Former champ Ryan Dungey continues his comeback from a broken collarbone to take a dramatic win at Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium, round 16 of the AMA SX series. It’s Dungey’s third Main Event victory of the season and only the third 450cc win ever for his Red Bull KTM team.
It’s a heavily depleted field with the already crowned champ Ryan Villopoto out with injury along with James Stewart and Chad Reed who’ve both won Mains – and crashed heavily – in 2012. But you’ve got to be in it to pin it so you can win it and Dungey does just that, despite hitting the deck on lap eight after Jake Weimer aggressively repasses him for second.
Dungey bounces straight back up, chases down Weimer and then makes a last-ditch pass on race-long leader Davi Millsaps for the win.
“It was great racing out there tonight and I really dug deep,” says Dungey. “I didn’t see [the pass] coming and that was my fault. My front wheel got a barrier in the corner and I went down. My focus was to run him down and I did. I had a tough part of the middle of the season and I knew I had the speed tonight. I just needed to be patient.”
In the West Coast Lites it’s victory #4 for GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac who also takes the title in a dramatic showdown with Dean Wilson. Going into Salt Lake City just four points ahead, Tomac stalks Wilson in the early stages after passing Marvin Musquin before moving past his title rival and into second at around half-distance.
Tomac then catches early leader Jason Anderson and clears off for the win. Wilson has a huge crash on lap 12 which puts him out of the race and hands Tomac the title with one round to go at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on May 5.
“It was huge to close out the night with a race win and a championship,” says Tomac. “That was some good racing out there. Off the gate I got bumped around and was able to slowly pick guys off. I did my best not to do anything stupid. That was the best way to do it.”