Round 8 Atlanta: Dungey’s Revenge!

Chris Cooksey

Round 8 Atlanta: Dungey’s Revenge!

The past week was full of message boards and journalists (myself included) asking, “What's wrong with Dungey?”  He came to Atlanta ready to silence his critics.  I stand by my analysis that he is battling an illness, but clearly he is getting better.  Dungey did look fatigued towards the end of the race as opposed to Eli Tomac who remained fresh.  With that said, Dungey got it done and this is what defines him as a Champion!  He can seemingly raise his level when needed while taking what's given on other days.  Marvin and Eli have to be frustrated, both guys were faster than Dungey all day, including the Main event but bad starts caused both guys to struggle.  

The Atlanta track wasn't ideal for passing and the sand section was downright silly.  Why put beach sand on the backside of a wall jump?  I like the sand sections when built in turns.  Wall jumps without sand cause guys to get blasted with dirt, again putting sand there was ridiculous.  Another part of the track I didn't like was the dog leg before the triple.  Maybe they had to build it that way to fit the stadium, but in any form of racing a dog leg creates single file racing unless it is followed by a double apex 180 degree turn.  

In the 250 race, Zach Osborne finally reached the top step of the podium!  Osborne took the long road to the top.  For those who don't know his story, here is the short version.  Osborne was highly touted coming out of the Amateur ranks signing with Factory KTM.  This didn't work out and he ended up earning the dubious nick name “snack pack,” the name given to him from outdoor national commentator at the time David Pingree.  After losing his ride at KTM the only option to continue his career was to take a ride in Europe.  Osborne fought hard and earned himself a ride with Geico Honda but after a couple years of not reaching his potential they let him go.  Zach then signed with the Rockstar Husky team.  While last year was filled with disappointments, this year is proving different.  Almost 10 years after becoming a Pro he earned his first SX win.  Osborne took the hard road showing through dedication his old nickname, “snack pack” was lifetimes ago.  I put him as the East title favorite, but this coming week will be telling.  Is this going to make him want to win every race, or is this just the monkey off his back?  I am predicting the competition is in trouble.

Alex Martin and Jordan Smith seemed a lock for 2nd and 3rd in the 250 main until Martin cleaned out his teammate.  Smith missed the on/off jump and was out of the normal rhythm, still Martin shouldn't have jumped in there and cleaned him out.  It makes senses if they were battling for a win, but when both TLD KTM riders are in podium spots with little or no chance to catch Osborne, it becomes a stupid move.  Team manager Tyler Keefe has to be pulling his hair out.

Although Dungey’s performance was great, it's a 17 race series!  Tomac and Musquin can't allow Dungey any more breathing room.  Let's be real though, if Dungey is up more than 30 points after Daytona this is likely over.  





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You're right Chris, the big story of the night is that Dungey is back.

Some "Coulda Shoulda" for Tomac:
As good as Tomac is, he should not have taken all race to climb to the front. I know it's not as simple as I want it to be, but Tomac needed to pull a Roczen in the first three laps. I love the way Roczen will take care of business on the first couple of laps. When you a top three guy, you have to make as many passes in those first few laps as you possibly can. You have to stay on your pace, not pace of the turds in front of you. You absolutely have the pace to pass ALL the guys in front of you, and you will likely pass them anyway, but if you chip each one off cautiously, you end up gaped to the leader by 10-30 seconds. This then becomes your race killer.

But then..., if the track is a single-line rut-fest, whatcha gonna do?

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14 minutes ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

He was never gone.  The guy is champ for a very good reason. ;)

Tis true! Fans always grab at any reasonable hope that we might get some competition up front.
Tomac needs three or four wins in a row. Didn't happen. Ain't gonna happen either!
Dungey needs an off night, a WAY off night. Something like a 10th. Ain't happening!
Tomac needed to NOT stuff the front end (that somehow was not his fault :thinking:) and not have a bad night. This happened.

Edited by Hendricus

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You can't ever count Dungey out.  He is calculating and street smart.  He knows: 

It is a long season.  A champion must be healthy, all the way to the end. 

He can't let emotions get in the way of the big picture, which is to win the championship. 

He has to ride smart, not over his head. 

He must be steady as he goes, because he is not out to impress anyone.  He is there to win the championship. 

That those that ride consistently at the edge consistently end up in the hospital. 

That those that ride fast but carefully, end up being consistently on the podium, nearly every week.

That he can't freak out that he didn't win a round.  First, second, third place doesn't matter, as long as he is on or near the podium every week. 

Dungey's got a great strategy.  He has the best trainer alive!  His manager is a huge MX and SX talent.  His fitness is incredible, and so is his confidence level.  There is no reason he can't win the championship again.


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