19 January 2010
MOTO-X » Dungey blows AMA Supercross wide open
Ryan Dungey blows AMA Supercross Championship wide open
After making an awesome impression, chasing home the best Supercross racer on earth in only his third main event on a 450 bike, Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey came out and simply blew the pack away in round two of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship.
The night opened with not inconsiderable drama when reigning champion Stewart suffered a horrendous crash in his heat race, jumping into the path of Kyle Partridge and effectively having Partridge's Kawasaki land full on his back and slam him into the face of the following jump.
Clearly in considerable discomfort, Stewart remarkably came back to qualify for the main event by winning the Last Chance Qualifier, but it seemed that the way was clear for the likes of Dungey, Chad Reed and Ryan Villopoto to score well with Stewart below his best.
When the gate dropped for the main event, Dungey and Austin Stroupe immediately fired out into a Suzuki one-two, ahead of Villopoto, Ivan Tedesco and Josh Hill.
Both Villopoto and Hill immediately lit the blue touch paper, Villopoto firing his Monster Energy Kawasaki into second within a couple of corners whilst Hill, team mate to Stewart on the San Manuel Band Of Mission Indians Yamaha squad, quickly blitzed former 250 motocross and supercross champion Tedesco before getting stuck into Stroupe.
Youngster Stroupe, racing the 450 class on the west coast as preparation for his 250 east coast championship bid, immediately cut back through into third but Hill, barely a year or two older himself, quickly retook the position and set off after Villopoto.
But as the young bloods battled it out up front, the old guard was mired in the pack - both Stewart and Reed gated poorly, circulating behind veteran Kevin Windham on the fringes of the top ten, and Australian Reed must have been relishing the opportunity to make progress over his bitter championship rival.
But as the pack backed up, seventh-placed Justin Brayton had Davi Millsaps dive underneath him in a hairpin turn. Forced out wide, Brayton had to check and cut his turn tight, whilst Stewart, entering the turn wider than even Brayton, also had to cut his corner even tighter.
Reed, with an unmissable opportunity before him, dived for the inside of the corner - it put Stewart and Reed on a collision course, Stewart couldn't stop and Reed couldn't get out of the way, and the resulting collision put them both on the floor.
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