Monday Conversation: Ryan Dungey

July 20, 2009 6:08pm | by:
Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey took a big step toward regaining his form in this year’s outdoor chase, as he went out and swept both motos for the first time this year in front of his hometown crowd in Millville, Minnesota, to pull to within three points of series leader Christophe Pourcel. We talked to him after the race.

Racer X: Is there always a little bit of pressure when you come back to your hometown race, with all of the friends, family, fans, etc.?
Ryan Dungey: There’s a lot of pressure, I guess, but if anything it’s cool to have all of the people who have been behind you your whole life here to see it all happen, and it makes it better when you win, too. It doesn’t add a lot of pressure, really. I’m just happy they can make it out because they don’t get to experience stuff like this too often. For them to only have to drive an hour and a half, if that, in order to have a bit of fun, it’s good to have them here.

It’s not exactly a supercross race, but could you hear them screaming for you?
Oh, for sure. When you’re at your hometown race, as good as they are for me, and as fun as it was to grow up with them, it’s definitely fun to come back and get to see everybody and race the track you raced growing up. It’s cool. It’s a really enjoyable experience, and one that I look forward to every year. I’m really happy that we were able to pull off the 1-1 on the day in my home state. I just hope to keep the momentum going now. I had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends and family, and I don’t get to see them a lot.

You had lost three in a row coming up to this point, so this came at a good time, didn’t it?
I mean, I’ve had a tough couple of races, and I wasn’t getting the greatest starts. But I put myself in a great position today. I don’t know the track as well as people think. I only get to ride it once a year. But I really felt like these two weeks gave me time to really pinpoint some things. I found areas I needed to work on, and I’ve just tried to go from there and keep building. All I can do is give it my all and let the rest play out, and have fun. I’ve got to give it up to Suzuki, too. They’re working hard to find little things here and there, and they’re doing a great job. It’s a team effort, and it’s one we’re having fun with.

What do you think of the tracks so far?
I think the tracks are doing good. In that 2-minute to 2:30 laptime, that’s not too bad. They’re really keeping up on their tracks and they’re doing an awesome job. I think in the beginning, the one-day event was new to everybody, and everybody needed to get used to it, but it’s coming a little easier at every race, and I think it’s a great decision that they’ve made. They’re doing great on the track work and keeping up on the stuff that needs it, and letting the other stuff go when it needs that. You’ve got to give it up to them. They’re doing an awesome job.

You have ridden here a lot in the past, obviously, but you beat Christophe Pourcel here today, and that has to help your confidence a bit, doesn’t it? He has won at least one moto every weekend up until today...
I went 1-1 on the day, and that’s the first time this year. I’ve just got to keep plugging away. I’ve got to keep doing my thing and having fun at it, too. I just want to try and carry the momentum from here. Going 1-1 today was great.

Have you changed anything recently? Jake Weimer recently said he was working too hard and that made him worse, so he took a step back and played with his R/C cars all week before Colorado, then won. Have you done anything like that?
I definitely agree you’ve got to keep it fresh. Sometimes I know I need to just chill out and not do a dang thing. But at the same time, there are other times when you need to work. We’ve been testing now. I prepared through the off-season for this moment, and if something isn’t working, I don’t think you need to go back and drill yourself into the ground. I think when something’s not working, you’ve got to work on that area, whether it’s testing, corners, holeshots, whatever, and just try to find something better. Everybody’s getting better, and the pace is, too. The bike needs to be kept up to that level. It’s the little things where you find your gains, and I have it in me to keep looking for them.

Washougal’s your next race, which was your first win last year, so are you looking forward to it?
I always look forward to Washougal. It’s a fun track and I enjoy where it’s located, and I enjoy being there. Also, obviously it’s where I got my first win, so it’s a special place, and I’m really looking forward to it.