Last year was a bittersweet one for Ryan Villopoto. On one hand, the 24-year-old supercross star captured his second consecutive AMA Supercross title and had the most dominating season in the history of the sport. On the other hand, Villopoto’s dream season ended with him shredding his ACL, the second catastrophic knee injury of his young career. Villopoto is healthy now, but such an injury is very bad news in a sport that routinely forces 30-year-olds into retirement.
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Villopoto would have a tough road to a three-peat even if his knees weren’t held together by paperclips and old chewing gum. The trio of Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed, and James Stewart has a legitimate shot to unseat Villopoto this season if fortune smiles their way. One of them will take a big step towards capturing the title if he wins the second leg of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series Saturday.