2013 Thunder Valley AMA Motocross | Preview

2013 AMA Motocross Championship

Following complete domination in the AMA Supercross Championship, Ryan Villopoto kept his rhythm going into the first round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross at Hangtown.

Villopoto, who earned the past three AMA SX titles, doubled last weekend at Hangtown. The 2011 MX Champion is looking for redemption in the outdoor series considering he was forced to miss all of 2012 due to injury.

The Kawasaki KX-F 450 rider was joined on the podium by one of his biggest challengers in 2013 Supercross – Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey – and Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart.

These three riders, along with Muscle Milk Honda’s Trey Canard and Justin Barcia, are expected to be the top riders in 2013 AMA Pro Motocross. And the intense battles will continue this weekend as the 12-round series heads to Lakewood, Colo., for the Thunder Valley Motocross Nationals.

Although Villopoto will be the heavy favorite, the reigning MX Champion Dungey will put his experience to work at Thunder Valley MX Park. The KTM SX-F 450 rider has won at the track three times, including last year’s round en route to the title.

Stewart, who is leading the race for the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Holeshot Award of $25,000 at year’s end, was victorious at Thunder Valley, taking the 2007 and 2008 wins.

Besides the Muscle Milk Honda duo of Canard and Barcia putting in a big fight, there will also be some other front runners at Thunder Valley, including Smartop/MotoConcepts Mike Alessi, Joe Gibbs Racing Yamaha’s Josh Grant, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Ryan Sipes, Lucas Oil Troy Lee Honda’s Malcolm Stewart and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson.

Ken Roczen, the 2011 MX2 Grand Prix Champion, opened the season in a big way, securing his first career 250 Class victory at the Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic. The Red Bull KTM rider battled with teammate Marvin Musquin, Eli Tomac and defending 250 Class champion Blake Baggett, but Roczen proved to be the dominant force with a (1-1) sweep, MX Sports says.

GEICO Honda’s Tomac also put himself into contention for the lead in both motos, trading lead positions with Baggett, Musquin and even teammate Zach Osborne early on. Tied with Baggett for second place in the current standings, Tomac heads into his home state of Colorado this weekend with an even bigger desire to take over the number one spot, MX Sports says.

Last season at Thunder Valley in the 250 Class, Justin Barcia emerged victorious with (1-2) moto scores. Barcia’s full-time move to the 450 Class this season leaves 2011 Thunder Valley champion Blake Baggett as the only past winner to remain in the division, increasing the chances of a potential first-time event winner in Colorado, MX Sports says.

Since becoming part of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in 2005, Thunder Valley MX Park has grown to be one of the series’ most popular stops. With its mile-high elevation and sprawling layout, Thunder Valley presents one of the most unique challenges for both the riders and their teams. The thin mountain air robs bikes of power while also testing a rider’s endurance. It is a one-of-a-kind combination that is only found at Thunder Valley and each year, it is one of the race’s most prominent storylines. Additionally, its picturesque setting and hillside location make it one of the best venues for fans, with incredible sight lines from any point on the track, MX Sports says.

2013 Thunder Valley AMA Motocross TV Schedule:

NBC Sports Network will provide live broadcast cover of Moto1 in the Thunder Valley AMA Motocross National at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday, May 25. The second moto will follow live on FUEL TV at 5 p.m. EDT.

2013 AMA Motocross 450 Class Championship Standings (after one of 12 rounds):
1. Ryan Villopoto, Seattle, Wash., Kawasaki, 50
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM,44
3. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki,40
4. Trey Canard, Oklahoma City, Okla., Honda,36
5. Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 32
6. Ryan Sipes, Elizabethtown, Ky., Suzuki, 27
7. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 26
8. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 24
9. Tyla Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki, 24
10. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki, 21

2013 AMA Motocross 250 Class Championship Standings:
1. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 50
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 42
3. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 42
4. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM, 36
5. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Honda, 28
6. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha, 27
7. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki, 24
8. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 22
9. Joseph Savatgy, Cairo, Ga. KTM, 21
10. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 20

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