I know there are numbers of you out there watching this Supercross series and whether you fancy yourself a Ryan Dungey fan or not, you are nervous for the Dunge. It’s understandable.
He is a perplexing riddle of late. Remember last year and the early part of this series when Ryan could always and I mean ALWAYS find a way to hug the inside line of the first corner and come out in first or second, regardless of his gate timing? It was almost like nobody else on the line was watching the races and picking up on this technique. He did it so well and so repeatedly that it almost seemed like cheating. A cheat that, bewilderingly, other racers were not picking up on or attempting to execute.
I would watch every main event start and just know exactly what he was going to do and I couldn’t believe the other guys who got crappy jumps on the gate drop weren’t just cramming it inside that first turn just like the Dunge. Over the last handful of rounds in this series though, I’m just wishing that the #5 (1) would regain that mojo and indomitable starting technique. I’m not saying that is the difference between Ryan topping the podium again but between his subpar starts when compared to years past and his fade, YES I SAID FADE IN REGARDS TO RYAN DUNGEY, he needs this leg up on Tomac and now Musquin to make his fans feel comfortable once again.
I’m right on the train next to Weege (wait, lets be totally honest, Weege is hopping a train, vagrant style because he would rather save the cash; while I am dining in the luxury car), the train full of people who have the confidence that Dungey will still ultimately pull of this title but something is clearly amiss. We’re both going back and reading our articles from weeks back where we speculated on the possibility of a problem in Dungey’s program. A training deficiency (gasp!), a lingering low level injury, an energy draining sickness perhaps? It’s a question we’ll likely never get an answer to.
Eli Tomac on the other hand just looks indestructible at this point. It’s crazy how much he is looking like a slightly stretched out Ryan Villopoto now that everything appears to be clicking for the #3, just like it did for so many years for the #2.
There’s something that you just can not turn your back to regarding this 2017 450 SX title. It’s something that is as concrete reliable as anything can be that has not yet occurred.
History. It’s the damnedest thing, history. It has a way of repeating itself and until previously cemented patterns and routines have been proven fragile and been broken, it is ill advised to expect different. Ryan Dungey has been through this dance so many times before and has just cause to feel pretty comfortable in his current points situation. Let us also not forget that the last time we saw Eli hit such an impressive stride was moments before his disastrous crash which left him on the sideline, healing for an extended period of time. Does this situational description sound familiar? Ahem, Ken Roczen.
Everyone is always in search of confidence and dominance or at the least, wins and the alpha dog status. Meanwhile, Ryan sticks to what brought him the 450 SX title 3 times and the last two consecutive. He hasn’t been dominant nor looked unstoppable, quite the opposite lately really but when looking to recent history and the disastrous error and injury which has befallen the last two super-confident players in the sport, I think I’d stick to my plan that had yet to fail 2 years running.