Ryan Dungey won overall at High Point, marking the second consecutive round the KTM rider has finished 1-1.
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey scored a big win in Moto 1 at the FMF High Point National. MotoConcepts Mike Alessi followed Dungey in second and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer rounded out the podium in third. Alessi shot out front early for yet another holeshot and held the lead for almost half the moto, but the Suzuki rider coulnd’t hold Dungey back and by the finish lagged over 19 seconds behind. Team Chaparral Honda’s Andrew Short held on to fourth place after losing position early on to Dungey and Weimer. Returning from a crash at Thunder Valley, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart worked his way up to fifth-place after a disappointing start left him as far back as 10th.
Dungey paced himself, hanging back through nearly half the race but the KTM rider continued to generate speed and when Alessi slipped-up, going slightly crooked off a jump, he had the chance to pass and was thereafter untouchable. Short opened the race strong, holding second for the early laps, but couldn’t maintian podium position in the face of increasing pressure. Behind short, Stewart had moments of clarity, moving quickly past riders early in the race, but seemed off his game when it came to getting past the front runners. Later, Stewart confided that his wrist was troubling him, making it difficult to hang on to the bars.
“Halfway through the first moto I could barely hold on,” said Stewart, whose throttle hand has been of concern. “I was struggling a bit (because) I got a bad start, but I was working my way up. I was trying to do my best to hold on and I almost fell over a few times. At this point, I came out here (and) I tried. I knew I wasn’t 100 percent and I felt like I at least needed to try and do that, but I couldn’t.”
In Moto 2, Dungey took his second win of the day, going 1-1 for the second round in a row. The KTM rider veered off the track late in the race, but had built enough of a gap to return safely and maintain his lead over Alessi, who went 2-2. Weimer held down third to earn his second podium with his 3-3 finish. JGRMX Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps got back to the upper reaches of the timesheet, taking fourth place with his late race pass of Yoshimura Suzuki rider Brett Metcalfe. The Suzuki rider was a one-man team in Moto 2 since Stewart decided not to race due to his wrist injury.
Moto 2 was nearly identical to Moto 1, with Dungey getting past Alessi mid-race and setting out to create a sizeable gap. Alessi maintained his position without pressure from Weimer, who also remained comfortable in third.
“Mike (Alessi) put up a fight in both motos,” said Dungey. “It was a crazy one (today). These were the toughest conditions I’ve experienced here, (but) the bike worked really well throughout the day.”
Millsaps moved through the pack and scored fourth ahead of Metcalfe by over two seconds. The Suzuki rider was steady in fourth for most of the race and appeared to have the position locked. Millsaps has struggled since Moto 1 at Hangtown where he took second, taking zeros at Freestone and sitting out at Thunder Valley.
Dungey remains in the points lead, now 42 ahead of Mike Alessi who moved from fourth overall to second after his 2-2 at High Point. Weimer fell back to third, but is only three points off second. Short moved from fifth to fourth and Stewart fell back to fifth.
450 podium at High Point with Ryan Dungey (center) first overall, Mike Alessi (left) in second and Jake Weimer (right) in third.
2012 High Point 450 Results:
1. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 1-1
2. Mike Alessi (Suzuki) 2-2
3. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 3-3
4. Andrew Short (Honda) 4-8
5. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha) 9-4
6. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki) 7-5
7. Broc Tickl (Kawasaki) 6-9
8. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha) 12-6
9. Nico Izzi (Yamaha) 8-10
10. Michael Byrne (Suzuki) 13-7
11. Justin Brayton (Honda) 11-13
12. Kyle Chisholm (Kawasaki) 14-12
13. Michael Byrne (Suzuki) 13-7
14. James Stewart (Suzuki) 5-39
15. Josh Grant (Kawasaki) 10-38
2012 450 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Dungey, 186
2. Mike Alessi, 144
3. Jake Weimer, 141
4. Andrew Short, 128
5. James Stewart, 116
6. Brett Metcalfe, 114
7. Nico Izzi, 95
8. Broc Tickle, 90
9. Josh Grant, 84
10. Kyle Chisholm, 66