2018 THUNDER VALLEY NATIONAL | THE AFTERMATH

The Thunder Valley track.

Photos by Brown Dog Wilson.

The third stop on the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross tour was at the mile high track of Thunder Valley in Colorado. The riders and teams will get a week off after Colorado to start migrating East for round four at Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. The 250 class was stacked full of new and old riders trying to make their move closer to the top step of the podium, while the 450 class was weakened by the consistent loss of quality riders. With the Thunder Valley track’s elevation being 6100 feet above sea level, it made it challenging for both the riders and their machines. Colorado shows which riders and teams came prepared and which didn’t. Here’s how the day panned out.

Joey Savatgy250 qualifying belonged to Joey Savatgy.

Eli Tomac Eli Tomac punched in the fastest 450 time in qualifying. 

FansFans gathered from near and far to witness round 3. It was a hot day on the hill sides of Colorado

Lucas Oil GirlsThe Lucas Oil Girls, Nicole Cesa (left) and Carrie Bowling (right), are obviously the counterpoint to the Monster Girls of Supercross.

Rockstar HusqvarnaUnfortunately, the Rockstar Husqvarna 250 rig was the only Husky truck in attendance since the injuries to 450 riders Dean Wilson and Jason Anderson. Fill-in riders are in rare supply at the moment.

Ken RoczenGoggle check for Ken Roczen.

Thunder ValleyThe Thunder Valley National trophies. 

Track conditions looked sketchy on Friday afternoon, but on Saturday morning the track looked epic.

Wil HahnThunder Valley held the second round of the 125cc All-Stars series, but truthfully Wil Hahn has the only star in the field. He put together a dominating performance aboard his factory Star Racing Yamaha YZ125.

Weston peickWhile the 250 guys were gettingl lined up, this is what was going down in the Autotrader Suzuki pits. 

Thunder Valley’s start may be fairly short, but since it goes up a steep hill and is at high altitude most riders are forced to start in first gear. This is the 250 class.

Zach OsborneZach Osborne crossed the line in 5th in the first 250 moto. He had crashed during practiced and re-injured his thumb. It was a tough start to the day for the co-red plate holder.

Jordon SmithJordon Smith came through with a 4th in moto one of the 250 class.

Alex MArtinJordon’s KTM teammate Alex Martin was in 3rd in moto one.

Jeremy MartinAlex’s younger brother Jeremy Martin finished in 2nd in the first 250 moto.

Justin CooperThehe real story of the first 250 moto was Justin Cooper. The young rider pulled the holeshot and led for the first 15 minutes (when he was passed Pro Circuit’s Joey Savatgy). No less than three laps later, Joey’s KX250F came to a dramatic stop with a blown engine. Savatgy finished 34th, and Justin Cooper rode to his first-ever 250 Natiomal moto win.

250 MOTO 1 RACE RESULTS (TOP 22)

  1. Justin Cooper (Yam)
  2. Jeremy Martin (Hon)
  3. Alex Martin (KTM)
  4. Jordan Smith (KTM)
  5. Zach Osborne (Hus)
  6. Aaron Plessinger (Yam)
  7. Garrett Marchbanks (Kaw)
  8. Austin Forkner (Kaw)
  9. Shane McElrath (KTM)
  10. Chase Sexton (Hon)
  11. Sean Cantrell (KTM)
  12. Enzo Lopes (Suz)
  13. RJ Hampshire (Hon)
  14. Martin Castelo (Yam)
  15. Justin Hill (Suz)
  16. Michael Mosiman (Hus)
  17. Jordan Bailey (Hus)
  18. Brandon Hartranft (Yam)
  19. Ramyller Alves (Yam)
  20. Gage Schehr (KTM)
  21. Challenge Tennant (Yam)
  22. Gustavo De Souza (Hon)

450 Start Thunder ValleyThe first moto of the 450 class was next on the second. This class got off to a rough start. Justin Barcia jumped to the early lead followed by Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen. Suddenly, the red flag came out after a massive crash by Kyle Chisholm. Once Kyle was off the track, they race was restarted. This time Justin Barcia was as lucky. He went down in the fourth corner. He charged back to a 5th, but will always wonder what might have been without the red flag.

Marvin MusquinMarvin Musquin ended up in 4th in the first 450 moto.

Blake BaggettBlake Baggett gave it everything he had in moto one and pressured Ken Roczen second, but in the end had to settle for third.

Ken RoczenKen Roczen continues to impress everyone with his remarkable recovery from his left arm and right hand injuries. Ken made Eli Tomac work for the 450 lead at the beginning of the moto and held off Baggett at the end. It was a well earned second place.

Eli TomacEli Tomac rode to his fifth straight moto win in the first 450 moto at Colorado.

