Monday Race Report: Dungey Tops Unadilla Motocross - Dirt Rider Magazine

The media hype last week was all about James Stewart and his return to the Lucas Oil AMA National Motocross series at Unadilla Valley Sports Center. But after two motos and 32 laps, the day belonged to Ryan Dungey, as the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider demonstrated the speed and conditioning that have carried him to eight-straight overall wins and solidified him as the sports newest and one of its brightest stars. Stewart fans need not worry, however, as the San Manuel Yamaha rider was blazing fast, as well, but after sitting on the sidelines for the past eight months, lacked the race-hardened stamina to deal with Unadilla's grueling course. In the end, it was Belgian GP star, Clement Desalle that provided Dungey with his toughest challenge, but even Desalle couldn't maintain Dungey's pace for the duration of the race.

Ryan Dungey came into Unadilla riding a seven-race win streak and owning a 95-point cushion in the series points standings. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider had no intentions of playing it safe, however, and blistered the rough and fast Unadilla course with his smooth and mistake-free style. A huge crowd watched on as the likable Minnesota native outdistanced the field by nearly 12 seconds in each moto. Dungey led every lap of the opening moto, and all but nine of the second.
Clement Desalle currently sits second in the MX1 series standings in the FIM World MX Championship, and came to Unadilla to test the waters for a possible full-on campaign of the AMA circuit in 2011. Desalle was a guest of the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team at Unadilla and, as it turns out, has been the only rider all year to challenge Dungey for any considerable distance. Desalle was 2-2 for second overall after beating out Stewart in a first-moto showdown.
Brett Metcalfe has put in a reasonably quiet but steady season to position himself third in the series standings. In New York, the GEICO Powersports Honda rider was third overall with 5-3 moto finishes, working his way to the front after starting outside the top 10 in each case. Metcalfe was recently picked to represent his home country of Australia in the Motorcoss of Nations, along with Chad Reed and Dean Ferris. Although he's not a fan of fast courses, Metcalfe said he enjoyed the Euro-style Unadilla circuit.
James Stewart made just four laps of the second moto before pulling in to the pits, but he battled with Desalle over second place in the opening moto, holding the advantage over the Belgian for seven laps before falling in Unadilla's infamous Screw-U and dropping to third. The San Manuel Yamaha rider had good speed in the first moto, but understandably, didn't have the stamina to run the full distance. Stewart sent out a release after the race stating, "We're not 100% yet, but I'm confident in myself and my team that things will only improve from here."
Okie Trey Canard grabbed his fourth overall victory in a row at Unadilla after winning the first moto and finishing second to series points leader Christophe Pourcel in the second. The GEICO Powersports Honda shaved a cool 11 points off of the Frenchman's points lead with his performance, combined with a DNF by Pourcel in the first moto, but still sits 16 points down with three rounds to go.
Justin Barcia cleaned Dean Wilson's clock with this first-moto block pass. The GEICO Powersports Honda-backed Barcia claimed in the press conference that it was just aggressive racing, while Wilson called fowl. Barcia ended the day second overall with a 3-5 score, while Wilson put his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki into third overall, via 6-3 placings. Wilson sits third overall in the series standings with Barica in fifth, behind Wilson's teammate Tyla Rattray.
Christophe Pourcel (#377) took a hard fall on the second lap of moto two, and was not able to return to the race. He answered the bell in the second moto, however, running down a fleeing Canard, passing him with just two laps remaining to take the win. The performance salvaged what could have been a disastrous weekend for the Frenchman and ended his streak of second moto letdowns.
The U.S. Motocross of Nations team was announced just before the opening 450 moto at Unadilla. Ryan Dungey will serve as team caption and ride the MX1 class, with Andrew Short (MX3) and Trey Canard (MX2) filling out the team. The squad will try to bring home Team USA's 21st victory in the historic race at this year's event on September 25-26 at Thunder Valley Raceway in Lakewood, Colorado.