Poulsbo’s Villopoto hottest thing going on two wheels

Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto is the Michael Jordan of his sport.

Villopoto, like Jordan, even has shoes named after him (by Vans).

Like Jordan, he’s capable of the spectacular, but he usually makes it look easy.

Because of the sustained success he’s achieved over the last two years, Villopoto’s become the biggest thing in Supercross (stadium) and motorcross (outdoor)  racing since Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael.

BJ Smith of ESPN.com talked to Villopoto recently and the Kawaski rider reiterated that he’s likely not going to hang around just to break records. A year ago before the race at CenturyLink in Seattle, he told me the same thing. He said people have no idea about the physical pounding your body takes in his sport. I compared it to what an NFL running back goes through.

I asked about his career goals and RV2 said he’s not out to break records or go down in history as the greatest ever or anything like that.

“It’s just to race and try to have as much fun as I can,” he said. “And also make a career out of it to where when I’m done, when I retire at 26 or 27 or whenever I decide to, I won’t have to work anymore.”

Villopoto’s 23 now, and he’s probably already achieved that goal of not having to work anymore. He’s won eight of the first 13 Supercross races (23 of 61 overall in his four years on the 450cc bikes), clinching the title for a second straight year with four races left. Nobody’s ever clinched that early. Villopoto’s already practicing and making plans to defend his outdoor moorcross title.

I don’t know if there’s been a more dominating professional athlete from Kitsap County than Ryan Villopoto. He’s got homes in Florida and California but most of his family remains in Kitsap County. Villopoto still slips in and out of the area without a lot of fanfare.

Villopoto races in New Orleans this week, returns to Seattle for the April 21 race, and closes the Supercross season with races at Salt Lake City (April 28) and Las Vegas (May 5).

Villopoto enjoyed a million dollar payday in Vegas last October when he won the first Monster Energy Cup, winning all three races handily over a hybrid Supercross/motocross course.

Also

If you’re a John Grisham fan, his latest novel — Calico Joe — is about baseball. It’ll be released next month.

Joe Posnanski writes about the No. 18, the holy grail when it comes to golf. That’s how many major championships Jack Nicklaus won.

Outside of Chone Figgins’ two-game revival,  the biggest story of the young baseball season to date? For me, it’s the Arizona Diamondbacks, taking off where they left off a year ago. The D-backs made five errors and were six runs behind, but still managed to come back to beat the Giants 7-6 on Sunday, completing a three-game sweep. They beat two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum on Friday, pounded talented lefty Madison Bumgarner on Saturday and got to Matt Cain for five earned runs in six innings on Sunday. The Giants are favored to win the NL West, but they’ve now lost eight straight to Arizona.

One thought on “Poulsbo’s Villopoto hottest thing going on two wheels

  1. Nice to see Ryan get some local press. He’s a good representative for his sport and everyone in Kitsap should be very proud that somebody from here is absolutely at the top of his sport world-wide. Further reason to have tracks here in Kitsap County!

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