Ryan Villopoto is one of the most intense competitors in Monster Energy AMA Supercross racing. For that matter, he may very well be one of the most intense competitors in all of sports. That intensity combined with the single-minded purpose of rising to the top of the podium in this form of motorsports has helped the 24-year-old rider claim the last two Supercross titles.
"My goal is to win so I'll do everything I can to make it happen," Villopoto said in a recent interview for DUB Magazine.
"When you're the top guy in the sport it's tough; you're racing week in and week out for championships and there is no room for error. It's an entirely different mentality than for someone who's out there racing for a top-10. To be able to win, you have to not only be consistent but be out there every day, hitting it hard on and off the track."
Starting on Saturday night in Angel Stadium, Villopoto will kick start his effort to capture a third consecutive championship in one of the most physically demanding and mentally challenging sports around.
The lead rider for Team Kawasaki has won this season's opening event at the Anaheim, California venue each of the past two years.
Getting off to a good start on the 17-event schedule has proven beneficial to Villopoto in his championship campaigns. As a matter of fact, he was so far ahead in 2012 that even a season-ending knee injury with two races remaining on the schedule did not cost him the championship lead.
Villopoto has missed the outdoor motocross season in three of the previous four years due to leg injuries.
But don't look for Villopoto's injury to slow him down in the coming season. He had surgery on his left knee then began rehabing almost immediately after crashing in Seattle. As a matter of fact, the two-time stadium series champion says that he was so focused on a full recovery that he did little else last summer.
The Poulsbo, Washington rider has won a total of 15 Supercross main events over the past two seasons. Within that time span he also collected a cool $1 million first prize when he won all three legs of the Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas in October of 2011.
Now that he is back at full strength, Ryan Villopoto has to be considered the favorite to claim yet another Supercross title.