2017 Thunder Valley Motocross Results and Coverage |
Musquin Extends 450MX Series Lead
It was another topsy-turvy day in the 2017 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series at Thunder Valley Park west of Denver. There were two first-time 450MX moto winners—Justin Bogle (RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing) and Blake Baggett (Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM). Series leader Marvin Musquin (Red Bull/KTM) put in two consistent motos to increase his lead over challenger Eli Tomac (Monster Energy/Kawasaki) by two points. Baggett closed to just two points behind Tomac in the championship chase.
450MX Moto 1
Moto 1 was a torrid affair, with Martin Davalos (Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna Factory Racing) grabbing the holeshot. However, time at the front was short for the Ecuadorian, as he went down on the first lap, with Bogle inheriting the lead. Davalos’ teammate Jason Anderson was in hot pursuit, along with Justin Barcia (Autotrader/Monster Energy/Suzuki).
Bogle’s teammate Broc Tickle was in fourth place early, followed by a surging Tomac and Cole Seely (Team Honda HRC). On Lap 2 (of 16), Tomac and Seely went by Tickle, and Tomac started pressuring Barcia for third place. Barcia hung tough, but at the eight-minute mark in the race, Tomac passed Barcia on a deeply rutted high-speed straight.
Bogle and Anderson began pulling away from Tomac ten minutes in, and were safe in their 1-2 positions for the rest of the moto.
Twelve minutes in, Tomac had his left foot pulled of the peg in a rutted corner, causing him to go down. As Tomac remounted and tried to kickstart his KX450F, Seely and Barcia went by, putting Tomac in sixth place. Musquin, who was recovering from a first corner incident that also involved Josh Grant (Monster Energy/Kawasaki) and Baggett, joined the fray right behind Tomac.
By the halfway point, Tomac distanced himself from Musquin, and was looking to re-pass Tickle for fifth. As Tomac engaged Tickle, Musquin closed the gap on his rival. Meanwhile, Bogle was the fastest rider on the track and checking out.
With just over ten minutes remaining on the clock, Tomac and Musquin went by Tickle. Barcia was next in line, running in fourth, and Tomac battled with Barcia. When Tomac and Barcia nearly collided, Musquin slipped by both riders. Barcia parked Tomac in a turn, keeping Tomac in sixth place and giving Musquin some breathing room in fourth behind Seely.
Tomac went by Barcia with just less than seven minutes remaining when Barcia made an error. Baggett passed Barcia 30 seconds later using an unorthodox line on the left-hand corner berm after a small jump. Thirty seconds later, Baggett blew by Tomac to move into fifth place.
As the clock wound down to five minutes remaining in Moto 1, Baggett caught up to Musquin, who he hadn’t seen since the first corner pileup. Baggett and Musquin battled for a full minute, with Baggett putting the pass on Musquin using the same line he had used earlier on Barcia.
With three minutes remaining, Baggett was seven seconds behind a flagging third-place Seely. It took Baggett just three minutes to close the gap to just one second as time ran out and the two-lap flag was being readied.
Before the penultimate lap, Baggett flew past Seely for third, and put in a lap four seconds faster than second-place Anderson. On the penultimate lap, Musquin took fourth from Seely, who is still recovering from a hip injury. Farther back, Barcia passed a fading Tomac for sixth place.
While Bogle showboated on the final lap with a 12-second lead, Baggett continued to close on Anderson. Anderson, who suffered two DNFs the previous year at the near-6000-foot elevation Thunder Valley Park due to altitude sickness, held on to second place by 2.7 seconds over Baggett. Musquin was another ten seconds back in fourth place, followed by Seely who was another four seconds adrift. Barcia was ten seconds behind Seely, with seventh place Tomac two seconds back of Barcia.
Five minutes into the moto, Cooper Webb (Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha) found himself in the pits with an undiagnosed bike issue after running seventh. He rejoined the race and crossed the finish line in 14th place. However, Webb was penalized eight positions for cutting the course, putting him out of the Moto 1 points.
450MX Moto 2
Tickle grabbed the holeshot in Moto 2, but was quickly passed by Baggett. Tomac and Barcia were part of the leading group on the first lap, with Tomac emerging in the lead with Baggett in second. The two leaders quickly gapped the field, with Bogle and Tickle fighting over fourth place behind Barcia.
