Dropping In On: Ryan Dungey

Ryan Dungey grabbed a third place finish this weekend in Detroit, his seventh podium finish of the season. That’s a stat that has him sitting solidly in the runner-up slot in the 450-class standings after 11 rounds of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.

Dungey proved earlier in the year when he took the win at the Indy round that he has the speed to get the job done, however, a DNF at Anaheim III has him sitting 30 points out of the lead. Can the "Dunge" make up the deficit and claim his second supercross title? Dirt Rider spoke to the Red Bull KTM rider after this weekend's race to get an idea of how he's sizing up the rest of the season with just six rounds remaining.

Q: This year, the wins seem to be going to the riders who get the best starts and you didn't get off to the best start in tonight's main event.

A: I actually got out of the gate in good shape, but I think it was Brayton, he clipped me and it took my hand off the handlebar, and I was thinking I gotta grab the throttle and go. I was kind of fortunate because Stewart stayed on the gas and went wide, so I decided to go in tight to the left, but there was Villopoto, so I stood it up a little and went under him and was able to go around the inside and do the table jump. I think a lot of guys messed that up jump on the first lap so I was able to come out in good shape, but I was still in the back a little bit.

Q: This was another of those slippery tracks; we thought we were done with them now that the series has moved east, but obviously not. How did you handle the conditions?

A: You gotta be aggressive, but on a track like this, the harder you ride it the slower you go; it's such a fine line. Once I was able to latch onto Villopoto we fell into a groove. There weren't many options as far as lines, and I tried to switch it up before the whoops and it worked out about even. Villopoto lost the rear after the finish line and I ended up not being close enough to capitalize. That was the only mistake I saw him make and that makes it hard to pass someone.

Q: One of the trickiest parts of the track was the rhythm section after the "ramp" into the stands and it looked like you switched up your line through that section, hoping to make some time on Villopoto.

A: We looked at it on the practice video and Kenny wheelied it on one lap and went over the table, and on another lap he kind of blitzed it and hit it like a whoop, and then he jumped out on the table and then off, and that seemed to be really fast. So I think I wasn't maximizing how fast I could go there because I didn't want to mess it up and I was just trying to ride it clean every lap, so I was started blitzing it in the main and I was making time on Villopoto, but then I would lose it in other places, so it evened out.

Q: What is your strategy for the rest of the season?

A: I'm 30 points down, throwing away that race really hurt us, so I can't go through the weeks worrying about the points; I just need to maximize every race. Villopoto is a strong guy and it's hard to see that he's going to make a mistake. We've got to believe that things can go our way really fast, too. And as long as there's a chance then we're going to push full ahead and if it happens it happens. If it doesn't, we'll try again next year. I really want to win this supercross championship. Especially since I won it once, I want to back it up.

Q: What do you think about all the slippery tracks we've had this year?

A: I couldn't believe how slippery it was out there. It blows my mind how many tracks this year have been like that. It's turning into a throttle control and whoever can ride that kind of stuff the best. I don't remember a year when every track has been that slippery, especially like Phoenix, you know it's going to be slippery, but it's was just like unbelievably icy.