Official! Ryan Dungey retires!
Ryan Dungey has announced his retirement from motocross in a press conference held by KTM today.
The four-time supercross champion said: “It’s hard to believe this day has come but after a lot of thinking and praying over several months. Today I announce my retirement from professional supercross and motocross. This decision has not been an easy one. My whole racing career has been a blessing. Racing started out as something me and my brothers did for fun. Back then I never dreamed I could make a living racing dirt bikes, even if I thought I could, no-one would ever have expected a kid from Minnesota to make it.
“I’ll never forget the moment I first saw supercross on TV, that sparked something in me and I knew I wanted to be a supercross racer. My parents did everything they could do make our dreams come true. When I was 15 year-old my life changed forever, I lost my grandmother to cancer. She fought a good fight and taught me never to give up, inspired me to go after my dreams because life is short.”
On joining KTM Dungey said: We knew a supercross title was the main goal (for KTM), in 2015they developed a new bike and we would go on to make history.”(winning KTM’s first supercross title and three supercrosstitles in a row)
On his career and reason for retirement Dungey said: “I say this humbly, I have achieved more than I could ever have imagined or dreamed of. Standing here today we have nine championships, three motocross des nations wins, two ESPY’s and a wheeties box cover. The idea that people could think of me as one of the greats is extremely humbling. I’ve gone as hard as I can for as long as I can, the season is tough. Physically I feel I am in the best shape of my life. Mentally this year I have struggled, this season was different for me, it wasn’t the same. I never thought I would have to get to the position where I would have to talk myself into racing. This sport is brutal at the highest level, I found that out last year at Colorado (when he broke his neck.)
“I said on the podium at Las Vegas that this championship meant he most because this was the hardest, I had to mentally push myself like never before to get it done. I love racing, I love the sport and I just feel it in my heart that I am read to step away now. A big part of this is to have time off and not have to travel so much and enjoy a few other things.
“It started back in November (significant retirement thoughts), things were starting to weigh on me a little bit, I had a got talk with Aldon and we said, ‘let’s get through supercross.’ I think I knew but I didn’t want to make sure. as we got to the last day before Vegas I thought I have had enough.
Ryan also admitted his neck injury in motocross last year and Ken Roczen’s early injury in supercross added to his reasoning but he has is very thankful for everything the sport has gave him. “The sport has blessed us so much, I am excited to see what the next chapter has in store for us.”
Ryan also had a message for the kids: “If you dream big, work hard, good things can come your way.”
Roger DeCoster said: “I’m really glad to have worked with this guy, really, really happy. The dedication and quality person that he is, on and off the track. It is pretty amazing what you (Dungey) have done. I am really thankful to have worked with you. Sometimes it’s very difficult to understand why a guy like you, 100% healthy and only 27 years-old has decided to stop. I know there was a lot of things weighing on you and I think the biggest thing for you was you didn’t want to let us down. I have never worked with a rider that took his work as seriously as you in my career. I think that’s what probably the biggest weight on you.”
You can watch the press conference in full here.