Cairoli, Dungey, Plessinger and Vohland discuss Hangtown
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Max Vohland had a breakthrough performance at Round 2 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, racing to a top-five overall finish in the 250MX class in front of a hometown crowd at the Hangtown Motocross Classic.
Vohland, a NorCal native with motocross history running deep in his family, has made a habit of performing well at Hangtown so it’s no surprise that he broke through with season-best finishes at this round. In the first moto, Vohland grabbed a top-10 start aboard his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION and he worked up to eighth midway through. With a late charge in the last few laps, Vohland was able to overtake seventh just before the checkers. In Moto 2, he got off to a sixth-place start and immediately went to battle inside the top-five. Racing strong up front, the young rider continued to fight inside the top-five to ultimately finish fifth in the moto and fifth overall.
Max Vohland: “Today went great, I got fifth overall on the day and I’m sitting eighth in points now, only five points behind the next two guys in front of me, so I’m sitting in a pretty good spot. I definitely improved on starts from last weekend, which helped a lot. I was right up front in that second moto off the start and I rode good. I just need to make a little more improvement, work a little harder this week and keep building that base.”
In the 450MX class, veteran riders Antonio Cairoli and Ryan Dungey once again put on a great show in front of NorCal fans as they mixed it up with the front-runners – and each other – all day. For Cairoli, coming into another new track on the circuit proved to be a learning experience at first but the nine-time world champion quickly got into a rhythm that would bring him through the pack and into contention early on. After getting shuffled to 10th off the start in Moto 1, the Italian rider charged up to seventh and he battled heavy lapped traffic later in the race to finish seventh. In Moto 2, Cairoli was quick to jump off the line and capture his first holeshot of the season, racing hard in third for the first couple laps. He remained in the mix for the rest of the 30 minutes plus-two laps, finishing strong in sixth for the moto and sixth overall for the day in only his second U.S. National race.
Antonio Cairoli: “We improved a little bit from last week, so I’m pretty happy with the result. We still need to work a little bit on the speed in the first laps of the race. The first three-to-four laps, I cannot really get in the rhythm. After 10 minutes of the moto, I feel like I can stay there. I feel that we improve every week, and we try to improve the bike also. We got some testing in last week, and this coming week we’re going to do some more testing. Hopefully we can improve another little bit before the next race.”
Swapping 6-7 moto scores with his Italian counterpart at Round 2, Dungey was steady all day long aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. In Moto 1, he grabbed a sixth-place start and he maintained a solid sixth for the rest of the race. Finishing sixth in the first moto, the three-time 450MX Champion got a fourth-place start in Moto 2 and he mixed it up just outside podium contention early on. Engaging in battle with the leaders of the class, Dungey sustained fast lap times all race long as he battled with his teammate into the final moments, finishing a close seventh in the moto and seventh overall, behind Cairoli, for the day.
Ryan Dungey: “First moto was decent, I got a pretty good start and then just kind of hung around in fifth or sixth, and just saw the guys in front of me. I wanted to go, I just couldn’t pick up the pace and get them, but I was happy with the ride. We tried to make some changes for the second moto but we went the wrong way. I had a good start, battled with Tony a lot and ultimately put another two motos in the bank to physically get fitter and stronger as we start building. I’m just trying to get better and better.”
Following a top-10 finish at the season opener, Aaron Plessinger came out swinging with a top-three start in Moto 1. He battled up front aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION on the opening lap but he dropped back to 10th after going down on the second lap. He put in a good charge but wasn’t able to recover the lost ground, ultimately finishing ninth. In Moto 2, Plessinger started off in ninth and he worked his way up to eighth halfway into the race. With a steady pace through the second half, Plessinger finished just behind his teammates for eighth in the moto and eighth overall.
Aaron Plessinger: “Today was tough. Coming in with a little bit of a sickness, I didn’t feel too well, but I was able to make it a good day. First moto, I was running really good after a good start and unfortunately, I fell down. I got back up and finished 10th. In the second moto, I didn’t get the start I wanted and then I came through the pack a little bit. It was going good and then I kind of kind of died out there at the end. Overall, we’re getting better every weekend and that’s all I can really ask for.”
The 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Championship heads to Lakewood, Colorado next Saturday, June 11, for the Round 3 of the series.
Pic: Align Media