Ryan Dungey’s luck at RedBud was horrible—his bike broke while he was running second in moto one, and then he crashed hard while running second in moto two. That did a lot of damage to him in the point standings, for certain. But you can’t let his bad luck take any credit away from what Ryan Villopoto was able to do, which is rage back from bad starts in both motos to get to the front and go 1-1. Villopoto looked even stronger today than he did the last few weeks, and he appeared headed to a 1-1 day no matter what had happened to Dungey. “We did a lot of testing and working on the bike, trying to get that feeling we had at Hangtown back,” said Villopoto. “We didn’t do Southwick testing, we were just working on a setting that would work better everywhere. The speeds keep getting faster and the tracks keep getting rougher so you just always have to keep working on things.”
Dungey’s Red Bull KTM team didn’t have much of an answer as to what happened to Dungey’s bike in moto one—Roger DeCoster just said it was something electrical. Dungey stalled the bike in moto one, and couldn’t get the bike restarted. Once they finally got it pushed all the way back to the pits, the bike fired right back up.
Ryan Dungey had to day to forget at RedBud.
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Then in moto two, Dungey did what everyone asks him to do: he hung it out over the edge trying to get Villopoto for the moto win. They were still darned close all the way down to the 30-minute mark, matching lap times in an all-out push to the finish. Then Dungey hooked a rut and the bike stopped and flipped spectacularly. He was stuck under the bike and immediately motioned for help from a track worker to help get the bike off of him. He lost nearly a minute on that lap, but only one position, and ended up third. Suddenly, Villopoto has a 40-plus point lead in the standings.
Josh Grant has actually been riding at Villopoto’s house down in Florida lately, and clearly the work has paid off, as he delivered a podium finish in the 450 Class. “He lives about 10 minutes away from me when he’s staying in Florida, and he gave me a call and asked if he could ride,” said Villopoto. “It’s good to have a another fast guy to lay down lines and get the track rough. And Josh, you know he can lay down a hot lap.”
Grant said he’s been a work in progress, obviously, after a long run of injuries. “The injuries I had, they weren’t minor, both knees and both shoulders,” he said. “A lot of surgeries.” After holeshotting the first moto, Grant admitted it was a little tough leading and running that pace since he hasn’t done it much lately, but he also said he’s going to keep working on his starts in hopes of doing it again.
RV went 1-1 on the day and now has a 40-plus point lead.
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Trey Canard was fast all day, but a tip over in the first moto cost him a few spots. He battled back to fifth, nearly catching Andrew Short at the finish for fourth. Another good ride by Canard in moto two resulted in a sixth, overall a solid day for the Honda Muscle Milk rider.
James Stewart landed on the podium for the first time since the opener at Hangtown, and hung pretty close to Villopoto and Dungey after they got around him in the second moto. “They definitely had some better lines than me, and after they got by me I was able to learn some of their lines,” said Stewart. He said the biggest difference between his podium here and less-than-stellar results from the last two races was simply not going down. “I feel like we rode pretty well at the last two,” he said.
It’s almost like Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen have magnets between them, and the magnets push them apart at all times. They haven’t actually battled since the third moto of the season at Thunder Valley, and once again, fate wouldn’t let them tangle here. Roczen got a bad start in moto one while Tomac got away, and Tomac fell in moto two just after taking over second—and Roczen was leading. One of these days, they’re going to have to hook it up, and it should be good.
By the way, Roczen’s second-moto win was a big one because RedBud was a back-to-back race, with only one hour between motos. Word was getting around that Roczen and his teammate Marvin Musquin weren’t as strong in the second motos on these shorter days, since Tomac had rolled to second moto wins at most of the back-to-backs. Roczen actually says bike setup has had an impact on his strength throughout the day, and he’s much happier with his bike setup now.
Blake Baggett had another tough weekend.
Simon Cudby photo
Jeremy Martin’s podium ride in the 250s was the first for any of the much-hyped 2013 rookie class. Martin did ride a few races at the end of last season after his amateur season ended, but this was his first pro race ever at RedBud (he had raced the track before as an amateur). There was no doubt about his speed on this day, either, as he repeatedly went toe-to-toe with veteran Marvin Musquin in both motos, and when Musquin crashed in a deep rut late in moto two, it settled the battle for the final podium spot.
Tomac had crazy speed again this weekend, going a whopping three seconds faster than anyone else during his fastest qualifying lap. Many riders, however, mentioned that the track was so deep and one-lined in practice that it was exceptionally hard to get in a clean lap. But Tomac backed that up by blazing the first moto, then coming from ninth to second in moto two and even making a late run at Roczen! Roczen even upped his pace late in the moto, dropping from 2:24s to 2:21s, but then Tomac went all the way into the 2:18s to try to catch him. It will certainly be interesting whenever these two get a wheel-to-wheel battle at some point.
Rough day for defending 250 champion Blake Baggett, who struggled to get into the top ten in both 250 motos. After his win a Budds Creek, it seemed like Baggett was set to turn things around, but he was not on his game this weekend.
Overall, a rough one for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki. Tyla Rattray was said to have taken a handlebar to the body in practice, and didn’t race, and Adam Cianciarulo went down on the first lap of the second 250 moto while running third. He came back from last to 15th.