The KTM rider was back to his winning ways at the second round of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.
By Hayden Gregory
450 racing kicked off with a holeshot to Honda HRC rider Trey Canard before Dungey made the pass to take early control of the moto. Two laps later Canard suffered from a fall, dropping out of the top ten, handing Ken Roczen second place, closely followed by Marvin Musquin.
The familiar sight of Dungey and Roczen out front was exciting for fans with the RCH Suzuki rider peppering Dungey before becoming undone in the rhythm section. The minor mishap allowed Dungey to extend his lead before Roczen once began to tick off fastest lap after fastest lap. On lap eight the German rider was able to strike, making the leading pass before stretching out to over a ten second lead.
Well on his way to victory there was still one more hiccup to come for Roczen after his bike began to slow and an obvious mechanical issue struck. The Suzuki rider was forced to chug his bike home for the last two laps while Dungey, Anderson and Tomac were all able to benefit, moving past the round one winner.
Dungey would take an unexpected victory in the opener while Roczen was still able to salvage some points claiming fourth.
Motivated to hit back, Roczen edged out Dungey for the holeshot in race two before the pair sprinted away from the rest of the pack. Anderson started poorly in eighth place before showing exhilarating pace to move all the way up to fourth by lap three.
Out in front Roczen was once again able to pull away from Dungey opening up a huge lead. Anderson moved past Canard into third before crashing and allowing the HRC rider to gain his position back. Tomac would also close in on Anderson after starting way back in 14th place.
Roczen would comfortably win the second moto in what would have been a clean sweep had he not ran into mechanical issues in race one. Dungey would finish runner up, landing him the 39th round win of his career.
“The day was pretty good overall. It’s always positive in the grand scheme of things in the championship to gain ground and get an overall [win]. Ken [Roczen] had a bike issue so we were gifted a little bit, but we’ll take it and keep building,” said Dungey.
“[Ken] is riding really well right now, but so are we. I feel like we’re where we want to be. We’ve been in this position before and while I wouldn’t say we’re behind the ball, we need to make some adjustments and get better. It’s just little bits [of improvement] and in the end we’ll get to that point where [Roczen’s] at, getting the holeshot, leading, and getting wins.”
Roczen’s race two win would land him second for the round keeping a now slim two point lead in the overall standings.
“My day was pretty good. In my heart I went 1-1 and that’s all that matters to me. There’s nothing I can do about [a bike issue],” said Roczen. “The air just went out of my forks and I didn’t feel safe doing some of the jumps. So I just went out in the second moto and did what I needed to do. I just wanted to hit my marks and stay in control of the bike because the last thing I wanted to do was throw [the win] away.”
Tomac would eventually catch Canard in the second moto to claim a pair of third place finishes at Glen Helen and the final spot on the podium.
450 Class (Moto Finish)
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-2)
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (4-1)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (3-3)
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (2-5)
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (7-4)
Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (6-6)
Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (5-10)
Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha (10-9)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (9-11)
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (8-13)
450 Class Championship Standings
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki – 93
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 91
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 76
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 73
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 62
Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki – 56
Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 54
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 48
Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha – 45
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 39