Dungey to race Monster Energy Cup

Ryan Dungey has had only two weeks to test his new Factory KTM, but he claims to be ready for this weekend's Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas. KTM

Count 2010 AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey as 'in' for this weekend. Dungey, who announced his switch to KTM on October 1, has been testing with the team in Southern California for less than two weeks. This afternoon he made an unexpected announcement to race in the Monster Energy Cup this Saturday night in Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium.

"I am feeling confident enough to compete and am really eager to see where I stack up against the competition," Dungey said. "It's a last minute decision to race this event but the team is behind me 100% and I am excited to make my debut on the bike."

The addition of Dungey comes as very welcome news to the ticket holders and promoters. The lineup of the MEC has received heavy blows this week with former AMA Supercross Champions, James Stewart and Chad Reed and 2011 Supercross Lites East Champion Justin Barcia all dropping from competition.

Dungey's decision echoes that of one Ricky Carmichael made in 2004. After only a few weeks of testing his new Suzuki RM250 he decided to race the US Open of Supercross in October in Las Vegas rather than wait until January for round one of the AMA Supercross series. The weekend wasn't without problems and Ricky was able to let his new team know exactly what his expectations were. The experience proved valuable for Carmichael and Suzuki who went on to win the AMA Supercross and Motocross titles in 2005 and 2006.

The announcement even came a as a surprise to KTM's Team Manager, Roger DeCoster, who, ironically, was also Carmichael's team manager in 2004 when RC made his Suzuki debut.

"We didn't expect him to race after only two weeks on the bike," DeCoster said. "But he will use the event to help gauge where he stands speed-wise against the competition. It will also give the team a racing opportunity to test different setups with the bike prior to the opening round of the Supercross."

Dungey has won every major AMA Supercross/Motocross championship and became the first rider to win the coveted Supercross class and 450cc Motocross class championship as a rookie in 2010. In the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross championship, Dungey earned one win and 12 podium finishes en route to third place overall. He has a career seven Supercross class wins and 17 podium finishes.