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.
Fitness 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…