Ryan Dungey lands his 25th career Monster Energy AMA Supercross victory at O.co Coliseum.
Ryan Dungey earned his 25th career Monster Energy AMA 450cc Supercross win with relative ease tonight during round four of the series at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California, on what turned out to be a big night for his Red Bull KTM team.
Dungey, who handily won his heat race to qualify for the 20-lap 450cc main event, did not get off to the best start as the 22-rider left the gate. However, when teammate Marvin Musquin pushed the field wide in the first turn, Dungey was able to capitalize and steal the holeshot. Once out in front, there was no stopping the Minnesotan, who pulled clear of the pack and clicked off laps in his signature methodical style en route to his third win in four rounds of racing, stretching his series points lead in the process.
“It’s just like we practiced at home,” Dungey said. “When you’re out front and you’re riding your own laps, it’s nice. You’re away from the carnage. You just try to hit your marks, focus. We’ve got a good crew at home, you know, being able to push each other and feel that race pace, so that’s good.”
Musquin was second for most of the race, running ahead of RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki’s Ken Roczen and Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart, the latter returning to action in Oakland after missing the previous two rounds. Stewart gamely tried to remain in the top five, but he would drop back in the pack and eventually pull out of the race, clearly still feeling some of the effects of his head-banging crash at the Anaheim series opener.
Roczen hounded Musquin for second place for the next few laps. Musquin tried to make it difficult for the German rider to pass him, but Roczen made a successful bid for second place on lap five. From that point on, Roczen unsuccessfully tried to cut into Dungey’s lead, ultimately finishing 3.1 seconds behind the defending series champion.
“We’re making steps in the right direction every weekend,” Roczen said. “We were third last weekend, second this weekend. Ryan [Dungey] was riding really good. I think in the middle of the race I switched up my lines a little bit, and I didn’t really like it. I was struggling a little bit. I definitely didn’t feel the most comfortable out there, but no excuses. Ryan was better today. Other than that, I twisted my knee once, and it gave me a little pain at first, but I could get rid of it. Other than that, though, it was a great night…and we’re just going to keep working.”
Musquin never lost another track position for the rest of the main event and landed his first career Monster Energy AMA 450cc Supercross Series podium finish in his rookie season aboard the big bikes.
“We didn’t expect that,” Musquin said. “Obviously, that’s the goal, to get a top-five, top-three maybe. The podium is the best so far for me. The Red Bull team is a family for me. I love every single person in the team. We do so much work together. My training partner [is] Ryan Dungey. I train with Ryan on the bike and off the bike, with Aldon Baker and Jason Anderson…and everybody.
“This year I knew it was going to be very difficult,” Musquin added. “The 450 class is very tough, and riding a 450 is also different. I have been riding a 250 for so many years, but I have a great team behind me, and they do everything they can to adapt the bike to my style and to my weight, because I am pretty light, for example, compared to Ryan [Dungey].”
Dungey appeared to be just as pleased that Musquin finished third as he did in winning the race.
“I’m very happy for Marvin tonight, too, regardless of the win,” Dungey said. “That was a big step for Marvin in his career, his podium. We work hard together, so it is good to see it pay off. It is a team effort.”
Behind them, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson was the man on the move, coming up from an 11th place start to finish fourth, just ahead of Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral Yamaha’s Chad Reed. Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely held fourth place through the first 13 laps of the main event before both Reed and Anderson caught him. Anderson passed Reed with three laps to go and passed Seely for fourth. Then, with two laps to go, Reed made an outside pass on Seely in a left-hand corner for fifth, setting the top six.
Next came Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, who had to battle his way past Autotrader/Monster Energy/Yamaha’s Weston Peick for seventh place. Peick would drop back to 11th, behind RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki’s Jake Weimer, who finished eighth, ahead of BTO Sports KTM’s Justin Brayton and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Wil Hahn.
Dungey has already built a solid points lead as the series heads to Phoenix, Arizona, next weekend. Dungey has 97 points, 22 more than Anderson and Reed, who are tied for second with 75. Roczen is fourth with 73, and Seely is fifth with 70.
2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series
Results: January 30, 2016 (Round 4 of 17)
450 Main Event
1. Ryan Dungey-KTM
2. Ken Roczen-Suz
3. Marvin Musquin-KTM
4. Jason Anderson-Hus
5. Chad Reed-Yam
6. Cole Seely-Hon
7. Eli Tomac-Kaw
8. Jake Weimer-Suz
9. Justin Brayton-KTM
10. Wil Hahn-Kaw
11. Weston Peick-Yam
12. Davi Millsaps-KTM
13. Mike Alessi-Hon
14. Christophe Pourcel-Hus
15. Blake Baggett-Suz
16. Vince Friese-Hon
17. Lawson Bopping-Yam
18. Nicholas Schmidt-Suz
19. Phil Nicoletti-Yam
20. Cade Clason-Hon
21. Adam Enticknap-Hon
22. James Stewart-Suz
Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series Points Standings (after 4 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Dungey-97/3 wins
2. Jason Anderson-75
4. Ken Roczen-73
5. Cole Seely-70
6. Eli Tomac-68
7. Marvin Musquin-51
8. Justin Brayton-47
9. Jake Weimer-46
10. Davi Millsaps-45