Yoshimura Racing News
Chino, CA- April 19, 2010 – It was a night for the history books in St. Louis for Yoshimura riders, especially Ryan Dungey. Ryan came into Edward Jones stadium with a 12-point lead and left with a 77-point lead after his series rival was unable to finish the race.
The day started with a determined Dungey bagging the second quickest lap time in qualifying. Ryan’s heat race was hard fought, and he finished second. His Yoshimura-prepped RM-Z450 was performing well and so was Dungey heading into the night show.
When the main event came around, Ryan grabbed a third place start and by the end of lap one had moved up to second. Yoshimura-equipped factory Honda rider Davi Millsaps was in third and his teammate and fellow Yoshimura rider Andrew Short was in fourth.
Lap two saw Dungey pass his rival Villopoto for the lead and took off. His Yoshimura-powered RM-Z450 pulled a three second lead by lap nine and was starting to gap the field. At the beginning of lap nine, lappers became an issue. Dungey and Villopoto ended up tangling and hitting the dirt.
Dungey was philosophical about the collision, “I think the other rider saw an opening and just went for it,” Dungey said. “Maybe he was getting a little desperate, but he never let off and just drilled me and we both fell down. It was just one of those racing things. We were going really fast and racing for the title, and it got a little out of control.”
Dungey was putting in lap times in the high 52′s and low 53′s in his heat race, but raced several laps in the 50.3 second range during the main. He and Villopoto got up, and Dungey eventually overtook first place when Villopoto crashed.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki team manager Roger DeCoster was very happy with his rider’s performance. “We told Ryan before the race that he must race for the win tonight, and not be conservative,” DeCoster said. “I told him that he is the fastest guy and on the best bike, so he must ride to his potential. It is difficult as you don’t want the rider to just go out there and go Banzai, but I told him that every race left is for the championship, and that he could not leave anything on the table. When Ryan rides to his potential, there is no one else who can match his speed.”
Dungey was relieved at the results but concerned about Villopoto. “The lap before he crashed, he hit that same part of the lip and I thought, ‘Oh no, this isn’t going to be good’ but he saved it. I was starting to pressure him, and I wasn’t too surprised when he crashed on the next lap. Ivan Tedesco also crashed there…it was sketchy. I hope they are both O.K. It was pretty scary…not what you want to see. “
With Villopoto out and only three races left in the season, the next closest rider in points to Dungey is 77 points down from the championship. The next race will take place in Seattle on April 24 at Quest Field.
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