Ryan Villopoto was battling for his first supercross title in mid-2011 when he suffered a broken right leg during a race in St. Louis, abruptly ending his season.
But after multiple surgeries and physical therapy on the leg, Villopoto returned in 2012 and has been nearly unstoppable ever since.
The Seattle-area native clinched his fourth consecutive Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series championship with a victory Saturday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., his sixth win of the season.
Villopoto, 25, became only the second rider in AMA supercross history to win four consecutive titles. The other was Jeremy McGrath in 1993-1996.
"It feels great," Villopoto said after the New Jersey race. "It's been a hard-fought season with a few ups and downs, but it was obviously my most consistent, so I'm glad to be able to close it out on top."
Supercross is the stadium version of off-road motorcycle racing, or motocross, and three of the first six races of the AMA season take place at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Villopoto did not win any of the three Anaheim races this year, but the Kawasaki rider captured two other races early in the season -- in Phoenix and Oakland -- that again put him in the title chase.
The series' final race of the season is Saturday in Las Vegas. Former champion Ryan Dungey currently is second behind Villopoto in the title standings.