Ryan Dungey breezes farther into the record books with his sixth win of the season at Levi’s Stadium.
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey has a knack for making winning look easy in supercross.
The reigning Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series Champion made it look easy again tonight as he collected his sixth win of the series during round 12 of the 2016 tour on a chilly night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Dungey also tied the great Ricky Johnson for sixth on the all-time AMA Supercross winner’s list with 28 wins. Dungey also remained undefeated at Levi’s Stadium, having won the inaugural event there in 2015.
Dungey’s 1.3-second margin of victory over his main series rival RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki’s Ken Roczen, belied Dungey’s dominance of the race. He led all 20 laps of the main event en route to victory, and it gave him a small measure of vindication after having being stripped of what seemed like a certain victory after an inadvertent rules violation at the previous round of the series in Detroit two weeks ago.
“What were we going to do with it [the penalty at Detroit?” Dungey said afterward. “We’ve just got to use it for motivation and use it in a positive way. What’s done is done, and it’s a bummer. I’ve never really faced something like that, to get a win stripped from you. But it’s what the call was, and the biggest thing was moving past it. This weekend the track was tough. Kenny [Roczen] was right behind me, putting the pressure on. We were pushing the pace, and he wasn’t letting off.”
The start proved to be exciting as BTO Sports KTM’s Justin Brayton tried to make an aggressive bid for the holeshot when the 22-rider pack thundered down the start straightaway for the first time, but Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson had the inside line going through the first corner, and Brayton clipped Anderson and then fell to the ground. Anderson netted the holeshot, but the collision caused him to bobble, and both Dungey and GEICO Honda’s Justin quickly shot past Anderson to take the lead while Roczen passed GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle shot passed Anderson to slip into first and second place respectively. Bogle would hold down second place for a lap before Roczen passed him for second and tried to stick with Dungey. Anderson, meanwhile, recovered in fourth place and followed Roczen past Bogle on lap two. Two-time series champion Chad Reed quickly ducked into fourth place, behind Anderson, setting the top four for the rest of the main event.
Roczen was hoping that the pressure he applied might cause Dungey to falter in the main event. The German rider rode a clean race and shadowed Dungey in the second half of the race, but he couldn’t mount a challenge for the lead and drifted over 2 seconds back in the last few laps, only making up some of that time after Dungey slowed his own pace to avoid making any last-lap mistakes. When it was over, Dungey had his 28th career premier-class supercross win.
“A buddy of mine passed away this week, so I’d like to dedicate that win to him,” Dungey continued. “These wins are awesome. It’s good to get a win. There’s a lot of racing left, but this is awesome. We got a good start and just tried to apply ourselves good. Like I said, the pressure was on us… A lot of good to take away from here tonight.”
Although he failed to chip into Dungey’s point lead, which is equivalent to more than one round of racing, Roczen said that he was taking away positives from the Santa Clara main event.
“I had a tough couple of weeks [during the break],” Roczen said. “I got sick, and I wasn’t really feeling it over the whole two weeks, but I felt really good in the heat race and went into the main with happiness, and I think that’s what made me ride good. Obviously, Ryan and I were up front and battling, and, you know, the lappers screwed us a little bit. But, overall it was a good race. We [the Soaring Eagle team] have made some drastic changes over the last couple of weeks, and it still taking me a little bit of time to get use to [them]. Overall it has been a good night, and I’m going back and trying to put in some work.”
Anderson, who has been getting better starts of late, held on for third place to further solidify his third-place standing in the series points race.
“For me, the year of starts hasn’t been too good,” Anderson said. “You know I was ripping holeshots at the Monster Cup, and then I show up at the first round and I’m just struggling. So, to get a good start was cool, and, you know, in that first corner there was a little bumping and I came in a little hot. It was crazy, but I survived the first corner and was able to come out with a podium. I lost those guys [Dungey and Roczen] a little bit, but just to be up here and be pushing, I’m very happy.”
Reed finished fourth, followed by Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard. Bogle was sixth, ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac. Weston Peick, Jake Weimer and Blake Baggett completed the top 10. After scoring consecutive four podium finishes right before the Easter break, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin finished 17th.
The race was also noteworthy for the return of two factory riders who have been sidelined. Autotrader/Monster/Yamaha/JGR’s Justin Barcia was back in action after missing most of the season, finishing 15th in the main event. Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart, who has missed the past three consecutive rounds of the series, made the main event but finished 22nd after reportedly suffering electrical issues with his motorcycle. Stewart completed only five laps.
2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series
Santa Clara, California
Results: April 2, 2016 (Round 12 of 17)
1. Ryan Dungey-KTM
2. Ken Roczen-Suz
3. Jason Anderson-Hus
4. Chad Reed-Yam
5. Trey Canard-Hon
6. Justin Bogle-Hon
7. Eli Tomac-Kaw
8. Weston Peick-Yam
9. Jake Weimer-Suz
10. Blake Baggett-Suz
11. Mike Alessi-Hon
12. Josh Grant-Kaw
13. Justin Brayton-KTM
14. Josh Hansen-Kaw
15. Vince Friese-Hon
16. Justin Barcia-Yam
17. Marvin Musquin-KTM
18. Nick Wey-Kaw
19. Cade Clason-Hon
20. Nick Schmidt-Suz
21. Alex Ray-Hon
22. James Stewart-Suz
Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series Points Standings (after 12 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Dungey-278/6 wins
2. Ken Roczen-236/3 wins
3. Jason Anderson-220/2 wins
4. Eli Tomac-200/1 win
5. Marvin Musquin-182
6. Chad Reed-178
7. Cole Seely-173
8. Justin Brayton-136
9. Trey Canard-120
10. Davi Millsaps-105