Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey continues to inch his way closer to the overall 450MX podium after four exciting rounds of AMA Pro Motocross Championship racing. In his first time back to High Point Raceway in seven years, Dungey delivered a fighting performance all day, especially in the second moto, where he battled up front for most of the race to come away with 6-4 scores for fifth overall.
Dungey eased his way into the day with a Moto 1 start just outside the top-10 but he battled up to eighth early on. Dicing back-and-forth with Ken Roczen midway through, Dungey grabbed another gear on the final lap to swiftly overtake sixth just before the checkers. The three-time 450MX champion came into his own as the gate dropped for Moto 2, capturing the holeshot and early lead aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. He led the opening lap before getting passed and he kept the fight alive in an early top-three battle. Mixing it up with the championship front-runners all race long, Dungey put in a mid-race charge to re-enter the podium battle with five laps to go. Holding onto third until the final stretch, Dungey ended up getting passed on the last lap to ultimately finish a close fourth in the race and fifth overall for the day.
Ryan Dungey: “It was awesome. This week we made progress with the bike and it really translated to the weekend. I didn’t get a great start in the first moto but I was happy that we made a lot of passes and came through the pack. I got off to that good start in Moto 2 and it was so nice to just get clean air and run up there with the fast guys. A little slower start, got passed a little bit but got into the mix and it just felt good. The setup felt good, track felt good and it was nice to be up front and one step closer to the podium.”
Team rider Aaron Plessinger had an unfortunate ending to an otherwise positive day of racing in Pennsylvania. With a ninth-place finish in the first moto, Plessinger began just inside the top-10 in the second mot and he went to work right away climbing through the field. Late in the race, he charged up to fifth just behind his teammate Dungey and he was well on his way to a season-best moto finish until he twisted his ankle with two laps to go. Plessinger did his best to make it through the finish, salvaging a few points with a 15th-place score in Moto 2.
Aaron Plessinger: “The bike was feeling good in practice and I made some changes going into Moto 1 that didn’t really benefit me. I rode really tight in the first one and salvaged ninth. Second moto, I was feeling really good – ready to rumble – and I got a good start and was running really good laps, but I ended up twisting my ankle pretty bad with two laps to go. I’m pumped on the way I was riding all day, it’s unfortunate that that had to happen at the end but we’ll focus on RedBud and try to get up there on the podium.”
Cairoli, the fifth-place qualifier, was ready for a podium push at the start of the day. The Italian rider grabbed a seventh-place start in Moto 1 and started to climb forward but he came together with another rider early in the race and tweaked his knee, causing him to pull off and rest for the remainder of the race. Despite all efforts to attempt racing in Moto 2, the nine-time world champion wasn’t able to finish the day.
Antonio Cairoli: “I look forward to this race because the track I really like. In practice this morning, I felt better than the previous race, of course the pace was much better and we worked a little bit on speed this week, so the feeling was good. First moto, the start was okay with sixth on the first lap and I knew I needed to attack to win some positions but I made a mistake and touched together with another rider and I put down my knee really hard. I felt it immediately because this knee is giving me some trouble already and it was a big hit. It started swelling up and fluid inside, so I pulled off. Second moto, I was last off the start because it's a different format than in GPs and I was a little surprised at the silly mistake I did and I had to line up on the outside, which is not the ideal place to start. With the knee in this condition, I couldn’t really pull a good start and then I was out of the top-20. I got back up to 13th but I was struggling a lot with my knee, so I decided it’s not really a good day, let’s move on. We had a good time here. For sure I would like to end up in a different situation but it’s okay. We are not hurt so bad, just a bad day.”
Max Vohland bounced back at High Point after a tough start at the previous round. Overcoming a mid-pack start in Moto 1, Vohland charged up to ninth early on and he kept the momentum rolling into the last half of racing. With about four laps to go, Vohland made his move into sixth for a second-best moto finish of the year. In Moto 2, the young rider found himself outside the top-20 on the opening lap but he once again put his head down and climbed through the pack. Sitting inside the top-10 halfway through, Vohland picked up another spot late in the race to finish ninth in the moto and eighth overall.
Max Vohland: “The day went pretty good, I feel like the riding was the best-ever so far. We nailed the bike setup today – I felt like we could go where we wanted to. The 6-9 results didn’t show how good I rode but still getting ninth the second moto after being down in the first corner and almost dead last was great. The riding was good, bike is good, just need to work on some starts before RedBud.”
The 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Championship takes a weekend off before heading to Buchanan, Michigan on July 2 for Round 5.
Results 450MX Class – High Point National
1. Eli Tomac (USA), Yamaha, 2-1
2. Chase Sexton (USA), Honda, 1-2
3. Jason Anderson (USA), Kawasaki, 3-5
5. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, 6-4
12. Benny Bloss (USA), KTM
13. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM, 9-15
17. Henry Miller (USA), KTM
19. Tyler Stepek (USA), KTM
25. Jeffrey Walker (USA), KTM
28. Kevin Moranz (USA), KTM
32. Trevor Schmidt (USA), KTM
40. Antonio Cairoli (ITA), KTM
Results 250MX Class – High Point National
1. Jett Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 2-1
2. Hunter Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 1-2
3. Jo Shimoda (JAP), Kawasaki, 3-5
8. Max Vohland (USA), KTM, 6-9
16. Derek Kelley (USA), KTM
17. Joshua Varize (USA), KTM
18. Christopher Prebula (USA), KTM
20. Max Miller (USA), KTM
29. Lawrence Fortin III (USA), KTM
40. Cole Harkins (USA), KTM
Standings 450MX Class 2022 after 4 of 12 rounds
1. Chase Sexton, 181 points
2. Eli Tomac, 167
3. Ken Roczen, 163
5. Ryan Dungey, 122