2017 Thunder Valley MX | Race Report

Presented by Factory Effex

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2017 THUNDER VALLEY MX | COMPLETE COVERAGE

PHOTOS | Swanberg

Another wild afternoon. The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship took to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains for round three of the series and the 2017 Thunder Valley MX. We’ve come to expect almost anything after the handful of motos run earlier in the year, but it was hard to predict what happened after the four gate drops and long races. With one weekend off from action coming up, we’re already eagerly awaiting the next gate drop.

250 Moto One

Alex Martin aced the start of the day’s opening moto and the Troy Lee Designs/GoPro/Red Bull/KTM rider spent the full duration of the holding off the thirty-nine other riders in the field. The gap Martin held over his younger brother-GEICO Honda rider Jeremy Martin, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy, and Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha teammates Mitchell Oldenburg and Aaron Plessinger varied over the duration of the race, but at no point was there a true pass attempt for the top spot. Austin Forkner put in a hard charge from deep in the pack with forceful passes on the competition late in the race and by the checkered flag the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider had worked up to second place. The top four finishers in the moto crossed the line within five seconds of each other at the finish.

A small mistake early in the moto put incoming championship leader Zach Osborne on the ground, but he was able to remount his Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna with no issues and eventually finished eighth in the moto.

Total Race Time | 16 laps, 36:22.762 minutes
Laps Led | Alex Martin – 16
Margin of Victory | 1.440 seconds
Fastest Lap Time | Aaron Plessinger – 2:13.829

250 Moto Two

Joey Savatgy grabbed the holeshot and early lead in the second moto, but came under attack from Aaron Plessinger on the opening lap. The Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider made his successful pass for the top spot very early with an inside line through a flowing turn, but his time at the front was cut short by a crash over a blind jump roughly ten minutes into the race. Multiple riders landed on Plessinger’s downed YZ250F and he was unable to rejoin the race.

With this, Savatgy reclaimed the lead and was later followed by GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin. The two riders pulled away from the rest of the running order over the course of the race and for a while it seemed like a pass for the top spot was going to occur. Lapped riders had an impact on their battle, and that helped Savatgy to just slightly get away in the final moments of the race for the moto win.

Alex Martin was able to back up his moto one win with a fourth place finish in moto two, despite tying Savatgy in points, this gave him second overall on the day as Savatgy’s second moto score was the tie-breaker. Zach Osborne retained the championship lead with a fifth place finish in moto two.

Total Race Time | 16 laps, 36:30.420 minutes
Laps Led | Joey Savatgy – 13, Aaron Plessinger – 3
Margin of Victory | 0.497 seconds
Fastest Lap Time | Aaron Plessinger – 2:15.130 minutes

250 Overall Results & Championship Standings

 

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450 Moto One

A huge pile-up occurred at the exit of the first turn and collected many of the possible front-runners in the race, including Josh Grant, Marvin Musquin, and Blake Baggett. All three riders, plus others, were able to rejoin the race after the crash. Back at the front of the field it was RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Justin Bogle, who worked his way into the top spot after a fall by Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna’s Martin Davalos early in the race. This series of events was perfect for Bogle and for the rest of the moto he controlled the pace with a sizeable lead over the pack. With this, Bogle claimed the first moto win of his career.

There was plenty to see further back in the field, as riders worked to overcome challenges that arose over the course of the race. Eli Tomac’s attempt to catch the leaders came to an end when he caught his leg in a rut and was tossed off his Monster Energy Kawasaki, which later formed a battle between he and Musquin for a position around the top-five. Musquin was able to out duel Tomac in this instance, and even with his first-lap crash, climbed to fourth place at the finish. But that wasn’t the most impressive performance of the moto, because Blake Baggett bested Musquin’s charge by starting the race in roughly thirty-second position and fought to a third place finish.

Cooper Webb technically finished the moto in fourteenth position after a series of issues, but shortly after the race the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Chaparral/Yamaha Financial Services/Yamaha rider was docked eight spots for re-entering the track in an incorrect manner following a stop in the work area.

Total Race Time | 16 laps, 36:30.746 minutes
Laps Led | Justin Bogle – 16
Margin of Victory | 8.642 seconds
Fastest Lap Time | Blake Baggett – 2:14.512 minutes

450 Moto Two

Broc Tickle nabbed the holeshot in the final moto of the day, but was pushed back by fast passes from Blake Baggett and Eli Tomac on the opening lap. Once in the front of the pack, the two riders diced for the top spot through the early portion of the race. Tomac took over the lead with a clean pass, but Baggett was able to reel in, pass, and drop the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider with a stunning pass around the outside of one turn. From that moment on the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM rider was alone at the front and claimed both the moto win and the overall for the day, the first of his career in the 450 class.

Marvin Musquin put in a distant third place finish to the top-two, but with his first moto score, the Red Bull KTM rider tacked two more points onto his championship lead over Tomac.

After winning moto one, Justin Bogle ran in the top-ten for the full length of the race and finished in ninth place. These two scores gave him fourth overall on the day.

Total Race Time | 16 laps, 36:36.433 minutes
Laps Led | Blake Baggett – 9, Eli Tomac – 7
Margin of Victory | 12.172 seconds
Fastest Lap Time | Blake Baggett – 2:15.402 minutes

450 Overall Results & Championship Standings