AMA MX 2015 Thunder Valley Gallery A
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AMA MX 2015 Thunder Valley Gallery A Images by Hoppenworld
AMA Motocross Championships – Round 3 – Thunder Valley MX Park, Lakewood, CO
450 Race Report: There is no doubt that Eli Tomac is the fastest rider on the circuit right now but as per usual Ryan Dungey is the most consistent and the hard packed, bump and rut infested Thunder Valley circuit can bite a rider on the bum quicker than they can yell, ‘tank slapper’.
While Tomac dominated the opening moto ahead of Dungey and Ken Roczen but it was the huge break-in bumps that saw the demise of Tomac in the second moto which handed the lead to Roczen who could well have taken the overall if he could hang on for the win but Kenny dropped his Suzuki twice in the dying laps to hand the win and championship lead to his ex-teammate Dungey. We found out later that Kenny had a front flat tyre.
Tomac’s crash saw the Honda rider taken back to the Asterix Medical Mobile Unit and it was there that they put Tomac’s dislocated shoulder back into place. Time will tell how this affects Tomac in the rounds to come. “These type of crashes always leave me scratching my head on how or why it happened,” Tomac said. “It is the unexpected ones that get you. I have dislocated my right shoulder, no broken bones. Feeling pretty beat up. I don’t know the severity of the injury yet because I’ve never had a dislocation issue in my career. Hoping to have a answer by the end of today. I will come back as soon, but also as safely as I can. Just a waiting game on how fast these sore/smashed muscles agree to heal up.”
Dungey took the overall win over Roczen and Blake Baggett who managed 4-3 results for his first 450 podium, Dungey now has a three point lead over Tomac in the series and bugga-me-dead if Baggett doesn’t sit in third place.
Chad Reed struggled all weekend to finish with 18-12 moto finishes while I must give a mention to the two most over-rated riders on the AMA circuit, the Hahn brothers. Despite always seeming to turn up with good paying rides these sibling rarely trouble the top ten these days and Thunder Valley was no different, Will, on a factory Kawasaki KXF450 scored 18th outright while Thomas was second last both motos.
Riders quotes from RacerX:
Ryan Dungey: “Well, it’s no mystery that Eli [Tomac] has been going really fast. He’s strong and fit, and always has been. His bike is dialed in, and in the beginning of the year we had some things to work on and we still do. We’ve made progress with the bike, but there’s still room for improvement. With him going so fast so early on, it makes us have to play catchup quicker. You can’t wait until halfway through the season then try to dig yourself out of that points hole like I did last year. I try to be consistent and put the pressure on as much as I can, but I’ve been a little bit off Eli’s pace. But we we’ve been making progress every weekend. We were close to matching his times in that second moto, I believe, but he went down so early that I didn’t really have time to gauge him.”
Ken Roczen: “We’ve been doing a lot of things with suspension and trying to figure things out. It didn’t work too great in the first moto. I kind of struggled a little bit, but it got much better in the second moto and I flowed a lot better—I could ride much more like myself. I felt good in the second one, and I was trying to push to stay ahead of Ryan, but I got a flat and went down in that turn. I got up, jumped that triple, and crashed again, and I was like, “What’s wrong?” I didn’t know what was going on. It started turning really weird, then I realized I had a flat. So I took it easy those last few laps.”
Blake Baggett: “It’s a learning curve, and these first three tracks have just been brutal. It’s a big adjustment going to the 450, and I’m just learning and hope to keep working forward. I hope to be battling with those guys up front, but I need a bit more speed. Hopefully feeling a bit more comfortable, the speed will come. As soon as you start feeling more comfy, you go faster, and then you feel comfortable at that speed, and then you try to do it again and get even faster and get comfortable at that speed. We’ve been working on the bike and I’m working on things myself with RJ [Coach, Rick Johnson]. You can’t literally manhandle a 450, but you can just force it a little bit more, I guess.”
250 Race Report: After a shocker at Glen Helen Jeremy Martin came out hot at Thunder Valley and smashed all competitors with 1-1 moto results. Sure, he was helped by a big crash from championship leader Marvin Musquin during the opening moto but there was no denying Martin at Thunder Valley.
Despite the crash in the opening moto Musquin scored 14th place then bounced back for a second in the second moto and is now just two points shy of Martin in the points – this is going down to the wire folks….
