Reigning AMA Pro Motocross Champion Ryan Dungey raced his Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 to a strong second place overall at one of the most challenging courses in the series. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Brett Metcalfe rode two solid motos but had to overcome a collision with another rider to bring home 12th place overall.
In the first moto, Dungey got a good start but had a minor off-track excursion early on. In spite of this, he managed to make his way back up into second place by the end of the race. In the second moto, Dungey again put his head down and moved into a podium position on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. Running in third place, Dungey made a daring last-lap move that put him in second place at the end of the moto, and second place overall for the day.
"In the first moto, I high-sided a rut and almost threw it away,” said Dungey. “But I was able to get back on the track and work my way up into second place. In the second moto, the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 was running great, but I got stuck in third for a little while. But I was able to make the most of the bike and the track, and take advantage of some things, and I moved into second place on the last lap. Overall, I’m happy. We had fun – and thanks to all the fans and my family and Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki. We’ve got a short break before Southwick, so I’m going to focus on training and getting ready for that race. I won both motos there last year and I’m hoping to do that again this year.”
Teammate Metcalfe struggled with starts all weekend but made the best of it. In the first moto, he charged hard on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 from 12th place all the way to a solid sixth-place finish. In the second moto, Metcalfe was running with the top 10 and then moved through the field to battle for fifth place. Toward the end of the moto, however, he had contact with another rider and went down. Metcalfe remounted and tried to salvage as many points as possible and in the end, he still brought home a 12th-place finish overall.
"I really wanted to be contending for the podium again,” said Metcalfe. “Unfortunately, my starts were a little off and this is a tough track to pass on. On the positive side, I rode strong; I came through the pack and was able to make moves. In the first moto, I ended up sixth. In the second moto, I had a good ride going and was challenging for fifth. But I came together with another rider and my front brake got jammed and that cost me. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 was working awesome and the team was great, so it’s a bummer I wasn’t able to show what I could do. But now I’m looking forward to Southwick. I had some bad luck there last year and I want to redeem myself. I’m going to be running up front and I want to win that race.”
Barcia made his debut in the 450 class one to remember by putting in two impressive rides aboard his American Honda Racing-prepared CRF450R, finishing third overall. As the sole rider for the factory Honda team, Barcia got his campaign off to a stellar start, grabbing the holeshot in moto one and taking the lead early on. Barcia led the race for six laps before relinquishing a spot on lap seven, and another on lap 15, to eventually finish the moto a solid third. In the second moto, Barcia again got a great start and was among the frontrunners from the get-go, moving into second spot on lap four. Fending off more experienced 450 class competitors, Barcia maintained the runner-up spot for the following 13 laps until he crashed on the final lap. Yielding a spot in the fall, Barcia quickly got going again and went on to finish the race in third place.
“I’m really happy with my performance at my first 450-class Motocross event,” said Barcia. “I can’t thank Honda enough for giving me this opportunity and GEICO Honda for allowing me to have a go at racing the 450 class. The Honda CRF450R was awesome to race and I had so much fun. I haven’t had a lot of time on the new bike, but I love the speed and power it delivers and I had an absolute blast on it. From here, I will go home and keep practicing on my Honda CRF450R before heading to Southwick at the end of the month.”
Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki celebrated another strong showing in the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championships 250 class in New York. The Rockstar Energy Drink Unadilla National saw Martin Davalos finish in seventh place overall in the 250 class while teammates Ryan Morais, Nick Paluzzi and Jason Anderson followed in 12th, 13th and 16th, respectively.
In the first moto, Davalos was struggling with an injury sustained during practice and was happy to finish up in 14th place. But in the second moto, the Rockstar Energy Suzuki rider put the pain behind him and rallied. Davalos got a good start on his Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Energy Suzuki RM-Z250 and was right there in the hunt for all 30 minutes plus two laps in the second moto. Once the dust cleared, Davalos had piloted his RM-Z250 to an impressive fifth-place finish, which was good enough for a seventh-place overall for the day.
“This past weekend was all right,” said Davalos. “But in practice, I got hit by a rock and it knocked out my tooth. The nerve was exposed, so I was in a lot of pain in the first moto and I was just trying to survive. But the Rockstar Energy Suzuki team was really supportive and helped me put a lot of heart into the second moto. I’m happy with my performance in the second moto; unfortunately, the tooth threw everything off. But we have a weekend off to regroup and work on some things, and I’ll see the dentist to get everything fixed up. So I’m looking forward to Southwick – it’s one of the toughest races on the circuit and I’ve got to be prepared for that one.”
The Yoshimura-backed team’s next event is the 10th round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, August 27th, at the Rockstar Energy Drink Southwick National in Southwick, MA. You can meet all of the Team Suzuki riders on Friday, August 26th, from 6 to 7 PM, at Motorsports International, 444 Washington St. (Rt. 20) in Auburn, MA.
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