Irvine, Calif. (June 4, 2012) – At a stormy Round 3 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Thunder Valley MX in Lakewood, Colo., Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jake Weimer finished second overall with a 2-4 moto result. The podium finish advanced Weimer from fourth to second in the 450 Class championship standings. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett held onto the coveted red plate for another weekend and extended his points lead with a 3-1 moto result to secure second overall. His teammate Ivan Tedesco put together a solid ride to finish 11th in the 250 Class with a 14-8 moto result. In the 450 class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Broc Tickle had a tough time in the first moto, but came back with a vengeance in the second moto, grabbing third to finish 11th overall on the weekend.
Finding His Rhythm
Weimer came to Thunder Valley sitting fourth in the championship points and knew he needed to get a podium soon to remain in the hunt for the title. In the first moto he got a great start on his KX™450F and came around the first lap in second place. Although he got shuffled around the first few hectic laps, getting bumped down to fourth at one point, by the seventh lap Weimer had settled back into second. With the chaos behind him, he found his rhythm and clicked off the remaining eight laps to finish second. In Moto 2, Weimer got another great start and came around the first lap in third. He continued to ride with smooth precision the first 20 minutes of the race, but by the 11th lap he started to feel the elevation and fellow Kawasaki rider Tickle was able to slip past him. Weimer held on to fourth until the checkers to secure second overall on the weekend and was bumped from fourth to second in the championship points.
"It felt great landing my first 450 Class outdoor podium," said Weimer. "It was pretty tough out there. After it rained between motos I thought the track was going to be worse, but the rain actually improved the track conditions. I have been feeling a little under the weather the last couple days and the elevation out here seemed to make things even more difficult. Overall, I'm happy with my result, I made progress and that's the name of the game. Now I just want to rest and recover so I am ready to go at High Point next weekend. This week I will also be moving from California back out to Florida for the remainder of the outdoor season."
Eyes on the Prize
Since the Hangtown National, Baggett has been working hard to ensure the coveted red plate stays where it began the season, under the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki tent. In the first moto, Baggett had a rough start and found himself at the back of the pack rounding the first turn. However, he was able to work some magic on his KX™250F and passed more than 25 racers on the first lap. Baggett eventually charged all the way up to third before the checkered flag dropped. In Moto 2, he got a much better start and moved into the lead by the seventh lap of the race. He put a gap on the field and completed the remaining 10 laps uncontested. The moto win left him with second overall and extended his points lead to 16.
"You really have to fight your hardest every moto because you never know what is going to happen out there and every point matters," said Baggett. "In the first moto, I got a good pop off the gate and went to shift to second, but ended up in neutral and lost all my momentum. Even though I was pretty much in last place coming around the first turn, I knew I needed every point I could get so I just started clicking off laps and picking off riders. In the second moto I was able to get a good start and came around the first lap in fifth. A couple laps later I moved into third and it was (Justin) Barcia, (Ken) Roczen, Me and Eli (Tomac) all riding very close and battling it out for the lead. That lasted a few laps, but I was able to get around all of them to take over the lead. I thought I was going to take the overall, with Roczen in second and Barcia in third on the last lap, but a couple turns before the finish Roczen went down which left me with second overall. I'm happy to leave the event with the red plate, it's really important to hang onto that thing to keep a mental advantage over everyone else."
When the series first visited Thunder Valley MX in 2005, Tedesco was the first rider to win the now 250cc class with a perfect 1-1 result. He returned to the venue seven years later, with the same team, hoping to repeat the performance. As he was lining up for the first moto in the 250 Class, storm clouds quickly consumed the skies and began releasing their fury on the course. After the storm passed, he got a decent start inside the top-ten, but had a difficult time on the muddy course and finished in 14th place. In Moto 2, Tedesco got a great start and nearly stole the holeshot. He finished the second moto in eighth place leaving him in 11th overall on the weekend. Tedesco currently sits 10th in the points.
"It was a rough day," said Tedesco. "The first moto was pretty muddy which made things really challenging. I ended up twisting my knee a little in the first moto so I was struggling to finish because it was bugging me. I just had to fight through the pain, but it was really killing me by the end of the moto. During the break between motos I had Doc G work his magic on my knee to reduce the swelling and once he was done I was feeling better and ready to go for the second moto. I got a great start in the second moto, but the rest of the race I just didn't feel like I had the speed I needed. I will just regroup this week and get back after it next weekend at Mt. Morris."
