Dungey announces retirement effective immediately
Reigning supercross champion exits days out from Pro Motocross season.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey today announced his retirement from professional racing at a press conference held inside Anaheim’s Angel Stadium in California.
The announcement came within weeks of securing the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, his fourth 450SX title, and will take effect immediately placing him out of this year’s Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
“It’s hard to believe that this day has come but after a lot of thinking and praying over the last several months, today I announce my retirement from racing professional supercross and motocross,” said Dungey. “This decision has not been an easy one.
“I’ve achieved more than I ever could have imagined or dreamed of and for all of this I am incredibly humbled and honored. I’ve gone as hard as I can for as long as I can but the reality is that our sport is tough, the seasons are long and it takes a huge amount of sacrifice, hard work and discipline to stay on top.”
Although in peak physically condition and on one of the most highly-rated factory teams in the sport, it was the mental aspect that eventually forced the 27-year-old to hang up the boots.
“Physically I feel that I’m in the best shape of my life, race craft-wise I’m in the best shape of my life and I have the equipment to win, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. However, this year I have struggled mentally.
“I have always raced because I love it and want so badly to win, but this season was just different for me. Getting my head into the game each week just wasn’t the same and lining up and being able to focus like I always had in the past was just different.
“I never thought I would get to a place where I had to talk myself into starting a race but that’s how it was for me – and the truth is that bothers me a lot. I could easily take the paycheck and just race to finish but that’s not who I am and not how I want to race, nor be remembered.”
The four-time premier class supercross champion and three-time premier class motocross champion will step away from the sport satisfied with his accomplishments following a challenging final season.
“I said on the podium in Las Vegas a week-and-a-half ago that this championship win meant the most out of all my supercross titles because the truth is, I had to fight the hardest for this one,” Dungey expalined. “Not necessarily because of the battles on the track, though those were good and tough, but because I had to mentally push myself like never before to get it done.
“And to come out on top and hold onto the championship title for the third year in a row is an unbelievable blessing that I’m incredibly proud of.”
At this point in time a replacement rider for Dungey under the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing awning for the 2017 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship has not been announced.