Ryan Dungey Maintains Lead In Houston

_Rockstar Makita Suzuki Racing News

  • _ Ryan Dungey maintains a 12-point lead in the Supercross class heading into St. Louis._
  • _ Austin Stroupe maintains his second-place spot in the Eastern Regional Lites class._
  • _ Stroupe was injured during practice and is not expected to race in St. Louis, the final stop on the Eastern Regional Lites circuit._

Houston, TX - April 11, 2010 - The suspensions on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 and the RM-Z250 were put to the test in Houston. With a busy track that involved some of the deepest whoops of the series and a kicker jump off the starting gate, the 13th round of the AMA Supercross series had a unique layout that was tough on suspension. Luckily, both of the Suzuki RM-Z models were up to the task of soaking up all the rough obstacles in Houston.

The day didn't go as the team planned in either of the main events, with Austin Stroupe separating his shoulder in practice before the Eastern Regional Lites class race and Ryan Dungey having a rough go of things in the Supercross race.

Austin Stroupe has been consistently smooth and in control of his RM-Z250 in 2010. The bike was dialed in after the first practice on Saturday and was soaking up the busy track, but an unfortunate incident in the second practice on Saturday afternoon had Stroupe visiting the Asterisk Mobile Medical unit. "Austin is going to go back to North Carolina to get his shoulder looked at by his doctor," Team Manager Roger DeCoster said. "The injury is an AC separation of the second degree. He'll be out next week, and probably out for the rest of the Supercross season. He has an appointment on Monday, and we'll find out more then. It was a tough day with Austin getting hurt first and then with Ryan we had an off day."

Ryan Dungey went into the main event with a convincing Heat 2 win and the fastest lap in practice. With a few tweaks on his suspension to fine-tune his RM-Z450, Dungey lined up on the starting gate looking to extend his lead in the Supercross class. Dungey has won four rounds so far in 2010, and he looked confident in his ability to race well on the dirt in Reliant Stadium. After the first corner, Dungey found himself in third place. He and his bike worked hard to overcome the deep whoops, and Dungey traded spots with a few racers throughout the first half of the race. At the midway point, just as he was about to catch and pass the third place rider, Dungey stalled his bike in a complicated turn. Stuck in the whooped-out corner as a few racers passed him, Dungey managed to restart his bike and move himself into fifth place where he finished the race. "Some tracks favor you more than others, and some tracks you have to adapt to when things aren't working," Dungey said after the race. "I stalled it in the middle of the race, but overall I'm all right with tonight. We'll get out of here still holding onto the lead, and I'll learn from tonight and move on."

"I think Ryan rode a little too cautious today, and once you become too cautious you get out of sync," DeCoster said. "It's almost worse than being too aggressive, because you make more mistakes when you don't ride your ideal race. Also, we didn't hit the setting on the bike the way we should have. We would've been third most likely, but Ryan stalled the engine once and we ended up way back in fifth and gave up some points. We need to go back to work and come back in St. Louis. We'll work it out this week and I think we can turn it around."

Dungey is currently 12 points ahead of second place in season points. The next round of AMA Supercross action takes place at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 17.

Team sponsors:Rockstar, Makita, Yoshimura, Dunlop, Maxima, Tag Sprockets, Pro Taper, Alpinestars, ONE Industries, Mechanix Wear, Showa, Road Champs, CP Pistons, Hinson Clutch Components, Snap-On, Twin Air, D.I.D., Excel, NGK, Works Connection
About Suzuki:** The Motorcycle/ATV Division of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), Brea, Calif., was founded in 1963 by Suzuki Motor Corporation. ASMC markets motorcycles and ATVs via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. ASMC's parent company, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, automobiles and marine engines. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, it has 120 distributors in 191 countries. www.suzukicycles.com.

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About Makita: Makita is a worldwide manufacturer of industrial quality power tools and offers a wide range of industrial accessories. Makita applies leading-edge technology and innovation to engineer tools that are more compact with less weight yet deliver industrial strength power and results. Makita innovation includes Makita LXT, the industry's first 18V lithium-ion cordless lineup. For more information, visit makitatools.com. Follow Makita at facebook.com/makitatools and twitter.com/makitatools. Makita is Best in Class Engineering.