Since the outdoor season began, Tickle has been looking stronger than ever on His KX450F. In the first moto at Thunder Valley he got a good start and came around the first lap in eighth place. He started moving through the pack, but a mechanical issue forced him to pull off the track. In the second moto he got a great start, falling into fourth right behind fellow Kawasaki rider Weimer. He steadily paced Weimer the first 25 minutes of the race and then made his move. Tickle's pass for third stuck and he was able to maintain the position until the finish earning the best moto result of his career. Although he placed 35th in the first moto, his impressive third-place finish in the Moto 2 left him with 11th overall on the weekend. Tickle currently sits ninth in the points standings.
"Today ended well for me," said Tickle. "I got off to a decent start in the first moto, but had to pull off the track early for repairs. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team did a great job of getting my KX450F dialed back in for the second moto. We had a pretty crazy rain storm come through between motos, which made the track better. I got regrouped and headed to the line for Moto 2 with 35th gate pick. I ended up starting on the outside, but ripped a really good start and pulled in behind Jake (Weimer) who was in third. Riding behind Jake I felt really comfortable, it felt more like we were at the practice track. I paced him for a while then eventually made the pass for third. I'm pretty happy with my second moto result and really feel that my hard work is finally beginning to pay off. I'm going to keep the setup on my KX450F the same, it's dialed in perfectly right now for High Point. I'm really looking forward to the next couple races because High Point, Budds Creek and Red Bud are my favorite tracks."
Thunder Valley MX is a beautiful track built into the side of some hills at the foot of the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Early Saturday morning before the racing began the weather was absolutely perfect. The skies were blue, with a few white, puffy clouds on the horizon and temperatures hovering in the low 70's. As the day rolled on, dark clouds began to inundate the sky and temperatures dropped. Just as the 250 Class was lining up for their first moto, the weather went on the attack. Dark clouds brought heavy winds, rain, lightning and thunder. Powerful wind gusts ripped banners and pennants surrounding the track from their foundations and left them scattered around the track. The racing was suspended until the track was cleared of debris and the winds subsided, which lasted about 30 minutes. Just as soon as the powerful storm came it went away and racing resumed.
At more than a mile in elevation, the track at Thunder Valley presents several unique challenges to both the riders and their bikes. For the riders, the thin atmosphere causes fatigue to come faster due to decreased levels of oxygen. The lower pressures also cause the body to lose water faster, requiring riders to drink more water than they would at sea level in order to avoid dehydration and muscle cramping. Bikes are also effected by the reduced levels of oxygen in the air so fuel-injected bikes must be adjusted to achieve maximum performance. Technicians made adjustments to the EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) maps on both the KX250F and KX450F to increase the engine's power output and also changed the gearing to maximize performance.
Next weekend, the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship heads to Round 4 of the series at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pa., on Saturday, June 9. Racers dub the event "Mud Morris" due to the fact that it frequently rains during the event. Catch the first motos live on FUEL TV at 1:00 p.m. EST and the second motos on NBC Sports Network at 5:00 p.m. EST.
2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship – Round 3 of 12
Thunder Valley MX – Lakewood, Colo.
June 2, 2012
450 Class Results
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-1)
2. JAKE WEIMER, RUPERT, IDAHO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (2-4)
3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (7-2)
4. Nico Izzi, Rochester, Mich., Yamaha (5-5)
5. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki (3-10)
6. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki (4-9)
7. Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Honda (9-6)
8. Michael Byrne, Rockhampton, Australia, Suzuki (12-7)
9. Billy Laninovich, Temecula, Calif., Honda (11-8)
10. KYLE CHISHOLM, VALRICO, FLA., JWR KAWASAKI (10-11)
11. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (35-3)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 136
2. JAKE WEIMER, RUPERT, IDAHO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 101
3. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 100
4. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 100
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 97
6. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki, 84
7. JOSH GRANT, RIVERSIDE, CALIF., JWR KAWASAKI, 73
8. Nico Izzi, Rochester, Mich., Yamaha, 71
9. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 63
10. KYLE CHISHOLM, VALRICO, FLA., JWR KAWASAKI, 50
250 Class Results
1. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (1-2)
2. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (3-1)
3. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM (2-4)
4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (4-3)
5. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (5-5)
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., KTM (8-6)
7. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki (6-9)
8. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda (10-7)
9. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Yamaha (9-10)
10. Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda (7-14)
11. IVAN TEDESCO, ALBURQUERQUE, N.M., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (14-8)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 139
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda, 123
3. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 120
4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 117
5. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM, 84
6. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki, 82
7. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 71
8. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Yamaha, 65
9. Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda, 62
10. IVAN TEDESCO, ALBURQUERQUE, N.M., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 61