Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s RM-Z450s dominated round eight of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at the Washougal National in Washougal, on Saturday afternoon.
Not only did Ryan Dungey take the overall victory on his Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, he was also joined on the podium by his team mate Brett Metcalfe who finished third. This result was Dungey’s third victory of the season and puts him just one point shy of the lead in the overall Championship points standings. Meanwhile, this result marks Metcalfe’s first AMA Pro Motocross podium of the year.
Reigning AMA Pro Motocross Champion Dungey got a great launch on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 in the opening race and slotted into second position. He dogged the leader for most of the 30-minute moto and then tried to reel him in with just three laps left. He made a pass for the lead in the outside of a turn but lost the rear and went down. He quickly remounted and finished up in second place. In the second moto, Dungey again got a good start but a crash resulted in a red flag early on. When the moto was re-started, Dungey took the holeshot and rode a flawless race to take the moto win and the overall victory.
“The weekend was good,” said Dungey. “Practice went well although we made some changes to the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 going into the first moto that worked out. We got off to a good start and settled in pretty good, then I was trying to make a pass for the lead and made a mistake and had to settle for second. In the second moto, I got off to a good start and was able to put down some good laps and open up a bit of a gap. With that, we took the moto win and the overall for the day.
“The track was tough, slippery and challenging, so you had to be really patient with throttle control. But the RM-Z450 was working awesome – a lot of traction, handled well and the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team did a great job as well. Now we’ve got a little bit of a break, we’re going to take some time off this week and get ready to get at it for Unadilla. I like that track, it takes a lot of finesse and throttle control, gets really rough and choppy; and I always look forward to going back there.”
Metcalfe also left Washougal in a celebratory mood. In the first moto, he got a good start, put his head down and rode his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 from sixth place into fourth. At that point, he kept it consistent and smooth, and finished fourth. In the second moto, he grabbed a great launch after the re-start and was running in fifth. But he rode his Suzuki aggressively and slowly but surely charged through to third place in the moto. These two solid moto results handed Metcalfe third place overall for the day.
“This first podium feels awesome,” said Metcalfe. “In moto one, I got a pretty good start on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 and I was up in the top five. I went into the second corner and took a bad line and got pushed wide and slipped back to eighth, but I was able to make some moves and get up there and I finished in fourth. In the second moto, I was able to get a much better start and I made a few moves and got in fourth. I had to close the gap up on third and I made a move and finished that moto in third and that was good enough for third overall. I want to thank everyone at Rockstar Makita Suzuki and especially Yoshimura; the RM-Z450 was really fast out there. Now, I’m really looking forward to Unadilla. I love racing there, it’s a really good track and I’ve done well there. We’ve got the Suzuki figured out, I’m comfortable and I can start to attack and be aggressive and try and push and battle for some wins now.”
The Rockstar Makita Suzuki team’s next event is the ninth round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, August 13th, at the Rockstar Energy Unadilla National in New Berlin, New York.
Washougal 450 Class Overall Results:
1. Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
2. Ryan Villopoto
3. Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
4. Chad Reed
5. Justin Brayton
6. Mike Alessi
7. Tommy Hahn
8. Andrew Short
9. Jimmy Albertson
10. Michael Byrne
2011 Motocross 450 Class Standings:
1. Ryan Villopoto – 341
2. Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) – 340
3. Chad Reed – 332
4. Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) – 247
5. Kevin Windham – 193
6. Andrew Short – 183
7. Mike Alessi – 178
8. David Millsaps – 173
9. Jake Weimer – 159
10. Tommy Hahn – 140