2022 Thunder Valley Motocross Recap
Feeling HOT HOT HOT!
That was how everyone felt on Saturday for Round 3 of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series at the Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, CA where temperatures soared to near 100 degrees but it wasn't enough to keep the crowds away or ruin a great day of racing.
Ken Roczen became the third different winner in the 450 class , thanks to a little bit of luck, taking the win in Moto 2 to secure the overall and move to within five points of Chase Sexton, who gifted Roczen the win.
Sexton who battled with Roczen in the opening round and came out the victor two weeks ago, looked ripe for the Moto 2 win until he went down on the final lap by himself. His "bonehead" move as he called it allowed Roczen to pass for the win and overall. Sexton's solo crash also prevented Eli Tomac from capturing the overall in his home race and what many speculate also his last as the three-time MX Champ is widely expected to forego the Outdoors in 2023 in favor of racing Supercross only.
Sexton finished fourth in Moto 1 but the fall and second-place Moto 2 finish didn't drop him off the podium as he rook third to keep his podium streak alive to start the season. Tomac lit up the track in Moto 1 showing his brilliant near flawless race craft after starting sixth and working his way after eight laps to get around Roczen and head home for the checkers.
Elsewhere, Tony Cairoli who (by now you should know) retired last year a 9-time MXGP Champ but decided on a stateside farewell tour of sorts has now taken three straight MotoSport.com Holeshots and though thus far has faded finished a season best fifth overall on a (5-4) day. Ryan Dungey, who (by now you should know) came out of retirement after five years took sixth overall on a (7-7) day. If you recall, it was the Thunder Valley round in 2016 when Dungey broke his neck ending his season and ultimately helping decide his retirement fate after he narrowly won the 2017 Supercross title. Jason Anderson, who got his first career overall last week finished fourth overall on a (4-2) day.
2022 Motocross 450 Class Standings after Round 3
- Chase Sexton - 134
- Ken Roczen - 129
- Eli Tomac - 120
- Jason Anderson - 111
- Christian Craig - 92
In the 250 class, Jett Lawrence won again this time without winning. Lawrence finished second in both Motos as brother Hunter finally got the best of him for the first time this year with a Moto 2 win but Jett squeezed out the overall by a point as Hunter also had his worst finish of the young season with a 4th place in the first race.
Local (to MotoSport) rider Levi Kitchen got his first career Moto win and first career podium with on a (1-5) day. In fact, Kitchen was pretty much lights out in the first race taking the Holeshot and checking out to win by nearly 10 seconds.
"It was huge. I kept saying it, and I knew I could, and I finally proved it. I was stoked," said Kitchen in the post race news conference. "To get a start like that, I've never done it. I don't even know if I've started in the top five outdoors."
Justin Cooper who took the final podium spots in both Motos failed to make the overall ppodium as his two third-place finishes rendered him fourth overall. And somehow Joe Shimoda rounded out the Top 5 on a (7-6) day.
2022 Supercross 250 Class Standings after Round 3
- Jett Lawrence - 139
- Hunter Lawrence - 127
- Jo Shimoda - 101
- Levi Kitchen - 100
- Justin Cooper - 100
The MotoSport Sponsored Muc-Off / FXR / ClubMX Team
Garrett Marchbanks reached the Top 10 on a (9-11) day for 10th overall and Alex Martin had a rough Moto 2 but his finish in 13th in Moto 1 gave him 17th overall for the day.
A cross country trip awaits the riders as the gates drop at the High Point National on Saturday in Mt. Morris, PA.