Monday Kickstart – Thunder Valley 2012

Mountain weather reared its ugly head this weekend in Lakewood, Colorado, threatening to put a stop to the Thunder Valley National, but after an hour delay in between the first 450 and 250 motos, the show resumed in front of a brave and diligent crowd, who toughed out the weather to watch their favorite riders tear up the hillside track.
James Stewart topped the noteworthy buzz, but unfortunately it wasn’t because he continued his moto win streak. Instead, a get-off in the deeply rutted straightaway coming down the hillside forced Bubbs to the sidelines, ending his race day and, thus, forfeiting his lead to Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey.

Yikes. What started as a sunny, warm day quickly turned dark, cold, and wet by the time racing started. At 6,000 feet above sea level, the Lakewood area commonly sees drastic shifts in weather in a short time.


Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart came into Thunder Valley with four straight moto victories and the confidence that stems from winning grueling motos in the heat. He started his day on Saturday right where he had left off the week before by posting the fastest qualifying lap and took the first gate pick. Both he and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey were over two seconds faster than the third qualifier.
James Stewart's day ended after he stacked it up in the deep ruts of a downhill straightaway. He hurt his wrist badly, and was forced out of racing the rest of the day. Check out his explanation of the crash here:


We are extremely bummed—as are all moto fans—that this budding rivalry may be cut short. Hopefully, James will bounce back from his crash this weekend and return to dicing with Dungey very soon.