Dungey Takes Control, Villopoto Crashes

Jean Turner | February 27, 2010

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey came into the last two rounds sharing the points lead – first with Josh Hill and then with Ryan Villopoto. But the premier class rookie now comes out of Atlanta having dealt a crippling blow to his competitors in the championship. Dungey took a flag-to-flag win in the Georgia Dome while Villopoto had a disastrous night, taking 19th after damaging his Monster Energy Kawasaki in a crash.

In a rather suprising performance, Red Bull Honda’s Trey Canard performed beautifully in Atlanta, claiming second in only his second 450 class race. The lites rider was called up to fill in for the injured Andrew Short during the break in the Lites West series, and after making some changes to his CRF450R – namely altering the gearing – Canard was able to claim his first premier class podium.

“Last weekend I looped out so I figured we needed to take a little power off that thing,” Canard said from the podium with a smile. Canard’s Red Bull Honda teammate Davi Millsaps rounded out the podium, taking third in Atlanta.

Dungey grabbed the holeshot in the main event with Canard right on his heels followed by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto – winner of the previous two rounds. Dungey tried to stretch out his lead in the early laps, but Canard and Villopoto stayed on him followed by Ivan Tedesco, Justin Brayton and Kevin Windham. Millsaps was off to a mediocre ninth-place start followed by San Manuel Yamaha’s Josh Hill, who was also buried in the pack.

Four laps in, RV got around Canard for second and set his sights on Dungey. Villopoto had been tripling through a complex rhythm all day, but he made a mistake and came up short, sending him over the bars and the bike cartwheeling. He was able to stay clear of the tumbling Kawasaki so he wasn’t injured, but the damage had been done to the bike. As the bike drilled the ground, dirt packed into the silencer and as a result, wouldn’t start. Villopoto pulled into the pit area where his mechanic discovered the problem. Once he and cleared the dirt out of the exhaust Villopoto got back on the bike and rejoined the race, but the damage had been done. He was too far back to recover and only collected two points at the end of the night.

Kevin Windham, who was fresh off a heat race win, also cased a triple during the main event, causing him to crash. His GEICO Powersports Honda flopped to the ground in the way of oncoming traffic, where fortunately no one hit it. But unfortunately for K-Dub, he had to wait for all the traffic to go by before he could safely remount his CRF450R. 

Millsaps was hard at work clawing his way through the pack, making quick progress and soon finding himself in a podium position. By then, however, Dungey had a commanding lead and Canard was putting in quite a phenomenal performance, running a solid second. Millsaps made impressive progress, but third is as far as he would advance.

Dungey captured the win in Atlanta without ever being headed. The only complication he encountered in his race was a wardrobe malfunction. His Leatt Brace somehow came loose and was flopping around so Dungey pulled it off and ditched it as he went by the mechanic’s area. Other than that hiccup, it was smooth sailing for Dungey, who came in to the Georgia Dome tied in the championship and left with a 20-point lead.

Ivan Tedesco of the Valli Motorsports Yamaha team took fourth and Joe Gibbs Racing Yamaha’s Justin Brayton rounded out the top five.

AMA Supercross Main Event Results:

1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki

2. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda

3. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda

4. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha

5. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha

6. Josh Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha

7. Michael Byrne, Noonan, Ga., Yamaha

8. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha

9. Grant Langston, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha

10. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki


AMA Supercross Class Season Standings:

1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 170

2. Josh Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 150

3. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 147

4. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 134

5. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 121

6. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 115

7. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 113

8. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 85

9. Michael Byrne, Noonan, Ga., Yamaha, 71

10. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 69

Jean Turner | Contributor

A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.