words – Bayo/Lutes
photos – Kinman

The Thunder Valley National jumped off for its second night race in AMA Motocross history, and with the weather’s cooperation and an impressive track prep, the crowd in attendance and the live TV audience were treated to exciting racing. Better yet, we were treated to first-time class winners in both the 450 and 250 classes. Miss it on the tele? Read on…

250 MOTO ONE

Christophe Pourcel rocketed to the first moto holeshot aboard his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, but after only a few turns, he nearly flew off the track on a big drop off.  Behind the Frenchman were two riders having some excellent performances; Pourcel's teammate, Jake Weimer, and Division 7/Star
Racing/Yamaha's Broc Tickle. Following the top three were Geico Powersports Honda teammates Blake Wharton and Brett Metcalfe in fourth and fifth, with Boost Mobile/ampm/Monster/KTM rider, Max Anstie.

Buried way back in the pack was Pourcel's series rival, Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Ryan Dungey.  Also far back in the pack was rookie sensation Justin Barcia on his Geico Powersports/Honda, who paired up with Dungey as the duo pushed their way through the pack, picking up rider after rider on their way towards the front.

Running in fifth and sixth place, Metcalfe and Muscle Milk/MDK/KTM rider, Tommy Searle had an excellent battle going with Monster Energy/Pro Cicuit/Kawasaki's Tyla Rattray not far behind.  Out front Pourcel continued to ride mistake free as he continued to increase his lead, with, Weimer and Tickle only a few seconds off the pace.

As the laps began to wind down, Dungey, having worked his way far up the pack, had closed on Rattray in seventh.  After hounding the South African for about two laps, he finally made the pass and looked like a man on a mission to regain precious championship points.  With two laps remaining, Dungey had caught up to and passed Brett Metcalfe and immediately went to work on Searle, but simply ran out of time.

Pourcel took another commanding first moto win ahead of Weimer and Tickle, with a unofficial career best moto finish.

1.    Christophe Pourcel
2.    Jake Weimer
3.    Broc Tickle
4.    Blake Wharton
5.    Tommy Searle
6.    Ryan Dungey
7.    Brett Metcalfe
8.   Tyla Rattray
9.    Justin Barcia
10.  Darryn Durham

250 MOTO TWO

The start of the second moto saw Muscle Milk/MDK/KTM's Martin Davalos take the holeshot followed closely by Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawsaki's Jake Weimer. Meanwhile, Weimer's teammate Christophe Pourcel got stuck in the gate while Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Ryan Dungey suffered a bad start and was buried back in roughly 10th position. Before the first lap was completed, first moto runner-up Weimer took over the top spot, while Justin Barcia moved into second, pushing Davalos back to third. Behind the front-ruinners, Pourcel and Dungey were working hard to catch up, and by the end of the opening laps, both were closing quickly on the top-10 with Pourcel making the biggest advancement after starting back in dead last. With three laps in the books, Barcia managed to take over the top position from Weimer. From there, Barcia began to open up a slight lead with Weimer holding down second while Davalos dropped back a couple positions, allowing his teammate Tommy Searle to take over third while Geico Powersports/Honda's Brett Metcalfe moved into fourth.
As the laps clicked away, Weimer began to close on Barcia out front until finally making a pass on the young Honda rider down one of Lakewood's numerous hills. With that, Weimer opened up a slight gap over second. Meanwhile Dungey and Pourcel—who had been following each other through the pack—had worked their way up to fifth and seventh respectively. After that, a fierce battle began between Dungey, Metcalfe, Searle, and Pourcel for third, and by the end of the race, Dungey had taken over fourth with Pourcel in sixth. When the checkers flew, Weimer took the win and overall followed by Barcia in second, Searle in third, and Dungey fourth.

1. Jake Weimer
2. Justin Barcia
3. Tommy Searle
4. Ryan Dungey
5. Brett Metcalfe
6. Christophe Pourcel
7. Matt Lemoine
8. Broc Tickle
9. Tyla Rattray
10. Martin Davalos

MOTOCROSS MOTO ONE

Ivan Tedesco nabbed the holeshot on his Red Bull Honda, followed very closely by Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Mike Alessi who chose to ride despite his fractured knee cap.  That decision proved perhaps not be in his best interest as he was taken down after only a few turns, causing him some pain to the point that he needed help remounting, although he eventually pulled off.

But out front it was all Hot Sauce, as the Honda rider certainly turned the heat up and pushed to open up about an eight second lead.  Tedesco's teammate, Andrew Short, who did not have the best of starts had worked his way up to second by the ten minute mark.  Following behind the lead Red Bull riders were three Aussies in a row, Lucas Oils/TLD/Honda's Jake Moss, and Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's teammates Michael Byrne and Chad Reed.

Josh Grant, another rider with a poor start, had worked his way up to sixth on his Toyota/JGR/Yamaha.  At the halfway mark, though, Grant picked off another rider, Byrne, on his charge toward the front.  Putting in a very impressive ride was Jake Moss, with his best performance of the year running in third place and at times was pressuring Short for second.  Running behind the top four were Grant, Byrne, Canidae/Motosport/Kawasaki's Tommy Hahn, and Lucas Oils/TLD/Honda's Chris Blose.

In the closing laps Reed, the current points leader, began to close on Moss in an effort to maintain his points lead over Short.  However, Moss was not ready to give up his position so quickly and held off his elder statesman for several laps before relinquishing third place.

Out front, Tedesco looked strong, smooth, and confident as he rounded the course.  In the final lap, he continued to charge and really seemed to finally be coming into his own as a 450 rider.  At the finish, Hot Sauce claimed his first ever moto win.

1.    Ivan Tedesco
2.    Andrew Short
3.    Chad Reed
4.    Jake Moss
5.    Josh Grant
6.    Michael Byrne
7.    Tommy Hahn
8.    Chris Blose
9.    Kyle Summers
10.    Jimmy Albertson

MOTOCROSS MOTO TWO

With holeshot artist Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Mike Alessi electing to sit out the second moto due to his knee injury, first moto winner Red Bull Honda's Ivan Tedesco took the holeshot with his teammate Andrew Short close behind, Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Michael Byrne third, Canidae/Kawasaki's Tommy Hahn fourth, and Monster Energy Kawsaki's Ricky Dietrich fifth. As the first lap unfolded, Tedesco and Short began a close battle for the lead, however, by the completion of the first lap, Tedesco has opened up a relatively comfortable lead over Short.
As the laps went by, Tedesco's lead began to grow just like it did in the first moto. Short sat in second while Hahn managed to pass Byrne to take over third. From there, things remained relatively calm up front. Meanwhile, current points leader Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Chad Reed was attempting to work his way up from eighth after suffering from a poor start. With roughly 10 minutes remaining in the race, Hahn began to inch closer on Short and pressure the Honda rider for second. A few laps later, Hahn made a pass on Short in a long sweeper turn. After that, Hahn began to open up a small margin over Short, however, it didn't last long as Short managed to close back up on Hahn and retake the runner-up position. When the raced wrapped up, Tedesco crossed the line first followed by Short in second, Hahn third, Byrne fourth, and JGR/Yamaha's Josh Grant fifth. The overall win went to double moto winner Tedesco. It was the Red Bull Honda rider's first-ever Motocross class victory.

1. Ivan Tedesco
2. Andrew Short
3. Tommy Hahn
4. Michael Byrne
5. Josh Grant
6. Ricky Dietrich
7. Chad Reed
8. Cody Cooper
9. Jimmy Albertson
10. Kyle Summers