Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey has taken the lead in the AMA Motocross Championship after winning both motos at the weekend’s third round at High Point Raceway.
The RM-Z450-mounted World Supercross Champion said: “We had back-to-back good weekends and put ourselves in a pretty good spot, but it’s still really early in a long championship.”
In the first moto, Dungey set a pattern for the day: taking over the lead mid-way into the race and being consistently-smooth on the rough and rutted track. As the first moto started, Dungey worked his way closer to the front, lap by lap. Just when it looked like the leader may have checked out, he rocketed past and took over the lead. Dungey broke free from the pack towards the end of the race, thanks to the seemingly-endless power of the RM-Z450.
“The track conditions at High Point changed throughout the day, especially in that first moto where it was dry and then wet in the second half,” Dungey said. “These types of conditions challenge bike set-up and the team really hit the mark with engine, suspension, and tyres.”
In the second moto, he kept to the pattern he set: Starting out in fifth place, Dungey picked good lines and passed riders for the first half of the race and moved himself into second and by mid-distance took the lead.
Dungey came into High Point second overall in the series, 11 points behind the leader. With his 1-1 finishes in Pennsylvania, and his 1-1 finishes last weekend in Texas, he now has a 25-point lead.
Dungey’s team-mate Matt Moss was hoping High Point would be the turnaround he needs in the still-young Motocross season: The track was well-suited to Moss’ riding style, and with two races and many weeks of training on the RM-Z450, he felt comfortable as he lined up at the gate.
In the first moto, Moss scored his season-best finish of 17th. At the start of the second moto, Moss and his RM-Z ran as high as second at the beginning, and although Moss fell back a bit in subsequent laps, he maintained his place in the top 10 for much of the race. The choppy track eventually took its toll on Moss and he crashed towards the end of the moto. With past injuries haunting the Australian since the start of the Motocross season, he was unable to rejoin the fray and was forced to settle for 31st and a top-20 position.
Said Moss: “The weekend for me was a lot better than last week, so I was happy about that. I wasn’t much off the pace and the bike got me off to some great starts and was handling great. I just need to keep the rubber end down and I’ll be up there next weekend!”
1. Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) – (1-1)
2. Andrew Short (Honda) – (3-2)
3. Brett Metcalfe (Honda) – (6-3)
4. Ben Townley (Honda) – (4-6)
5. Mike Alessi (KTM) – (7-5)
6. Matt Goerke (Yamaha) – (5-7)
7. Tommy Hahn (Suzuki) – (11-4)
8. Josh Grant (Yamaha) – (2-24)
9. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha) – (10-11)
10. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) – (9-12)