Red Bull KTM announced today that Ryan Dungey sustained a cracked vertebrae after crashing in the second moto at Round 3 of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross at Thunder Valley on Saturday and will miss Round 4 at High Point and “several upcoming rounds.” Dungey fought back from nineteenth to fourth in the moto. He finished second overall behind Ken Roczen.
Doctors confirmed this week that Dungey cracked his C6 vertebrae in the fall and requires a minimum of 6-8 weeks healing time.
“It's very difficult to share such disappointing news,” said Dungey. “It’s heart breaking mainly because of all the hard work the team and I have put in preparing to defend the motocross title this year. But I'm very thankful that the injury wasn't worse. I will use this time away from racing to recover fully, knowing this will only make me stronger and more motivated. Thank you everyone for your support and understanding.”
Dungey has stayed relatively healthy since moving to the 450 class in 2010. You have to go all the way back to 2012, when Dungey missed five rounds Monster Energy Supercross due to a shoulder injury, to find the last time he missed multiple rounds in a season. Currently second in the 450MX championship, Dungey has never finished a 450 championship worse than third overall—a streak now in jeopardy after today’s news.
"Obviously Ryan being injured is tough on the team,” said Red Bull KTM Team Manager Roger DeCoster. “At the time we didn’t know about his injury and we were so proud of the way he raced that second moto in Colorado coming from 19th place all the way to almost finish on the podium. But to now know that he accomplished that battling through the pain of a cracked vertebrae shows what an unbelievably tough champion rider he really is. The plan right now is to reassess his return to racing in 6 weeks’ time once he is reevaluated by his doctor.”
Through three rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Dungey sits second in points, twelve behind Ken Roczen.