2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series Preview: Lakewood

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.

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Kenny Roczen

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Eli Tomac

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Blake Baggett


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 Wharton  6, Jessy Nelson – 1, Phil Nicoletti – 1

 

Past Winners – THUNDER VALLEY MOTOCROSS PARK – Lakewood, Colo.

450 Class

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

250 Class

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

 :: 2012 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Champion schedule

 :: 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series schedule

 :: Rider Profiles

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Motocross class leader James Stewart


John Van Den Berk travels to Uganda

Two times FIM Motocross World Champion John Van Den Berk, official trainer and a Youthstream talent scout for the FIM Motocross World Championship has recently travelled to Uganda, Africa, to initiate a Motocross school in Kampala. The main goal of his journeys is to help the sport grow worldwide, providing the best formation to the riders, trainers and officials in those countries where the interest in Motocross is growing.

John Van Den Berk is also in charge of finding new talents in order to give them the opportunity to race the FIM Motocross World Championship in the near future. The FIM Motocross World Championship is growing worldwide season after season, in this 2012 the series have already visited Mexico and Brazil, and next year Thailand will be added in the calendar, as well as one more race in America and another one in the Middle-East. For this reason, John Van Den Berk is visiting continents like Africa, South America and Asia to train the new generations, so in the upcoming years the riders taking part in the FIM Motocross World Championship will be from all the continents in the world.

John Van Den Berk explained: “I’m very positive, I was lucky because everybody in Kampala speaks English, so I could communicate very well with the riders and they improved a lot. The temperature was good, as well as the track and its location.”


MotoConcepts Racing – Alessi Back on Podium

MotoConcepts Racing captured its second consecutive AMA 450cc National podium at Freestone in Wortham, Texas. Mike Alessi aboard his #800 MCR450 did not get his typical holeshots but proved he could race through the pack in both motos and again the Big 3 (Stewart, Dungey, Alessi) stood apart from the field on the track and podium.

A perfect day of weather welcomed the race fans that packed the flatlands of Texas for the second round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. MotoConcepts riders again displayed the best overall performance of all non-factory backed teams representing each of the three classes.

In the WMX series, Mariana Balbi (#11) finished the day with solid moto finishes of 8th and 6th to finish 8th overall. Jake Canada’s (MCR250 #57) race day started off rather smooth as he raced to a solid 8th in the first moto. Moto 2 would prove more difficult as the likeable and ever-consistent Canada continues to impress week in and week out.  Canada had one of his best starts of the year erased when another rider unceremoniously ran him off the track. Upset but undaunted, Canada remounted and moved from 28th position to 14th. The hard fought Moto 2 finish, coupled with a solid Moto 1 ride netted Jake Canada a 9th overall. Vince Freise (MCR450 #59), after a great race in the Hangtown opener, had a disappointing day finishing 30th overall with 23-34 finishes.

As the 450 class rolled to the line, the Texas fans would get their first opportunity to see the fastest 3 riders on the planet go head to head on the fast Freestone track. Carrying the torch for MotoConcepts Racing would be Team Captain Mike Alessi, fresh off a podium finish a week earlier at the opener in Hangtown.

While known for his incredible starts, “The Holeshot King” Mike Alessi would need to work different magic for the start of Moto 1 at Freestone. After missing his initial gate pick, rules state that the #800 would be the last to pick his gate. Starting from the 40th position, Alessi gated cleanly and held it on longer than most of the riders to his left sweeping across the first turn. Determined, Alessi proved again why he is a title contender moving through the pack and eventually passing long-time rival Josh Grant to settle into 5th at the checkered flag. In the second moto, with a better start, missing the holeshot by a tire length, Alessi knifed past riders moving into third with a pace that left the rest of the field far behind. Once in third, it was apparent there was a wide gap between himself and the first and second place riders. Unable to improve his overall position for the day Mike backed off the pace and rode a smart race to finish 3rd in the moto completing another Stewart, Dungey, Alessi sweep of the podium


Eli Tomac and Ashley Fiolek Dominate at Freestone

Honda Red Riders took on round two of the AMA Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and Women’s Motocross Championship this weekend at Freestone Raceway in Worthman, TX. GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac dominated both 250 motos to take the overall win. For the second week in a row, Ashley Fiolek put together a solid performance, chalking up her first overall victory of the season on her Honda CRF250R.

