Ryan Dungey has three Monster Energy Supercross titles under his belt and a hefty 17-point lead in the 450SX series heading into Saturday’s motorcycle race at AT&T Stadium, but that means little to him.
The way he looks at it, the three titles are in the past. So is a 2017 start that has included five straight podium finishes, including a win in Anaheim, Calif., last month.
Dungey won in Arlington in 2010 and again in 2015, both of which were championship years. He also won the championship last season.
“The goal is to win a championship for sure,” said Dungey, 27. “But last year was last year. It’s great momentum to build off of. But I need to remember there are new challenges and new riders and not to live in the past. It’s easy to think ‘That worked last year.’ We’re trying to build our program and build off every race in itself. I realize when you live in the past you start to focus on the results, and then you start to focus on those results. Then expectations come into play.”
Expectations are nothing new for Dungey, and they are normally lofty ones with good reason. No rider on the series is more consistent than Dungey, who won eight times in 2015 and nine in ’16.
Last year was last year. It’s great momentum to build off of. But I need to remember there are new challenges and new riders and not to live in the past.
Two-time defending Supercross 450 champion Ryan Dungey
He knows it takes consistency to win a championship.
“There’s a lot of good guys here,” Dungey said. “Everyone is going to be there every single weekend. I need to remember that, not to put the pressure on myself, but really apply myself. You have to be consistent and be there every single week. You can’t be afraid to fail, but you have to make the least amount of mistakes.”
While Dungey is the point leader, he’s not the hottest rider coming into Saturday’s race. Eli Tomac has won the last two races and has moved into second place in the standings. Dungey’s stiffest competition for the title heading into the season was Ken Roczen, who won the first two events of 2017 and won last year in Arlington. But Roczen suffered a season-ending injury in a race in Anaheim in January. That was the race Dungey won, and he’s been the point leader since.
He has a chance to add to that lead in a town he feels very comfortable in.
“I actually grew up riding here quite a bit,” Dungey said. “I grew up in Minnesota, but we came down here in the winter time and did a lot of riding in the Denton and Decatur areas. There’s a lot of great tracks around this area. It’s not like it’s so new. I look forward to coming back here. You see a lot of people you grew up with. The stadium here is second to none, and they also got new dirt in 2015, and that’s been a big advantage for this racetrack.”
Monster Energy Supercross
3:30 p.m. Saturday, AT&T Stadium, FS1