— Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – Rockwell Watches Thunder Valley National
— Thunder Valley MX Park – Lakewood, Colo. – May 25, 2013 – Round 2 of 12
— Ryan Villopoto and Eli Tomac top Thunder Valley
The picturesque Thunder Valley Motocross Park hosted Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, on Saturday for the ninth running of the Rockwell Watches Thunder Valley National. Taking place in Lakewood, Colo., this event is notorious for its mile-high altitude, which demands the utmost preparation from both man and machine. The 450 and 250 Classes each saw first-ever winners at Thunder Valley as Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto swept the day with a (1-1) score in the 450 division and Colorado’s very own Eli Tomac went (2-1) to secure his first victory of the season in the 250 Class.
Villopoto picked up right where he left off at the opening round last weekend, throwing down the fastest lap time of the day in qualifying before sweeping both 450 Class motos at Thunder Valley. In Moto 1, it was Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia who got off to the early lead after grabbing the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Holeshot. Reigning 450 Class Champion Ryan Dungey contested the leader right away, while Villopoto rode close behind.
Barcia led the pack until the mid-way point when Red Bull KTM’s Dungey made a pass for the lead. From there, Barcia and Villopoto kept the pressure on Dungey and it wasn’t long before Villopoto took over the lead.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart, third a week ago at the series’ opener, ran into some issues in Moto 1 when a downed rider caused the Florida native to crash early in the race. Stewart recovered from his fall, making his way back to fifteenth in the opening moto.
Meanwhile, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard and FIM World Championship contender Clement Desalle had a race of their own in Moto 1. Canard was able to hold the Belgian rider off for fourth place in the opening moto, as Desalle followed closely in fifth.
In the 250 Class, GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne made it to the first corner ahead of the pack, grabbing the Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot, but it was Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen who jumped to the lead right away. The GEICO Honda teammates of Osborne and Eli Tomac were side by side on the opening lap, with Osborne just ahead. However, while battling with his teammate, Osborne went down and lost a few positions in the process. Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson capitalized on Osborne’s mistake, taking over the third place position early on.
Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin and MyPlash Star Yamaha/Metal Mulisha’s Cooper Webb had a quick pace set from the start. The duo made their way up to podium contention, where Musquin made the pass on Anderson for third. That’s when the rookie Webb made his charge toward the front, passing Anderson and Musquin to secure his first career podium finish in Moto 1.
Tomac made a valiant charge on the leader Roczen as the two went head-to-head on the final lap of Moto 1. As Tomac neared the rear wheel of Roczen, he ended up tipping over in the corner and Roczen grabbed his third consecutive moto win of the season.
In Moto 2 of the 450 Class, Barcia once again grabbed the Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot and his Team Honda Muscle Milk Honda teammate Canard latched on as the two got ahead of the pack early on. Smartop/MotoConcepts Mike Alessi also injected himself into the lead battle, and not far behind was Moto 1 winner Villopoto, followed closely by Dungey, James Stewart and Desalle.
Villopoto made quick work of his competition, taking over the lead in the early portion of the second moto. From there, Dungey battled his way to second place as Barcia followed close behind. James Stewart made up a lot of ground in Moto 2 as he started off well outside the top five and battled up to a podium position. His first moto score (15) held him to seventh overall for the day.
“We got a pair of wins today and we’re really going to try to keep it rolling. With the way the racing is this year and the guys that are in the class, just to be up front means you’re riding well,” said 450 Class overall winner Villopoto.
Dungey, a three-time winner at the Thunder Valley National, finished second overall with a (2-2) score, marking the first time the defending champion hasn’t won this event since joining the 450 class in 2010. Barcia scored (3-4) to secure third overall in his second round as a full-time 450 Class competitor, while his teammate Canard went (4-5) for fourth overall. Alessi rounded out the top five overall with a pair of sixth place finishes.
In Moto 2 of the 250 Class, MyPlash Yamaha/Metal Mulisha’s Jeremy Martin grabbed his first-ever Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot in front of a stacked field of riders. Osborne spent a short time in the lead early on but Tomac eventually took control of what would soon become a personal milestone for the Colorado native.
