Ryan Dungey initially got into racing because his dad, Troy, raced as an amateur and instilled his passion for the sport into his sons. His rise to the pro ranks in the summer of 2006 surprised some, but Dungey's performance since turning pro has validated the decision to move him up. He racked up plenty of accolades early on in his career, which can be attributed to his steadfast work ethic and training with 15-time AMA Champion Ricky Carmichael.
Already considered by many in the motocross industry to be at the top of the next crop of talented riders, it was no surprise that he was named AMA Rookie of the Year for Supercross/Motocross in 2007. He went straight from the amateur ranks to the factory Suzuki rig. He is only the second rider from his home state of Minnesota to ever win a major AMA National Championship (the late Donny Schmidt is the other).
Dungey was crowned AMA West Coast SX Lites Champion in 2009, as well as AMA 250 Motocross Champion. Dungey also placed first in the MX1/Open class at the Motocross of Nations in Italy, helping Team USA place first in the event.
In 2010, Dungey moved up to race the Suzuki RM-Z450 under the guidance of Roger DeCoster and Mike ‘Goose” Gosselar. He became the first rookie to win the Supercross Series Championship that spring, then followed things up with a dominant performance in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 450 Class, winning the outdoors championship as a rookie as well.
Ryan Villopoto's return from injury in 2011 put an end to Dungey's reign as champion, but helped sparked an emerging rivalry between the two riders (as well as Chad Reed) over the next season and a half. Dungey would finish the 2011 season 3rd in 450SX points and 2nd in 450MX points.
After two succesful seasons riding a 450 for Factory Suzuki, Ryan Dungey made the move to Red Bull KTM in 2012, which came as a bit of a surprise to some. The move required a leap for faith for Dungey, as KTM had yet to capture a championship in the USA. But with Roger DeCoster already onboard as team manager, the pieces were coming together. Dungey rode well during the 2012 supercross season, but missed several races due to a broken collarbone. By the time the outdoor season was ready to kick off, Dungey had healed up, but injuries had knocked two of his top competitors - Villopoto and Reed - out for the rest of the season. Their injuries left James Stewart and Ryan Dungey as the championship favorites.
After watching Stewart win the season's first four motos, things turned around at Thunder Valley when Stewart crashed and injured his wrist. With JS7 forced to miss a few races, Dungey was able to grab a stranglehold on the points lead. Stewart was never able to return to form in 2012, leaving Dungey in a league of his own all year long. Dungey won the final 10 overalls of the season, taking the checkered flag in 18 of 20 motos in the process. Dungey took his 2nd 450MX championship in 3 years and gave KTM their first-ever title in the USA.