Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey has battled back to lead the US Supercross championship after winning round seven in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome on Saturday night.
Entering the evening in a dead heat atop the standings with Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, Dungey captured his third victory of 2010 to move into sole position of the top spot.
In the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional Championship, Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel raced to his second-consecutive win of the season.
As the gates dropped on the premier AMA Supercross class main event, Dungey grabbed the holeshot, followed by Honda’s Trey Canard and Villopoto.
Dungey quickly asserted himself up front, opening up an early gap over Canard who began a heated battle with Villopoto. Eventually, the Kawasaki rider moved his way into second and set his sights on his rival. Villopoto closed in slightly, but on lap 10 suffered a frightening get off, allowing Dungey to dominate the rest of the way.
“It was definitely a good win,” said Dungey. “The start was key because it was a tough track to pass on. My tyres hooked up great and I wouldn’t be here without my team.
“I won my first supercross race here so it feels good to come back and get my first big bike win (in Atlanta). We’re just trying to keep moving forward as a team and sometimes you have to go backward to go forward but things are working out so far.”
Canard captured his career-best premier class finish with a runner-up result in just his second race on the bigger bike while Davi Millsaps gave Honda Red Bull Racing a 2-3 result. Villopoto came home in 19th.
As the AMA Supercross Lites class blasted out of the gates, Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson grabbed the holeshot with Pourcel and Suzuki’s Austin Stroupe in second and third, respectively.
Wilson took advantage of his first opportunity to lead as a professional, holding off his opponents for the first nine laps while an intense battle took place behind him. On lap nine, Stroupe made his move, bringing Honda’s Justin Barcia with him. Just three laps later, Stroupe’s rear wheel slid out from under him, holding up Barcia and allowing Pourcel to sneak by for the lead, which he never relinquished.
Barcia would make an attempt to move past the defending champion, but fell a short time later. Stroupe would assume the runner-up spot while GEICO Powersports Honda’s Brett Metcalfe, grabbed the final podium spot in third.
“This was a crazy race,” explained Pourcel. “They were running fast. I got a good start and just kept my pace. I was pushing real hard and stayed in (the battle). With Barcia and Stroupe in there it was tough but I ended up winning the race and I wouldn’t be able to do it without my team.”
Dungey currently holds a 20-point lead over Yamaha’s Josh Hill in the AMA Supercross standings while Villopoto falls to third, 23 points out of first. Pourcel leads Stroupe by six points in the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional Championship.
AMA Supercross Class Results: Atlanta:
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
2. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
3. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
4. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
5. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
6. Josh Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
7. Michael Byrne, Noonan, Ga., Yamaha
8. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
9. Grant Langston, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
10. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
AMA Supercross Class Season Standings:
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 170
2. Josh Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 150
3. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 147
4. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 134
5. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 121
6. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 115
7. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 113
8. Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 85
9. Michael Byrne, Noonan, Ga., Yamaha, 71
10. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 69
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results: Atlanta:
1. Christophe Pourcel, Groveland, Fla., Kawasaki
2. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Suzuki
3. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
4. Dean Wilson, San Jacinto, Calif., Kawasaki
5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki
6. Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Yamaha
7. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Suzuki
8. Jake Moss, Temecula, Calif., Suzuki
9. Levi Kilbarger, Logan, Ohio, Honda
10. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Honda
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings:
1. Christophe Pourcel, Groveland, Fla., Kawasaki, 50
2. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Suzuki, 44
3. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 36
4. Dean Wilson, San Jacinto, Calif., Kawasaki, 33
5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 26
6. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha, 24
7. Kyle Regal, Kemp, Texas, Yamaha, 24
8. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 23
9. Jake Moss, Temecula, Calif., Suzuki, 22
10. Nico Izzi, Albany, Ga., Yamaha, 22
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com