Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey clinched his third career 450SX Championship on Saturday with a solid 4th place finish at the penultimate round in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In doing so, Dungey successfully defended his 2015 title to become a back-to-back 450SX champion in 2016.
“Obviously 4th place isn’t the goal but the championship is and it’s nice to have a little cushion and wrap it up a round early,” Ryan Dungey said. “The (31 consecutive) podium streak was cool and I was definitely going after Cole Seely there just to try to get on the podium but I gave it my best and did what I could but I wasn’t going to do anything stupid either. It’s been a fight, mentally battling week in and week out, with lots of riders challenging us all season. I feel like I was consistent across the board the whole season and 4th place – if that’s our worst finish all season up to Round 16 – I don’t think it’s bad.”
The newly crowned three-time 450SX Champion came into Round 16 with a favorable points lead over runner-up Ken Roczen. Throughout the day’s qualifying, Dungey performed consistently aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, where he ultimately qualified 5th overall. His teammate, Marvin Musquin, captured the fastest lap time of the day, where he assumed pole position heading into the evening’s racing.
Both Musquin and Dungey were seeded into 450SX Heat 2, where Dungey assumed the early lead. Dungey showcased great determination as he rode on to the heat race victory, while Musquin fell just short of a transfer position with 5th in the heat.
Musquin prevailed through the Semi, capturing a 2nd place transfer position into the Main Event.
In the 450SX Main Event, Dungey captured a top-five start where he immediately engaged in a battle with the front-runners. Musquin, however, got tangled with another rider off the start, which caused him to lose momentum and run off the track before the first turn.
From there, Musquin charged hard through the pack, making advances throughout the entire Main Event, ultimately making his way up to 7th place.
“Coming off the start, another rider bumped into me and it caused me to lose my balance and fly off the track,” Musquin said. “I thought I was going to crash for a minute but I was able to save it and keep going. I’m really happy with the way I rode tonight, I feel like I was back to myself, and even though the results didn’t show it, I’m happy with how the riding went.”
Dungey battled hard for a podium position but the champ played it safe in the end to capture a secure 4th place finish en route to his 3rd 450SX Championship.
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director commented, “We are just extremely happy to have another championship. This was a dream of ours for so many years and last year it happened for the first time but as we know it’s a difficult sport so to win a championship is one thing but to keep the level is another one. The team here in the U.S., and Ryan Dungey, they didn’t just keep the level; they put it on another level again! It was amazing to watch Ryan this year, how strong he was week in and week out, and we just want to thank the team and Ryan for what they did.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager, Roger De Coster added, “I’m just super happy to be part of this and be able to help Ryan win this championship for KTM. I have to thank everyone in Austria that has helped us, including the WP side, Pit Beirer and Mr. Pierer especially, because he is the one who commits the budget and the money to allow us to do this and allow us to do what we love to do, which is race and win races. Without him this would be impossible. I feel very fortunate because I feel that our crew here in the U.S. is the best crew in the paddock. I'm certain we can do this again because I’m not happy with stopping here, we have to do it again and again and I think with the commitment of the crew in Austria and KTM we can do it again.”
Next Race: May 7, 2016 – Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Results 450SX Class East Rutherford 2016
1. Ken Roczen (GER), Suzuki, 15:13.858 min (20 laps)
2. Eli Tomac (USA), Kawasaki, +19.687 sec
3. Cole Seely (USA), Honda, +21.318
4. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, +23.201
5. Justin Brayton (USA), KTM, +23.769
7. Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, +24.902
Standings 450SX Class 2016 after 16 of 17 rounds
1. Dungey, 366 points (2016 450SX Supercross World Champion)
2. Roczen, 330
3. Jason Anderson (USA), Husqvarna, 293
4. Tomac, 270
5. Chad Reed (USA), Yamaha, 232
6. Musquin, 213
8. Brayton, 186
14. David Millsaps (USA), KTM, 105
Results East 250SX Class East Rutherford 2016
1. Malcolm Stewart (USA), Honda, 11:42.330 (15 laps)
2. Martin Davalos (USA), Husqvarna, +4.986 sec
3. Jeremy Martin (USA), Yamaha, +8.916
4. Shane McElrath (USA), KTM, +12.558
5. Aaron Plessinger (USA), Yamaha, +17.039
8. Dakota Alix (USA), KTM, +31.979
14. Alex Frye (USA), KTM, +44.172
Standings East 250SX Class 2016 after 8 of 9 rounds
1. Stewart, 160 points
2. Plessinger, 146
3. Martin, 141
4. Davalos, 130
5. McElrath, 109
11. Justin Hill (USA), KTM, 63
13. Frye, 56
15. Alix, 50