Dungey Looks To Continue Hot Streak
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The second half of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, will kick off on Saturday with the series’ annual visit to the Land of 10,000 Lakes in Minnesota.
The Bob’s Cycle Supply Spring Creek National, from Millville, will mark the seventh round of the series, with a hometown rider leading the way.
The popular Spring Creek MX Park has been challenging the world’s best riders for three decades and this season’s 30th Annual National will feature a full day of live television coverage across FUEL TV and NBC Sports Network.
With four consecutive overall wins highlighted by an eight-moto winning streak, Minnesota native Ryan Dungey is carrying all the momentum into his home race. The Red Bull KTM rider put forth his most convincing performance of the young 2012 season last weekend at RedBud and now heads to what could be considered his home turf in Millville, where he hasn’t lost since 2008 when he was a competitor in the 250 Class.
Dungey’s 18th-career victory last Saturday put him in a tie with Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart and legend Kent Howerton for fourth on the all-time wins list, and also extended his championship lead to 72 points.
Stewart has been Dungey’s primary challenger this season despite missing four motos with an injury. He won the first two rounds with back-to-back 1-1 efforts and made his full-time return to action at RedBud with a third-place finish.
MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi has also been a consistent front-runner, but a crash in the first moto last weekend cost him valuable points in the championship.
Despite rebounding with a second-place effort in Moto 2, Alessi missed out on the overall podium for just the second time in 2012 and will be in search of a strong performance at Spring Creek.
Last season in Millville, Dungey relied on a memorable come-from-behind ride in the second moto to pass eventual champion Ryan Villopoto for the victory as both riders took advantage of the misfortune that befell fellow championship rival Chad Reed.
Since starting the 2012 season with exceptional parity, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett has begun to assert himself as the rider to beat in the 250 Class. The winningest active rider in the division has posted back-to-back wins and also leads the class with three overall victories this summer.
While a 6.2 starting average has often forced him to work his way through the highly-talented field of riders in order to achieve success, Baggett has shown a penchant for hard-charges that have so far gone unmatched this season.
As Baggett’s points lead gradually increases – now at 19 points – fellow race winners Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac will be looking to put a stop to his surge in momentum. Additionally, consistent Red Bull KTM rider Ken Roczen hopes to break through for his first career victory on U.S. soil, despite missing out on the overall podium for the first time at RedBud.
Last season at Spring Creek, Tyla Rattray and eventual champion Dean Wilson traded moto wins with Rattray emerging victorious by virtue of his second-moto triumph. Baggett followed his teammates in third.
Spring Creek has been a staple of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship since hosting its first National back in the 1983 season. Since then, it has become an anticipated stop on the schedule thanks to its challenging layout that features a healthy assortment of obstacles, as well as multiple dramatic elevation changes.
Millville is home to three of the sport’s most iconic features, including the longest start in Lucas Oil Motocross, the “Holy Schmit” jump – named for late local legend Donny Schmit – and the infamous sand whoops that are often the site of where a race is won or lost.