The Champion: Ryan Dungey Claims AMA Pro Motocross Title Early With Unadilla Domination
It was full on redemption for Ryan Dungey.
After surrendering his AMA Pro Motocross title last season, Oakley’s star emphatically reclaimed glory and his second Championship following the ripper’s eighth straight dominating victory at Unadilla.
The KTM Factory rider, tallying the brand’s first ever 450 title, swept the Motos to take his 22nd overall victory in the class.
“It was a pretty amazing day,” Ryan said, rocking his Oakley Signature Series MX Goggles. “To be honest, I knew we could wrap up today, but my focus was putting on a solid performance and moving forward. Mike (Alessi) has been riding well, but unfortunately there was a DNF. In the second moto, I just wanted to put in a solid ride and wrap up this championship.”
But the field wasn’t about to go down without a fight.
Getting off to a bad start in the first Moto, an early fall from Ryan set him back with a mountain to scale. Michael Byrne held the lead – later relinquishing his advantage to Oakley’s James “Bubba” Stewart.
Bubba’s position at the front of the pack wouldn’t last, however, as the former champ would crash on the third lap, giving up the lead to Byrne.
A shuffling of riders would then ensue, with Jake Weimer passing Byrne – then giving him back the front position with a fall of his own.
Byrne, finding light up front yet again, would eventually retire from the race due to a twisted foot on Lap 11 – making way for Broc Tickle to move to the lead.
But with two laps to go, displaying his resilience, patience and speed, RD came screaming out to the front with two laps to go – squeaking his way to a less-than-a-second victory over Tickle.
The second Moto was no less intense – as Mike Alessi’s intent to spoil the day for his season rival was clearly evident.
Andrew Short would take the Holeshot – with Dungey holding third – but Alessi would slash his way toward the front of the pack to put on a late charge at Dungey. His attempts were futile, however, as RD would hold his ground to cruise to the overall triumph. The result effectively tied Ryan with Ricky Johnson for third all-time in victories.
“It’s amazing to see everything that’s gone in to making this moment happen,” he continued. “It’s pretty special.”
Huge congratulations goes out to Ryan and the Factory KTM Team on the big victory and the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Title!
Unadilla 450 Class
1. Ryan Dungey (1-1)
2. Broc Tickle (2-4)
3. Andrew Short (4-3)
4. Davi Millsaps (3-5)
5. Josh Grant (5-6)
6. Nico Izzi (6-8)
7. Tyla Rattray (8-9)
8. Phil Nicoletti (7-11)
9. Kyle Chisholm (12-7)
10. Mike Alessi (39-2)