Yoshimura-Backed Teams Show Their Strength at VegasWednesday, May 11, 2011 | 10:25 AM
Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey finished up the season strong by powering his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450 to a second-place podium finish in Las Vegas, NV. Dungey rode a great race to cap off the most exciting supercross season in history.
Dungey and his RM-Z showed their strength all day, starting with scoring the third fastest lap in the afternoon timed practices. The reigning champion grabbed a second-place in his heat race, which resulted in the third best gate pick for the main event. In the main, Dungey’s RM-Z blasted him out of the gate to a solid start and into the front group. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider was able to work his way into third by lap six and kept pushing hard to eventually pass for second on lap 12. From there, Dungey had the capacity crowd on their feet as he and the frontrunner battled for the remaining eight laps. Dungey pushed hard on his Suzuki, catching the leader, but unfortunately was unable to make the pass and crossed the line in second. The reigning champion had a great year, claiming one win and 12 podiums and finishing third in the championship, just 10 points from the top spot.
"It was a good weekend,” said Dungey. “We got off to a good start with solid practices and I was able to get a second in my heat race, which gave me a good gate pick. I didn’t get that great of a start in the main, which is something I need to work on, but I was able to get up into second and got close to Chad (Reed), right up to his wheel, but I wasn’t able to get around him. A big thanks to my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team and my family. Without them and my great bike, I wouldn’t be able to be out here doing what I do. They are incredible. It was a long, tough season and I think we can learn a lot from it and apply it to the future and move forward and leave the past behind. The outdoor series is right around the corner and these next few weeks will be crucial to get ready and be in the best position to start the season.”
Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki claimed two top-ten finishes at the final round of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Lites East and West Championships in Vegas. In the west 15-lap lites main event, Ryan Morais used the awesome power of his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z250 to claim a seventh-place finish, as teammate Martin Davalos followed close behind in ninth. In the east main, Christopher Gosselaar ran as high as tenth but ended up crossing the line in eleventh.
Following tradition, the Vegas round also played host to the annual Davey Coombs, Sr. East/West Shootout, where Martin Davalos piloted his Suzuki to a fifth-place finish after running as high as second. Morais suffered from a bad start but was able to work his RM-Z way up to ninth before going down and falling back to eventually cross the line in 15th. Gosselaar fell just short of qualifying for the shootout and did not race.
“Overall, my weekend in Vegas went all right,” said Morais. “No heat race and going straight to the main event was a little different, but I got a good jump at the start of the main but then I pushed my front end out in the first turn and ended up with a bad start. I was able to work my Suzuki up to seventh and felt I was riding really well. I got up to the front of the pack and we were all really close from about third back – Overall a good race. In the shootout, I suffered from another bad start and worked my way up to ninth but came up on the rear wheel of someone and ended up going down and finished up 15th. I’m glad to be healthy and now I’ll get ready for outdoors and look forward to a new season and new beginning. I want to thank my Rockstar Energy Suzuki team and my mechanic, Rene – My RM-Z250 has been great all year and I just want to thank them for all they do.”
“My weekend in Vegas was pretty good,” said Davalos. “I got a decent start in the west main, but I struggled a little and could only just ride around and got ninth. I got a great start on my RM-Z in the shootout and ran second for a little bit and thought I could get a podium, but the guys right behind me were able to get around me and I ended up with fifth. I’m really looking forward to the outdoors. My Suzuki is working great and my Rockstar Energy team is doing a lot of testing. There are 12 rounds of racing and a lot of motos and I’m looking forward to doing good for the team.”
The Yoshimura-backed team’s next event is the first round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, May 21st, at Hangtown in Sacramento, CA. You can meet all the Yoshimura-backed Suzuki riders on Friday, May 20th, from 6 to 7 PM, at Professional Cycle Parts, 5800 Florin Road in Sacramento, CA.
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