Words and Photos By Brendan Lutes
Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey is having a season that most can only dream about. After wrapping up the Monster Energy Supercross Championship earlier this year, he has been on a nine-race winning streak outdoors. And with two rounds remaining in the Lucas Oils AMA Motocross Championship, the Minnesota native has wrapped up yet another title following an amazing 1-1 performance on the rough MX 338 circuit in Southwick, Massachusetts. For Dungey, the win was his ninth in a row, and padded his 111-point lead enough that he was awarded the number one plate following the conclusion of the second moto. The championship was not only Dungey’s first, but it was also the first time in history that a 450 Class rookie has won both the SX and outdoor titles in the same year.
Meanwhile, the 250 class saw a new winner as Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s sand specialist Tyla Rattray took home the overall victory with a solid 2-2 tally. Completing the podium were championship rivals Trey Canard in second and Christophe Pourcel third. In the title chase, Canard not sits only 13 points back from Pourcel.
Southwick also marked the return of the WMX Championship, and series points leader DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Jessica Patterson picked up right where she left off at Millville by taking home the overall with a 2-1 moto score. Defending Champion Red Bull Honda Racing’s Ashley Fiolek finished second with a 1-2 moto tally.
When the gate hit the dirt and the pack rounded the first turn for the start of the first race of the day, Geico Powersports/Honda’s Brett Metcalfe took the holeshot followed by Troy Lee Designs/Honda’s Ben Townley; Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey was third. As the laps continued to click by, Metcalfe began to open up a sizable lead when Townley dropped back well outside the top-20, allowing Dungey to take over second and Rockstar/Suzuki’s Tommy Hahn to move into third, and with that the top-three riders remained the same for most of the race. Metcalfe and Dungey began to pull away from everyone, while Hahn did likewise to everyone else behind him.
Meanwhile a battle for fourth began to materialize between Jagermeister/KTM’s Mike Alessi, ARMA’s Kyle Regal, and MotoConcepts/Yamaha’s Kyle Chisholm. Within a few laps, though, Alessi solidified himself in the fourth position while Chisholm and Regal did likewise in fifth and sixth. Behind them Chisholm’s teammate Matt Goerke was putting on a charge of a lifetime as he came from 19th on the first lap to seventh by the finish.
The biggest heartbreak of the moto came on the last lap, when Metcalfe’s CRF450R ran out of gas with less than half a lap left in the race. The misfortune gave Dungey the win and bumped everyone behind the top two up in the running order. When the checkers waved, it was Dungey first, Hahn second, and Alessi third.
The start of the second moto saw Townley jump out to take the holeshot followed by Dungey, Red Bull Honda’s Kevin Windham, and Alessi. As the moto continued, it appeared as if Townley might be able to hold off Dungey, however, on lap six, Dungey made his move around Townley and promptly checked out. Behind the top two, Windham was doing his best to hold off Alessi, but on lap 10, the KTM rider worked his way past the veteran and into third. Behind them even further, Goerke was charging just as hard as he was in the first moto, and before the moto concluded he managed to pass Alessi for third to take the final overall podium position with a 7-3 moto tally. As for Dungey and Townley, they remained in the top-two positions until the moto wrapped up. Dungey’s 1-1 score awarded him the overall, while Townley’s 34-2 score—Townley crashed into Andrew Short in moto one punching a hole in his motor—gave him seventh overall. Second overall went to Alessi with a 3-4 tally, while third was Georke with a 6-3 moto score.
It’s worth noting that current runner-up in the points standings Red Bull Honda Racing’s Andrew Short had a horrible day. After having bike issues in practice, which gave him nearly the last gate pick, Short ran into problems in the first moto then crashed off the start, rounding the first turn in nearly dead last.
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (1-1)
2. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM (3-4)
3. Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., Yamaha (6-3)
4. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha (4-6)
5. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda (7-5)
6. Nick Wey, DeWitt, Mich., Kawasaki (8-9)
7. Ben Townley, New Zealand, Honda (34-2)
8. Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Suzuki (2-32)
9. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda (14-7)
10. Dan Reardon, Australia, Yamaha (13-11)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 468
2. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 317
3. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda, 314
4. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM, 273
5. Ben Townley, New Zealand, Honda, 271
6. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 260
7. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha, 216
8. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki, 204
9. Kyle Regal, Kemp, Texas, Honda, 201
10. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha, 194