Coming into the second moto with a win under his belt, Roczen had his sights set on a clean sweep for the day but Tomac set a pace early on that just couldn’t be matched by the former World Champion in Moto 2. Roczen looked content in second, but Osborne kicked it into gear on the final lap of the second moto as he also made his way past Roczen to take over the second place position.
Tomac’s score of (2-1) was enough to give the Colorado native his first-ever win in his home state, as well as the first moto win of the season.
“It feels good to get the win today, I feel like I’ve kind of let Colorado down the past few years. I actually haven’t been close to leading a race here [at Thunder Valley] at all, so to finally make it happen today was sweet,” said 250 Class winner Eli Tomac.
Roczen ended his three-race win streak with a third place finish in Moto 2 and the current points leader took home second overall for the day with a (1-3) score. Osborne, a Virginia native, was third overall, his highest overall finish ever in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross.
Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin was a top contender in both motos, taking home a pair of fourth place finishes for fourth overall. Reigning 250 Class Champion Blake Baggett struggled with starts and crashes all day, but the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider ended his day with a (9-5) score to round out the top five overall.
Round 3 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads to Bristol, Tenn. for the Built Ford Tough Tennessee National next weekend, June 1.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – Rockwell Watches Thunder Valley National
Thunder Valley MX Park – Lakewood, Colo. – May 25, 2013 – Round 2 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki (1-1)
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (2-2)
3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (3-4)
4. Trey Canard, Oklahoma City, Okla., Honda (4-5)
5. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki (6-6)
6. Clement Desalle, Belgium, Suzuki (5-7)
7. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (15-3)
8. Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki (7-10)
9. Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, Suzuki (10-8)
10. Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Kawasaki (11-9)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Seattle, Wash., Kawasaki, 100
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 88
3. Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 70
4. Trey Canard, Oklahoma City, Okla., Honda, 70
5. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 66
6. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 54
7. Tyla Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki, 49
8. Ryan Sipes, Elizabethtown, Ky., Suzuki, 37
9. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki, 36
10. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 34
250 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (2-1)
2. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM (1-3)
3. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Honda (6-2)
4. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (4-4)
5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (9-5)
6. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (8-6)
7. Martin Davalos, Ecquador, Kawasaki (7-10)
8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki (5-12)
9. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha (3-17)
10. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (13-7)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 95
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 89
3. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM, 72
4. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 70
5. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Honda, 65
6. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 50
7. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki, 49
8. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha, 43
9. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha, 39
10. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 39
— KTM Report
Red Bull KTM Factory riders Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen picked up a pair of podium seconds in the 450 and 250 classes in Round 2 of the US PRO Motocross Championship at the Thunder Valley Motocross Park (Lakewood CO.) on Saturday. Their teammate Marvin Musquin was fourth in the 250s rounding off a good day for the KTM riders.
Dungey got off to a great start in the first moto and by lap two had moved up to second after eventual winner Ryan Villopoto tipped over in a turn in lap three. He then spent the next eight laps in a three-way battle with leader Justin Barcia and Villopoto before passing Barcia on the inside to take the lead in Lap 10. But Villopoto was on a charge and Dungey conceded the top spot in Lap 13. He then worked hard to put a 10-second margin between him and Barcia in third. The riders finished the race in that order with Dungey commenting: “I really like this track but it is definitely getting pretty rutted and challenging. I am glad I got a good start because that is key to my finish in these motos. It’s important to be there from the beginning and not let Villopoto get away.”
Dungey got a decent start in the second moto and was fifth at the end of the opening lap. He passed Mike Alessi in the next and two laps later was sitting third. His job then was to reel in Barcia in second and he had moved into second by lap six. Dungey did trim Villopoto’s lead but was unable to close the gap. His 2-2 finishes earned him second overall and he remains second in the points and with 88 is 12 behind the leader. “The team and I are really happy with the progress we made this week. We know where we need to improve and we are looking forward to the next race. It’s great to be consistent but we need to start getting some race wins,” stated Dungey.
