Justin Cooper took the Moto 1 win in the 250MX category, but it would be Jeremy Martin’s weekend, after he took second place in the opener, and the win in Moto 2. Second overall was Alex Martin, with a 3-2 result, while Justin Cooper was third overall for the round with a 1-8.
Jeremy Martin retains the 250MX lead from Aaron Plessinger, with Alex Martin third overall in the standings.
Joey Savatgy may have been outside the top five in 250MX points, but he also set the fastest lap time (2:06.926) in qualifying, and was round victor at the same location in the previous two years.
Savatgy’s teammate Austin Forkner—11th in points and in need of some momentum of his own—qualified second (2:07.269), and ascendant rookie Justin Cooper was third (2:07.727).
Meanwhile the two riders who have dominated the opening rounds of the season both fell outside the top 10. Aaron Plessinger, coming off a sweep at Glen Helen, qualified 11th (2:09.864), but more concerning is Zach Osborne down in 20th (2:12.543).
250 Qualifying Times
Joey Savatgy, 2:06.926
Austin Forkner, 2:07.269
Justin Cooper, 2:07.727
Alex Martin, 2:08.446
Jordon Smith, 2:08.829
Chase Sexton, 2:09.109
Jeremy Martin, 2:09.206
RJ Hampshire, 2:09.334
Shane McElrath, 2:09.704
Garrett Marchbanks, 2:09.714
Justin Cooper conquered Thunder Valley’s uphill start to capture the holeshot in Moto 1, and Joey Savatgy soon settled into second place. Jordon Smith, Zach Osborne, Alex Martin and Jeremy Martin rode third through sixth, respectively, behind them. Meanwhile last week’s winner, Aaron Plessinger, was back in eighth place after the opening lap.
Shortly before the midway point, Savatgy closed in on Cooper and finally found an opportunity to attempt a pass for the lead. But Cooper was able to shut the door and keep himself out front. Despite being under constant duress, Cooper was able to lead for a full 20 minutes before giving up the top spot. That’s when Savatgy was able to take an inside lane around one of the turns and take the lead away from the rookie.
Savatgy appeared to be well on his way to a victory. But with three laps to go, his bike shockingly stalled. That enabled Cooper to reassume the lead, and from there, the rookie was able to cruise to his first-ever moto win. In total, he led 11 of the race’s 16 laps.
Jeremy Martin finished in second place, with older brother Alex behind him in third. Smith, who had fallen all the way down to seventh at one point, made some late passes to put himself into fourth.
Behind that group were the two riders with co-possession of the red plate. Osborne, who aggravated a thumb injury earlier in the day, finished about a half second ahead of Plessinger to claim a top-five finish.
250 Moto 1 Results
As the riders entered the first turn, a huge pileup ensued that collected Zach Osborne, Joey Savatgy and Justin Hill, among others. Enough riders were involved that several bikes, including Osborne’s, got tangled up.
For a moment, it looked like Osborne might be unable to continue as he seemed to be in some pain walking away. But then he got the bike straightened out and hopped back on, albeit with a huge deficit in front of him.
Also facing a huge deficit was Savatgy, who found himself outside the top 20 on the heels of his heartbreaking Moto 1.
Meanwhile it was Alex Martin grabbing the holeshot ahead of brother Jeremy, Moto 1 winner Justin Cooper, and Jordon Smith. About 10 minutes into the race, a Martin vs. Martin battle developed out front, with the two brothers battling for both the moto win and the overall win.
Jeremy made several aggressive challenges but Alex continued to fend him off for several laps before finally ceding the lead shortly before the midway point.
Jeremy Martin proceeded to take control of the race and ended up winning the race by eight seconds. His 2-1 scores also gave him his first overall victory of the season and moved him into the points lead. It marked the third straight round that a different rider has gained at least a share of the red plate.
Alex Martin (3-2) finished second overall and improved his position in the point standings as well.
The battle for third place in Moto 2 was a good back-and-forth affair between Jordon Smith and Austin Forkner, with Forkner ultimately securing the spot.
Smith then ceded fourth place to Aaron Plessinger, who lost control of the red plate after posting relatively disappointing 6-4 moto finishes. He’ll enter Round 4 trailing Jeremy Martin by eight points.
Also losing control of his share of the red plate was Osborne, who was able to salvage just a 20th-place finish (good enough for only one single point) after a disastrous start to Moto 2. He now sits 24 points out of the lead.
“Today was a learning experience for me, I got off to a good start in the first moto and was able to hold on for a fifth. Then, I was hit in the first turn at the start of the second moto and popped my shoulder out. It took me a second to get it back in before I could get going. I managed to score one point. There’s 18 motos left and a lot of points still on the table.”
After winning the first moto, Justin Cooper (1-8) couldn’t replicate that same success in Moto 2 but did fare well enough to finish on the podium in third place overall.
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