Ryan Dungey – The Minnesota Arrow

 

The former AMA and Supercross champion is celebrating his 28th birthday today.

Borned in a family of amateur racers, Dungey has turned pro at the age of 16, despite not having impressive resultrs in the mini classes. In the last year as an amateur, he won the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championship.

From 2006, he raced at the 250 category, not having any exceptional results, but he attracted attention of Roger De Coster, the Suzuki team manager at that time. The first important results came one year later, when he got his first professional wins in Supercross, at the East Category.

He went on to finish 5th overall at that category, the same position in AMA, at the 250 class, despite not winning a single round, but finishing on podium 3 times. In 2008 he moved from East to West in Supercross, but he missed the title by just 2 points.

2009 will be an year to remember for the then Suzuki rider, winning both the 250 West and 250 titles in Supercross and AMA. He was also nominated as the team captain for the USA at the MXoN, also marking his first entrance on a 450cc bike. Despite this, he brought the 20th MXoN title for his country, concluding the season in style.

Following this experience, he climbed to he 450 categories in both AMA and Supercross next year. He also went to win these 2 titles, becoming the first ever rider to do so in his rookie year. He was once again chosen as a part of the US team for MXoN, bringin’ another title for them.

2011 was not the same anymore after Roger De Coster left Suzuki for KTM. He had great performances, but Dungey finished 3rd in Supercross and 2nd in AMA. The only good part for him is that he won the MXoN for the 3rd and last time in his career.

2012 saw Dungey back with De Coster, at the KTM Factory Racing. He won 4 Supercross events, but due to an injury, he finished 3rd overall. However, later in the season, he became KTM’s first champion in AMA at the 450 category.

After another 2 years when he didn’t win any of these major championships, Dungey exploded in 2015 winning both the competitions and he became KTM’s first world champion in Supercross and first to do the “double” with them.

2016 started with another Supercross title for Ryan, but an injury at the beginning of the AMA season forced him to end the year way early. Despite this huge break he took, he managed to win his 4th Supercross title and 3rd in a row with KTM.

But, this crown was the last of Ryan’s magnificant career, the Minnesota rider announcing his retirement a few days later. Yeah, a MXGP title would have completed a 5-star square, but still, he’ll be inducted in the Hall of Fame soon. Until then, happy birthday and thank you for everything, “Diesel”!

 

Photo – Simon Cudby/KTM Media Library

Wheelies 2017 – MX Top 10

The 2017 season in motocross has reached the finish line and we decided to make a top10 from MXGP and AMA.

10) Jeremy Seewer

After a successful 2016 season, where he finished as runner-up, behind Jeffrey Herlings, the Swiss rider remained in MX2 with Suzuki to fight for this season’s title.

Credited as the main favourite of 2017, Jeremy was the championship leader after the Indonesian GP and managed to stay there until the Latvian round. Although he didn’t gain back anymore the 1st position in the standings, he managed to bring the fight until the last round with pretty consistent results.

Another runner-up finish in MX2 was supposed to bring Seewer a seat in the MXGP category for Stefan Everts team, but the unexpected withdrawal of Suzuki makes both Jeremy and Jasikonis revalue their offers.

9) Adam Cianciarulo

After a lot of seasons cursed by injuries, Adam finally had an entire season to show his full potential. And he did: he fought for both 250 title in AMA and 250SX East in Supercross, maintaining the thrill for the last one until the Las Vegas finale.

He finished in top3 in both competitions and if he’ll keep himself away from injuries, we’ll see Adam very soon in the upper category.

8) Pauls Jonass

After missing the world title in MX2 in 2015, Jonass took his revenge this season, becoming the first ever Latvian world champion in MXGP. Sure, he had a difficult year, with strong opponents like Seewer, Paturel or Convington, but his experience didn’t let him down.

Pauls will remain in MX2 in 2018 with KTM Factory Racing to defend the crown, but it’s very possible to see him in the MXGP class from 2019.

7) Blake Baggett

2017 will be an unforgettable year for Blake, not only for his performance in Supercross, where he gained a podium in Atlanta and finished the season in 6th place, but especially for the results in AMA.

