5 Minutes With... Ryan Dungey

After winning two races in a row, and pulling out a small points lead, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey was served notice at San Francisco that the rest of the field wasn’t going to just roll over for him, as Jake Weimer soundly beat Dungey in both the heat and main event. Still, despite a fall, Dungey grabbed second place and held onto his points lead over his new rival. We talked with Dungey after the race.

Racer X: You were pretty much fastest all day as far as laptimes were concerned, but then you kept getting behing Jake Weimer and you couldn’t seem to do much with him.
Ryan Dungey: Yeah, you know, I was quite a bit faster today, but then the track at night came around, and they really made it easy, I felt, but hey, everybody’s got to ride the same track, and I had to make something happen. The heat race, I said, “Hey, I’ll settle for it, because the main’s where it counts,” but I think I just sat and was patient in the main, and I was waiting and waiting, and then I saw a little opening and tried to go for it, but to be honest, I felt like I had it stitched. I felt like I had the pass done, and all of a sudden, something just went wrong, and to be honest, I keep thinking, “What happened?!” you know? Was it just me or what? I just got the bad end of the stick on that one, but we got up and salvaged second. Shoot, I think it was solid, to be honest with you. I rode smart, but I just had a little tip-over. We’re coming out of here strong and healthy, so I can’t complain.

In that turn, when you got up under Weimer, on the big screen, it looked like maybe your front end climbed up on his bike or something, but Weimer said he didn’t think you hit him. Your front end was off the ground, though.
Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking, too! My front tire was ahead of his, so I know it wasn’t him, and it wasn’t a bale because I wasn’t near those, but before I knew it, my front end was in the air, and I had no front-end traction, and then the bike just took off from me. I was like, “Damn it!” But I was able to keep it running, which was good. Sometimes the four-strokes are hard to start, but he ran strong, and he got me this time, but we’ve got another opportunity this weekend. I’ll take it one day at a time and enjoy the week. We know what we need to do.

The series is only half-over at this point.
Yeah, we’re halfway! To be honest, I’m amazed we’re already halfway. It flies by, man, so you’ve got to give it your all while you can. It’s gone before you know it.

Are there any thoughts in your head about riding some east rounds on a 450 like you did last year?
Shoot, man, I don’t know. I really haven’t thought about it. It pops in my head from time to time, but I’m concentrating on the Lites because that’s what’s important right now. I don’t want any distractions from that. I’m just worrying about the bigger picture. To be honest with you, last year, I really enjoyed myself on the 450. It was a little nervous moving up, but looking back, it was one of the best times of my life. I just think that in this era, if I’m going to race the 450s, I want to do it 100 percent. I went in last year and did it, and it was fine, but if I’m going to do it now, I feel like I really need to be on top of my game as far as getting time on the 450 during the week and getting an off-season to prepare.

{LINKS}In practice, you were the only guy to drop into the 49s besides James Stewart, and he’s pretty fast. But in talking to Ryan Villopoto and Andrew Short and some of these guys, they seem to think that it’s a little bit harder to go fast on a 450 on a supercross track. You’ve ridden them, so part of you has to think, with those times, that you can be competitive up front in the 450 class, but then the other part is that you’d be on a 450, right?
Yeah, for sure, I completely know what you’re saying, and they’re right. I’m not going to sit here and say, “Hey, I should be in the 450cc class, because I have a fast lap,” because the Lites bikes can sometimes get the upper hand on a track. I know that if I were on a 450, it’d be a lot tougher, and maybe my laptimes wouldn’t be that fast. But when we move up, if that’s where we’re at, and things are still the same, then hey, that’s what it is. I can’t sit here and say I should be in there, though. Only time will tell. When we get there, we’ll know.