Four-time World Champion Ryan Villopoto is set to return to Sydney on November 10 for AUS-X Open before travelling to New Zealand for inaugural Monster Energy S-X Open Auckland 24 November.
With four World Supercross and five AMA Motocross titles to his name, Villopoto will arguably be the biggest name on two wheels to ever race in New Zealand and the 30-year-old Washington native is excited to go head-to-head with an already impressive line-up of confirmed riders including; New Zealand’s Ben Townley, Australia’s Chad Reed, and fellow American, Justin Brayton.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Auckland, and with the calibre of riders heading to the event, I think fans will be stoked to witness an event of this magnitude, I think it’s going to blow their minds,” Villopoto said.
Villopoto and Townley were teammates and raced together in the World Championship in 2007, and Villopoto says discussions were also had about one-day racing alongside each other in New Zealand.
“I had an awesome time racing with BT [Ben Townley] in the States, we were always talking about heading to New Zealand to race together there, and it’s finally going to happen.”
With six World Championships between them, Villopoto and Reed will battle it out for the first time since they banged bars back at the 2016 AUS-X Open Sydney, with Villopoto believing he’s ready to take Reed down at this year’s event.
“If Chad’s out front I’ll take him down, watch out Reed, I’m coming for you.”
Since his appearance at the 2016 AUS-X Open, Villopoto says he’s been hanging to get back down under and to take on two-time World Champion Reed again on his home turf, and race to win the overall AUS-X Open crown.
“With the calibre of riders that are going to Sydney, racing against those top guys, the line-up for Sydney is stacked, it will be a hell of a race in Sydney, and if I can get on the top of that podium, I’m for sure going to do a shooey!” Villopoto stated.
With four Supercross and five Motocross world titles to his name, Villopoto is one of the biggest names on two wheels to ever race in Sydney and will go head-to-head with Chad Reed, American – Justin Barcia, current world number five Justin Brayton and current World Champion Jason Anderson, for the AUS-X Open crown.
“When I heard about the new Triple Crown format I was stoked, for me I think three rounds of 10 laps will work to my advantage, the fans get to see us three times on the track and they get three gate drops, which I think is a huge deal. My strategy is to get a good start, get myself out of the gate fast and up the front like I did on the second night in Sydney last time, and I think I’ll be able to stay there and get on that top step of the box.”
“It was my first time down under in 2016, but this time heading to Sydney I’m more prepared, it’s going to be fun to get back to Qudos Bank Arena, the fans and the atmosphere is like no other event in the world, and I can’t wait to be a part of it this November 10.”
Villopoto is set to line up behind the gates in both Sydney, as well as Auckland on November 24, which will see the American as a contender for the inaugural S-X Open International Supercross FIM Oceania Championship, with hopes of taking down the likes of Reed and Brayton for the title.
“I’m going to have to take some drastic measures to get up on the top step of the box, but I’d love to win the [S-X Open International Supercross FIM Oceania] championship and make an awesome comeback!”