2 round wins and many other podiums kept Baggett in the title battle until the Ironman finale, completing the top3 of the category, behind the champion Eli Tomac and runner-up Marvin Musquin.

Considering the fact that Baggett didn’t have a factory bike and Ryan Dungey surprisingly decided to end his career, this season could be the beginning of a very nice career for the Grand Terrace-borned rider.

6) Zach Osborne

The Husqvarna factory rider had a hard season, especially with a fired-up Adam Cianciarulo as opponent. However, Osborne was able to beat him in the same 2 competitions and win the 2 titles, repeating Cooper Webb’s performance from last year.

The former Junior Motocross world champion will stay in 250SX East in Supercross next year, but he’ll promote to 450 class in AMA with the swedish manufacturer and who knows, he might become a star in the future.

5) Marvin Musquin

At his second season at the upper category in both american competitions, Musquin has shown another face and became a serious championship contender. At Arlington, he became the fourth frenchman to win a round in Supercross, finishing 3rd in the general classification.

After his teammate Dungey retired, Marvin had a bigger pressure in AMA, but he kept the title hopes until the Ironman finale and he was quite close to make the surprise in front of Eli Tomac.

Well, it’s more than likely that these 2 will be the men to watch in 2018, and if Ken Roczen manages to get back to his shape, the show will be granted.

4) Eli Tomac

After a very good 2016 campaign, the expectations for Tomac were pretty high. In Supercross he managed to win 9 out of 17 rounds and he also got the red plate, but the lack of consistency costed him the tile in the Las Vegas title.

Even with Dungey’s retirement, he had a tough season in AMA, with Marvin Musquin and the surprising Blake Baggett as main rivals. However, the Kawasaki factory rider clinched the title and has the main chance in 2018 in both AMA and Supercross championships.

3) Jeffrey Herlings

“The Bullet” has finally promoted to MXGP, and the expectations were high, especially after Febvre and Gajser’s performances from 2015 and 2016 respectively. But a hand injury created a lot of difficulties for Herlings in the first 5 rounds.

Everything changed after the first home round from Valkenswaard: 6 GP victories and many other podiums made him the championship runner-up, behind teammate Tony Cairoli.
The Dutch rider has also ridden in the final round of AMA 450, where he clinched a double win at his debut and not only that he’s now a big championship challenger for the 2018 MXGP title, but we’ll probably see Jeffrey moving to AMA soon.

2) Ryan Dungey

After a 2016 season that started with a Supercross title and finished with a serious injury, nobody knew what to expect from Dungey. He hasn’t got back on a MX bike for like 6 months and even he said that in the first rounds of Supercross he’ll try to find back his pace.

After Ken Roczen’s horrible crash, Dungey became surprisingly leader in the standings, but the hard was about to begin. A lot of start problems and a fired-up Eli Tomac were some of the difficulties that Dungey had to face.

But the unbelievable comebacks and especially: the consistence, brought the last title of the KTM’s career, Ryan deciding to retire in glory a few days later. But considering what he’s been through last year, it’s understandable.

1) Tony Cairoli

At his age or even earlier, most of the riders would retire, and after 2 seasons where he felt the pain of a seriuos injury and a very hard pack of opponents from 2017, Tony was very close to this point.

But the sicilian rider overcame all the odds and became world champion in motocross for the 9th time in his career. Indeed, Gajser and Herlings had some injuries this season and Febvre had problems with the pace, but once again, the consistence is probably the most important in motorcycling.

If Cairoli keeps it like that or even better, it’s not excluded to hear: Tony Cairoli, the 10 or maybe 11 times motocross world champion, at maybe 35 years old, the same age for Stefan Everts at his retirement. Who knows, Antonio might give an advice for his friend, Valentino Rossi. 🙂

 

photo – Ray Archer/KTM Media Library

Marvin Musquin wins Supercross de Paris

In front of more than 20000 people, Marvin Musquin won the Supercross de Paris. After a tight battle, the frenchman defeated both Cole Seely and Dean Wilson to retain the King of Paris crown for another year.

Aged 27, Musquin won this year the Monster Energy Cup, Red Bull Straight Rhythm and now the Supercross de Paris. The KTM rider also finished third in the overall standings of the Supercross world championship and runner up in the US national championships in the 450 category.

