Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ryan Dungey took his first 450 SX win of the season at the ninth round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series at Lucas Oil Stadium in front of a packed crowd to move up to second place in the championship point standings.
Teammate Ken Roczen got pitched off after the start in a four-rider incident. He fought hard to get back in the top ten but then crashed out in the second half of the race, flew over the handlebars and had to retire. He was eventually classified at twenty-first, but stays in third place in the championship.
Dungey was on the gas from the first practice right through to the final checkered flag. He turned the fastest qualifying time in the first timed practice to have the first gate pick in his heat. He and Roczen were placed in the same heat and Dungey came around the first corner in third while Roczen sat about mid-pack.
Dungey spent the first half of the heat race reeling in Justin Brayton. He made a pass to take over second position at the three lap mark and then began to chase the lead ride. Dungey charged forward and came within two bike lengths of the lead rider before the checkered flag for an easy transfer to the main event. Meanwhile, Roczen struggled to find his rhythm in the heat race and finished fifth just one spot away from qualifying. The German rider then easily pulled the holeshot in his semi and led every lap to easily secure his place in the final race.
When the main race action got underway Dungey was second out of the gate behind holeshot winner Mike Alessi. Roczen had a good jump but got pinched off by Ryan Villopoto, Josh Hill and James Stewart when all four riders collided and crashed around the first corner. Roczen, then at the back, spent the first half of the race fighting to get back in the action.
Out front, Dungey used the first four laps to determine where to make a pass for the lead and his opportunity came on a big sweeping turn before the sand section. Once in the lead, he was never challenged for the remaining laps and sealed his first win this season by a margin of 7 seconds.
“This win was a long time coming,” stated Dungey. “It feels so good to finally be on the top step. The track was really tough tonight. It was very soft and technical with a lot of big ruts. We are only halfway into the season and I’m finally gaining some points toward the championship. My goal is to remain consistent as you never know what can happen with eight rounds remaining. I want to give a big thanks to the entire Red Bull KTM Factory Team for their hard work.”
Back on the track, Roczen had worked his way up to ninth place by the thirteenth lap of the race. He then overtook Justin Brayton for eighth but then made a mistake in a rhythm section and crashed over the handlebars. Roczen walked away from the crash but was clearly shaken. He pulled off after the incident and did not finish the race.
“I hit the ground pretty hard after my crash off the start when I got caught-up with Villopoto,” stated Roczen. “I pushed hard for the next few laps, but then I cased a triple in a rhythm section which sent me flying over the bars. I feel really beat up and am disappointed to not finish the race but am thankful I am okay and will be back to race Daytona.”
Heading to the tenth round of the season, Dungey has now jumped up to second overall in the point standings while Roczen remains third overall, despite not finishing the Indianapolis Supercross.
In other news, the team also announced Saturday that Australian factory rider, Dean Ferris, who was contesting the 250-class West Coast Championship for Red Bull KTM, has broken his wrist in a training session. The incident happened back home in Australia while the competition was in recess while the 250-class races for the East Coast are underway. Marvin Musquin of France, the team’s second 250-class rider is also still recovering from injury.
Next Event: Daytona Beach, FL – March 8, 2014
450-class Overall Results –
1, Ryan Dungey – KTM
2, Eli Tomac
3, Cole Seely
4, Ryan Villopoto
5, Broc Tickle
6, Andrew Short – KTM
21, Ken Roczen – KTM
Overall Point Standings –
1, Ryan Villopoto – 184
2, Ryan Dungey – 161
3, Ken Roczen – 158
Image courtesy KTM Racing