In a shocking turn of events at Thunder Valley, the 450 Class championship was dealt a huge shake-up thanks to a crash from Eli Tomac.
Just when it looked like Tomac was minutes away from cruising to his sixth straight moto win, disaster struck. As a result, Ryan Dungey won the race and took over the points lead, and Tomac may now be dealing with a serious injury.
After dominating the first two rounds of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the undefeated Eli Tomac carried a 19-point championship lead into today’s races and was considered the heavy favorite. After all, he was on fire, he was the fastest qualifier this morning, he was coming to his home state of Colorado, and he’s one of the only riders used to training in the altitude.
Things were going according to plan through the first moto and a half – Tomac won the day’s first moto, then grabbed the lead and opened up a large gap in the second moto. In a position to just cruise to the checkered flag, the unthinkable happened, and Tomac lost control and crashed hard in Moto 2. He looked to be in serious pain and made no effort to reenter the race, instead heading straight to the medical center to get checked out.
With Tomac out of the running, Ken Roczen – last year’s 450 Class champion – assumed the race lead and was in a position to earn the overall victory as well. At the time, Ryan Dungey, after inheriting second place, had moved into a tie with Tomac for the points lead.
Then fortunes shifted once more, as Roczen also crashed while out in the lead with just two laps to go – something he said was the result of a flat tyre – and that allowed Dungey to catch up to him. The former teammates battled for the top spot, with Dungey making the pass and Roczen then going down for a second time.
Dungey was then able to check out with the lead en route to the checkered flag, and his 2-1 moto finishes earned him the overall victory, his first of the season.
“The track is rough. When we’re pushing the envelope that fast, I hate to see [Tomac] go down like that,” Dungey said after the race. “I hope he’s okay, I don’t know the aftermath. He’s going at a good pace right now, and the faster you go, the more that stuff sneaks up on you.”
Roczen’s crash cost him a shot at the overall win, but he still finished second overall with 3-2 moto finishes. Blake Baggett (4-3) rounded out the overall podium – his first career podium finish in the 450 Class.
There is no official word yet on the nature of Tomac’s injury, although there is early speculation that it could be a dislocated shoulder. More info is likely to come sometime this week.
Chad Reed scored 18-12 finishes for 15th overall and is 11th in the points standings.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will resume next Saturday, June 6th at Muddy Creek Raceway in Tennessee, and the big question will be around the status of Tomac after today’s crash. Will the GEICO Honda rider be healthy enough to return to racing and keep himself in title contention?
Thunder Vallery AMA Pro Motocross 2015 450 Results
1. Ryan Dungey (2-1)
2. Ken Roczen (3-2)
3. BlakeBaggett (4-3)
4. Broc Tickle (5-5)
5. Cole Seely (8-4)
6. Justin Barcia (7-6)
7. Eli Tomac (1-33)
8. Christophe Pourcel (11-7)
9. Phil Nicoletti (10-9)
10. Justin Brayton (9-10)
11. Jason Anderson (6-14)
12. Kyle Chisholm (15-11)
13. Weston Peick (19-8)
14. Fredrik Noren (14-13)
15. Chad Reed (18-12)
16. Kyle Cunningham (17-15)
17. Jesse Wentland (16-16)
18. Wil Hahn (12-20)
19. Josh Grant (13-35)
20. Evgeny Mikhaylov (23-17)
450 Class Points
Ryan Dungey 128
Eli Tomac 125
Blake Baggett 99
Ken Roczen 93
Justin Barcia 87
Weston Peick 79
Broc Tickle 75
Jason Anderson 72
Christophe Pourcel 72
Phil Nicoletti 62
Chad Reed 58
Fredrik Noren 53
Justin Brayton 51
Cole Seely 50
Kyle Chisholm 41
Brett Metcalfe 36
Wil Hahn 27
Tommy Hahn 26
Kyle Cunningham 25
Josh Grant 17
Jeremy Martin takes 250 series lead after double victory at Thunder Valley
Today was the ultimate bounce-back for Jeremy Martin. After all his misfortune last weekend – which left the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider scrambling to pick up positions and salvage points in both motos – Martin made up all the points he lost (and then some) in one round after completing a 1-1 sweep at Thunder Valley.
In the first moto, Martin ran away with the win after grabbing the MotoSport.com Holeshot. Meanwhile Marvin Musquin, the points leader entering today, crashed hard midway through the race and struggled to get up to speed. Musquin would settle into 14th place and finish there, but the championship lead was down to one point entering Moto 2 – effectively meaning that whoever finished better in that race would take control of the red plate.
Once again, Martin got the MotoSport.com Holeshot in the second moto. Zach Osborne, Jessy Nelson and Musquin had great starts as well, and Musquin soon moved into second place behind Martin. There was no touching Martin though – he pulled away from the pack, while Musquin rode his own race in second. It was enough to allow Martin to retake the points lead, as he now sits two points ahead of Musquin after three rounds.
“Today was good,” said second placed (overall) Zach Osborne, “I had good speed from the beginning. I was fifth in the first practice session and third in the second. I got off to a top-five start in the first moto and put myself in the position to end up second in the moto, which is really good. I had a nice bit of confidence going into the second moto and I almost pulled the holeshot. I was a little slow to get going in the first couple laps, but I got myself in gear and went forward to third and held it there. I’ve had a little bit of a struggle so far this season so to get on the podium today feels really good.”
Marvin Musquin: “I am glad I was able to salvage some points in the second moto and stay close to (Jeremy) Martin in the standings. I am looking forward to recovering from this crash and coming out strong next weekend.”
Australia’s Jackson Richardson scored 16-14 finishes for 16th overall.
Thunder Vallery AMA Pro Motocross 2015 250 Results
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