Domination (noun): Supremacy or preeminence over another; exercise of
mastery or ruling power; exercise of
preponderant, governing or
Nostradamus couldn’t have
predicted that Ryan Dungey, an
under-the-radar B-class Amateur rider,
would ascend the Pro ladder and one
day become a multi-time Champion.
And, we wouldn’t have blamed the
famed seer for his short-sightedness. After all, Dungey’s rise doesn’t
make sense—at least not on paper.
Successful motocross racers are
supposed to come from Temecula,
Cairo and Tallahassee, not Belle
Plaine, Minnesota. With a population
of 7000, the town has a history of fur
trading, erecting sawmills and build-
ing bricks. Frigid arctic temperatures
blast the town in the winter, and the
no-see-ums come out in the summer.
While it’s true that Belle Plaine is a
beautiful placet, it’s not exactly
paradise for motocross racers.
It’s hard to believe now, but a
decade ago Dungey wasn’t “The
Diesel,” “The Dunge” or “RD5.” He
was simply Ryan Dungey, an aspiring
Amateur with lofty goals and little
support. That is, until he caught the
eye of Roger DeCoster, then the team
manager at Suzuki. DeCoster was
looking for new blood after losing
Davi Millsaps to Honda before the
2006 season. He saw something special in the kid, so he invited Ryan out
to California for a test session at Glen
Helen. Things couldn’t have gone any
better for Dungey. He so impressed
DeCoster that he was rewarded with
a two-year factory Suzuki deal.
JULY 2016 / MOTOCROSS ACTION 111
An official press release from
Makita Suzuki hit email inboxes in
mid-2006 that sent a shock wave
through the industry. Somehow
Ryan Dungey, a relative unknown,
had landed a ride with one of the
premier teams in the paddock.
IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE NOW, BUT A DECADE
AGO DUNGEY WASN’T “THE DIESEL,” “THE
DUNGE” OR “RD5.” HE WAS SIMPLY RYAN
DUNGEY, AN ASPIRING PRO WITH LOFTY GOALS
AND LITTLE SUPPORT. THAT IS, UNTIL HE
CAUGHT THE EYE OF ROGER DeCOSTER.