Ryan Dungey protected his overall win streak by going 1-1 at Steel City, taking Moto 1 by a large margin and fighting tooth-and-nail with Mike Alessi for the Moto 2 win.
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey was fastest off the line in Moto 1 at Steel City and he went on to run away with the win by over 31 seconds ahead of L&MC’s Andrew Short. MotoConcepts’ Mike Alessi got into third in the first half of the moto and held steady to the checkers.
Dungey was virtually uncontested out front, though a number of riders kept pace with the 2012 Motocross champion though the opening minutes. Short was within 2 seconds of the KTM rider though the opening laps, but a small bobble set him back and he was unable to recover any ground through the rest of the contest. The battle for third raged between Alessi and JGRMX’s Davi Millsaps, though the Suzuki rider proved to be more consistent and Millsaps slipped back in the pack when Star Valli Yamaha’s Nico Izzi pushed for position. Millsaps regained the fourth spot after Izzi took a spill through the whoop section. Izzi was able to remount and kept within the top-10, fluctuating between sixth and eighth as a number of other riders pushed through the pack.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray and Jake Weimer moved up from outside the top-10 late in the moto. Jeff Ward Racing’s Josh Grant also rallied in the final minutes of the contest and came out ahead of Millsaps in a heated battle for fourth. Monster Pro Circuit Kawaski’s Broc Tickle was fighting for a top-10 finish but had to pull out of the moto due to mechanical issues.
Dungey had to scrape for the Moto 2 win after falling back to fourth off the start and then running off track briefly during his push for position. Alessi held the front for all but the final laps when Dungey was finally able to make a pass. Weimer rounded out the podium.
“It was nice to come out of here with a win today, this place has been good to me in the past (in the 250 Class),” said Dungey. “There were some good line choices. The second moto got a little slippery when that rain came, but I put in good laps and limited the mistakes. Luckily, I just went off the track a bit (with the bobble) and didn’t lose too much ground. I want to continue (winning) with these last two races. They mean just as much as the 10 before.”
Rain started to fall at the opening of the moto, making for a muddy contest, and the battle for podium position was intense throughout. As Dungey made his way up the ranks, Grant, who ran in second in the opening laps, fell back to third. He then faced Weimer who was charging ahead as well and couldn’t hold position, slipping back to fourth. Tickle had a much better showing in Moto 2, finishing comfortably in fifth. Nicoletti had one of his best motos of the season, taking sixth followed by Star Valli Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry in seventh and Izzi in eighth. Rattray and Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton took ninth and 10th, respectively.
Dungey now has nine consecutive overall wins and has over 100 points on Alessi in second. The Suzuki rider is now 76 ahead of Short, who despite his difficulty in Moto 2 maintains third overall. Weimer broke the tie with Tickle and now sits 18 ahead in fourth.
Steel City 450 podium with Ryan Dungey (center) in first, Mike Alessi (left) in second and Josh Grant (right) in third.
Steel City 450 Motocross Results 2012:
1. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 1-1
2. Mike Alessi (Suzuki) 3-2
3. Josh Grant (Kawasaki) 4-4
4. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 7-3
5. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 6-9
6. Nico Izzi (Yamaha) 8-8
7. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha) 5-11
8. Phil Nicoletti (Honda) 11-6
9. Andrew Short (Honda) 2-32
10. Justin Brayton (Honda) 12-10
11. Ben LaMay (Yamaha) 13-12
12. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki) 32-5
13. Kyle Chisholm (Kawasaki) 13-12
14. Robert Kiniry (Yamaha) 33-7
15. PJ Larson (KTM) 14-14
450 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Dungey, 530
2. Mike Alessi, 409
3. Andrew Short, 333
4. Jake Weimer, 327
5. Broc Tickle, 309
6. Josh Grant, 262
7. Justin Brayton, 222
8. Kyle Chisholm, 198
9. Davi Millsaps, 176
10. James Stewart, 163