Zach Osborne found form for second on the day with 2-3 moto results while the much hyped Adam Cianciarulo found a brain and scored his first podium for the year with 5-4 finishes. This is cool, Christian Craig made the most of replacing the injured Justin Bogle for the Geico Honda team to finish fifth overall with 4-6 finishes.
Aussie Jackson Richardson score a credible 16th overall with 16-14 finishes and is now 21st in the points while Hayden Mellross managed 20-22 finishes for 24th outright and sits 25th in the points.
Mellross had this to say on FB: “Well this weekend was brutal, I felt like I struggled all weekend with bike setup and just couldn’t stay off the ground. Although my result wasn’t where I wanted it to be i still learnt a lot this weekend and still have so many positives to take away from it. I’ll keep working hard and keep making improvement and I’ll be where I want to be soon. Thank you to everyone for your support.”
Riders quotes from RacerX:
Jeremy Martin: “Usually for me I start to figure the track out, and I can get better and better. Today was an awesome day. During the week, when you train and everything like that and you go into the weekend thinking about it, you dream to get two holeshots and you dream to lead every lap. And that was like today; it was a perfect day, aside from practice. I’ve got some things I need to work on with the bike to get it handling better. It was pretty gnarly out there today. I think it was biting a lot of guys. I’m going to be honest and say it wasn’t my favorite track. It was so weird. Some spots were rock-hard, and you’d get the chop and the ruts and then there’d be a big hole. If you weren’t on your game today it was going to bite you. I think I rode smart.”
Adam Cianciarulo: “First moto I almost went down on the start again and just made a few moves in the beginning. It’s so important to get by some guys when everybody’s bunched up. I actually got passed by Christian Craig with two laps to go. It hurt my pride a little bit, [the guy is] just coming out of retirement and kicking my ass really. But it’s cool to see him. He’s a good dude. Second moto I saw the results sheet and obviously Jeremy [Martin] had won, but there was a few guys [far back] like Marvin [Musquin] was fourteenth. So going in I said to myself, if I get top five there’s a good chance I’ll be on the podium. I caught up to Jessy [Nelson] and was able to get around him. I was super stoked on how I rode, super conservative. My technique is a lot better. Then Jordon Smith passed me with two to go and I had nothing left. I made it to about thirty minutes until I ran out of energy, and then my mechanic put on the pit board that I needed to pass him to get the podium. I just told myself that I was only going to hit the deck or get on the podium. I could have rested for a lap, but after he said that I followed his lines and just went for it before the finish line on the last lap. I was stoked with the day. It’s a good step in the right direction.”
Christian Craig: “The day started out great. I qualified fastest in practice. Couldn’t ask for anything better than that. Was feeling good going into the first moto, got a decent start, mid-pack, then just worked my way up and got up to seventh or eighth. Got behind a group of guys, like [Chris] Alldredge, Cianciarulo, and couple other guys, and ended up making the pass on them with like three laps to go and ended up fourth. I’m pretty stoked on that, especially for my first outdoor race on a 250 ever. Second moto had a better start and worked my way up to seventh, stayed there for about twenty minutes, hit a wall and got fatigued, and pretty much just put it on cruise control. Ended up passing one more guy for sixth and rode it out to sixth and fifth overall. It was a great day for me.”
450 Class (Moto Finish)
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (2-1)
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (3-2)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki (4-3)
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (5-5)
Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (8-4)
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (7-6)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (1-33)
Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna (11-7)
Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha (10-9)
Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, KTM (9-10)
450 Class Championship Standings
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 128
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 125
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 99
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki, 93
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha, 87
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha, 79
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 75
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 72
Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna, 72
Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha, 62
250 Class (Moto Finish)
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (1-1)
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (2-3)
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (5-4)
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM (3-7)
Christian Craig, Plymouth, Minn., Honda (4-6)
Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Honda (6-5)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (14-2)
RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda (9-10)
Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (13-8)
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (12-9)
250 Class Championship Standings
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 128
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 126
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM, 80
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki, 76
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Georgia, Kawasaki, 72
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 68
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna, 67
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM, 65
Matt Bisceglia, Tualatin, Ore., Honda, 64
Chris Alldredge, Powell Butte, Ore., Kawasaki, 62