One of the most surprising moves of the off-season doesn't even involve a current racer. Ryan Dungey has moved on from his branding at the Red Bull KTM squad for a new gig as part owner of the GEICO Honda team. GEICO's PR is below, and KTM followed with its own send off for Dungey, who delivered the brand's first premier-class race wins and championships in the U.S.
CORONA, Calif.—Factory Connection Racing announced today that Ryan Dungey has joined the GEICO Honda team as a part owner. The five-time AMA Supercross Champion (four 450, one 250) and four-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion (three 450, one 250) retired from racing after the 2017 season. Now he will directly contribute to the operation of Honda’s satellite 250cc supercross/motocross race team and its elite amateur motocross race effort, and will provide invaluable counsel and coaching for the riders.
“After I stopped racing, there were a couple years of waiting for the right thing that made the most sense for me and my family,” Dungey explained. “This came along, and it’s a huge opportunity that checks all the right boxes. Factory Connection Racing is a premier team that has had a lot of success and has a great lineup of talented riders. I’ll be able to apply my experience and knowledge to the next generation and future generations of riders and, because I’m a part owner, it’s something long-term that I can help to build and grow for the future. Between all that and being involved with the Honda organization, there are a lot of positives, and I’m excited to get to work.”
“We’re so pleased to have a champion of Ryan’s stature join our organization,” said Factory Connection Racing owner Richard “Ziggy” Zielfelder. “His racing record speaks for itself, but he has also always been known as a professional off the track as well. We’re very confident that his involvement with the team will help us to continue growing and improving, and we look forward to a successful future together.”
Here's the full release from KTM:
MURRIETA, Calif.—On the heels of a big announcement released earlier today, KTM North America, Inc. would like to congratulate nine-time AMA Supercross and Motocross Champion Ryan Dungey on a brand-new career endeavor as he makes the transition to the GEICO Honda Racing Team.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager, Ian Harrison: “Ryan is a standup guy both on and off the racetrack – a true professional in every sense of the word – and we are confident that he will be successful in anything he chooses to take on. He has done so much for the KTM brand and when he handed the torch off in 2017, we feel that the program has only gotten stronger as we continue to achieve milestones with our athletes and development of the motorcycle. We wish Ryan the best as he heads into the next chapter of his post-racing career in the industry.”
In addition to his decorated racing career, Dungey made an undeniable impact on the KTM brand with the early success of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing effort in the U.S. and the development of the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION motorcycle. In 2010, KTM made the decision to attack U.S. Supercross and Motocross in a big way, bringing on two of the sports' most distinguished leaders in Roger De Coster and Ian Harrison. With the commitment of Roger and Ian came rising star Ryan Dungey, who joined the team in 2012 and he worked closely alongside KTM’s R&D department to develop what would become the multi-time championship-proven KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION.
During his illustrious six-year career as a Red Bull KTM Factory racer, Dungey achieved so many milestones - both personally and for the KTM brand - by way of race wins, championship titles and national media recognition. All of those achievements have aided in the overall success of KTM and since Ryan’s retirement in 2017, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team has continued to thrive with the success of Cooper Webb and his 2019 AMA 450SX Championship in his first year with the brand, as well as KTM veteran Marvin Musquin’s multiple race wins and overall championship contention in both Supercross and Motocross.