Marvin Musquin will take a well deserved break until the first weekend of January, when the Supercross world championship will start at Anaheim.

 

Photo – Ray Archer/ KTM Media Library

Justin Barcia to replace injured Millsaps at Yamaha

After a heavy accident in a training session just right after he signed with Yamaha, Davi Millsaps will now miss the first six rounds of the World Supercross Championship.

In no time, Yamaha searched for a replacement rider so the Japanese team. After a short scrutiny they have decided to go on with Justin Barcia. Aged 25, Barcia will fill-in for Davi Millsaps in the first six rounds of the Supercross series.

Barcia was left without a bike for 2018 after he announced earlier this year that he will end his contract with his former team, JGR Suzuki at the end of this season,  In the first six races of the next season he will race alongside Cooper Webb at the Yamaha Factory Team.

 

photo – Yamaha Motor USA

Marvin Musquin wins the Red Bull Straight Rhythm

The fourth edition of the Red Bull Straight Rhythm took place last night at Fairplex Pomona. This year, the Straight Rhythm had three classes: Open Class, Lites and Two Strokes.

OPEN CLASS

Recent Monster Energy Cup winner, Marvin Musquin was the main favorite to win the Open Class event. Also, he was the defending champion. Last year, the frenchman had a tough battle with his now former team mate at Red Bull KTM, Ryan Dungey.

Musquin progressed quite easily to the final, where he faced an underdog, Josh Hansen, who won against Musquin’s team mate, Broc Tickle. The final went unidirectional and Musquin retained his Straight Rhythm after winning the first two races against Hansen.

In the third place final, Broc Tickle revenged after his semifinal elimination and won fairly easy against Kyle Chisholm.

LITES

The Lites class had a certain favorite, Ryan Sipes. Giving his form in the Practice session, Sipes was credited with the #1 seed. Unfortunately, he lost in the semis against Sean Cantrell.

Cantrell, a rookie at this event progressed to the final, where he faced Shane McElrath. After a hard fought battle, McElrath prevailed after winning the decisive race.

In the third place final, Shane McElrath won 2-0 against a fatigued Ryan Sipes.

TWO STROKES

Probably the most anticipated race of the day was the Two Strokes. Two former Supercross champions, Ryan Villopoto and Chad Reed announced their participation. Unfortunately, Chad Reed injured before the Practice session and he was immediately replaced by Tevin Tapia.

Villopoto progressed through the semifinals, but, after two bad races, he was eliminated by the eventual winner, Gared Steinke. In the other semifinal, Ronnie Mac produced another surprise and took out the other main favorite, Ryan Sipes.

Villopoto and Sipes battled for the third place. RV won the first race, but he outraced by Sipes in the next two. In the big final, Gared Steinke won fairly easy against Ronnie Mac.

 

Photo – Simon Cudby/KTM Media Factory

Broc Tickle signs with Red Bull KTM

The biggest news of the day came from Red Bull KTM. After being rumored to replace Ryan Dungey at KTM, Broc Tickle has finally a signed a contract for 2018 with the Austrian team.

Tickle, aged 27, raced this season for Ricky Carmichael’s RCH Suzuki Team, but after the team announced the retirement, Tickle was left without a ride for the upcoming season.

Broc Tickle finished 11th in the Supercross standings and 15th in the Pro Motocross 450 standings. The former Suzuki rider won the 250 SX West title in 2011 and moved up in 2012 when he raced alongside Ryan Villopoto at Monster Energy Kawasaki. In 2013, he moved to the RCH Suzuki Team where he stayed until the end of this season when the team disbanded.

Brock Tickle’s team mate at Red Bull KTM will be Marvin Musquin.

 

photo – ktm.com/Broc Tickle – Instagram

Trey Canard retires from motocross

Trey Canard retired after a season full of injuries.

His retirement comes only two months after Ryan Dungey’s announcement. Trey Canard was currently 18th in the standings with only 39 points from the first seven rounds of 2017 AMA Pro Motocross Championship.

Canard, aged 26, has signed this year a contract with KTM. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained throughout the Supercross season and the outdoor season, made his decision imminent.

