Ryan Villopoto started 11th and promptly moved up to 6th in the first few turns. From there he worked into 4th over the next couple of laps and did give Cairoli, who was in 3rd, a run for a few laps. But he couldn’t hang with him. Cairoli passed DeSalle for 2nd and was gone. As the moto wound down Villo closed on DeSalle in 3rd but couldn’t make a pass. He ended the moto in 4th. I think he took 4th overall and is now 27 points out of 1st place in the Championship. Nagle too the 2nd moto and the overall, Cairoli took 2nd for 2nd overall.

Villopoto’s bike looked better in race 2, and the commentators noted that he made changes to the bike between races. I’m still not sure he’s got it quite right. Or maybe it’s just his aggressive style. He’s very good, but not quite as good as he needs to be. Yet. Now he has two weeks off to continue his training, rehab and testing before the long run through Europe begins.

MXGP Argentina lap timesFitness doesn’t seem to be an issue. His fastest lap was on lap 1 (1:49.359) and it was the 2nd fastest lap of the race. Only Nagle was faster (1:49.159 in lap 2).  While he dropped off toward the end it was likely due to the track getting rougher as he was still on pace with the Top 3 with low 1:51s.

I expect we’ll see him on the box in Italy in three weeks. But then comes Valkenswaard and we’ll have to see how he does in the European sand…

Today’s MXGP is in Neuquén (Spanish pronunciation: [neuˈken]), Patagonia, Argentina, located at the southern-most tip of South America. From Wikipedia:

Neuquén (Spanish pronunciation: [neuˈken]) is the capital city of the Argentine province of Neuquén, located in the east of the province, at the confluence of the Limay and Neuquén rivers. The city has a population of more than 265,000, making it the largest city in Patagonia.

Elevation for Neuquén is approximately 260m (850 ft.) above sea level and the average daily temperature in March is 18.5 degrees C (65 degrees F). The soil appears to be deep and dark. The general description of the area says it consists of several volcanic rock variations.

Villopoto-MXGP-ArgentinaRyan Villopoto started 4th in the first moto and challenged briefly for 2nd position in the early going, but did not appear to have the speed keep it up. The track had big rollers everywhere and suspension setup for eventual winner DeSalle and 2nd-place Cairoli looked a little better to my untrained eye. Villopoto eventually settled into a comfortable 4th behind Nagle and cruised there for the final 10 minutes or so.

In the first MX2 moto Jeffrey Herlings took a big digger on lap one and withdrew from the race. Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis took 1st, with American Thomas Convington finishing 7th.

2nd MXGP moto coming up in a couple of hours.

Recently there’s been a spate of unfortunate injuries in the high-stakes world of professional Supercross racing and, in the rush to post updates, some of the moto-journalists are mixing their metaphors, jamming their grammar, and relying on speel-cheek to catch their errors. Fair enough. There’s tough competition to be first with the news and something’s gotta give. Maybe they know, maybe they don’t, but I’ve seen this little faux pas more than once. So here’s the deal.

Dear moto-journalists, this is a bone graph:

Bone Graph

And this is a bone graft:

Bone Grafting

There’s quite a difference. Just in case you’re ever in the ER and someone offers you a bone graph I thought you might want to know.