DUNGEY EARNS PODIUM 3RD IN 2012 US SUPERCROSS OPENER
Red Bull/KTM Factory Team rider Ryan Dungey started his first season with the KTM factory team in style when he finished on the podium in third place at the season’s opener at Anaheim 1 in California.It was KTM’s first podium in the elite SX class in the USA and follows on from those in the SX Lites category in 2011, earned by KTM’s young German rider Ken Roczen, who was out of the opening (SX Lites) round in 2012 through injury.Dungey looked impressive from the start of the first practice session on his newly released KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition race machine. He qualified third fastest from practice and was placed second in the second heat after nearly nailing the hoelshot.
He earned another good start on his KTM in the main event and rounded the first corner in fifth, slipped past Mike Alessi for fourth in the first turns and by the third lap had moved into third behind Ryan Villopoto and Chad Reed who were ahead by five seconds.
Dungey spent the first half of the race closing the gap on Reed, turning lap times nearly a full second faster. On the ninth lap the KTM rider made a mistake, tucked the front end and crashed. He quickly recovered but lost his position to Stewart. On lap twelve, Stewart made a slight mistake allowing Dungey back into third. Both he and Stewart closed in on Reed and the final four laps were a battle for second place. Then when Stewart crashed in Lap 16, Reed and Dungey pulled away and Reed finally stole second in front of Dungey by a bike length.
Dungey’s podium finish also marked the first podium for the new KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition. “My bike ran flawlessly tonight,” he said. “I would have definitely liked to pass Chad (Reed) and take second tonight, but I am happy to earn KTM its first podium. I can’t thank the team enough for all they have done for me in the development of this new bike.”
Red Bull/KTM Factory Team Manager Roger DeCoster: “The entire team is excited for the podium finish but we also know that second place was within our reach tonight. We were happy with Ryan’s performance but we know we have some areas that need work and we will begin to correct them immediately. We hope to continue this success into next week and improve our position on the podium.”
Next Event: Phoenix, AZ – January 14, 2012