Plessinger, Dungey and Vohland discuss Southwick National

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team took on one of the most physically-demanding races of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship with the circuit’s one and only iconic sand track – The Wick 338. It’s no surprise that team rider Aaron Plessinger rose to the occasion for a podium-filled day in the 450MX class, racing his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to a season-best third overall with 7-3 moto finishes in Southwick, Massachusetts.

Plessinger, a rider known for his versatile riding abilities in all types of terrain, put all the pieces together in some of the most grueling conditions of the season. The Ohio native had a bit of a slow start to the day, qualifying 19th, but he turned things around at the drop of a gate and he proved to only get stronger as the day went on. In Moto 1, he got off to an eighth-place start and he battled there for the first five laps. Climbing up to sixth midway through, he fought hard to break into the top-five late in the race but a mishap with his tear-offs cost him a position with a few laps to go, ultimately finishing seventh. With a powerful start in Moto 2, Plessinger immediately worked up to second and he chased after the leader for the first half of racing. Dicing back-and-forth in a heated battle between second and third, Plessinger eventually settled into third late in the race and he finished strong with his first moto-podium of the season in third.

Aaron Plessinger:It was an interesting one today! I felt good in qualifying but the numbers didn’t show with P19. In the first moto, I was feeling good and started flowing and caught up to almost fifth and then lost my tear-offs in the last few laps, so I ended up seventh. Second moto, I got off to a sick start and me, Eli and Kenny were battling there for a bit. I got by Kenny and tried to pace Eli for a bit but Chase was on rails and I started making a few mistakes there at the end. Overall, it was a really good day and I’m heading into Spring Creek with high confidence.”

It was a steady day for Ryan Dungey, who battled around the top-five for a majority of the racing. In the first moto, he powered his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to a top-three start, battling up front in second for the first couple laps until a tip-over dropped him back to fifth early on. Re-mounting inside the top-five, Dungey rallied back up to fourth with a strong finish just off the box. In the second moto, he started off in sixth and quickly charged up to fifth by the second lap. Racing between sixth and seventh for the rest of the moto, the multi-time champion did his best to prevail through the physically-demanding conditions late in the race to come away with a seventh-place finish in Moto 2.

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Halfway into his “comeback season,” the veteran rider holds an impressive fifth-place standing in the 2022 450MX Championship points.

Ryan Dungey: “The day was pretty good. I got a good start in the first moto and I actually had a tip-over and recouped still in fifth. I was able to make a pass on Kenny for fourth and pretty much hung there for the rest of the moto, so I was happy with that. The first half of the second moto was really solid, but the second half I kind of ran out of steam. I just have to keep being patient – physically, it was tougher than normal – but we’ll try to keep building and get the bike a little bit better. I’m excited to go to the hometown race next weekend and try to put in a good showing there.”

With a season-best qualifying position in the 250MX class, team rider Max Vohland had a positive start to the sixth round. Carrying that momentum into the first moto with an eighth-place start, Vohland charged his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION into a top-five position just after the midway point. Running a fast pace up front in the grueling sand, Vohland started to hit a wall late in the race and ultimately dropped back to a ninth-place finish. Still feeling the effects of Moto 1 fatigue, Vohland powered through the second moto as best he could, salvaging some points with a 14th-place finish.

Max Vohland: “I qualified the best all-year and rode really fast in the second qualifying practice and into the first moto with a top-10 start. I moved up to fifth and I was riding really good, and then just kind of hit the wall, as they say. I felt like I didn’t have anything left and really was just trying to survive that second moto. I just need to work on that endurance.”

The 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Championship heads to Millville, Minnesota next Saturday, July 16 for Round 7 of the 12-race series.

Words and pic: KTM