I love racing and my passion for doing so has not changed, but there comes a time in every racer’s career where you come to the realization that although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak, and I know in my heart it’s time to call it a day. I’ve had many injuries throughout my career and have always done my best to heal and bounce back. However, I feel I am not able to push myself to the level I need to in order to be competitive at the highest level of racing. I am sad to say goodbye but also extremely grateful and thankful for the last 10 years of my life. I never could have dreamed I’d do the things I’ve been able to do, to live out a childhood dream and meet and become close with so many wonderful fans and industry people.

The AMA Pro Motocross will continue tonight with the eight round of the season, which is held at Spring Creek.

 

photo – Simon Cudby/KTM Media Library

 

SX Las Vegas – Eli Tomac

Eli Tomac este locul secund în campionatul mondial de Supercross și este singurul care îl poate opri pe Ryan Dungey din drumul către titlul mondial.

Dacă cineva i-ar fi spus lui Eli Tomac pe 21 ianuarie că va avea o șansă reală la titlul mondial din Supercross înaintea ultimei etape, probabil că răspunsul pilotului de la Kawasaki ar fi fost Ești nebun? .

După dezastruosul debut de sezon, a urmat și primul său succes din 2017, cu prilejul rundei de la Phoenix. Tot efortul său părea să fie sortit eșecului după Arlington. 29 de puncte de recuperat și un Ryan Dungey aproape implacabil în constanța sa binecunoscută.

Ce a urmat după Arlington a fost una dintre cele mai frumoase curse de recuperare din istorie. Nouă podiumuri consecutive, printre care șase victorii, i-au adus plăcuța roșie lui Tomac cu o etapă înainte de final.

Din nefericire, eroarea din etapa trecută coroborată cu depășirea mai mult sau mai puțin morală a lui Dungey asupra lui Musquin, fac ca acum, șansele pilotului Kawasaki să fie mici, dacă nu chiar aproape imposibile. De ce?

Foarte simplu. Ryan Dungey nu a mai ieșit din top five din 2014, de pe vremea când juca rolul de etern secondant al lui Ryan Villopoto. Totuși, Supercross-ul, ruda mai sălbatică și mai incitantă a motocross-ului, este o disciplină imprevizibilă. Până la urmă și Ken Roczen părea desprins în campion mondial după cele două victorii consecutive din debutul stagiunii.

Pentru fanii imparțiali ai mondialului de Supercross, Tomac a stârnit multe pasiuni cu stilul foarte agresiv. Uneori, a comis erori a la Villopoto, iar excesul de zel al lui Tomac l-ar putea costa titlul mondial în cele din urmă. Cu toate acestea, dacă urmărim un pattern mai mult sau mai puțin logic, în 1997 și 2007, un pilot Kawasaki a câștigat titlul din Supercross.

Va reuși Eli Tomac să continue această tradiție deschisă de Jeff Emig și James Stewart Jr.? Răspunsul îl vom afla în această noapte. Până la urmă, ceea ce se întâmplă în Las Vegas trebuie să rămână în Las Vegas, nu-i așa?

 

credit foto: Supercross Live

SX Las Vegas – Ryan Dungey

Ryan Dungey este liderul campionatului mondial de Supercross înaintea ultimei etape din Las Vegas.

Aflat până în 2014 mai des în umbra tizului său, Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey a explodat în ultimele trei sezoane. Titlurile din 2015 și 2016 au completat titlul obținut la debutul la categoria mare din 2010.

În 2017, Ryan Dungey a fost mult mai conservator decât în anii anteriori. De altfel, cel supranumit The Diesel a marcat până în etapa a 16-a doar trei victorii față de cele nouă de anul trecut. Cu toate acestea, constanța binecunoscută l-a adus în postura de a încheia toate cursele în top patru.

În debutul sezonului, Dungey s-a aflat în umbra lui Ken Roczen. Copilul teribil din Mattstedt s-a impus de o manieră a la Jeremy McGrath în vremurile bune. După era Villopoto, se prefigura o nouă eră în care Dungey urma să se afle în umbra altui pilot.

