Is Ryan Dungey America’s best chance for an MXGP world title?
When Ryan Villopto was asked by Paul Malin if there was an American who could come over and win and MXGP world title, Villopoto fell silent.
It was an interesting moment that told us more than any words could. Villopoto couldn’t confidently name a single US rider who he thought could win the World title. It underlines the point MXGP is the toughest motocross championship in the world, as RV had found out, and for an American to come, adapt and win won’t be easy.
But the one rider who may just have the tools to challenge for a title is Ryan Dungey, yes Tomac and Villopoto might be faster but Dungey’s almost non-american style might just be the key to success in MXGP.
Dungey has had a superb season in America winning both the supercross and outdoor title. A new bike plus a new trainer has given Dungey the confidence he had been missing and the American is taking full advantage of having all the pieces of the puzzle.
Dungey wasn’t the fastest rider at the beginning of either series, Roczen was the man to best in supercross until he cased the triple and got injured while Eli Tomas was the unbeatable in the outdoors until he beat himself by crashing out.
And that’s where Dungey shines, he doesn’t make big mistakes and once he can win he takes full advantage, and gets even stronger. And that strength and consistency is what may make Dungey America’s best chance of a world title.
Villopoto found out the hard way that you can’t ride like you do in he USA and you need a much more versatile style to deal with all the different tracks and countries.
However the over-aggressive scenario isn’t something that will affect Ryan Dungey, he doesn’t ride the edge like RV, he rides within himself and is always good on slicker tracks. Like in America, Dungey won’t always be the fastest but there is a good chance he will be there for every round, and as we have seen this season, that is half the battle.
Dungey of course would still need to learn the sand, and be able to adapt to racing in a different country every week but if anyone could challenge for a world title it is most likely to be Dungey.
He has won everything in America, it is time for Dungey to test himself against the best in the toughest outdoor series in the world, and finally win a world motocross title for the USA!
It would be the crowning glory for Dungey, one of the hardest workers and most humble riders in the sport, to finish his career with a world title and ending America’s drought would give him a unique place in American motocross history, but would he accept the challenge?
Let’s hope so!
Article: Jonathan McCready