SNAPS FROM THE MOUNTAIN: KYOSHI BECKER’S THUNDER VALLEY PHOTO GALLERY

This would be a very boring 450 Nationals season if it wasn’t for the resurrection of Ken Roczen as a power player. Without Roczen, Eli Tomac would be running wild.

Although Justin Barcia wasn’t necessarily headed for a “Joe Job” back home in New York, his professional motocross career was on the skids. He turned it around in 2018.

Eli Tomac has every reason to be cocky. He has won three straight 450 Nationals and is on top of the world. But, he’s been here before, so a little humility is in order.

Marvin Musquin has the speed and skill to win races, but something about the first three Nationals (Hangtown, Glen Helen and Thunder Valley) stymied him. He needs to find that flow and keep it longer than for three or four laps—then he will be in the mix.

Phil Nicoletti has been a consistent top ten finisher out west, where he hates it, but now that’s he’s headed back east he needs to find a couple more places to show that he’s not another wannabe Californian. Number one on his hit list has to be teammate Weston Peick.

Blake Baggett (4) came alive in Colorado. He was as solid as we are used to seeing him. And, while this looks like a holeshot, Justin Barcia (51) would tuck it under him in the next 20 feet.

Benny Bloss (60) has shown moments of brilliance between showing the fans the bottom of his KTM. Once he settles in to the speed at the front, he’s gonna do really well.

Nick Schmidt isn’t celebrating, he’s just glad it’s over. We give him credit during the Nationals because his Supercross skills are so much better than his outdoor skills, but he came to Thunder Valley to give it a shot—albeit going 23-38.

John Perry organized the Glen Helen 250 Two-Stroke Challenge race, and Alpinestars race rep Justin Muscutt finished 7th in it. At Thunder Valley, John was hanging out and Justin was taking a quick break from his duties.
 Wil Hahn won the Thunder Valley 125 Dream race, but he had an ulterior motive…

…He came right back to the 250 starting line to tell his Star Yamaha charges about possible lines and places where the track had changed.

You can’t always get a factory riders autograph over at their semi truck, but there is one spot in the pits where you can catch up to them.

250 NATIONAL

As a two-time AMA 250 National Champion Jeremy Martin knows what its like to hold on to a points lead—now he has to put that knowledge to work.

Jeremy Martin’s brother Alex (26) is third in 250 points.

Justin Cooper won the first 250 moto, although it took Joey Savatgy’s engine malfunction to seal the deal. Unfortunately, a second moto 8th ruined his fairytale day

Hawaiian Brian Medeiors (934) was flying at Thunder Valley. Unfortunately, he was flying in the pits also. His EZ-Up started to blow away and the 130-pound Pro grabbed hold of it as it lifted off. Brian ended up being tossed full force with his knee against the footpeg of his bike. He needed stitches, lots of them, but elected to race instead. 

Zach Osborne, nursing a thumb injury, went 5-20 after being taken out in the first turn crash in the second moto. He charged for 35 minutes and was rewarded with one AMA point. That one point might be important by round 12.

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