Norocul i-a surâs o dată cu Anaheim II. Accidentarea înfiorătoare a lui Ken Roczen i-a deschis multe căi spre un titlu facil. Totodată, la Anaheim II, Ryan Dungey s-a impus în premieră în 2017.

Ceea ce la un moment dat se părea că va fi un alt titlu facil pentru Dungey s-a dovedit a fi un scenariu total diferit față de cel așteptat. Eli Tomac a început să facă senzație și cu nouă victorii în următoarele 11 etape, pilotul Kawasaki recupera tot ecartul care îl despărțea de Ryan Dungey.

Cu toate că Dungey a pierdut plăcuța roșie la East Rutherford, The Diesel și-a folosit experiența pentru a recupera înapoi fotoliul de lider și pornește ca principal favorit înaintea Main Eventului de la Las Vegas.

Dacă Ryan Dungey își va adjudeca cel de-al patrulea titlu mondial, el va deveni doar al patrulea pilot din istorie care atinge această cotă. Înaintea sa, doar Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael și Ryan Villopoto au mai reușit să atingă această bornă.

Eternul său duel cu un pilot Kawasaki a continuat și după ce tizul său a plecat din USA. Deși Eli Tomac este un pilot talentat, el nu este Ryan Villopoto. Ar fi fost frumos să avem și acum un Ryan versus Ryan, nu-i așa?

 

credit foto: Simon Cudby/KTM Media Library

SX East Rutherford: Ryan Dungey revine în frunte

Ryan Dungey s-a impus în etapa a 16-a a campionatului mondial de Supercross.

Cu doar două etape rămase înainte de finalul campionatului, Eli Tomac avea pentru a doua etapă consecutivă plăcuța roșie dedicată liderului clasamentului general.

Trei puncte îi despărțeau pe Eli Tomac și Ryan Dungey înaintea Main Eventului de la East Rutherford. În seriile de calificări, Jason Anderson s-a dovedit a fi cel mai rapid, fiind urmat de Dungey, cu Tomac doar pe poziția a șaptea.

Main Eventul a început cu un holeshot de senzație obținut de Jason Anderson. Bucuria pilotului de la Husqvarna nu a fost de lungă durată. Anderson a greșit o săritură și a căzut. Din fericire, el nu a fost rănit și a putut continua întrecerea.

Eli Tomac a preluat ștafeta de lider. O situație convenabilă pentru liderul clasamentului general. La acest moment, ecartul dintre el și Dungey creștea și titlul părea să fie amanetat de pilotul echipei Kawasaki.

Totul părea să meargă conform planului, dar dezastrul a fost iminent. Eli Tomac a căzut și a ajuns pe locul 16. În acest moment, direcția titlului lua o turnură neașteptată, mai ales că Ryan Dungey se afla în fruntea întrecerii.

Eli Tomac avea acum de-a face cu o misiune aproape imposibilă. Totuși, Marvin Musquin se părea că vrea să îi faciliteze munca. Francezul a trecut în fruntea întrecerii, lăsându-l perplex pe coechipierul său, Ryan Dungey.

În spate, Tomac gafa din nou și totul părea compromis. Aflat pe 12 după a doua greșeală din Main Event, el avea acum un deficit aproape insurmontabil în vederea ultimei etape a campionatului.

Finalul întrecerii de la East Rutherford a fost electrizant pentru ambele tabere combatante. Eli Tomac a încheiat pe opt și a mai recuperat câteva puncte. În față, Ryan Dungey a profitat de așa zisa greșeală făcută de Marvin Musquin și s-a impus in extremis.

Podiumul zilei a fost completat de un Jason Anderson șifonat, dar fericit că a putut încheia pentru a treia oară la rând pe podiumul de premiere.

Înaintea ultimei etape de sâmbăta viitoare, lucrurile au devenit clare. Doar Ryan Dungey și Eli Tomac mai au șanse matematice la titlul mondial. 341 la 332 este scorul cu care Dungey pleacă către Las Vegas. Un avantaj solid care cu greu poate fi recuperat de Eli Tomac.

Ultima etapă a campionatului mondial de Supercross va avea loc sâmbăta viitoare, la Las Vegas.

 

credit foto: Simon Cudby/ KTM Media Library