Ryan Dungey Announces Retirement

Steve Cox | May 16, 2017

Ryan Dungey Announces Retirement: Rumors had been swirling since just before the Las Vegas Supercross that Red Bull KTM’s defending supercross champion Ryan Dungey would be announcing his retirement. After the event, rumors picked up that he wouldn’t even be racing the upcoming AMA National Motocross Championship, as he was contracted to do with his team and various sponsors. So, when phone calls went out from KTM yesterday about an event inside the Diamond Club at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California, most of the press had a good idea what was coming.

Ryan Dungey Announces Retirement

Ryan Dungey Announces Retirement
Ryan Dungey is retired from racing as of today. PHOTOGRAPH BY STEVE COX

Reigning 450cc Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey, at 27 years of age, has officially retired from racing. His final record includes four AMA 450cc Supercross Championships – putting him equal with old rival Ryan Villopoto, behind Ricky Carmichael (5) and Jeremy McGrath (7), and ahead of legends Chad Reed and James Stewart (both with 2) – three AMA 450cc National Motocross Championships, an AMA 250cc Motocross Championship, and an AMA 250cc Western Regional Supercross Championship. He holds the record for most consecutive podium finishes in supercross, with 32 in succession. Dungey was also team captain for Team USA at the Motocross of Nations six times and took home three championships in that event.

Ryan Dungey Announces Retirement

But perhaps the thing Dungey will be remembered for the most is his leap of faith to jump from Suzuki to KTM at a time when KTM had never won a 450cc Supercross or AMA Motocross event, or championship. It was a risk for Dungey at the time, but KTM now has three AMA 450cc Supercross Championships to its name, along with two 450cc National MX titles; all credited to Ryan Dungey.

“Roger [Decoster] said in there, ‘You’re only 27, so are you sure you don’t want to do a couple more years?'” Dungey said after the ceremony. “Really, it sounds young, but in this sport, it’s not that young. I know I’m in great shape, and I know I’m still healthy, but this year was the first time I had to talk myself into wanting to race. I never had to do that before. That’s how I knew it was time. It’s time to hang ’em up and see what comes next.”

Ryan Dungey Announces Retirement

Ryan Dungey Announces Retirement
Dungey laughs as he’s goaded a bit by team manager Roger Decoster, who discovered Dungey at Suzuki and gave him his first shot at a factory ride. PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE COX

Along with his many titles that put him into the elite echelon of racers in the history of motocross and supercross racing, Dungey leaves behind a legacy of professionalism, determination, and tenacity that should set an example for whoever succeeds him at the top of AMA Supercross.

However, he’s not going anywhere. After he takes some time off with his wife, Lindsey, he plans to return to KTM in a capacity that is yet to be determined. So, as always, we’ll all likely see him at the races again in the future.

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steve@coxmx.com'

Steve Cox

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