Ryan Dungey Charges to 2nd at Atlanta Supercross

Team Rockstar Makita's Ryan Dungey charged to second place in Saturday night's AMA/ FIM Supercross eighth round in Atlanta Georgia and closed the points-gap in the series lead.

The defending Champion lies fifth on his RM-Z450, just five points from third place with nine rounds remaining.

Team mate Brett Metcalfe raced to 10th position in the Supercross Main Event - held in front of 69,000 fans - and currently lies seventh in the series standings.

Dungey looked strong all day, starting off with the fastest time in the afternoon's timed practices. After a tough start in his heat race, he pounded out eight strong laps to cross the line in sixth. In the Main, he quickly found himself in fourth place in the extremely fast-paced race, but he rode a strong and consistent 20 laps and took advantage of a last lap incident by the leaders to grab second place.

"My Rockstar Makita Suzuki team really did a good job on the bike today," said Dungey. "I ended up having the fastest time in practice, which was cool. I had a bad start in my heat race and that wasn't all that good, but it's the main that counts. I got off to a pretty good start, but I got shut off a little. I was sitting in fourth most of the time but then was able to move my way into second at the end of the race, which is good. I'm right below the top step of the podium and consistent. I just 'gotta keep my head down and keep plugging away. I'm looking forward to Daytona. I like Daytona; it's always fun. It's a tough track and it's different - It's Supercross, but it's a bit rougher and the layout is different. I'm going to get back home, work on the track, and get ready for Daytona."

After his best practice sessions of the season, Metcalfe looked strong and was running third in his heat race when he crashed hard at the end of the whoops, resulting in a trip to the last chance qualifier (LCQ). A last lap pass for second in the LCQ put him and his RM-Z through to the Main Event with the last gate pick. In the Main, Metcalfe blasted out of the poor gate choice with a strong start and rode a heroic race to finish in 10th place.

"It was a long day," said Metcalfe. "It had its really good points and its really low points. The whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team worked really hard this week and got me feeling really comfortable so I was really looking forward to tonight. Practice went great - I hadn't felt that good all year. Things were really looking up. In the heat race, I got a great start and was in third, then I made a big mistake in the whoops and went down hard. I didn't get up too quick from that one. Going into the LCQ, I was just trying to get out there and make it in and I was able to make a pass on the last lap and made it through. I wasn't feeling well going into the Main Event. My goal was to just finish the 20 laps with no big mistakes and I was able to get 10th. I'm looking forward to Daytona. It's an outdoor track; Supercross style, but still an outdoor track. I always like going there to race."

The 2011 Rockstar Makita Suzuki team's next event is Saturday, March 5th, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Main Event: 1 Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki), 2 Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki), 3 Chad Reed (Honda), 4 James Stewart (Yamaha), 5 Trey Canard (Honda), 6 Andrew Short (KTM), 7 Justin Brayton (Yamaha), 8 Kevin Windham (Honda), 9 Ivan Tedesco (Kawasaki), 10 Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki).

Championship points: CLICK HERE

Atlanta SX Images: CLICK HERE