Dungey still leads SX championship after crash

Rocktar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey crashed as he led Saturday night’s AMA/ FIM Supercross Championship fourth round in San Francisco, but remounted to take fourth place and keep his series lead intact.

With a shortened practice schedule due to rain that fell in San Francisco in the days leading up to the race, riders were given a total of 15 minutes of practice before the heat races. After timed practice, Dungey was in the second spot with a time of 53.337. During Heat 1, he was second for most of the eight laps, but he clipped a Tuff Block in the final laps and finished sixth.

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As the gate dropped for the Main Event, Dungey came out with the holeshot. At his best, he had more than a nine-second lead on the field about half way through the race. The rhythm section he had troubles with during the heat race proved to be his nemesis and Dungey’s boot caught in a rut, resulting in the racer separating from his bike. With the gap he had given himself with great line choice, Dungey was able to get back on his bike in second place. The 20-year-old rookie from Minnesota crossed the finish line in fourth spot after struggling with a bent clutch lever and a bent front brake rotor, which left him essentially without a front brake for the rest of the race.

“After practice, I felt good,” Dungey said. “I think we made some good changes to the bike. I felt confident in the heat race, but I had a little tip over, so I tried to regroup. I came out and got a great holeshot in the Main and then I caught my foot and threw it away. I salvaged it for fourth, which is not too bad. I’m thankful that I’m alright and healthy.” His fourth-place finish in San Francisco was enough to keep him 12 points ahead of second place.

Team Manager Roger DeCoster was feeling confident going into the race, and afterwards was happy that his racer was uninjured. “It could’ve been a lot worse,” DeCoster said. “We’re leaving here still with the points lead; we gave up a few points, but considering after his crash he had no front brake and no clutch and he still came out in fourth place, that’s still pretty good. I’m sure he’s going to be sore, but there’s no serious injury. The bike was working well, so this week we probably have more to do with a chiropractor than a mechanic.”

Austin Stroupe, Dungey’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki team mate, who is filling in on the RM-Z450 in the Supercross class for Matt Moss, missed the race due to illness. He is expected to return to action in San Diego.

Main Event Results:

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
2. Josh Hill (Yamaha)
3. Davi Millsaps (Honda)
4. Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
5. Andrew Short (Honda)
6. Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
7. Ivan Tedesco (Yamaha)
8. Nick Wey (Kawasaki)
9. Tommy Hahn (Suzuki)
10. Michael Byrne (Yamaha)

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