Supercross 2011: Rockstar Makita Suzuki Team
There’s really nothing like entering a racing season with a dominant rider and a dominant motorcycle. For 2011, the Rockstar Makita Suzuki Racing Team will do exactly that, with both Ryan Dungey and the all-conquering Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450 returning to the team with the goal of repeating what they did in 2010: Win everything there is to win.
Courtesy Rockstar Makita Suzuki, The Creativeworks, Jake Klingensmith.
Dungey’s 2010 season was historic, with the 21 year old becoming the first rookie to win both the AMA Supercross Championship and the AMA 450 MX Championship in the same season. Combine that with his Supercross Lites and AMA 250 Motocross Championships in 2009 and Dungey has won four consecutive titles on his RM-Zs, not to mention the 2009 and 2010 MX des Nations titles as well.
The RM-Z450 is the most dominant motocrosser in the four-stroke era and that’s not expected to change this 2011 season, with Dungey and newcomer Brett Metcalfe set to ride the 2011 model in the premiere 450 classes in both Supercross and Motocross. They will do so in a team led by new team manager, Mike Webb, an accomplished racer himself who has led Suzuki to 22 major championships in the off-road sector as that team’s longtime manager. And Webb will be joined by Suzuki Racing Advisor, Ricky Carmichael, the legend who really needs no introduction. Carmichael has a long and storied history with Suzuki and as the man universally considered the best Supercross and Motocross racer of all time, he will help guide Dungey and Metcalfe to further greatness in 2011.
The team will also benefit greatly from its stepped-up partnership with Yoshimura, the performance giant behind Suzuki’s amazing championship domination in AMA Superbike racing. Yoshimura knows racing.
Ryan Dungey’s rise through the ranks of AMA Supercross and Motocross racing has been spectacular and he returns to the Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Makita Suzuki team after a truly dominant 2010 race season that saw him win both the Supercross and Motocross Championships.
The 2011 racing season will mark Brett Mecalfe’s debut with the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team after the Australian made his mark in 2010 with a runner-up finish to his new teammate Ryan Dungey in the 450 Motocross Championship. The Australian makes the move to the Yoshimura-backed Suzuki RM-Z450 and is certain to make his mark on both the Supercross and Motocross Championships.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey
Ryan Dungey’s 2010 season was one for the ages. After an incredible year in 2009, in which he’d won both the AMA Supercross Lites Championship and the 250 Motocross Championship, Dungey and his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450 started the season by showing that he belonged with the big boys in Supercross. By the time that series was finished zig-zagging around the stadiums of North America, he was at the very top of the sport – the 2010 AMA Supercross Champion.
He’d captured the title by being both fast and consistent, earning six wins in the 17-race series and joining Supercross legend Jeremy McGrath as just the second rider in history to win the premier Supercross title as a rookie. But Dungey didn’t stop there. To show that he is inarguably the best all-around motocross racer in the world, Dungey went out and blitzed the competition in the AMA Motocross Championship, winning 10 overalls while scoring 19 moto wins en route to the title.
It all added up to a history-making season for Dungey, who came away from the 2010 season as the first rookie in history to win both the premier Supercross and National Motocross titles in his inaugural season. To cap off the year, Dungey led Team USA to victory in the prestigious Motocross of Nations event, held on American soil in 2010 in Colorado.
Since rising through the Suzuki amateur ranks and attracting the attention of the Suzuki factory team in an audition in 2006, Dungey has achieved tremendous success as a pro. He has also had the privilege of learning under the guidance and tutelage of 15-time AMA Motocross/Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael.
Through his first three years as a pro, Dungey won 18 total races in both AMA Supercross and the AMA Pro Motocross Championships. In 2009, he experienced a breakout season, fulfilling his dreams of winning championships as a professional by capturing the AMA Supercross Lites Western Regional title as well as the AMA Pro Motocross Championship 250 Class crown. To top off the most memorable year of his life prior to last year’s dream season, Dungey led Team USA to its fifth straight victory at the Motocross of Nations in Italy.
At the young age of 21, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey has now won every championship he’s competed in since 2009 and has already captured every title in the sport.
Off the track, Dungey’s exposure has transcended the sport of motocross thanks to personal sponsorship from Corporate America companies Target and Nike. As a Nike Athlete, Dungey is an integral part of the LIVESTRONG campaign for cancer awareness. Additionally, Dungey is an advocate of the LIVESTRONG philosophy, using his involvement as a tool in his own determined mission to find a cure for cancer, a disease that took his grandmother’s life in 2005. Motivated by his close bond with her, Dungey has dedicated his career to her memory.
To say that racing is in Dungey’s DNA would be an understatement. His father, Troy, was an amateur racer in his youth and both of Dungey’s siblings, Jade and Blake, are amateur competitors as well. The entire Dungey family is a close-knit group that travels throughout the country, supporting Ryan’s quest to be the best in the world.
New to the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team for 2011 is Australian born Brett Metcalfe. Metcalfe joins the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team with plenty of quality race experience. For starters, at the age of 18, Metcalfe won the Australian Supercross Series in 2001, an event that led him to pack his bags and head to Europe for an assault on the World Championship in the MX2 class.
After two years of racing around the world, Metcalfe came to the U.S. in 2003 and launched his AMA career with a fifth-place finish in the 2003 Supercross 125 East Region. He backed that up with a 14th place finish in the AMA Motocross Nationals’ 125 Motocross class that year and went on to finish eighth in the 125 AMA Supercross and 17th in the 125 AMA Motocross in 2004.
In 2005, Metcalfe put together a solid season that culminated with a win in the U.S. Open of Supercross in Las Vegas. He ended the season as the sixth-ranked rider in the Supercross 125 West Region and then finished 18th in the 125 Motocross Nationals later that year. For 2006, Metcalfe put it all together, earning top-10 finishes in both the Supercross and the National Motocross Championships, securing seventh- and fifth-place finishes in those two series, respectively. Injuries plagued his 2007 season, but he still managed three podium finishes in a shortened Motocross Championship campaign.
In 2008, Metcalfe ended up fourth in the Supercross Lites West Region and a strong outdoor season saw him ranked third overall at season’s end. He followed that up with another third-place ranking in the 2009 National 250 Motocross Championship.
A move to the 450s in the 2010 AMA Motocross Series, however, is what attracted Suzuki’s attention. Metcalfe was fast and consistent all season long and in the end, it garnered him second in the title chase behind his new teammate, Ryan Dungey. Metcalfe’s speed, hardworking nature and poise make him a perfect fit for the 2011 Rockstar Makita Suzuki team.