16 August 2015
Dungey clinches 450 American championship
A double win in Utah sees the KTM man complete his dominant season
KTM's Ryan Dungey won his third AMA 450 motocross championship, clinching it with a win in the opening moto at the Utah National. And he makes history as he also won the Supercross championship this season, the same feat he did for Suzuki back in 2010.
Dungey, whose worst result this season was second, said: “My secret is that I have a solid structure – my family, team and trainer Aldon Baker. We worked hard and it's cool to see it pay off. There's still a lot more I want to accomplish in my career.”
Dungey only had to finish within four points of title rival Justin Barcia to take the title, but finishing second is not his style this season.
Barcia led the opening 450 moto from Ken Roczen and Dungey. Roczen took the lead from Barcia as Dungey ran off the track and had to repass Christophe Pourcel for third.
Roczen began to pull away at the front as Dungey homed in on Barcia and slipped through for second place. The KTM ace began cutting into Roczen's lead and eventually slipped by and eased away to take the win and clinch the title.
Roczen congratulated the new champ on the podium and said: “We finally got the bike more dialled in as we've struggled all year. We can still get better in certain spots. I made a few mistakes in that race and jumped off the track twice but I'm happy with second. Congrats to Ryan and the KTM team.”
Roczen's Suzuki's team-mate Broc Tickle took third from fellow Suzuki man Blake Baggett while Yamaha's Barcia was fifth.
Race two saw Phil Nicoletti briefly lead then get demoted by Roczen, Dungey, Barcia who battled for the lead with Briton Dean Wilson a distant fourth.
Barcia soon lost touch in a safe third as Dungey homed in on Roczen and the pair staged a titanic scrap, using every inch of the track and their finely-honed racecraft. After 13 laps, the KTM hero finally got past as Roczen made a small mistake.
Dungey got his head down and pulled away from the German by almost nine seconds, taking yet another double win and overall victory to prove who really is top dog this season.
The 250 class remains in deadlock as title contenders Jeremy Martin and Marvin Musquin both had a win and a third each. Martin's moto two win gave him the nod on the day as he maintained his slender two-point lead going into the final round. Martin's Yamaha team-mate Cooper Webb took third overall thanks to two runner-up race finishes.
In the 250 opener, Jordon Smith took the holeshot as Jeremy Martin had an awful start then got hooked up in a first corner in a huge crash caused by Joey Savatgy that also took down Webb. Webb got going quickly but Martin remounted virtually last, as title rival Musquin was hampered by the melee and rounded the lap in 10th. With Jessy Nelson and RJ Hampshire fighting over the lead as Smith dropped back, Musquin picked riders off one by one, moving up to second after 10 minutes behind Hampshire who was aiming for his first ever moto win.
Musquin and his nemesis Webb both got past, then scrapped over the lead with Webb always looking like the faster man. Webb went to make a move but slipped off briefly in a split-lane section, allowing the Frenchman to get away and take the win from Webb.
“The track is special – a weird dirt. Some places are soft then other places hard and you have to be on your game. I tried to be really smart and not crash,” said Musquin, who ened moto one with a three-point series lead.
“I'm team-mates with Jeremy but I'm just out there trying to win. I crashed and got my leg caught underneath,” said Webb.
Martin's charge through the pack was slower than Musquin's, but he made sure progress and was lucky to avoid Nelson's cartwheeling KTM as he looked safe in fourth place. He then inherited third with one corner to go as Hampshire crashed, just yards away from his first ever podium finish.
“It wasn't fun to be getting a bad start but I'm a fighter and I'll never give up,” said Martin.
In the second moto, Musquin pulled the holeshot but it was Webb who muscled through on the opening lap. Martin was fifth, behind Matt Bisceglia and Christian Craig, but wasted no time in demoting both of them by the third lap.
The three fastest 250 men then scrapped over the lead, with Webb fending off challenges from Musquin as Martin edged in on both of them and the trio dodged backmarkers.
Martin shot past title rival Musquin then easily got past team-mate Webb to take the lead, who began to immediately do everything he could to hold off his arch enemy and KTM rival Musquin who had no answers and dropped back for a safe third.
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