Monday Conversation II: Ryan Dungey

Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey came into the Seattle Supercross after an eight-week break sitting only two points in front of championship rival Jake Weimer, but he left Seattle a full nine points up with only one round left. We talked to Dungey about his best championship chance of his career so far.

Racer X: With the championship on the line, you got a good start and got away. You made it happen. Talk us through the main event.
Ryan Dungey: Today was a tough day, and I think it was a day where a lot could’ve happened. It could’ve gone really good or really bad, but we kept focused and stayed positive and was able to do it. I had a little tip-over in the heat race, but I was able to recover from that and get going into the main. Going into the main, the whole time I was just thinking it was going to take a good start, because you don’t want to be in the back, and sure enough, we got a great start, then I took the lead and then got passed, then got back into the lead and was able to ride a good race. It gave us a little bit of breathing room, so that was nice.

You’ve got one round left, now, so you’ve got to feel like you’re sort of in the driver’s seat – like it’s up to you now.
Yeah, and we’re taking it one race at a time. At the end of the day, yeah, we know the championship’s on the line, but we’re going to come in and not change anything. What’s working is working, so I just have to put in a solid week and take one day at a time and keep our cool.

James Stewart mentioned how tough it was to pass, and in the main you didn’t have to do that, but you did in the heat race...
Yeah, well, I kind of got a little lucky. The track was still kind of open and flat [in the heat race] and there weren’t really any set lines, so you could go anywhere and make it work. I was able to pass guys during the heat race because of that, but like I said, that’s why you needed a good start in the main. By the time the track started getting lines, it got really one-lined, and I’m surprised James made so many passes, and Chad [Reed] had a tough time with that tonight. It threw a little wrench in the works for the 450cc guys. It was tough, and as each lap went by, the track got more one-lined. I just tried to be consistent and keep her strong and on two wheels.

Late in the race, were you keeping tabs on Jake Weimer?
To be honest, I thought Weimer was in second.

So you thought Ryan Morais was Jake Weimer...
I always just saw a blur of a green bike, and I knew it was PC, and I was like, “Well, Weimer’s right there with me, so I’d better keep strong!” But at the end of the race, I was like, “Whoa, okay, it wasn’t Weimer,” and I thought Canard got in front of me on the first lap, too. I was all mixed up as to who was who. I just had the goal of getting the lead and trying to race my own race.

Knowing there’s only one race left, and how you’ve worked all these years to try and get yourself a title, what’s this mean to you?
This is my opportunity, and I need to grab hold of it. I put in a good week and I know what we’ve got to do, and that’s to put in a solid ride next week.