Roczen continues to lead points in the 250 class
German teenager Ken Roczen, fresh from his SX Championship title, continues to lead the points after the second round of the 250 class in the outdoor season after an admirable battle in Thunder Valley. His teammate Marvin Musquin also had a great showing with a fourth overall result.
Roczen leaped off to a great start in the first moto where he nearly took the holeshot. And three corners later he moved into the lead. He led every lap of the race and held off heavy pressure from Eli Tomac right to the flag to pick up his third individual race win this season. Meanwhile Musquin, started in sixth, improved his pace throughout the 30-minute plus two-lap race to cross the line in fourth.
It was Tomac and Roczen at 1-2 when the riders rounded the first corner of the second moto. Roczen held the position until the final lap when he made a mistake and rode off course while battling with Zach Osborne. He dropped to third to slip into a battle with Musquin and the pair of Red Bull KTM riders went on the finish 3-4 and overall for the day, 2-4.
“Eli (Tomac) rode a great second moto,” stated Roczen on the podium. “I have to give him credit for the second moto as I wasn’t able to get up there and battle. I am happy to still get 2nd overall and remain in the points lead heading to the next round.”
— Rockstar Energy Suzuki Report
Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos raced to sixth and ninth positions overall at the weekend’s second round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross series at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado.
In the days before, the Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 GP riders – invited to the USA to take in two rounds of the AMA series as guests of Rockstar Energy Drink – gathered with the Rockstar Racing mechanics to set-up their machines: Suspension, exhaust and wheels/ tyres were fitted to team’s RM-Z 450s to match the Belgians’ normal Grand Prix set-ups and then fine-tuned for the circuit’s high altitude and high speeds.
And with good result as both riders came out blazing in the first qualifying heat. Desalle pulled out a scorching second behind eventual race winner Ryan Villopoto and Strijbos rode to a sixth qualifying time, which became seventh after the second qualifying session.
The first moto saw Desalle in fifth position out of the first corner behind Trey Canard and despite putting in some quicker laps, the Belgian made several charges on the rider in front of him but was never able to pass. Strijbos got caught in a first-turn tumble with Chad Reed and worked his way back from 25th position to the top 10.
The second moto saw both riders close with American Mike Alessi with Desalle in sixth position in the first half of the race, followed by Alessi and then Strijbos. The 2012 Vice Grand Prix Champion had to settle for seventh when Alessi put the pressure on in the last laps – and secured sixth position in the overall ranking.
With Strijbos following in eighth, the 28-year-old Belgian took ninth overall in his first ever AMA Nationals outing.
Clement Desalle: “I’m quite satisfied with this race; I got a good qualifying time and a reasonable start in the first moto. I was trying to get hold of the first guys to follow this rhythm but made a small mistake which allowed Canard to pass. I worked to pass him back since I felt I was faster than him, but it wasn’t so easy to get by him. In the second moto my start was not as good as the first moto, but I didn’t have the strength to push forward. I think all the travelling to and from Brazil might have taken its toll there.
The format takes some getting used to – with just two timed practice runs and everything put into one day – but I don’t think it’s bad; in the end it’s the same for everyone!”
Kevin Strijbos: “It’s a great experience! I didn’t know what to expect but after the qualifying sessions I felt comfortable on the track and felt my speed was good in opposition to the others.
I’m a little bummed about falling in the start of Moto 1, managed to come back to 10th which in the end was good, but also took a lot of energy. So for the second race I felt after a few laps that I had to settle for a slightly lower pace to get through the race, which in the end wasn’t bad either with an 8th position. It’s good working with the guys from Rockstar Racing – we’re learning in both ways here!
Desalle and Strijbos will now head back to Corona, California for some more testing and training before they take the plane towards the third round of the AMA Outdoor Championship at the Muddy Creek Motocross track in Blountville, Tennessee next weekend.