Coming at a time when he is riding perhaps the best he’s ever ridden in his career, Ryan Villopoto told Dirt Rider after the Unadilla race that he was taking himself out of consideration for this year’s Motocross of Nations in Germany so he can have surgery to take care of a nagging injury.
“It’s a real bummer because I personally have won every time I’ve gone, I’ve had great experiences at that event and it’s a really fun race,” said Villopoto. “But for [our Monster Energy Kawasaki] team, I have to get a couple of little things worked on. Everybody knows our focus here in the States, we race supercross and motocross. So for us to be ready for what we need to do, I need to use that time (during MXoN) to take care of myself so that we’re good through supercross and motocross next year.”
Specifically, Villopoto explained that a bone spur in his left foot that has been bothering him.
“It’s just been a nagging injury for a while and people will say that it doesn’t affect me because I’m out there racing, but nobody wants to deal with nagging injuries, it gets old after a while and I need to get it taken care of. It actually has nothing to do with my injury at St. Louis, it’s a new thing that started a few years ago, and I’ve ridden the last few years with that bothering me. Again, nobody will understand this, except for the people behind the scenes who really see what goes on. And that’s okay. All I can do is put out a press release that explains it and they can take it for what it is. It’s a bummer, and it’s a part of what we deal with every week.”
According to Villopoto, the bottom line is to be ready for the Monster Energy Cup. He says that’s a priority for the team, Monster Energy is the main sponsor of the team and he will do everything possible to be ready for that race.
This comes as a minor setback to the U.S. squad, which is hoping to win back the Chamberlain Cup that it lost at last year’s event in Lommel, Belgium. This year’s race will be held in Tuetschenthal, Germany, on September 28-29.