- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

Ryan Dungey already has his second straight Supercross title, so he could easily treat the season finale as a victory lap.

But a season like this shouldn’t end with an ellipsis. Dungey wants to put an exclamation point on it Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

“I don’t want to let up at this point,” Dungey said. “There’s still more to do, to not get complacent and not to settle, to keep pushing and keep believing there’s more ahead.”

Dungey overcame a tip over during the first race of this Supercross season, yet still managed to climb on his bike and finish second.

The 26-year-old from Belle Plaine, Minnesota, never looked back after that, completing one of the most dominating two-year runs in the sport’s history.

Dungey won eight times this season and had the longest podium streak in Supercross history with 31, a stretch that ended with his fourth-place finish at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium in the 10th race of the season. He also had the longest streak of finishing in the top two at 20 straight races, which also ended at MetLife, but also closed out his third Supercross at New Jersey.

“We were able to get that little bit of cushion and be able to wrap it up early; it doesn’t always happen like that, but when it does it’s nice and takes the pressure off,” Dungey said.

At his peak both physically and technically, Dungey has put his name among the greats in the sport, right there with Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath and Ryan Villopoto.

Dungey has the highest top-5 percentage in Supercross history at 89.66 percent and top-10 percentage at 98.28 percent. He’s tied for third on the all-time podiums list with Carmichael at 87 and is sixth on the all-time wins list with 30.

Always humble, Dungey never likes to talk about his place in history, but it’s getting harder for him to look past it as he moves into the sport’s upper echelon.

“I’ve never really taken the time to look at it,” he said. “As a kid, I dreamed of being one of the greats in the sport, but it’s kind of hard to live in that moment. And you can’t. You have to be focused on the next and what’s to come. But I definitely want to leave the sport being one of the greats.”

Dungey’s success hasn’t just been on the track over the past year.

Earlier this year, he was the first motocross rider to appear on a Wheaties box, putting him alongside athletes from more mainstream sports like Michael Jordan, Aaron Rodgers and Alex Rodriguez.

He also won an ESPY Award for best male action sports athlete, which is typically awarded to athletes in board sports like skateboarding and snowboarding.

“It’s been great not just for me, but for the sport,” Dungey said. “To be on the Wheaties box and displayed on shelves on grocery stores across the country, for people to see that and say, ‘hey, what’s this,’ and maybe spark a light, bring more exposure to the sport. Things have been really good and hopefully more opportunities like that will come.”

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