Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s RM-Z450s dominated round eight of the 2011 AMA Nationals at Washougal. Not only did Ryan Dungey take the overall victory on his Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, he was also joined on the podium by his team-mate Brett Metcalfe who finished third.
The result is Dungey’s third victory of the season and puts him just one point shy of the lead in the overall championship points standings. Meanwhile, this result marks Metcalfe’s first AMA Nats podium of the year.
Reigning champ Dungey got a great launch in the opening race and slotted into second position. He dogged the leader for most of the 30-minute moto and then tried to reel him in with just three laps left. He made a pass for the lead in the outside of a turn but lost the rear and went down. He quickly remounted and finished up in second place.
In the second moto Dungey again got a good start but a crash that left Trey Canard with a broken leg resulted in a red flag early on. When the moto was re-started Dungey took the holeshot and rode a flawless race to take the moto win and the overall victory.
“The weekend was good,” says Dungey. “Practice went well although we made some changes going into the first moto that worked out. We got off to a good start and settled in pretty good, then I was trying to make a pass for the lead and made a mistake and had to settle for second. In the second moto I got off to a good start and was able to put down some good laps and open up a bit of a gap. With that, we took the moto win and the overall for the day.
“The track was tough, slippery and challenging, so you had to be really patient with throttle control. But the RM-Z450 was working awesome – a lot of traction handled well and the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team did a great job as well. Now we’ve got a little bit of a break – we’re going to take some time off this week and get ready to get at it for Unadilla. I like that track, it takes a lot of finesse and throttle control, gets really rough and choppy and I always look forward to going back there.”
Metcalfe also left Washougal in a celebratory mood. In the first moto he got a good start, put his head down and rode from sixth place into fourth. At that point he kept it consistent and smooth and finished fourth. In the second moto he grabbed a great launch after the re-start and was running in fifth. But he rode his Suzuki aggressively and slowly but surely charged through to third place in the moto. These two solid moto results handed Metcalfe third place overall for the day.
“This first podium feels awesome,” says Metcalfe. “Now I’m really looking forward to Unadilla. I love racing there, it’s a really good track and I’ve done well there. We’ve got the Suzuki figured out, I’m comfortable and I can start to attack and be aggressive and try and push and battle for some wins now.”