Ryan Dungey got the outdoor series started off with an exciting win at Glen Helen.
SAN BERNARDINO, CA, MAY 24 - Ryan Dungey made a last-lap pass on Red Bull KTM teammate Ken Roczen to claim the overall win in the 450 class at the opening round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Glen Helen Raceway.
On a cool hazy day in Southern California, Dungey and Roczen battled for the overall win after Roczen and Dungey went 2-3 in the first moto. First-moto winner Josh Grant was not in the hunt when the Toyota/JGRMX Yamaha rider took a hard crash early in the second moto and stalled his bike again later in the race. Roczen got off to a fast start in the deciding second moto but couldn’t shake the former two-time 450 National MX Champion, Dungey.
Dungey stayed close to Roczen the whole race but had a hard time finding a good opportunity to make a pass. It wasn’t until just a few turns from the finish that Dungey saw his chance and made an inside pass on Roczen to take the lead with the finish line in sight.
Roczen tried getting the lead back in the last two turns but couldn’t quite pull it off, taking the checkered flag just a few feet behind Dungey after leading almost the entire race. Dungey and Roczen made it a 1-2 podium after all was said and done.
Finishing third overall was Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard who probably thought he didn’t have a chance to get on the podium after finishing seventh in the first moto. He was running fourth when he tangled with another rider and dropped to 11 just five laps from the finish. But he charged at the end, getting back some of those lost spots.
In the second moto, Canard started off much better, passed his teammate Justin Barcia for third and stayed there the rest of the way for third overall.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe did a great job filling in for the 2013 450-class champ Ryan Villopoto, who is not competing in the championship this year. Metcalfe was solid in both motos, going 4-5 for a fourth overall finish.
Rounding out the top five overall was first-moto winner Grant. Grant grabbed the holeshot in the first moto and opened up a big lead and held it for most of the race. But towards the end, Roczen pulled to within a few feet of Grant, but the Yamaha rider held on to take the win.
In the second moto, Grant got off to a midpack start but crashed heavily on the second lap. He had to pull into the mechanics area to straighten out the bike. He was making up ground when he stalled the bike and had to come back again. His hard work paid off, though. A 15th in the first moto was enough to give him a top-five overall placing.
Sixth overall went to Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time a couple of times in both motos. He went down twice with other riders in the first moto and suffered a bad start in the second moto. He ended up going 6-6 for sixth overall, which was one position better than his younger brother, Malcolm, who went 8-8 on his Lucas Oil/MavTV/TLD Honda.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer (10-7) was eighth overall followed by Soaring Eagle/RCH Racing Suzuki’s Weston Peick (5-13) and Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsport/Kawasaki’s Chad Reed (9-10).
Reed said after the race that he was pleased with his performance. It was his first race back since his big crash early in the Supercross Series. He said his goal was to finish in the top 10 and he did just that.
Dungey will wear the red plate going into the next round at Hangtown. He leads Roczen by one point (45-44), and Canard and Metcalfe are tied for third with 34 points.
1. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 3-1
2. Ken Roczen (KTM) 2-2
3. Trey Canard (Hon) 7-3
4. Brett Metcalfe (Kaw) 4-5
5. Josh Grant (Yam) 1-15
6. James Stewart (Suz) 6-6
7. Malcolm Stewart (Hon) 8-8
8. Jake Weimer (Kaw) 10-7
9. Weston Peick (Suz) 5-13
10. Chad Reed (Kaw) 9-10