Red Bull KTM rider Ryan Dungey has announced his retirement from Monster Energy Supercross.
Dungey, 27, just secured his fourth 450SX Supercross title two weeks ago at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas after a season-long battle with Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac.
The Minnesota native won the 450SX championship during his rookie season in 2010 and has also won the past three consecutive Supercross titles. However, on Tuesday, he announced that he would be retiring from Supercross and Motocross.
“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. “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. 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. 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 love racing and I love our sport but I just feel it in my heart that I am ready to step away now – happy, healthy and feeling totally blessed. I’ve accomplished everything that I set out to do and so much more. Although I’m taking a step back from racing, I still plan to be involved in the sport and continue to try to make it better in any way that I can. This sport has blessed me beyond belief and I’ll forever be grateful for the memories I’ve made and friendships I’ve developed along the way. As this chapter of my life comes to a close, I’m excited to see what the next chapter has in store for me.”
“On behalf of Feld Entertainment and Monster Energy Supercross, I would like to congratulate Ryan Dungey on his fourth championship and a record-breaking career,” added Nicole Feld, Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment. “Very few athletes in any sport get to retire at the pinnacle of their profession. Thank you Ryan Dungey for all you contribute as an ambassador to Monster Energy Supercross, both on and off the track.”
Pictures: Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool