Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey had another perfect weekend at High Point. Dungey’s endurance was key to his late race performance.
Once again, Ryan Dungey put on a display of his physical endurance, running down the leaders in both motos to go 1-1. Along with another overall win Dungey leaves High Point with the red number plate background, signaling he is the point leader. The Suzuki rider didn’t even look like he broke a sweat, and reminded us of the days when Ricky Carmichael would hop off after the second moto barely sweating. Dungey has got the confidence and the endurance to use his momentum from the past two weekends all the way to the championship. The rest of the field better start working on late race endurance if they want to stop the 20-year-old rookie from walking away with this championship.
One rider who is capable of putting a stop to Dungey’s run at the number one plate had a disastrous weekend. Kawasaki’s Chad Reed was leading the points coming into High Point and left in fourth. Reed’s day began to unravel in the first moto where he finished in an uncharacteristic thirteenth-place. On the first lap of the moto a rock knocked the lens out of Two-Two’s goggles, and from then on he was flying blind. Would his results have been better if he pulled in for a fresh pair of Scotts? In Moto 2, Reed’s luck went from bad to worse when his front brake caliper busted after contact with another rider on the start. By the time he made it around to the pits the race was a wash, and the day was over for the current champ.
“It’s the good and bad about our sport, and that’s racing,” said Reed. “Anything can happen. That’s why we race week in and week out, and you can’t take anything for granted.”
Josh Grant was on the gas in Moto 1, but a flat tire in Moto 2 ended his chances of a podium finish.
We told you to keep an eye on Grant this weekend, and he didn’t disappoint in Moto 1. He led for most of the moto until tucking the front tire in a greasy corner with Dungey hot on his tail on Lap 10. Grant would remount and finish out the moto in second. On the start of Moto 2 it looked like the JGR racer would be on the box popping the bubbly. Then the High Point mechanical gremlins struck while he was running in second and charging. A flat rear-tire would knock Grant back to 24th- place, and 8th for the day. A disappointing day for sure, but soon he will put two motos together for a podium finish if not a win.
Another rider that fell victim to mechanical trouble was last week’s third- place finisher, Kyle Regal. During practice Regal’s front brake caliper busted and got caught in the front wheel, throwing him down hard. The privateer packed it up and was out of the pits before the first moto went off the line. No word on Regal’s condition at this point, but we hope he makes it back for Budds Creek.
In the 250 class weather was a factor for Moto 1 as the rain began to fall before the gate dropped. During the sight lap it was clear that it was going to be a slippier mess for the small-bore rippers. While Justin Barcia ran away with the moto, Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray put his European GP mud riding experience to work as he made his way around his teammate Christophe Pourcel for second-place. He would go on to finish second as the gap to Barcia was just too big to close. In Moto 2 the South African racer once again was able to put his mud-riding prowess into play when the rain began to fall towards the later stages of the moto. Rattray would move into second, which was good enough for his first overall win of his AMA Pro Motocross career.
Although it doesn’t look like it here, Tyla Rattray is used to racing in muddy conditions from his experience of racing in Europe.
Mechanical woes ended up being the story of the day for many riders, and Moto 1 winner Barcia was no different. After a convincing victory in the rainy first moto, it seemed that it was time for the Wild Child to shine. It wasn’t to be, however, and he got tangled up on the first lap of Moto 2, smashing the head pipe of his CRF250R. Barcia rode the moto with severely limited power and ended up with a 21st-place finish.
The series heads to Mechanicsville, Maryland for the Budds Creek National for its traditional Father’s Day Weekend racing. Stay tuned to MotoUSA for updates, interviews and previews of the Lucas Oil Pro AMA Motocross Championship.