Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki finished off the season strong at the 12th and final round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship held in Pala, California on Saturday as 2010 AMA Pro Motocross Champion Ryan Dungey and team mate Brett Metcalfe powered their Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450s to a first and fourth-place finish overall respectively.
In the first moto, Dungey got pushed out on the start and had to work his way up from 10th on the first lap. He quickly worked his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 up to third by lap six and pushed hard until the end, passing for second on the 13th lap and ended up crossing the line in second. After another tough start in moto two, Dungey again worked his way up to third by the halfway point. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider put his head down and used the awesome power of his RM-Z to chase down the leader and make the pass in the closing stages to take the chequered flag for the moto win and the overall win for the day. The 2010 AMA Pro Motocross Champion finished off the season a close second to the top in championship points, amassing a total of six moto wins, 16 podiums and four overall wins.
“It was a good day here at Pala,” said Dungey. “I was able to go two-one for the overall win today on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 and that was good. I had a tough start in the first moto and finished second, but we were able to battle back and manage to get through the pack in the second to take the win and get the first overall. It was a tough battle – It was really cool that the championship came down to this last race. Although we didn’t win, we did a great job getting through the season despite all the adversity we had to overcome. I’m really happy with the way my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team stepped up. It’s nice to be able to walk away knowing we did everything we could. It was a lot of fun and there are a lot of great memories. I want to thank the man above, my whole team and crew, my family, all the fans, and everybody in Japan that makes this happen. I’m really looking forward to the Motocross of Nations next week. It’s great to go there and represent your country. It’s really something special.”
Metcalfe also put on an impressive performance aboard his Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. After a solid start in the first moto, Metcalfe ran as high as third and consistently in fourth before a stall on the last lap dropped him back for a fifth-placed finish. Another strong start in moto two put Metcalfe and his Suzuki RM-Z into the front pack. He rode a strong and consistent race once again for another fifth-place moto finish and a fourth overall for the day. He finished off the year a solid fourth in Championship points and scored an overall win, as well as two podiums and three top five finishes.
“Pala worked out pretty good for me,” said Metcalfe. “I was able to pull off a fourth overall and I’m pretty happy with that. I was really looking forward to Pala because it’s kind of my home race and I had a lot of friends and family here. I started out pretty strong in practice and I was really comfortable out there, which is the important thing. My Suzuki was working really well and I got into a good rhythm. I got two really good starts today and my Suzuki RM-Z450 was really fast getting down to the first corner. I rode well but could only manage two fifths for the day; in the first moto, I should have been fourth, but I stalled it on the last lap. It was a good day and now I’m looking forward to the ‘Nations. I want to thank my whole Rockstar Makita team, Yoshimura and all my sponsors. They’ve all been very supportive the entire year. I also want to thank Suzuki for giving us such a great bike in the RM-Z and the support we need to race at this top level.”
The Rockstar Makita Suzuki riders are heading to France next week to compete for their respective countries at the 2011 Motocross of Nations, which will be held September 17th-18th in Saint Jean d’Angely, France. Metcalfe will also be competing in the 2011 Monster Energy Cup to be held at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, October 15th.
Pala 450 Class Overall Results:
1. Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
2. Ryan Villopoto
3. Justin Barcia
4. Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
5. Mike Alessi
6. Kyle Regal
7. Chad Reed
8. Justin Brayton
9. Jake Weimer
10. Les Smith
2011 Motocross 450 Class Final Standings:
1. Ryan Villopoto – 526
2. Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) – 514
3. Chad Reed – 429
4. Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) – 374
5. Mike Alessi – 304
6. Jake Weimer – 271
7. Justin Brayton – 218
8. Andrew Short – 196
9. Kevin Windham – 193
10. Davi Millsaps – 173