
Here’s a look at what this team can do when properly motivated- check out this “Ride Day” with these guys: