Author: Andrew Campo

Thunder Valley MX Park welcomed Round 5 of the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship this weekend in beautiful Lakewood, Colorado. A grip of story lines floated around Sunday morning before bikes were fired up for practice. Rockstar Energy Suzuki/ 250 pilot Jason Anderson was absent from the pits as his team had requested he take a round or two off in effort to work on some issues and better prepare for the second hall of the series. Les Smith, who has been doing an amazing job filling in for Justin Brayton at JGR was now under the Rockstar Suzuki/ net alongside Martin Davalos and Nick Paluzzi. It was rumored that Josh Grant had been involved in an accident on Saturday while touring the race facility on Saturday in a Rhino, but he appeared to be fine as showed up to greet fans and sign autographs Saturday evening at the Sun Enterprises Fan Fest.

450 Class

As practice got underway Grant was looking healthy and joined in as the super talented 450 pool tried their best to top Chad Reed's 2:11:871 practice time, but to no avail. Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey came close finishing second in practice with a 2:12:065 and his past success at Lakewood had people wondering if this would be the breakout ride Dungey has been looking for.

Villopoto and Reed at Thunder Valley

As the class rounded the top of the hill in moto one it was the #144 of Christian Craig out front for the second time this season. Chad Reed was right there and applied pressure early but that would result in Ryan Villopoto passing both Reed and Craig as the second lap came to a close. Reed made his way around Craig but was now facing off with Dungey in a battle that lasted eight laps. Dungey finally made the pass on Reed, but by this point it was clear that RV was outside of striking distance and Villopoto's third moto win of the season was now in the books. Josh Grant retired early from moto one with knee complications and fan favorite Kevin Windham put another solid ride to finish fourth ahead of KTM's Mike Alessi.

Chad Reed, who had won every second moto of the season thus far, grabbed the holeshot in the second moto of the 450 division, but a fast and hungry Ryan Dungey made the pass on second place Villopoto on the third lap and started to distance himself, then got around Reed for the lead. Villopoto had also moved by Reed and into the number two spot. The race for the podium would stay unchanged for the remainder of the moto as Reed dropped anchor midway through the race and Dungey put a comfortable distance between him and Villopoto as he set his sights on his first Outdoor victory of the season. Dungey made no mistakes and took his first overall of the season, narrowing the chase by 21 points at days end.

Thunder Valley 450 Results

Kevin Windham Thunder Valley

  1. Ryan Dungey
  2. Ryan Villopoto
  3. Chad Reed
  4. Kevin Windham
  5. Andrew Short
  6. Tommy Hahn
  7. Brett Metcalfe
  8. Christian Craig
  9. Jake Canada
  10. Justin Brayton

450 Points Standings

  1. Chad Reed
  2. Ryan Villopoto
  3. Ryan Dungey
  4. Kevin Windham
  5. Davi Millsaps
  6. Brett Metcalfe
  7. Rick Dietrich
  8. Andrew Short
  9. Jacob Weimer
  10. Christian Craig

250 Class

Justin  Barcia Thunder Valley

The 250s gated next and Geico Honda's Justin Barcia lead the charge early and held strong for a number of laps before handing the lead over to Pro Circuit's Dean Wilson. Dean was under pressure from his teammate Blake Baggett and was only able to lead one lap before Baggett made the pass for lead. Behind them Darryn Durham was once again putting in a solid performance while fending off the likes of Kyle Cunningham, Gareth Swanepoel, and Eli Tomac. Series points leader Tyla Rattray had started outside the top ten and began moving forward in the closing laps eventually finishing fifth behind Durham and Tomac who managed to grab the final podium position. Baggett held on to claim his fourth moto win of the year with Wilson in tow.

Justin Barcia once again grabbed the holeshot in moto two of the 250's, but this time he would turn it over to Blake Baggett before the end of the first lap. Baggett began to distance himself early and Geico Honda's Lance Vincent was in second place engaged in battle with Dean Wilson. The impressive effort of Vincent was cut short do to a mechanical issue on lap five and the third place position was turned over to Gannon Audette as Wilson tried to keep pace with Baggett. One lap later Audette turned the final podium position over to Eli Tomac who was followed by Ryan Sipes and Tyla Rattray as the checkers flew.

When it was all said and done Baggett went 1-1 on the day, Wilson had taken over the points lead and Durham inched that much closer to a factory ride in 2012.

Colorado is now behind us and as we look forward to Red Bud on July 2nd this series is within the grasp of many riders in each class. Sit back enjoy what is shaping up to be an unpredictable and unforgettable season.

Thunder Valley 250 Overall

Blake Baggett Thunder Valley

  1. Blake Baggett
  2. Dean Wilson
  3. Eli Tomac
  4. Darryn Durham
  5. Tyla Rattray
  6. Ryan Sipes
  7. Malcolm Stewart
  8. Travis Baker
  9. Justin Barcia
  10. Alex Martin

250 Points Standings

  1. Dean Wilson
  2. Tyla Rattray
  3. Blake Baggett
  4. Eli Tomac
  5. Justin Barcia
  6. Kyle Cunningham
  7. Broc Tickle
  8. Gareth Swanepoel
  9. Darryn Durham
  10. Cole Seely