Ryan Dungey is only one of a handful of riders in recent history to transfer straight from amateur racing directly to a factory team (Makita Suzuki).
His story is almost too good to be true. He was recruited by motocross legend and current Makita Suzuki team manager Roger DeCoster, who enlisted Dungey's services after one impressive riding session in June of 2006. DeCoster and 15-time Supercross/Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael have taken Dungey "under their wing" and have had a major impact in his rapid development this past off season.
While other riders from motocross hotbeds like California and Florida have the luxury of riding year round, this cold weather Minnesotan has done the most with a limited riding schedule. For his entire amateur career, Dungey's seat time was limited to May to September, with the occasional exception of the two or three winter amateur races. All things considered, Dungey has done more with little and is considered by many in the motocross industry to be at the top of the next crop of talented riders.
He spends half the season training and practicing in California, where he resides in a one-bedroom apartment in Temecula, no small feat for a 17-year old. Although he gets consistent visits from his father, Troy, and grandfather, Gary, the younger Dungey spends so much time riding and training that he’s with his team most of each day.
To say the Dungeys are into racing would be an understatement. The father, Troy, raced as an amateur and has instilled his passion for the sport into his three boys. Jade (18), Blake (12) and Ryan have raced across the country for the better part of the last decade, with the mom, Michele, pulling the double duty of mom and team manager. In order to afford all their "extracurricular" activities the entire Dungey family has pitched in to build four houses (from start to finish) to earn the additional money it takes to afford three racing kids. Troy is a contractor, and with the help of his father Gary, another contractor, the Dungeys could have a future as a "family-run" general contractor.