THE MXA INTERVIEW: RYAN DUNGEY ON HIS WIN IN INDIANAPOLIS
We’ve all been waiting for Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey to get his first win in 2014 Supercross, and that came at round nine at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. In doing so, Dungey became the fifth different rider to win a 450 main this year. The win (along with a Ryan Villopoto crash) moved Dungey up to second in the points championship. He sits 23 points out of the lead a three points ahead of teammate Ken Roczen. We caught up with Ryan a few minutes after he gave his podium speech.
By Jim Kimball
Photos by John Basher
MXA: Ryan, what a night!
Ryan: This was the first super soft track that we had all year, and it tore apart really quickly, especially after the first practices it got really terrible. I knew that we would have our work cut out for us, but we made some minor changes to a few areas of the bike. All the guys at WP, and the team really helped. We had pretty good times in the timed practice sessions and I felt comfortable going into the main. After the warm-up lap I really wondered where I was going to go when we went through the whoops. They were difficult, but everyone had the same issue. I just took my time, and when I got in the lead I just tried to put in some good solid laps without mistakes. I saw that Eli [Tomac] was there behind me. I just tried to not force any issues and ride clean.
The ruts looked very difficult to navigate.
They were, but the Dirt Wurx guys did pretty good. I think that the worst ruts were on the faces of some of the bigger triples and the finish line jump. They did their best to help with the ruts, but for sure when it got to be about three laps to go, the track really went away. But after Atlanta I learned to switch my lines up more during the main. I realized that staying in the same line kept getting deeper and deeper. Line choice was key tonight. Fortunately I got a good start, which I think set the tone of the main.
Did you see all the guys go down in the first turn?
No, I didn’t. I didn’t really see anything. But then a few turns later I saw [Ryan] Villopoto down, and then James [Stewart] was picking himself up when I was going over the triple. At that point the race was still young and there was a lot of work to do, so I just focused on that and looked forward.
What was your approach in passing Mike Alessi?
He generally does very well the first few laps. He did that in Atlanta, too. He’s a great starter. In Indianapolis I felt that I got off the gate tremendously well…then I see Alessi coming around me on the outside. So he still got me there, but I knew that I just had to try to get by him quickly and put in some good racing.
How did you pass him?
It was through the whoops. I got up beside him and just tried to get in front of him before the wall near the start line. I tried to get my rear end down as soon as possible and then I gave it everything she had. I was able to drive it down, and squeeze into the lead.
You made up a lot of points in the race for the championship. At this point are you focusing on the point difference between yourself and Ryan Villopoto?
No, there is a lot of racing left. Even with the deficit that I am in, we just try to take it one race at a time and put ourselves in a position like we did here. Sometimes things don’t go the way that you want them too, but tonight was good. I’ll take this win and try to keep it going all through the season. That’s the way we are going to gain points; that, and by not making any mistakes. This season is stacked, and there are a lot of fast guys. Often it is anyone’s game. Positioning yourself right off the start is key, and we are going to have to do that a lot!
I’m not sure if you noticed, but Feld Motorsports showed the results on the big screen of who the fans thought were going to win tonight. The fans voted for you!
[Laughter] No, I didn’t notice that tonight. Often those are just people saying who they want to win, but yeah, that’s still pretty cool.