Supercross: Ryan Dungey races back to 2011 Daytona Supercross podium

Team Suzuki Press Release

Supercross: Ryan Dungey raced back from a mid-pack start to claim third place in Saturday’s Daytona Supercross at Daytona Beach in Florida.

supercross, 2011 supercross, 2011 ryan dungey, ryan dungey, suzuki, suzuki racingRockstar Makita Suzuki’s defending Champion gated his RM-Z450 in 10th position in the 20-lap Main Event but clawed back methodically to the podium position which has now put him up to fourth place in the series after nine rounds.

Dungey started the day with a strong showing in practice, ending up with the fourth best time on the tough Daytona layout. In his heat race, his Yoshimura-equipped RM-Z powered him out of the gate and put him right up to the front.

After several strong laps in the lead, Dungey suffered an unfortunate mechanical issue, resulting in a DNF.

His Rockstar Makita Suzuki team pulled together and rallied to make a quick engine swap in order to prepare for the Last Chance Qualifier and he rocketed out of his poor gate choice a won the four-lap race. Due to the trip to the LCQ, Dungey ended up with the 19th gate pick for the Main Event. Despite the poor starting position, he bolted from the gate to a mid-pack position and charged through the pack, eventually crossing the line in third place.

“I owe a lot to my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team today,” said Dungey. “They worked their butt off to get my Suzuki ready for the LCQ and for it to run that good in the Main was unbelievable. I’m really happy – we had our work cut out for us tonight. With the cards that were dealt and the circumstances, I think we handled everything the best we could and did all we could. I think at the end of the day, we’re happy with the result. I’m really looking forward to Indy; the new Lucas Oil Stadium is really cool and the fans there are great. It’ll be good to get back indoors.”

Dungey’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki team mate Brett Metcalfe came to Daytona somewhat battered and bruised after a significant crash in Atlanta last week. The tough Aussie soldiered through the day with a decent practice and a strong heat race in which he finished fifth. In the Main, after a poor start and 11th after the first lap, Metcalfe was able to work his Suzuki up to eighth place before a mistake put him on the ground on lap 13. He remounted to eventually finish a disappointing 18th.

“This track is always tough,” said Metcalfe. “And last week’s crash took a lot out of me physically. I knew it was ‘gonna be tough coming in, but I tried to be positive. We got better through practice and my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team really got the bike working good for me and I couldn’t really ask for anything more. I just wasn’t physically prepared for that kind of race. I tried to make a game plan and stick to it, but I lost that game plan about halfway through the Main. I felt good at the beginning of the race, but by the halfway point, it was tough for me and I lost a bit of focus there. We’re still in one piece and I just hope to have a good week and move on.”

The 2011 Rockstar Makita Suzuki team’s next event is Saturday, March 12th, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Daytona results: 1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki); 2. Chad Reed (Honda); 3. Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki); 4. Andrew Short (KTM); 5. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha); 6. Justin Brayton (Yamaha); 7. Kevin Windham (Honda); 8. Ken Roczen (KTM); 9. James Stewart (Yamaha); 10. Mike Alessi (KTM).

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