- Career: 2006-Present
- DOB: 12/04/1989
- Height: 5' 10"
- Weight: 148 lbs.
- Birthplace: Belle Plaine, MN
- Residence: Belle Plaine, MN & Tallahassee, FL
- Team: Rockstar Makita Suzuki
- Team Manager: Mike Webb
- Mechanic: Mike Gosselaar
#5Ryan DungeyRyan Dungey's Website
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- The Breakdown: JT$ on Dungey and the LCQ
- Sign of the Lap Times: Anaheim 3
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- Reed, Lemoine, Friese and Holley on the Pulpmx Show Tonight
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Ryan was signed to a factory ride with Makita Suzuki in the summer of 2006. Many industry eyebrows were raised at the decision to sign Dungey, whose amateur resume was somewhat shorter than several other riders making their pro debut that August. He debuted for Suzuki in Millville. With thousands of home-state fans in attendance, he put in two solid moto scores for seventh overall in his very first professional appearance. He even showcased his mud-riding skills when the skies opened up for one of the muddiest outdoor national races in history. Though his performance in the remaining rounds of the series was somewhat lackluster after his finish in Millville, it was a learning experience.
The first round of the 2007 East Coast Supercross Lites series got under way in Atlanta, Georgia. Nobody could have predicted that Ryan Dungey, in his fist ever supercross race, would walk away with the win. Once again, he proved his critics wrong and showed that Suzuki had not made a mistake by signing him. The supercross series was a roller coaster of emotions for Dungey. He either won the main event with amazing style or went down in flames trying. He ended the series with four wins, including the Dave Coombs Memorial East/West Lites Shootout, and the 2007 Rookie of the Year award. More importantly, he walked away from the series with some valuable lessons about what it takes to race professional supercross.
As the 2007 AMA Motocross series headed to the great outdoors, it was a chance for Ryan to get back to riding what he grew up on. He consistently finished in the top five and first reached the podium at Southwick after an incredible come-from-behind battle with Josh Grant. Two weeks later, Ryan had a high-speed practice crash on the ski jump at Red Bud, where he suffered a concussion, and was forced to sit out Sunday’s race. At the next round of the series he again surprised everyone with a second-place finish at the Unidilla Valley Sports Center, only two weeks after his horrendous crash at Red Bud. The season ended early for Dungey when another scary getoff at Steel City forced him to, again, drop out of the race. He took the remaining rounds of the series off and still finished a strong fifth place overall.
Ryan competed in the West Coast Supercross Lites class for 2008 and hoped to bring home a title in only his second year of AMA Supercross. From the drop of the gate at Anaheim I, he appeared to be the stand-alone favorite for the title. He built a sizeable points lead, quickly making it look like he had the title in the bag. That’s when things started to go all wrong. Ryan, once again, started making mistakes and saw his points lead get chipped away by title rival Jason Lawrence. By the time the west coast series got to its midseason break, Dungey had seen his once insurmountable points lead disappear into a two-point deficit. He needed something to get his confidence back and he needed it fast.
A change in the AMA rulebook that permitted off-season Lites riders to race in the premier Supercross class let Ryan get his feet wet with the new Suzuki RM-Z450. His smooth riding style adapted well to the 450 and he scored a career-best second place in front of his hometown crowd in Minneapolis. Ryan had regained his preseason confidence when it was time to jump back on the 250F for the final round of the West Coast Lites series. He won the last round in Seattle convincingly but, unfortunately, it was too little too late. The series points leader Jason Lawrence did just enough to wrap up the title in Seattle. Once again Dungey missed out on the title because of minor mistakes, though for the second year in a row he won the Lites Shootout in Las Vegas and took home yet another Toyota truck as a bonus.
Ryan regained his confidence and started seeing results. Despite an unprecedented run over the past two years that has seen him win every title he has competed for, including 2009 crowns in Lites West SX and 250 National MX, plus a 2010 season that saw him become the first 450 rookie ever to win both the AMA Supercross and Motocross titles. He was also a part of the victorious ’09 and ’10 American teams at the Motocross of Nations. Still, people play the game of “If James Stewart and Chad Reed hadn’t been hurt” or “If Ryan Villopoto hadn’t broken his leg.....” But as always, the scoreboard speaks volumes, and at the end of every championship last year, there was one man standing atop the podium with the #1 plate, and that man was Ryan Dungey.
Unlike many factory riders of today, Ryan grew up racing District 23 races in Minnesota, where cold weather and snow nearly prevent riding completely during the winter months. He raced for Cities Edge Suzuki for the later part of his amateur career while racing locally and working his way through the amateur nationals. Success didn’t come quickly or easily for him until he jumped off the minis and onto the bigger bikes. Ryan seemed to hit his stride and won several amateur titles at the Lake Whitney, World Mini, Oak Hill and Winter Olympic races. Ryan finally won the prestigious Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championship in 2005. In the spring of 2006 he was again planning to compete for the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championship when a surprise signing with Suzuki changed everything.
Ryan is only one of three racing brothers. Older brother Jade and younger brother Blake also have serious racing skills and have competed at the Amateur National level. The boys got into racing because of their father Troy’s love for the sport. Throughout the boys’ amateur career, Troy’s larger than average stature could be seen pacing the infield, smoking like a chimney, with nervous anticipation for his three sons. Ryan’s mother, Michele, has assumed the additional role of team manager on top of an already full work load of raising three boys. The entire Dungey family is one of the most approachable families on the circuit and has not forgotten where they’ve come from or the values they hold dearest to them.
Off the track, Ryan Dungey is one of the most polite people that you could ever meet. He strives for fairness both in his racing and his personal life. He doesn’t blame anyone else for his mishaps on the track and has continually said that the best man has won the races he has not. Ryan considers his opportunity with Suzuki a dream come true and constantly works to improve himself so that he may continue to earn his spot among the elite riders in the world. Justin Fisk
Contributors: Cole Thorsen , Alissa Gilligan , Bad Billy , Chase Stallo