Dungey Poised To Take Title Tonight

Kit Palmer | April 24, 2010

The threat of rain forced a revision in today’s schedule at the Seattle Supercross at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. Due to ominous clouds in the morning and the forecast of rain Saturday, the Dirt Wurx track crew chose to take no chances and kept the Seattle track covered with plastic for as long a possible. It wasn’t until 4:00 p.m. that the racers took to the track for the first – and only – time. Each group was allotted just 12 minutes of track time for their one timed qualifying session. As it turned out, the sun broke through during the day, and the threat of rain now seems to be a thing of the past. (But this is Seattle.) Conditions are currently dry but fairly cold and windy at the roofless Qwest Field stadium, home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.Riders are treated to a new mix of dirt this year, but the dirt is significantly softer than before, so many deep ruts and grooves quickly form and grow after each lap.The Seattle Supercross marks the return of the West Lites Championship after a long nine-week break. With two rounds to go, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer leads GEICO Powersport Honda’s Trey Canard by 14 points. Canard is also making his return to the 250 class after a stellar showing in the 450 class during the West break. The long rest hasn’t slowed Weimer any, as he posted the quickest lap time in the Lites class with a 58.418 time, but he has close company. Four riders in all broke into the 58’s, including, in order, Weimer, Wil Hahn, Broc Tickle, and Canard. Two riders got into the 59’s – Max Anstie and Josh Hansen.Weimer says his game plan tonight will be the same as before. “I want to get a good start, ride smart and let the race do its thing,” Weimer said after practice.A 450 Champion will most likely be crowned tonight at Seattle. Realistically, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey has already clinched the title, but, technically, Dungey must finish sixth or better to make it official tonight. Ryan Villopoto, who broke his leg last week in St. Louis, is the only rider – on paper – that is still within points range of Dungey, but Villopoto is, of course, not here tonight and will be out for the rest of the series. So, for Dungey, it’s just a matter of formality before he can say that the 2010 Championship title is his. The champagne is chilling on ice, it’s just a matter when it will be uncorked – tonight, Salt Lake or Las Vegas.Dungey, however, looked a little off in timed qualifying. He fell twice and his quickest lap time was just sixth on the 450-class list. On top was San Manuel Yamaha’s Josh Hill who posted the quickest lap time with a 58.044, followed by GEICO Powersport Honda’s Kevin Windham (58.188), Honda Red Bull’s Davi Millsaps (58.948), Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Reed (59.142) and Dungey (59.718). 

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.