Dungey Fires Opening Motocross Shot
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. —More than 27,000 fans witnessed a historical afternoon of racing at Saturday’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, season opener.
The 450 class winner Ryan Dungey and 250 class winner Jeremy Martin emerged victorious in their respective classes, making history as the first Minnesota natives to sweep the winner’s circle at the 16th running of the Red Bull Glen Helen National.
The Glen Helen National made its highly anticipated return to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross circuit since 2009, when Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey captured the 250 Class win en route to claiming the 250 Class Championship the same year. Dungey, also a two-time 450 Class Champion, made a statement at the season opener as he topped the highly competitive field with 3-1 moto scores.
Dungey’s stiffest competition came from his Red Bull KTM teammate Ken Roczen, who finished in the runner-up position in his Pro Motocross 450 cass debut.
It was Riverside, California’s Josh Grant who kicked off the season opener in a big way as the Toyota/JGRMX Yamaha rider captured the $500 MotoSport.com Holeshot Award and led Moto 1 from start to finish.
Grant’s newest JGRMX teammate, Phil Nicoletti, joined the front-runner early on in Moto 1 before Roczen made the move for second place. Roczen made a valiant charge toward Grant’s lead at the end, where he finished less than one second behind the JGRMX rider for second place, while Dungey came in third.
The Red Bull KTM duo of Dungey and Roczen were neck-and-neck heading into the second moto and things only became more exciting as the gate dropped and the battle ensued. Roczen got off to a great start and Dungey filed in close behind, but as the race wore on, the veteran Dungey closed the gap on the leader. With only a few corners to go, Dungey made the pass on Roczen for the lead and held on to capture the Moto 2 win.
Dungey’s 3-1 moto scores were enough to secure his first overall win at Glen Helen in the 450 Class, where he now leads the early points chase heading into the second round next weekend.
“It was really just a game of cat and mouse the whole time,” Dungey said. “I felt like the win was there early on, but I just needed to make that pass happen [on Roczen]. It was good to go 1-2 with a teammate and it was a good day for KTM.”