Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey rode a strong race and put his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450 on the podium with a second-place finish in Atlanta. Teammate Brett Metcalfe showed his strength and resilience by bringing home a tenth-place finish on his RM-Z in a thrilling 20-lap main event.
“My Rockstar Makita Suzuki team really did a good job on the bike today,” said Dungey. “I ended up having the fastest time in practice, which was cool. I had a bad start in my heat race and that wasn’t all that good, but it’s the main that counts. I got off to a pretty good start, but I got shut off a little. I was sitting in fourth most of the time but then was able to move my way into second at the end of the race, which is good. I’m right below the top step of the podium and consistent. I just gotta keep my head down and keep plugging away. I’m looking forward to Daytona. I like Daytona; it’s always fun. It’s a tough track and it’s different – It’s supercross, but it’s a bit rougher and the layout is different. I’m going to get back home, work on the track, and get ready for Daytona.”
“It was a long day,” said Metcalfe. “It had its really good points and its really low points. The whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team worked really hard this week and got me feeling really comfortable so I was really looking forward to tonight. Practice went great – I hadn’t felt that good all year. Things were really looking up. In the heat race, I got a great start and was in third – Then I made a big mistake in the whoops and went down hard. I didn’t get up too quick from that one. Going into the LCQ, I was just trying to get out there and make it in and I was able to make a pass on the last lap and made it through. I wasn’t feeling well going into the main event. My goal was to just finish the 20 laps with no big mistakes and I was able to get tenth. I’m looking forward to Daytona. It’s an outdoor track; supercross style, but still an outdoor track. I always like going there to race.”
American Honda Racing’s Trey Canard recorded a solid fifth-place finish aboard his CRF450R. After winning his heat race, including nailing the holeshot, Canard got away to a solid start in the main and was among the top five rounding the first turn. Moving into third early on in the opening lap, the Honda racer had his sights firmly set on catching the leaders when he made a mistake in the whoops section, which sent him off the track. Losing six spots in the excursion, Canard rallied hard from ninth position and made up four places before the race’s end to finish in fifth overall.
“I loved everything about my bike’s setup tonight; it had such a good feel to it,” said Canard. “I’m really disappointed about crashing in the whoops section. I got a kick off a whoop and lost my footing and I nearly went over the bars. Luckily, I didn’t hit the ground and was able to get going again pretty quickly. Despite my little off-track excursion, everything else about my race was pretty good tonight. I got the holeshot in the heat race and was among the lead pack in the main off the start, so that’s great. I have the speed to be up front and at the last couple of events I’ve gotten good starts, so that part of my race has really started to come together.”
Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki scored a top ten finish in what was the second round of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Lites East Championship season in Atlanta. In the second pro race of his career, Jason Anderson powered his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z250 to a ninth-place finish in the 15-lap lites main event. Teammate Ian Trettel broke his collarbone in a practice crash earlier in the week and did not compete. Trettel is expected to return to action next week in Daytona.
“My first week in Houston I really felt kind of nervous, uncomfortable and tentative,” said Anderson. “This week I felt like I opened up a lot more. Practice went awesome and I qualified third. I didn’t get too good of a start in my heat race, but I still was able to finish third on my Suzuki RM-Z. In the main, I was up to sixth but fell over and went to twelfth, but I was able to get back up to finish ninth. My speed is there; I just need to get a good start. I’m really excited for Daytona because I’m more of an outdoor rider and it should be fun.”
The next stop of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship for the Yoshimura-backed teams is Saturday, March 5th, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. You can meet the Team Suzuki riders on Friday, March 4th, from 5 to 6 PM at Deland Suzuki, 2610 S. Woodland Boulevard, Deland, FL.