2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series Preview: Lakewood
Updated 6:28pm local Colorado time: This Saturday is round 3 of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series. The race is officially called The Toyota Thunder Valley MX National. You’ll find coverage of this race coming Saturday here on Supercross.com.
On the same weekend, you can also watch the French Grand Prix of Motocross at St. Jean d’Angely, and get the results and points from that race as well.
But let’s get back to this preview of the Colorado race this Saturday. First, take a look back at last week’s race in Texas, where James Stewart dominated the 450 Motocross class, and Eli Tomac did the same in the 250 MX Lites class.
In the 450 class last Saturday in Texas, James Stewart swept both motos, just as he did in Round 1 Hangtown. James has won all four motos of the season so far, riding with a new team – Yoshimura Suzuki. Ryan Dungey is running in second position in points, 14 behind James.
In the 250 MX Lites class, although Eli Tomac won both motos last Saturday, Mr. Blake Baggett has come back alive now that racing has gone outdoors. Blake leads the 250 MX Lites points with 94 points, and Kenny Roczen, the reigning MX2 World Motocross Champion on the KTM Red Bull machine, is second with 80 points. Tomac is third, one point behind Ken.
More history regarding this Lakewood MX: Revisit the 2011 event, which had Ryan Dungey and Blake Baggett on top. And revisit the 2010 race, … which was won by Ryan Dungey in the 450 class, and Christophe Pourcel in the 250 class.
Here is more info courtesy MX Sports: Since becoming part of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in 2005, Thunder Valley MX Park has grown to be one of the series’ most popular stops. With its mile-high elevation and sprawling layout, Thunder Valley presents one of the most unique challenges for both the riders and their teams. The thin mountain air robs bikes of power while also testing a rider’s endurance. It is a one-of-a-kind combination that is only found at Thunder Valley and each year, it is one of the race’s most prominent storylines. Additionally, its picturesque setting and hillside location make it one of the best venues for fans, with incredible sight lines from any point on the track.
The Toyota Thunder Valley National will commence on Saturday, June 2, from Lakewood, beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern. Live coverage of the opening motos on FUEL TV and AlliSports.com will begin at 3 p.m. Eastern, while live second moto coverage of the 450 Class can be seen on NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. Eastern. Same-day coverage of the second 250 Class moto can also be seen on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 12 a.m. Eastern.
James Stewart “It was a good race in Texas. It was warm, but I was able to get two good starts and I actually led every lap. The Yoshimura Suzuki team is just gelling. Now, we’re going to Colorado, and Lakewood is not one of my better tracks. Also, it’s at high altitude so it will be another tough race, but the team has a really good set-up for me with the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450, and we’ll do our best to put it on the podium.”
Brett Metcalfe “I felt like I rode really well in Texas. It was just a tough track to come from behind on. In the first moto, I got a good start, but then I spun it out and had to come from behind to 13th. In the second moto, I got a really good start but went way too wide in the first corner and dropped back a little. I tried to force something on a tough braking section and got sideways and went down, so it was a tough break. Now, I’m looking forward to Colorado and getting up front and staying up there.”
Jake Weimer “I got my first ever win at Thunder Valley. It’s a fun track and I’ve done well there, so we’ll give it our best shot to be up on the podium again.”
Broc Tickle “I’m feeling really good on the bike. Last weekend I felt really strong and I’m excited to get on the track in Colorado. I’m looking forward to putting two motos together and be up there battling for podiums.”
Tommy Hahn on the Muscle Milk Honda”Overall, I think today was another good day for me. Since I am from Texas, I am pretty used to the heat, so that wasn’t a huge factor for me. I tried to just focus on getting good starts and riding solid through both motos, which I think I did. Each race I get more and more comfortable with the bike and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Nico Izzi “I had a great first moto. I got an awesome start and was running third for about 20 minutes. I got a solid fourth and was happy with that. That’s a big improvement for me. In the second moto, I again got a good start and was running fourth. We got past the halfway mark and I was pushing hard, but ended up going down. I got back into it and still finished in the top 10. Now, we go to Colorado and I love that track. Hopefully this weekend we’ll have two great motos.”
Ryan Sipes “My first moto was pretty good. I ended up eighth. In the second moto, I just got hot. Heat has always been my Achilles heel; I don’t know why, but I’ve always had trouble in the heat. So, I went from about ninth to 17th (in the second moto). Now, I’m working hard to get ready for Colorado and give it all I’ve got.”
Blake Baggett “I really like Thunder Valley. Hopefully it’ll have lots of ruts and get super rough. That’s what separates guys. The plan is to take it one moto at a time and look to keep the red plate in my hands.”
Ivan Tedesco “I’m looking forward to Colorado. I’ve got a win there in the 250 Class (in 2005) and the 450 Class (in 2009), so obviously the track suits me. I’m just looking to get two good starts and make it happen.”
Eli Tomac “It was such an awesome feeling. Even though it’s taken longer than I’d like, I’m glad to finally get it together and come out on top again. Taking the win in Texas really makes it feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’ve gotten podiums here and there since my first win at Hangtown in 2010, but to not get another win since has been really frustrating. I feel like the rest of the season will continue to be successful like we were at Freestone.”
Justin Barcia “Texas was super tough and I really had to work for that top-five finish. I got a bad jump in Moto 1 and then went down in the first turn of Moto 2, so I had to work my way through everyone in both races. It definitely isn’t the finish I was looking for, but I am happy I was able to finish in the top five and salvage valuable points.”
Wil Hahn “I went down a couple of times in the first moto, once was my fault and once wasn’t. I got back as high as 10th, but one of those crashes knocked me back to 12th. In the second moto, I got a really good start, ran third for a while, but just didn’t make passes happen. It took me until the 15- or 20-minute mark to put my head down and go, which helped me make some passes at the end.”
Blake Wharton “I rode kind of tight and not my best in the first moto. But, it was my second race back at the Nationals and I’m making progress. In the second moto, I got a better start and made my way to the lead. I led some laps in Texas, which is cool because it’s my home crowd. I had a problem on the last lap, so I ended up third and finished fourth overall. Now, we’ll keep building for Colorado. It will be tough, with the elevation and ruts, but I like the track and I’m looking forward to it.”
Kyle Cunningham “I felt all right in Texas. I twisted my ankle last week and I got the swelling down, but it still hurts pretty bad. I rode conservatively and salvaged points for a decent overall. Now, I’m focused on this weekend. It’s still early in the season and there are a lot of motos left. I just need to keep working at it and the results will come.”
450 Motocross class laps led: James Stewart – 66, Mike Alessi – 2
250 MX Lites class lap led: Eli Tomac – 26, Blake Baggett – 13, Ken Roczen – 12, Justin Barcia – 8, Blake WhartonÃ‚Â 6, Jessy Nelson – 1, Phil Nicoletti – 1
Past Winners – THUNDER VALLEY MOTOCROSS PARK – Lakewood, Colo.
June 25, 2011 / Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN / Suzuki
June 26, 2010 / Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN / Suzuki
June 27, 2009 / Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, CA / Honda
June 29, 2008 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
July 22, 2007 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
July 23, 2006 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Suzuki
July 24, 2005 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Suzuki
June 25, 2011 / Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, CA / Kawasaki
June 26, 2010 / Christophe Pourcel, France / Kawasaki
June 27, 2009 / Jake Weimer, Rupert, ID / Kawasaki
June 29, 2008 / Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA / Kawasaki
July 22, 2007 / Ben Townley, New Zealand / Kawasaki
July 23, 2006 / Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA / Kawasaki
July 24, 2005 / Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, CA / Kawasaki
Motocross class leader James Stewart