Ryan Dungey wins Budds Creek Motocross race for third straight year

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Although Ryan Dungey was unable to cut into Ken Roczen’s championship lead today, Dungey will leave Budds Creek with some momentum after racing his best moto of the season and securing his second overall win of the year in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.

The Red Bull KTM duo of Dungey and Roczen was dominant all day, but it was Roczen who asserted control in the opening moto for the 450 Class. Trey Canard held the early lead in the race, but Roczen eventually worked his way around Dungey for second place and then set his sights on Canard. On the fifth lap of the race, Roczen turned up the speed as the two riders went downhill, then passed Canard on the outside of the next turn. Dungey also got around Canard a few laps later, and while he was able to close the gap on his teammate for the lead, Dungey couldn’t get within striking distance and would finish the moto in the runner-up spot behind Roczen.

Moto 2 featured an absolutely dominant effort though from Dungey, who grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot and led wire-to-wire for the moto victory. The great start left Dungey with a clear track ahead of him, and without anyone there to apply the pressure, he was able to comfortably ride his own race. Leading all 17 laps in the race, Dungey – who entered the day having led just nine laps total during the 2014 season – nearly tripled that number by the end of one moto. Roczen fended off a fierce challenge from Eli Tomac late in the moto to finish second behind Dungey.

Watch the recap of the second 450 Class moto:

“I just got that start, which was key, and I was just able to race my laps,” Dungey said, speaking to why he was able to dominate the moto. “The track’s really coming around – it was very tough [in the first moto].”

With Dungey and Roczen both earning a first-place and a second-place moto finish today, the two teammates ended up tied in the overall results, meaning that Roczen’s championship lead will remain fixed at 26 points. Dungey earned the overall win though by virtue of the tiebreaker – having the better result in Moto 2 – and has now won at Budds Creek three years in a row.

Dungey talks about his Budds Creek victory:

“We all have our [off] days,” Roczen said after the race. “I’m so happy to finish off the day and keep the points lead the same. That’s all I can ask for.”

With the championship race still tight, the series shifts to Spring Creek next week for the eighth round of the series, where Dungey will get to compete in Minnesota in front of his hometown fans.

Budds Creek Overall Results
1. Ryan Dungey (2-1)
2. Ken Roczen (1-2)
3. Eli Tomac (4-3)
4. Trey Canard (3-4)
5. Weston Peick (6-5)
6. Josh Grant (9-6)
7. Andrew Short (8-7)
8. Brett Metcalfe (7-11)
9. Phil Nicoletti (12-8)
10. Matt Goerke (11-10)
*Moto 1 and Moto 2 results in parenthesis

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

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Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).