ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ryan Villopoto had a dominant effort to earn his third Supercross victory of the season on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.
He led every lap of the main event.
Championship leader Davi Millsaps edged out Villopoto to get the holeshot award at the start of the 450SX Class Main Event, but a little more momentum helped Villopoto slip past his Rockstar Energy Racing-mounted rival just a few feet later.
Not long after, TwoTwo Motorsports Honda's Chad Reed made an aggressive move to take second from Millsaps, which allowed Villopoto to open an early gap.
While Villopoto continued to pull away, the battle for the podium intensified. Millsaps retook second place on Lap 3 and settled into the position.
Reed appeared to have a secure hold on third place, but Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey began to apply pressure, ultimately making slight contact with Reed after an aggressive pass for the position on Lap 14.
Dungey pushed hard in the closing laps to have a chance at grabbing second from Millsaps, but couldn't get alongside his championship rival in the end.
Villopoto moved into sole possession of third in the championship with his 27th career 450SX Class victory.
"Starts are definitely important," said Villopoto, who has the most wins in the championship. "I've had a target on my back this year, everyone knows that, and it's stressful. I'm just trying to have fun with riding again. If we get third, it's on the podium, and if it's second, that's good, too. Davi has been riding really good this year, so we have to just chip away at it. It's going to take a while."
Millsaps' runner-up finish was his sixth podium in seven races this season, while Dungey extended his podium streak to four with his third-place finish.
"It was definitely a good 20 laps," said Millsaps, who extended his points lead. "I haven't ridden all week because I've been sick, so it's good to come away with a strong finish. Ryan (Villopoto) rode really well, so you have to give it to him."
Millsaps moved 21 points ahead of Dungey in the standings, with Villopoto 24 points behind in third.
Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450 Class results: Arlington, Texas, Feb. 16, 2013
Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450 Class season standings through Feb. 16, 2013
Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250 Class results: Arlington, Texas, Feb. 16, 2013