Yoshimura rider Ryan Dungey added another No. 1 plate to his already impressive collection on Saturday after winning at Southwick, Round 11 of the 2010 AMA Motorcoss Championship.
The rookie clinched the Championship in Southwick, Massachusetts, with 1-1 moto victories, making it his ninth win in a row this season in the outdoor series. Dungey is the only rookie to ever win both the Supercross and Motocross title, and his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki RM-Z450 has gotten him to the front of the pack all season.
Stand-in Honda rider Kevin Windham finished fifth overall, while his teammate Andrew Short, who sits second in the standings, soldiered through a tough day to finish 18th overall. In the WMX class, Ashley Fiolek won the first moto en route to a strong second-place finish for the day on her Honda.
Southwick is a very special race on the AMA Pro Motocross circuit, offering one of the sandiest and most challenging tracks of the series. Despite the fact there are two races left in the 2010 season, there was an air of excitement at Southwick as fans anticipated the crowning of a new champion by the end of the day.
Ryan Dungey went into the race 111 points ahead in the series, and if he could add enough to his tally at Southwick, he’d be walking out with a No. 1 plate.
The first 450 moto saw Dungey riding a solid race as he positioned himself firmly in second place. When the opportunity arose, Dungey moved past the sandy roost of the leader and into first place on the very last lap.
The crowd cheered loudly as Dungey took his 15th moto victory of the season, knowing they were about to witness history with the crowning of a rookie champ. Honda riders Kevin Windham and Andrew Short had mixed results: Windham put in a solid top-10 ride, securing seventh place in the moto, while Short pushed from the last spot on the gate to end the race in 15th.
When the gate dropped for moto two, Dungey used his Yoshimura power to get another good start and move into the lead shortly after the start of the race. He would go uncontested on his way to a perfect 1-1 finish to the day, crossing the finish line more than 24 seconds ahead of everyone else.
After taking the checkered flag, Dungey met up with his team to celebrate history in the making. Ryan was given a new jersey to put on featuring the number he’ll run next year, No. 1, and his crew all donned specially made Dungey championship shirts as they crowded onto the podium to celebrate the 20-year-old’s second championship of 2010.
Don Sakakura (Yoshimura R&D of America Senior Vice President) says: “Congratulations to Ryan Dungey for his awesome, record-breaking rookie season!” Yoshimura R&D of America Senior Vice President Don Sakakura said. “Ryan’s courage, superior skills and diligent conditioning were instrumental in his dominating motocross season, accomplishments which Ryan will surely cherish for a lifetime. His Suzuki RM-Z450 performed flawlessly all season long, we must offer sincere appreciation to the Suzuki engineering team abroad, as well Roger DeCoster and his team of race technicians.”
Sakakura also went on to thank those who made Dungey’s season so successful.
“Very special thanks to our valuable team sponsors, Rockstar Energy Drink and Makita Industrial Power tools. Similarly, our technical partners have hugely influenced our successes this season.”
Dungey is the first rookie ever to win both the AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross championships. Dungey has now won four titles in two years, clinching both the 2009 AMA Supercross Western Regional Lites title as well as the 250 Motocross championship. Dungey helped Team USA win the Motocross of Nations last year in Italy, and for 2010 he has been named captain of the team with hopes of keeping the trophy here in the U.S.
Joining him on Team USA is Andrew Short, making it two of the three spots on the team filled by Yoshimura racers. The Motocross of Nations takes place on September 25th in Colorado.
For Kevin Windham, moto 2 was a good one. He put together another strong ride, crossing the line in fifth and ending the day in fifth overall.
Andrew Short had another rough moto after he went down on the start straightaway and had to work his way up from dead last. Short managed to make his way up to 17th, but by then the moto was over and he had to settle for 18th overall. The Honda rider still holds on to second place in the points standings.
In the WMX series, Honda’s Ashley Fiolek put in another great ride on her Yoshimura-tuned CRF250 on Saturday, winning moto 1 and getting second place in moto 2. Her consistently smooth racing was enough for second overall, which leaves her only 22 points down from first place. Fiolek is the defending WMX champion and she has the drive and skill to make another run at the No. 1 plate in 2010.
The 2010 AMA Motocross Championship visits Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pennsylvania, for Round 11 on Sept. 4.