Photos by Browndog Wilson.The Thunder Valley track.
For the third stop on the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross tour was the mile high track of Thunder Valley in Colorado. The riders and teams get a week off after Colorado to start migrating East for round four at High Point in Pennsylvania. The 250 and 450 classes were stacked full of new and old riders trying to make their move closer to the top step of the podium coming into the weekend off. With the Thunder Valley track’s elevation being higher than most at 6100 feet above sea level, it made it challenging for some of the riders. It showed which riders came prepared and which didn’t. Here’s how the day panned out.
250 qualifying belonged to Joey Savatgy.
Eli Tomac punched in the fastest 450 time in qualifying.
Unfortunately, the Rockstar Husqvarna 250 rig was the only Husky rig in attendance due to Dean Wilson and Jason Anderson’s injuries. Word on the street is there not searching for a fill-in rider.
Goggle check for Ken Roczen.
Zach Osborne crossed the line in 5th. He crashed during practiced an re-injured his thumb. It was a tough start to the day.
Jordon Smith came through with a 4th.
Jordon’s teammate Alex Martin was far ahead in 3rd.
Alex’s younger brother Jeremy Martin ran and finished in 2nd.
But this was the real story of the first 250 moto. Justin Cooper pulled the holeshot and managed to lead for the first 15 minutes until he was passed by Pro Circuit’s Joey Savatgy. No less than three laps later, Joey came to a dramatic stop due to a blown engine. Savatgy finished 34th, and Justin Cooper rode to his first ever 250 moto win.
Next up, the 450’s. 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 was waved due to a massive wreck from Kyle Chisholm. Once Kyle was cleared off the track, they started again. This time Justin Barcia had to do some work after going down in the forth corner. He ended up 5th.
Marvin Musquin ended up in 4th in the first 450 moto.
Blake Baggett gave it everything he had. He pressured second, but in the end third is what he had to settle for.
Everyone was impressed by Ken Roczen. He made it hard on Eli Tomac while he had the lead at the beginning of the moto and held off Baggett. He finished 2nd.
But Eli Tomac rode to a dominant 1st place.
It’s time to cover the second motos which determine the overalls. The second 250 moto started off rough for title contenders Joey Savatgy and Zach Osborne. They 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 but scored an 11th overall, and Joey Savatgy went 12th for a 17th overall due to his first moto DNF.
Jordon Smith pulled through with a 5th overall on the day with a 4-5 score.
Austin 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.
Alex Martin really dropped the hammer in Thunder Valley. He jumped to the early lead in moto two and managed to hold off brother Jeremy Martin. Eventually, J-Mart got around his brother and left Alex in 2nd. With a score of 3-2, Alex grabbed a 2nd overall.
But in the end, it was Jeremy Martin who stood on top. His 2-1 score landed him the overall win.
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.
It was a very successful day for Blake Baggett. He went 3-3 for a 3rd overall, and a spot on the podium.
The 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 really held off Tomac for the lead in both motos.
So far, Eli Tomac has a perfect season going for him. Go he make it to 24 straight moto wins? This is domination at its finest. He won the overall by sweeping both motos in his home state.