Musquin was mired in 9th, while Anderson moved past Bogle and Tickle to take fourth place. As Musquin moved up to sixth place just four minutes into the race, Moto 1 winner Bogle was sliding backward through the field. Bogle eventually finished in ninth place, dropping him out of the overall podium.
Tomac held a two-second lead for most of the first 15 minutes of Moto 2, with Baggett often closing on the first half of the track and Tomac responding on the remainder of the Thunder Valley course.
Farther back, Musquin worked his way up to third place, passing Barcia and Anderson in a 20-second span on Lap 4 (of 16). Musquin held the position for the remainder of Moto 2.
At the halfway point, Baggett made a charge on Tomac. The two battled for the lead for two minutes, with Baggett repeatedly showing Tomac a wheel. Finally, with 13:30 on the clock, Baggett got past Tomac on the same outside berm line Baggett used repeatedly in Moto 1 for passing.
Baggett immediately gapped Tomac and built a 4.6-second lead in less than three minutes. Baggett expanded his lead for the remainder of the race, while Tomac ran a lonely second ahead of Musquin, who was also unchallenged.
With the podium settled, Webb, Grant, and Anderson were going at it for fourth place. As the clock expired, Webb passed Grant for fourth. However, Webb quickly ran off the track, letting Grant and Anderson by.
On the penultimate lap, Webb used the whoop section after the finish line to re-pass Grant. Webb then took fourth from Anderson, leaving Anderson and Grant to fight over fifth.
As Grant and Anderson were battling, they were gaining on Webb. Anderson had a disastrous final lap, dropping eight seconds behind Grant for a sixth place finish. Grant couldn’t quite catch fourth-place Webb, who was almost three seconds ahead at the checkered flag.
Baggett, Tomac, and Musquin made up the podium in that order, and they were the only riders with a winning pace. All three had a fastest lap time in the 2:15s, with no other riders able to drop into the 2:16s.
Baggett’s 12-second win, coupled with his come from behind third place in Moto 1, gave him his first 450MX moto win and his first overall win in the class. Musquin (4-3) was a distant second overall, scoring just 38 points to Baggett’s 45-point total. Anderson (2-6) and Bogle (1-9) both scored 37 points, with Anderson winning the tiebreaker (best Moto 2 finish) and securing the final podium spot. Tomac (7-2) tallied 36 points, putting him in fifth overall.
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series takes a week off before reconvening competition at the High Point National at Mt. Morris, Penn. on June 17.
2017 Thunder Valley Motocross Results
- Blake Baggett, KTM, 3-1
- Marvin Musquin, KTM, 4-3
- Jason Anderson, Husqvarna, 2-6
- Justin Bogle, Suzuki, 1-9
- Eli Tomac, Kawasaki, 7-2
- Cole Seely, Honda, 5-10
- Dean Wilson, Husqvarna, 9-7
- Broc Tickle, Suzuki, 8-8
- Justin Barcia, Suzuki, 6-12
- Martin Davalos, Husqvarna, 10-11
- Cooper Webb, Yamaha, 22-4
- Weston Peick, Suzuki, 12-13
- Josh Grant, Kawasaki, 38-5
- Fredrik Noren, Honda, 11-15
- Dakota Alix, KTM, 13-14
- Heath Harrison, Yamaha, 15-16
- Brandon Scharer, Yamaha, 14-17
- Zack Williams, Honda, 18-18
- Josh Mosiman, Husqvarna, 16-31
- Ronnie Stewart, Suzuki, 17-22
2017 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series Standings (after 3 of 12 rounds)
- Marvin Musquin, 127 points (1 moto win)
- Eli Tomac, 110 (2 moto wins)
- Blake Baggett, 108 (1 moto win)
- Jason Anderson, 93 (1 moto win)
- Justin Bogle, 86 (1 moto win)
- Dean Wilson, 84
- Cole Seely, 81
- Broc Tickle, 79
- Josh Grant, 76
- Justin Barcia, 69
- Weston Peick, 63
- Cooper Webb, 57
- Martin Davalos, 52
- Fredrik Noren, 46
- Christian Craig, 37
- Dakota Alix, 32
- Heath Harrison, 23
- Justin Hoeft, 17
- Brandon Scharer, 13
- Dillan Epstein, 12