As the silly season ramps up in the United States, one interesting piece of information that’s been mentioned by many industry insiders is that Four Time Monster Energy AMA World Supercross Champion, Ryan Dungey, is tentatively looking at returning to professional racing.
The news was first broken by Pulp MX’s Steve Matthes, who explained that Dungey has had talks with Team Honda HRC about leasing a works CRF450; a proposition which could be possible if Dungey raises the right amount of funding. During last weekend’s Spring Creek national, Dungey addressed the rumours, explaining that he’s getting the ‘fire back’.
The soon to be 31-year-old announced his retirement shortly after the 2017 World Supercross Championship, where he clinched his final title in dramatic fashion, as Eli Tomac attempted to ‘bunch’ the field at the Las Vegas finale. Drama had begun to punctuate season 2017 when Red Bull KTM teammate Marvin Musquin moved over for Dungey in East Rutherford, which triggered backlash from industry insiders and fans alike.
Out of character outbursts that season began to show that the pressure of being a champion was perhaps taking it’s toll on Dungey, as he fired back that there was ‘no crown’ after the Phoenix round press conference, along with conceding that he once ‘hated the sport’ in Atlanta after finishing behind Ryan Villopoto four years in a row.
Caption: Ryan Villopoto gave the rest of the supercross field fits for four straight years. Image: BrownDogWilson
It’s fair to suggest that the pressures got the better of Dungey after winning his supercross title, and some much needed R & R may have been all he needed to reignite the flame of being a racer. It’s also apparent that he’s grappled with post racing retired life, with a short stint as part owner of GEICO Honda dissolving into the abyss after just a few rounds into the 2020 season.
Irrespective of what he does, Dungey has etched his name into the supercross and motocross record books, and seeing the #5 back on the grid would be a welcomed addition to the ever stacked 450cc Class line up.