Red Bull KTM debutante Ryan Dungey takes a terrific third in AMA SX opener…
Red Bull/KTM Factory Team rider Ryan Dungey finished third overall at the opening round of the AMA Supercross Series effectively earning KTM’s first-ever US Supercross class podium finish.
At the start of the main event, Dungey leaped out front early to earn another good start on his KTM. He rounded the first corner in fifth position and passed Mike Alessi for fourth within the first few turns. He continued his forward momentum making a clean inside pass on Ivan Tedesco on the third lap of the race to move into podium position. Out front Ryan Villopoto led the way while Chad Reed sat in the runner-up position and Dungey sat approximately 5 seconds behind.
Dungey spent the first half of the race closing the gap on Reed, turning lap times nearly a full second faster. On the ninth lap Dungey made a mistake and tucked the front end causing him to crash. He quickly recovered but lost his position to Stewart. On lap twelve, Stewart made a slight mistake that Dungey capitalized on and moved his KTM back into third. On the next lap, Reed crashed which allowed Dungey and Stewart to close on him. The three riders then began a battle for second place that ran for the next four laps.
The crowd was on their feet as the three battled it out swapping positions. On the sixteenth lap, Stewart crashed, marking one crash for each of them. Stewart’s crash cost him a lot of time and he recovered in sixth position allowing Reed and Dungey to pull away. Dungey continued to pressure Reed for the remaining laps eventually crossing the line in third just a bike length behind Reed.
Dungey’s podium finish marked the first for the KTM brand in its US Supercross racing history. It also marked the first podium for the new KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition. “My bike ran flawlessly tonight,” remarked Dungey after the race. “I would have definitely liked to pass Chad and take second tonight but I am happy to earn KTM its first podium. I can’t thank the team enough for all they have done for me in the development of this new bike.”
Red Bull/KTM Factory Team Manager Roger DeCoster commented, “The entire team is excited for the podium finish but we also know that second place was within our reach tonight. We were happy with Ryan’s performance but we know we have some areas that need work and we will begin to correct them immediately. We hope to continue this success into next week and improve our position on the podium.”