Ryan Dungey made history this weekend when he became the first rider to win both the AMA Supercross title and the AMA Motocross title in his rookie year. On a typical Southwick course – rough and severely whooped – Dungey put his Rockstar Makita Suzuki on top of the box with his seventh 1-1 sweep of the season in Moto-X 338′s power-robbing sand, giving him more than enough points to wrap up the series title with two rounds remaining on the schedule. The 20-year-old native of Minnesota had more than a rugged course to overcome, however, as Aussie Brett Metcalfe threw down a serious challenge in moto one.
Not only did Ryan Dungey become the first rider to win the Supercross and Motocross titles in his rookie year, but he also tied Ricky Carmichael’s record of most wins by a rookie, which is a credit to the rider and also to his team. All year long, Dungey and crew (DeCoster, mechanic Mike Gosselaar, and all the Suzuki technicians) have made the right adjustments at the right time. That was evident at Southwick, where Dungey struggled in practice but got faster as the day went on and the track got rougher. In the final moto, Dungey won by an amazing 24 seconds over Ben Townley.
GEICO Powersports Honda’s Brett Metcalfe (#24) and TLD/Lucas Oil Honda’s Ben Townley (#101) jumped out to the early lead in moto one; however, Townley went down on the first lap trying to pass for Metty for the lead. Metcalfe went on to build a strong lead, which he defended in the closing laps when Dungey pulled to within striking distance. Metcalfe looked to have the moto win in the bag but ran out of gas with half a lap to go in the race. Interestingly enough, Metcalfe’s bike was fitted with a special fuel tank especially for this race that held a full liter more than the stocker but it still wasn’t enough. For the final moto, Metcalfe ran Honda’s off-road tank.
Mike Alessi returned to form with a second overall finish at Southwick. The Jagermeister KTM rider went 3-5 on the day, which was a drastic turnaround from his 13-13 finish at Unadilla two weeks ago. After the race, #800 talked about what he did to get things turned around. “We went to a track this week that was about an hour away and we tested until dark and I think I made some very good improvements with the motorcycle,” said Alessi. “I think the 350, being a bit lighter, was a bit of an advantage today on this track because [the light weight] makes it easier to ride. Being this rough, guys are going to get tired and we all have to ride the same race course, and I think we had good settings and that helped a lot.”
Tommy Hahn had good and bad luck at Southwick. The Rockstar Energy Drink/Canidae Suzuki rider benefitted from Metcalfe’s misfortune in the opening moto to take a career-high second place finish. In the second moto, however, Hahn dropped out of the race at the midway point with clutch problems. “I have never, ever burned up a clutch before in my life,” said Hahn. “My practice bikes go hours and hours without clutch problems and I ride a lot of sand. I don’t know what the deal was but the bike just came to a stop because the clutch was just gone.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray won his second overall victory of the season in the 250 race and then jumped on a plane to fly back to California where his fiance had just given birth to the couple’s first child. “It’s been a crazy week getting ready for the baby and then hearing the news early this morning that my daughter was born,” said Rattray. “Today was a tough day but I got my second overall win just like my first, by going 2-2. The sand is difficult here but I seem to thrive in it. I’ve been looking forward to Southwick most of the summer and to come here and ride like I did is fantastic. This is something I will always remember, winning on my daughter’s birthday.”
GEICO Powersports Honda’s Justin Barcia won a wild second moto in the 250 division, which gave him second overall when combined with his fourth from the opening moto. Barcia has struggled with consistency throughout the year but looked solid while holding Rattray and points leader Christophe Pourcel at bay in moto two. The Georgia rider currently sits fifth overall in the standings, but most belive it will just be a matter of time before he gets his for outdoor win.