An Open Letter from Ryan Dungey


photo: Simon Cudby
It’s been some time since I’ve sat down and written so I first want to say hello and wish everyone a Happy New Year!
What else could I expect from my first full year of racing. Four supercross wins, some podiums and Rookie of the Year to boot! Man, I can hardly put into words how blessed I am to be in this position. I’m doing what I love (and I mean LOVE!) and they are actually paying me to do it. Wow!
Well, I got to say, one of the main reasons for me not writing was all the preparation that has gone into getting ready for ’08. There have been hours and hours of time on the bike, and not just the motorcycle either. I’ve put just as many hours on my motorcycle as I have on my mountain bike.
I’ve spent time in California for tests and practices (and to train with Johnny O’Mara) and also got out to Florida to ride with James Stewart at his house outside of Orlando. I’m really lucky to have the opportunity to work with two great champions, and two great people!
Johnny has had a huge influence on my fitness and my overall outlook on racing and being a competitor. He’s been there and knows a lot of what I’m going through. And James, what else do I need to say, riding with someone with those kinds of skills has been unbelievable. I just hope that “following” him will have rubbed off just a little! LOL
I’ve never felt stronger or more prepared, but I know it’s a long season and progress is measured by championships, so we’re going to try and be patient with this season. Outside of the overall speed of the guys in my class, patience is probably the biggest thing I learned in my rookie season. Sure, I won some supercross races and all that, but looking back, I might have had a shot at the East title if I had been a little more patient! Enough said, let’s look forward, right?
I hope everyone got a chance to watch last Saturday’s race on SPEED (I still haven’t seen it, but Johnny has it and I’m going over there to watch it this week). I was so pumped to walk away with the win after such a weird weekend of weather. That track was really tricky but it really held up well. I went to dinner with my family on Friday night (they were all here in California staying at our temporary home in Dana Point) and we were all hoping that the rain would just stay away for one day … and it did!
I’ve always heard that racing at Anaheim is really special, especially A1. And even though the entire day seemed like one blur (things happen so fast at a supercross), the feel at Angel Stadium is really cool, and the electricity that you feel in the stadium feels like a rock concert.
There were some good battles in our class all night long, especially the first half of the main event. I was just fortunate enough to miss some of the crashes (like the first lap of my heat race) and not over ride the track. There was a lot of speed out there and I’m sure there will be even more looking to get out front once we get to the drier weather in Phoenix. So I’m going to keep looking ahead and not look back. I got to enjoy my win on Saturday night and Sunday with my family, but now its back to the grind of keeping my focus and maintaining a good level head.
Well, you would think that with all the training, riding and traveling that we do as pros, I would get tired or bored of doing the same thing over and over. But it’s quite the opposite, it’s the training, riding and traveling that makes what I do so much fun and enjoyable.
I really do love what I do, and there’s nothing else I would rather do, than eat, sleep and dream motocross!
Before I go I’d like to thank my sponsors … like Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Answer, One Industries, Oakley, Gaerne, Nike 6.0, Asterisk and VRM Web.
Also I would like to thank is my family, especially my mom and dad, who have to put up with this crazy schedule and flying back and forth all the time. We do get to see each other a lot, so that’s not so bad in the end. My brother Jade is my practice mechanic and that’s working out so well. We’ve gotten a lot closer because of it, so I’m more happy about that than his ability as a mechanic.
And my youngest brother Blake was able to ride with us at the Stewarts house, and with James’ younger brother Malcolm. He doesn’t get to ride much in the off season (like the rest of us Minnesotans), so his speed really picked up. Keep it going, Blake!
So that’s it for now. Thanks for everyone who supports our sport, and has written or emailed during the off season.
I’ll write again soon and let you in on all the fun I’m having!
God Bless!