Author: Brent Stallo
Three things happened at Steel City for the 11th round of the outdoor nationals. Ryan Villopoto made a statement and proved that he should not only be the 2011 champion, but the MX 1 rider for the Motocross of Nations as well. The second thing that happened is Dean Wilson locked up the Lites title with a perfect 1-1 sweep. The third? Jessica Patterson put in a last ditch effort to keep Ashley Fiolek within her sights.
Ryan Villopoto hasn't won the title...yet. Sure, we're making a bold statement by saying that Villopoto will win the title, but it's one with a lot of history to back it up. When Villopoto is faced with the opportunity to win a title he usually does. Actually, he's only been beaten once when in that position. In 2007 when Trey Canard punted him off the track and went on to win the 2007 East Coast Lites Supercross championship. RV now has a 14 points lead and he got it by absolutely shattering Ryan Dungey's spirits with a last turn pass to win the first moto. It was a must win moto for RD and RV stole it from him like a thief in the night.
Dungey needed confidence if he wanted to win the title. Maybe even more so he needed to take confidence from RV. He needed to make RV doubt himself and doubt his ability to win a title. That didn't happen at Steel City. He actually grew more confident. It would take nothing short of a miracle for Dungey to win the title now and we're going to go out on a limb and say that isn't going to happen. Be sure and check back in next Monday to find out if we put out foot in our mouth.
In the Lites class the drama has subsided. A year that once looked as if it were going to be a three way battle to the end has now ended one round early. Wilson went in with a 38-point lead and left with a 50-point lead. What's that mean? It means he could take a vacation down to Mexico next weekend instead of racing Pala and he would still take the #1 plate. It was a good season where the best man won. But there is still a score to settle. There is still one order of business that Wilson has yet to do. PC wants to finish off the year undefeated and you can bet the house on it that Wilson wants that on his resume as well. It's not a title, but it does give everyone reason enough to tune in.
Last but certainly not least, Jessica Patterson did what she had to do to keep the Women's title within reach. The only problem for her is Fiolek didn't flail and still leads the series by 22-points. All Fiolek needs to do is cruise to an easy third or fourth at Pala and she'll easily take home the title. But knowing Fiolek she'll still be out to prove a point. Things could get interesting between the women come next Saturday. Fiolek has never been one to back it down, and if she sees trouble in just one moto at Pala Patterson could start smelling blood in the water. You know what they say about that fat lady and something about her singing. Well, she hasn't. At least not yet.