RYAN DUNGEY ON KTM, ANNOUNCING, THE COMEBACK RUMORS & THE 2018 SUPERCROSS SERIES|Motocross Action Magazine
By Jim Kimball Photos by Brian Converse
What can be said about Ryan Dungey that has not already been said? The Minnesota native has won 80 races, and captured 12 Championships! He has won 250 Supercross and Motocross Championships, 450 Supercross and 450 Motocross Championships, and been on several winning Motocross of Nations Teams!
Along with this, Ryan has become a St. Jude Ambassador, won two ESPY Awards, and been featured on the front cover of a Wheaties box. MXA sat down with the now-retired Dungey to talk about his duties with the Red Bull KTM Team, announcing gigs and the 2018 Supercross season, Ryan was till pretty open.
RYAN, HOW IS RETIREMENT? Time after racing has been great. Obviously, it is a bit of an adjustment. I’m learning a little more about myself, understanding the situation more, and just how I can apply everything I learn to the next steps of life. I have some cool projects in the works for helping the future kids of the sport, so I am really excited about that.
YOU’RE STILL PART OF THE KTM TEAM? I’m happy to be helping the Red Bull/KTM team a little bit. As a racer, it was always about you as the rider, and they were catering to me. We are out there together working towards one goal, and now it’s not about me any longer, it is about winning as a team. It has been rewarding, and I have been able to contribute, and get back in those other areas outside of my own thing. It is different not being out there as a racer, but once you put your ego aside, it’s okay. I am very thankful for the whole situation, and there can be more good times ahead. I am happy for what the racing was, but I am excited for the next chapter.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR ROLE AT KTM? If I cannot be out there winning races, I want to help Marvin win races, and help them. Whether it is doing a little testing, or just being there for the guys. I’m a little bit of a mentor, and sometimes just being around that makes them feel comfortable. How ever I can help has been my role, and it is all-new to me. It is hard for me to say exactly, but I am learning as I gol.
YOU HAVE BEEN DOING SOME TV COMMENTATING, DO YOU LIKE IT? The announcing stuff has really just been about timing. Straight up and honest, I have never been on that side of the mic, so it is “let’s try this.” If I am going to go to a race, I don’t want to go up in the stands and watch. I want to learn, so being a part of the announcing team was something that I wanted to try. They have let me try different parts of that, get my feet wet with it, and it has actually been quite fun. It is challenging actually more than I expected, but for me it has been a good learning curve.
WHAT DOES THAT LAST PART MEAN? CAN YOU EXPAND A BIT MORE? If I can use the experience that I have, and pass it on to these guys then that is what I am expected to do. It would be wasted if I did not do that, so for me that has been rewarding. I know how hard I had worked to learn—sometimes I repeated the same mistake twice. Plus I learned a lot about bike set-up. Is is all about the mental approach, the perspective, the whole thing. So if I can help these guys, and shorten that learning curve, that is the goal. We learnfrom the people who have been through it; you can’t learn it all or on your own.
HAVE YOU HEARD THE RUMOR THAT YOU WERE GOING TO RETURN TO RACING? ANY TRUTH? Oh, I’ve heard it. But if I was coming out of retirement, I would have done it by now. No, I am not racing, that is just a rumor. However I did put some thought into it, like “maybe I should come out?” There were time when I felt, “well maybe it is not done yet,” but I am trying to not go off on just a feeling. I am trying to go off on facts, choose the right direction, and make good decisions. I knew I would run into this some feelings that maybe I should come back, but I have been able to handle it and move forward, I’m excited for that next chapter.
DID YOU THINK THAT THIS YEAR’S SUPERCROSS SERIES WOULD HAVE BEEN SO CRAZY? It has been that. However, I don’t want to say inconsistent is the word, but it has been very inconsistent. The guys have had so many ups and downs. Jason has been the most consistent guy, and he has also been fast. He is winning races also, which you have to do, but most he is not having too many bad nights, except for Salt Lake City. For a while there were five or six guys who ccould battle you for the top spot. It has been very tense tense and the pressures has been high. These guys really want it. As always, when the pace gets faster the window of error gets smaller, and that is what we saw. These guys are trying to push everything out of their dirt bikes and sometimes it bites you. But you have to go for it too.