Lakewood, Colo. - June 3, 2018 - Justin Barcia took his team to a sixth-place finish, while teammate Alex Ray continued to improve with a top-15 overall on Saturday for Round 3 of the 2018 AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Lakewood, Colorado.
After qualifying third earlier in the day, Barcia powered his YZ450F off the line to capture the holeshot in 450MX Moto 1. He led for the first ten minutes in a great battle with series points leader Eli Tomac, but a red flag came out and sent everyone back to the starting line. Barcia started fourth in the second gate drop and was challenging for third when he washed the front end and went down. He quickly re-mounted and worked his way back up to finish fifth in Moto 1. Alex Ray, in the meantime, started off just inside the top-20 and worked his way up to 16th before the red flag came out. After the re-start, Ray got a much better jump and finished strong in 12th place.
In Moto 2, Barcia grabbed the holeshot once again and led the first two laps before taking a pretty rough crash on lap three. He got up and regrouped to ultimately finish sixth in Moto 2. Ray got off to a good start but experienced an unfortunate mishap with his brake lever on the opening lap. After making a stop in the mechanic's area, Ray returned to the track and pushed hard all the way to the checkers to salvage 35th in Moto 2.
Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing Team's Justin Cooper earned his first-career 250MX moto win at Thunder Valley aboard the YZ250F and he went on to capture third overall with 1-8 moto finishes for the day.
Jim Perry - Team Manager
"The team worked really hard over the past couple of months to bring an engine package to the high elevation here in Colorado and it showed - Justin Barcia got two great starts on the YZ450F. It was a good day but it definitely seems like we let a solid finish get away from us. We'll regroup after the weekend off and work hard to finish on the podium at High Point."
Justin Barcia, 450MX #51 (Moto 1 = 5th / Moto 2 = 6th/ Overall = 6th)
"It was a very frustrating day. The first moto I got the holeshot and was feeling insanely good in the lead before they red-flagged the race. I didn't get the best jump in the re-start and ended up falling down, so it was a tough pill to swallow because I felt like I could have won that first moto. It's going to be a tough week off just thinking about what I "coulda-shoulda-woulda" done but it's definitely good motivation to go into High Point and get back to where I belong. I've shown people that I obviously have the speed and the fitness, I just need to put it all together. It was a difficult day but all in all we'll take the positives and in two weeks we'll be at High Point to try again."
Alex Ray, 450MX #91 (Moto 1 = 12th / Moto 2 = 35th/ Overall = 15th)
"I had some good moments today. I qualified 11th, which is awesome and I got a pretty good start in the first moto. The restart actually helped me out and I got 12th in the first moto, which I figured was awesome. In the second moto, I got a good start again but unfortunately had a mishap where my brake lever got bent under my bike so I started a lap down. All-in-all, I didn't quit and I'm moving forward into High Point feeling good.”
450MX Results - Thunder Valley
1. Eli Tomac - Kawasaki, (1-1)
2. Ken Roczen - Honda, (2-2)
3. Blake Baggett - KTM, (3-3)
6. Justin Barcia - Yamaha, (5-6)
15. Alex Ray - Yamaha, (12-35)
250MX Results - Thunder Valley
1. Jeremy Martin - Honda, (2-1)
2. Alex Martin - KTM, (3-2)
3. Justin Cooper - Yamaha, (1-8)
6. Aaron Plessinger - Yamaha, (6-4)
450MX Standings - After Round 3 of 12
1. Eli Tomac, 150 points
2. Marvin Musquin, 122
3. Justin Barcia, 104
250MX Standings - After Round 3 of 12
1. Jeremy Martin, 129 points
2. Aaron Plessinger, 121
3. Alex Martin, 116
4. Zach Osborne, 105
5. Justin Cooper, 98
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