Rockstar Makita's Ryan Dungey had a target on his head as he raced his Suzuki RM-Z 450 to a third-placed podium finish at last Saturday night's 2011 AMA / FIM World Supercross at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in California.
Last year's rookie sensation, who captured both the FIM Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross championships, seems to be consistently finding the third spot. With the return of James Stewart, Chad Reed and Ryan Villopoto, the competition is stiff and the podium increasingly difficult to reach.
Dungey finished the Oakland round in the number three spot behind winner James "Bubba" Stewart in first and Chad Reed in third.
Ryan Dungey (2011 Suzuki RM-R 450) says: "The day started off good. My Rockstar Makita Suzuki team got things dialled in pretty good in practice and I felt really comfortable on the bike. The heat race was a little tough - I didn't get off to the best start and the track was a bit greasy. I got a better start in the Main and worked my way up to second, but unfortunately I got passed right at the end.
"All in all, my RM-Z450 worked great and the team did a great job. It will be great to go back to Anaheim. We know more what to expect there and hopefully we can get a good start and put the Rockstar Makita Suzuki up front."
Dungey continues to sit third in the 2011 AMA SX title race.
Teammate Brett Metcalfe rode his 450 Suzuki to an 11th-place in the afternoon qualifying. Like Dungey, Metcalfe had a tough time in his heat race and finished seventh, but in the SX Main, he rode strong, piloting his Suzuki RM-Z450 to fifth place; his best of the year.
Brett Metcalfe (2011 Suzuki RM-R 450) says: "We made some changes to my Suzuki this week. And I want to thank everyone at Rockstar Makita Suzuki, as we really found my comfort zone and I'm feeling really good on the bike. I did struggle in the whoops tonight but my Suzuki was working awesome.
"I felt a lot better out there on the track - I was starting to make moves and pick guys off and was able to work my way up to fifth and felt good. I got passed with three laps to go but was able to pass back on the last lap. I'm excited to get back to Anaheim. We're definitely progressing - a fifth tonight was good and now we have some momentum going into Anaheim."
2011 Oakland Supercross Results
1. James Stewart (Yamaha YZ 450 F)
2. Chad Reed (Honda CRF 450 R)
3. Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM 450)
4. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki KX 450 F)
5. Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM 450)
6. Trey Canard (Honda CRF 450 R)
7. Kevin Windham (Honda CRF 450 R)
8. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha YZ 450 F); 9. Andrew Short (KTM 350 SX-F)
10. Ivan Tedesco (Kawasaki KX 450 F)
The 2011 Rockstar Makita Suzuki team's next event is Saturday, February 5th, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.