Foothill Ranch, CA (June 4, 2017) – Round 3 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship kicked off Saturday morning at the scenic Thunder Valley Motocross Park in Lakewood, Colorado. The Colorado native, Eli Tomac raced to a fifth place overall finish, with teammate Josh Grant in 13th.
Fans filled the mountainside as the gate dropped on 450MX Moto 1. Tomac came around Turn 1 in seventh, while Grant was involved in a first turn crash with multiple riders. Tomac quickly put his KX™450F into the top three before going down at the bottom of the hill at the mid point of the race. Tomac would remount quickly inside the top 10 and began to climb back through the competition, while Grant was moving forward in an incredible rate, passing 27 riders by the halfway point of the race. Tomac would make a few more mistakes throughout the race and end up finishing seventh. Unfortunately after a crash, Grant would retire early from the race while running 11th.
Tomac came out swinging in Moto 2 putting his Kawasaki out front early with Grant in eighth. Grant seemed to find a few smooth lines around the rutted and rough Thunder Valley race track that allowed him to his way up to finish fifth in Moto 2. Tomac would eventually slip to second place later in the race where he'd remain until the finish. His 7-2 moto score gave him fifth overall and moved Tomac within 17 points of the championship lead.
Eli Tomac 3
"Not quite the day we wanted," said Tomac. "After some bad luck in Moto 1, I got a great start in the second moto but struggled to find smooth lines and ended up getting passed and finishing second. We'll work hard over the weekend off and will be ready for the east coast tracks.”
Josh Grant 33
"I had some bad luck today," said Grant. "I felt really good all day in qualifying and knew I had the speed to be on the podium, but unfortunately I had some bad luck in the first moto and just wasn't able to fully recover for Moto 2."
The start of Moto 1 of the 250MX class saw Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo third, Joey Savatgy fifth, Forkner eighth and Hill 14th. On Lap 2, Cianciarulo tipped over in a deep rutted corner and would remount in seventh. Savatgy began catching the front-runners early in the moto and the top four would begin battling for 20 long minutes. Forkner caught a second wind near the end of the first moto and began passing riders like they were standing still. With two laps to go he'd make the pass on his teammate for second place where he'd finish when the checkered flag came out. Savatgy would end up fourth, Cianciarulo fifth and Hill 14th.
Savatgy stole the show in Moto 2 as he pulled his first holeshot of the year on his KX™250F, with Forkner in sixth, Cianciarulo ninth and Hill 11th. Savatgy would have the stand-out ride he's been looking for by leading every lap to his first victory of the 2017 motocross season. Savatgy's 4-1 finish gave him first overall and became the first back-to-back winner in the 250MX class at Thunder Valley. Forkner put in another great race finishing third, for fourth overall, while Hill grabbed a top 10 finish in the second moto, going 17-7 for 11th overall. Troubles in Moto 2 for Cianciarulo would force him to retire early from the race and finish 14th overall.
Joey Savatgy 17
"This win is a huge relief," said Savatgy. "I really like the track here in Colorado because it's got a great flow and suites me and my KX250F well. I needed to prove to myself I could still win. Getting this done lifts a huge weight off my shoulders. It almost feels like my first win again."
Austin Forkner 24
"We made a lot of progress today," said Forkner. "I believe I had the speed to win if I had gotten better starts. I've been putting the work in during the week and I believe that showed late in both motos where I made the majority of my passes. I'm looking forward to building off of this and hopefully get a win soon."
Justin Hill 46
"Not the worst day at Thunder Valley," said Hill. "The first moto was tough for me but luckily I was able to salvage some points after a bad start. The second moto was better with a top 10 start and I finally found a groove which is good and something to build off."
Adam Cianciarulo 36
"I felt really good in the first moto aside from a small tip over at the start,” said Cianciarulo. “The second moto felt good up until the halfway point, but you have to take the good with the bad and I know the team is putting in 110% and I've got a lot of confidence in them. Aside from that I think there are a lot of positives to take out of today."