The Race

Tommy Hahn put together another solid ride aboard his Team Honda Muscle Milk CRF450R, placing 9-7 for seventh overall. “Overall I think today was another good day for me,” said Hahn. “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 am looking forward to the rest of the season.” Justin Brayton put in a respectable ride, going 14-14 for 13th overall.

In the 250 class, Eli Tomac put in a commanding performance aboard his GEICO Honda CRF250R, winning both motos for the overall round victory. “Today was an awesome day for me,” said Tomac. “I have had a tough time with this track in the past. It ruined my 2010 season both physically and mentally, so I am happy I was finally able to get it together and come out on top.”

Despite getting less-than-desirable starts in both motos, teammate Justin Barcia put together impressive rides, charging through the pack to finish 4-5 for fifth overall.  “Today was a super tough day and I really had to work for that top-five finish,” said Barcia. “I got a bad jump in moto one and then went down in the first turn of moto two, 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.”

In the Women’s Motocross Championship, it was Ashley Fiolek on top of the podium. In moto one Fiolek grabbed the holeshot but eventually fell back to second, where she would finish. She grabbed the holeshot again in moto two and rode her way to victory with an impressive lead. “I am so happy with how today went,” stated Fiolek. “I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to race because I had food poisoning last night, which is why I missed the first practice. I didn’t feel 100 percent but I liked the track so I’m grateful everything came together pretty well.” Teammate Sayaka Kaneshiro placed 6-5 for fifth overall, despite going down in the first turn of moto one.

The Focus: Renthal

Among manufacturers of handlebars and sprockets, only Renthal–a 26-year Honda racing team sponsor–can boast more than 100 world and national championships. It goes without saying that American Honda’s motocross team has won many of its championships with Renthal products.


World’s Top Amateurs Headline Amateur All-Star Class at the 2012 Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas

Feld Motor Sports® announced today that 22 of the world’s top 250 A and 250 B Modified Class racers will compete at the 2012 Monster Energy Cup at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium on October 20 for the second-annual Amateur All-Star Race. As the defending Amateur All-Star Class Champion, Justin Hill, of Yoncalla, Ore., will receive one of the 22 starting positions.

The 22 promoter’s-choice riders will represent the next generation of racers as they compete on the world’s biggest stage with 3.5 hours of live television coverage. Consisting of two, five-lap Main Events, the Amateur All-Star Class features the graduating class of top amateurs that will turn professional the following season.

During last year’s Amateur All-Star Main Events, Justin Hill, of Yoncalla, Ore., finished 4-1 in the Amateur All-Star Class and scored the overall win. Hill put his Kawasaki up front in the second Main Event of the Amateur All-Star Class with Austin Politelli and Thomas Covington, of Temecula, Calif., in tow. Thompson moved into third place on lap 2, passing Covington. Hill held on for the win, Politelli finished second and Thompson finished third.

“There was some great racing out there,” said Hill last year from atop the podium. “I did my best to stay in front and keep it on two wheels. The track was tough, so you had to be on top of your game. I’m really excited to be crowned the Amateur All-Star Class Champion.”

“The first-ever Monster Energy Cup was the best race of my 2011 season,” said Covington. “I really enjoyed racing in front of a huge crowd and on live television coverage was amazing. I can’t wait until this year’s race!”

The 2012 Monster Energy Cup features an all-new track design inspired by five-time Supercross Class Champion Ricky Carmichael. The Carmichael-inspired track design will consist of supercross and motocross obstacles unlike any other racetrack design in the world. More than 200′ of the track will be built into the grandstands, and the riders exit the stadium and race through the Monster Energy Fan Zone outside of the stadium and through the pit area before they catapult back into the stadium. The Monster Energy Cup posts a $250,000 purse with the winner walking away with a $100,000 check, and any rider that wins all three Main Events will take home $1 million.


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