Motocross

New Points Leader Dungey Leads Into Tennessee’s Muddy Creek

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The 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, saw a dramatic shakeup at the previous round as both the 450 Class and 250 Class point standings experienced a 20-plus point turnaround at the top.

The results have lead to a pair of new points leaders heading into this weekend's Third Annual Red Bull Tennessee National from Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee, on Saturday, June 6.

The Minnesota tandem of Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin will carry the red number plates as each respective championship leader, with both riders in search of back-to-back overall victories on Saturday afternoon.

Dungey has made what is destined to be a hall of fame career off being arguably the most consistent rider in the history of the sport. He's been as consistent as ever thus far in 2015 and it paid off last weekend at Thunder Valley MX Park in Colorado, as the opportunistic Dungey was there to take advantage of the misfortune of both GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac and RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing's Ken Roczen to earn his first win of the 2015 season.

Dungey's win was made even more significant given Tomac's hard luck. The Colorado native entered his home race undefeated and moved to a 5-0 record following a dominant first moto win. It was more of the same from Tomac in Moto 2, but a big crash while leading not only ended his day but also cost him the points lead to Dungey. A total of 19 points separated Tomac and Dungey heading into Thunder Valley, but a 22-point swing in Dungey's favor now has him three points ahead of Tomac heading into Muddy Creek.

With Tomac being ruled out of this weekend's race, a return to Muddy Creek Raceway could be an opportunity for Roczen and Team Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Baggett to continue their recent surge. Roczen was in a position to earn back-to-back wins at Thunder Valley this past weekend, but a flat front tire caused a couple crashes that allowed Dungey to steal away the win. Despite that, Roczen has moved up to fourth in the 450 Class standings and the defending champion is showing consistent improvement since finishing outside the top 10 at the opening round. He's also the defending race winner at Muddy Creek.

For Baggett, Thunder Valley signified a career best outing as the rookie earned his first ever 450 Class podium and with it he moved into third in the championship. Through six motos this season, only Dungey and Baggett have finished inside the top 10 each time, which undoubtedly is why they sit first and third, respectively, in the early title hunt.
Martin's number one plate will once again have a red background in Tennessee. - Credit: Simon Cudby
In the 250 Class, Thunder Valley proved to be an opportunity for Martin to bounce back from an adversity-filled afternoon the week prior at Glen Helen. Martin not only earned the Motosport.com

Holeshot Award in each moto, he went on to lead every lap en route to a 1-1 sweep. Despite having two wins in three races, Martin was forced to battle the incredible consistency of Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin, who shared the points lead after Hangtown and took sole possession of it following his victory at Glen Helen.

The Frenchman carried a 19-point lead into Thunder Valley, but an uncharacteristic crash in the first moto left him with a 14th-place result while Martin cruised to victory. Musquin bounced back to salvage the day with a runner-up finish in the final moto but the damage was done by Martin, and a 21-point swing moved the defending champion into a two-point advantage coming into the Tennessee National. As the inaugural winner at Muddy Creek, Musquin hopes he can enjoy a comeback race of his own to keep the drama high in this early championship battle.

Thunder Valley was also the site of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Zach Osborne's best career Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship result. With the momentum of a second-place overall finish, the Virginia native is more eager than ever to return to his hometown track to try and not only earn his first win on U.S. soil, but also give Husqvarna its first ever 250 Class victory.

In just two years of hosting the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Muddy Creek Raceway has become one of the most popular venues and most anticipated races on the schedule. As the championship's lone visit to the southeast, fans from throughout the region make the trek to this motorsports-heavy corner of Tennessee where the cities of Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport make up what is affectionately known as the TriCities.

The track's rich soil and undulating layout make for great racing, but perhaps more importantly result in some of the best sight lines for fans in all of Pro Motocross.

Foxsports will carry LIVE broadcast coverage in Australia of both motos on the Foxtel network, for times in your area check local listings

Top Image: Dungey's KTM will carry the red number plate for the first time on Saturday.

Credit: Simon Cudby

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