450 MOTO 1 RACE RESULTS (TOP 22)

  1. Eli Tomac (Kaw)
  2. Ken Roczen (Hon)
  3. Blake Baggett (KTM)
  4. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
  5. Justin Barcia (Yam)
  6. Benny Bloss (KTM)
  7. Weston Peick (Suz)
  8. Phillip Nicoletti (Suz)
  9. Dylan Merriam (Yam)
  10. Lorenzo Laccurcio (Hon)
  11. Jake Masterpool (Yam)
  12. Alex Ray (Yam)
  13. Cade Autenrieth (KTM
  14. Brandan Leith (Kaw)
  15. Brandon Scharer (Yam)
  16. Cody Cooper (Hon)
  17. Ben Lamay (Hon)
  18. Derek Anderson (Kaw)
  19. Henry Miller (Suz)
  20. Dare DeMartile (Hon)
  21. Felix Lopez (KTM)
  22. Toshiki Tomita (Hon)

250 STARTThe second 250 moto started off rough for title contenders Joey Savatgy and Zach Osborne. Both were caught up in a massive first turn pile up, and were forced to start from the very back. Zach Osborne finished 20th in the moto and ended up 11th overall with a 5-20 day. Joey Savatgy got all the way back to  12th for a 17th overall wth his DNF-12 score.

Jordon SmithJordon Smith pulled through with a 5th overall on the day with a 4-5 score.

Austin ForknerAustin Forkner had a rough start to the day with a 7th in moto one. But in moto two he turned it up for a third, and scored a 4th overall with his 7-3 score.

250 START THUNDER VALLEYJustin Cooper (62) had some troubles in the second moto. He managed to stay focused, but is fairy tale chance of winning his first ever National was ended with an 8th in moto two, but with his 1st place finish in the first moto he landed on the podium in 3rd overall.

Alex MArtinAlex Martin dropped the hammer in Thunder Valley. He jumped to the early lead in moto two and managed to hold off brother Jeremy Martin for most of the moto. Eventually, J-Mart got around his brother and left Alex in second. With a score of 3-2, Alex grabbed a 2nd overall.

250 Podium Thunder ValleyBut in the end, Jeremy Martin stood on top. His 2-1 score landed him the overall win and the 250 points ;ead.

250 OVERALL RACE RESULTS (TOP 22)

  1. Jeremy Martin (Hon)
  2. Alex Martin (KTM)
  3. Justin Cooper (Yam)
  4. Austin Forkner (Kaw)
  5. Jordan Smith (KTM)
  6. Aaron Plessinger (Yam)
  7. Chase Sexton (Hon)
  8. Shane McElrath (KTM)
  9. Garrett Marchbanks (Kaw)
  10. RJ Hampshire (Hon)
  11. Zach Osborne (Hus)
  12. Michael Mosiman (Hus)
  13. Enzo Lopes (Suz)
  14. Justin Hill (SUZ)
  15. Sean Cantrell (KTM)
  16. Martin Castelo (Yam)
  17. Joey Savatgy (Kaw)
  18. Jordan Bailey (Hus)
  19. Challenge Tennant (Yam)
  20. Brandon Hartranft (Yam)
  21. Gustavo De Souza (Hon)
  22. Gage Schehr (KTM)

450 Start Thunder Valley The final moto of the day was for the 450s. Blake Baggett (4) led to the top of the first turn, but Justin Barcia (51) led it to the bottom of the start hill.

Benny BlossIt was a great day for Benny Bloss. He ended up with a 6-5 score and a 5th overall.

Marvin MUsquin Marvin Musquin ran up front in the early parts of the motos, but ended up with a 4-4 score and a 4th overall on the day.

Blake BaggettIt was this first successful day for Blake Baggett this outdoor season. He went 3-3 for a 3rd overall.

Ken RoczenThe phrase “a step in the right direction” best describes Ken Roczen’s performance in Colorado. He went 2-2 for a 2nd overall. But, he wasn’t just second, he was the main driver of the action as he held off Tomac for the lead in both motos. His day on the top steep is getting closer every week—and this coming off weekend will help his fragile arms get stronger.

Eli TomacEli Tomac has a perfect season going after 3 of 12 rounds. It is a long way to winning 24 straight motos, but at the moment he is the ony rider on the track who could do it. He won the both motos in his home state.

450 OVERALL RACE RESULTS (TOP 22)

  1. Eli Tomac (Kaw)
  2. Ken Roczen (Hon)
  3. Blake Baggett (KTM)
  4. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
  5. Benny Bloss (KTM)
  6. Justin Barcia (Yam)
  7. Weston Peick (Suz)
  8. Phillip Nicoletti (Suz)
  9. Dylan Merriam (Yam)
  10. Brandon Scharer (Yam)
  11. Jake Masterpool (Yam)
  12. Lorenzo Laccurcio (Hon)
  13. Cade Autenrieth (KTM
  14. Alex Ray (Yam)
  15. Cody Cooper (Hon)
  16. Brandan Leith (Kaw)
  17. Henry Miller (Suz)
  18. Toshiki Tomita (Hon)
  19. Ben Lamay (Hon)
  20. Felix Lopez (KTM)
  21. Derek Anderson (Kaw)
  22. Chase Marquier (Hus)

As the sun set over Thunder Valley everyone was looking forward to taking next weekend off before returning to racing at Mt. Morris on June 16. 

2018 THUNDER VALLEY NATIONAL | FULL COVERAGE

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