Dungey rises to top again at Washougal

Rider rallies to capture fifth straight victory at Washougal MX Park

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

Washougal MX National 2012

Images from Saturday's Washougal MX National

WASHOUGAL — Ryan Dungey's win streak, the one that matters the most anyway, continues.

Dungey, riding for Red Bull/KTM, won his sixth consecutive overall this summer in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, winning in Washougal for the fifth consecutive year.

He did see his 10-moto win streak end when Mike Alessi held him off for the victory in Saturday's first moto of the prestigious 450 class.

But Dungey, fueled by losing for the first time in two months, crushed it in the second moto to take the overall title at the 32nd Washougal MX National.

Alessi finished second in the second moto, but the result of Moto No. 2 breaks all ties.

This is the third consecutive 450 win at Washougal for Dungey. He also won as a 250 rider in 2008 and 2009. The 2008 victory was the first in his career.

Yeah, the guy from Belle Plaine, Minn., really loves Clark County, Wash.

"Washougal has been great. Every year, I enjoy coming back here," Dungey said. "It's nice to go five in a row, and the fans have treated me well, too. It suits me."

Eight rounds into the 12-round series, Dungey has not officially clinched the 2012 points title, but barring an injury, he is just about a lock.

He is 80 points ahead of Alessi.

But it wasn't a perfect weekend for Dungey. For the first time since the second round of the series, he did not win both motos.

"If anything, it was a nice little kick of motivation to go harder," he said.

Then he kicked butt.

Dungey took the hole shot in the second moto and was never in any danger of losing the lead.

He extended the gap between him and Alessi in each of the 16 laps, finishing 31 seconds ahead of second place.

"I got a good start on that second one, and I didn't want to give it up," Dungey said.

With his sixth win of the season, Dungey now has 20 in his career in the 450 class, fourth place on the all-time list, two behind Ricky Johnson for third place.

Alessi, riding for a MotoConcepts team headquartered in Spokane, picked up his first moto victory since the first round of the 2010 season with a thrilling ride.

He got the hole shot to start the moto, never trailed, but had to hold off Dungey for the final 10 laps.

"Getting that taste for first in that first moto, it feels good again," Alessi said.

Dungey had cut a six-second deficit to a half-second at one point. But then he went down trying to make the pass on the 12th of what would become 17 laps.

Alessi's lead grew to almost seven seconds but one lap later, Dungey was back to within 1.5 seconds.

It was less than a second on the final three laps, but Alessi had all the right moves, cutting off any possible passing lane for Dungey.

"I was doing my best to put up the biggest fight that I could," said Alessi, from Victorville, Calif. "I made sure I held tight to the inside (lines)."

While the momentum did not last into the second moto, Alessi did get MotoConcepts, a privateer program, its first moto win in team history.

Andrew Short of Colorado Springs, Colo., had 4-3 moto finishes for third overall. Jacob Weimer of Twin Falls, Idaho, who sits in third place in the points standings, took fourth at Washougal.

The series takes a couple weeks off before competing Aug. 11 in Southwick, Mass.

WASHOUGAL MX NATIONAL RESULTS

Saturday

At Washougal MX Park

450 Class (Moto Finish)

1, Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (2-1)

2, Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki (1-2)

3, Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (4-3)

4, Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (3-5)

5, Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki (6-4)

6, Tommy Hahn, Great Bend, Kan., Honda (7-7)

7, Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki (8-10)

8, Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (10-9)

9, Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (9-11)

10, Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (17-6)

450 Class Championship Standings

1, Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 383

2, Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 303

3, Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 280

4, Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 247

5, Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki, 220

6, Justin Brayton, Ft. Dodge, Iowa, Honda, 183

7, Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki, 169

8, James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 151

9, Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki, 142

10, Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki, 137