Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki showed its true championship-winning colors at Millville. Minnesota native Ryan Dungey powered his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450 to the overall win on his local track, while Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Brett Metcalfe carded a solid sixth-place result.
Despite heavy rains the day before, the Spring Creek soil was in good condition for the first 30-minute moto. Local favorite, Dungey, and his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 put on a good show for the fans, with Dungey getting a good start and powering into the top three early on. By the time the moto was over, Dungey had notched an impressive second-place finish. In moto two, Dungey got another good start on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 and was running firmly in second place before reeling in the leader to take the win and the overall victory. This result is Dungey’s second overall victory of the season and his fourth win in a row at Spring Creek. Additionally, he’s now just one point shy of second and seven out of first place in the overall championship standings.
"Coming in, I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Dungey. “With the mud, it was kind of a weird deal. We got a lot of rain the night before and I didn’t know how the track was going to be. The first two practices were a little sloppy, but in the first moto, I got off to a really good start on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. But I wasn’t able to make passes as quickly as I wanted to, and I ended up second. In the second moto, I also got a good start and was in third. Then, I got into second and was able to close up the gap, make the pass for the lead, and get the overall. Obviously, being here at Millville and having the hometown crowd is great; it’s always a treat to be back here because I love the track and the fans are great. I grew up with a lot of people who came out today, so that was an extra bonus. Finally, I’m glad to get another win for the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team – This is a good step in the right direction for the championship.”
Teammate Metcalfe struggled a bit at Spring Creek but still put in a strong performance overall. He got a good start in the first moto but then had to overcome a mid-race get-off in order to finish up in sixth place. In the second moto, his start wasn’t ideal, but he put his head down and rode a smart, aggressive race to pick up a solid top-five finish. Metcalf finished up sixth overall.
"It was a tough day for me, but I felt like my riding was good today,” said Metcalfe. “I got a good start in the first moto. I was up there in fifth and I was trying to get around into fourth, but it was difficult to pass. I was sitting there for a few laps – That sort of cost me because I was searching for a different line and that’s what took me down. I went into the outside in a corner and it was too muddy and I lost the front end. That was a mistake that dropped me back to sixth, and then I was too far behind to make a charge for fifth. But I still felt like overall I rode pretty good. In the second moto, I didn’t get the best of starts, but I was able to make some really good moves in the first couple of laps and I felt aggressive and charged through to fifth. It was a good day for us; the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 was working awesome for me and everybody on the Suzuki team has been putting in a big effort. I really want to get up there and get top three for these guys.”
Canard made an impressive return to racing after injuring his leg earlier in the year. A rookie in the 450 class, Canard excelled at his Motocross Championship debut. Getting great starts in both motos aboard his Yoshimura-equipped Honda CRF450R, he nabbed fifth in moto one and finished third in moto two for third overall. Teammate Kevin Windham finished 11-10 for 10th overall.
“Man, I am so happy to be on the podium at my first-ever 450-class Motocross event,” said Canard. “It feels awesome to be back racing with everyone. I got good starts in both motos and was third out of the start gate each time. In moto one the heat really got to me, and I dropped a couple of spots during the race. In moto two I maintained third place from start to finish, which I am really happy with. I definitely picked tough weather conditions to make my return to racing. It was so hot out there. Unfortunately, I don’t have the fitness and sheer speed of the lead riders, yet. That will all come, though; give me a few more races to get up to speed.”
In the Women’s class, Fiolek came out on top in moto one and finished runner-up in moto two aboard her Yosh-equipped CRF250R for second overall. Fiolek has an eight-point lead in the championship with three rounds to go.
Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki celebrated a top ten overall finish in Millville. Jason Anderson, who’s been out since the High Point National, returned to racing and carded an impressive 10th-place overall finish in the 250 class. Teammate Martin Davalos finished just behind Anderson with an 11th overall, while Nick Paluzzi and Les Smith finished 18th and 21st, respectively.
In the first moto, Anderson was still trying to get his rhythm back. Although he struggled at the start, he was able to put his head down and pilot his Yoshimura- equipped Rockstar Energy Suzuki RM-Z250 through the field and take a 14th-place finish. In the second moto, Anderson was feeling a bit more comfortable and it showed in his start. After the 30-minute moto concluded, Anderson had taken an 11th-place finish. The combined results handed the Rockstar Energy Suzuki rider a solid, top-10 overall result.
“This was my first weekend back,” said Anderson, “and I felt pretty good. I felt like my speed was better than where I finished. I just need to keep my laps consistent and, also, it was really hot today, so I think that’s what we struggled with a little bit. But now we’ll go home, keep working hard, and come out swinging for Washougal, which is a track I like; the layout is awesome and I like the dirt there. It’s a little bit slick, and that suits me on the Rockstar Energy Suzuki RM-Z250 because I’m good at sliding.”
The Yoshimura-backed team’s next event is the eighth round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, July 23rd, at the Washougal National in Washougal, WA. You can meet the Rockstar Makita Suzuki and Rockstar Energy Suzuki riders on Friday, July 22nd, from 6 to 7 PM, at Pro Caliber Motorsports, 10703 NE Fourth Plain Blvd. in Vancouver, WA.