Monster Energy Kawasaki announced today that Ryan Villopoto will not defend his Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross title in 2012 after injuring his knee at the Seattle Supercross on Saturday night. Villopoto swept the supercross and motocross titles in 2011 and recently wrapped up the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross title. Villopoto will undergo surgery on his knee this week.
"I'm pretty disappointed right now," said Villopoto. "I have trained hard for this season and even though I won the supercross title, I really wanted to defend my outdoor championship. I've been through injury before and I know how hard I have to work to get back."
Villopoto crashed on lap one of the main event in Seattle. He was running mid-pack and trying to pass Davi Millsaps when he washed his front end in a left hand corner. He buckled his left knee under the bike and took a blow to his stomach from his handlebar. Villopoto crawled halfway off the track but not before rolling onto his back and cradling his left knee.
Villopoto is coming off of a dominant 16 months where the Poulsbo, Wash. native earned two Supercross Class titles with 15 total wins, the 450 Motocross Championship with three wins, the overall and team victory at the Motocross of Nations and also the richest payday in supercross with a million dollar win at the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas. He was last injured at St. Louis in 2010 when he suffered a severely broken right tibia and fibula.
Villopoto's absence at the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross opener in Hangtown on May 21 will mark the third time in four years that the former three-time 250 Motocross champion (2006-2008) has withdrawn from the 450 class championship. In 2009 he suffered a season ending knee injury at round one of the series.