LAKEWOOD, Colo. (June 25, 2011) – The scenic Thunder Valley MX Park welcomed a huge crowd on Saturday as the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship hosted its fifth round of the season. The Toyota Trucks Thunder Valley National was won by Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s, of Belle Plaine, Minn., who took his first overall victory of the year in the 450 Class. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett, of Grand Terrace, Calif., raced to his third overall win in five rounds with a sweep of the day’s motos in the 250 Class.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., started the day with a dominant victory in the opening 450 Class moto. Dungey followed in second while TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing rider Chad Reed, of Australia, finished third, setting the stage for a three-way battle for the overall win.
In Moto 2, Reed grabbed the holeshot, with both Dungey and Villopoto closely in tow. Both Dungey and Reed engaged in battle for the lead through the first three laps, before Dungey made his move into the top spot. Villopoto got by Reed just one lap later and proceeded to challenge Dungey for first, and what would eventually be the overall win. The two paced one another, with nearly identical times for several laps, before Dungey eventually pulled away for the victory.
“It was good to come away with a win,” said Dungey. “We’ve been looking for one for a while this season. I never felt like anything was missing, we just needed to put it together. I try to go out and give it my all every weekend. It’s not a matter of aggression. You need to be there in the beginning, or the guys will get away from you.”
Despite tying Dungey in points for the day, Villopoto missed out on his second victory of the season by virtue of the second moto tiebreaker.
“The track was tough,” said Villopoto. “But that was the best second moto I’ve had all year. Ryan (Dungey) was riding well. He was strong on one side of the track and I was faster on the other. We played cat and mouse, but he gained some time on me at the end.”
Reed completed the podium in third (3-3), but still maintains the championship lead in the 450 Class standings.
“I was the third best guy (today),” said Reed. “I’m happy to be honest. This is a tough track for me and I just felt a little off today. I think you learn more on your off days when you get beat. And that’s what happened today. We need to make some improvements, and I think I know where we need to make those.”
As the gates dropped on Moto 1 of the 250 Class, Baggett positioned himself in the top five, and crossed the line in fourth place. From there, he worked his way through the field, and moved into the lead on Lap 7, before pulling away from his competitors. In the final moto, Baggett capitalized on a strong start, and moved into the lead prior to the completion of the opening lap. Once out front, he never looked back and now leads the division in overall wins.
“I didn’t think it was going to be my day after practice,” said Baggett. “The bike just never felt good. I went into the race open minded and once the laps wound down, I just kind of began to get more comfortable and kept it going from there.”
Baggett’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Dean Wilson, of Scotland, finished second (2-2), while GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, of Cortez, Colo., rounded out the podium in third at his hometown track (3-3). By virtue of his runner-up effort, Wilson moved into the 250 Class points lead.
“My day was really good,” said Wilson. “I got tight in the first moto, but still rode well. In the second moto, I just had a hard time getting around guys early. I felt great though. I just need to get up front a little faster. I’m pumped on points lead. I was bummed that I lost it. I just need to keep the ball rolling.”
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship reaches the halfway point next weekend with Round 6 of the 2011 season. RedBud, in Buchanan, Mich., will host the Rockstar Energy RedBud National on Saturday, July 2, beginning at 1 p.m. EST.
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship
Toyota Trucks Thunder Valley National
Thunder Valley MX Park – Lakewood, Colo.
June 25, 2011
Round 5 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (2-1)
- Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki (1-2)
- Chad Reed, Kurri Kurri, Australia, Honda (3-3)
- Kevin Windham, Baton Rouge, La., Honda (4-4)
- Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM (7-8)
- Tommy Hahn, Great Bend, Kan., Yamaha (11-5)
- Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki (9-7)
- Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (6-15)
- Jake Canada, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki (10-13)
- Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha (14-10)
450 Class Championship Standings
- Chad Reed, Kurri Kurri, Australia, Honda – 223
- Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 215
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 202
- Kevin Windham, Baton Rouge, La., Honda – 148
- Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha – 145
- Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki – 144
- Ricky Dietrich, Snohomish, Wash., Yamaha – 109
- Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM – 102
- Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki – 100
- Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 97
250 Class (Moto Finish)
- Blake Baggett, Redlands, Calif., Kawasaki (1-1)
- Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Kawasaki (2-2)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (3-3)
- Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda (4-6)
- Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki (5-5)
- Ryan Sipes, Louisville, Ky., Yamaha (15-4)
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (13-7)
- Travis Baker, Temecula, Calif., Honda (10-10)
- Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda (9-12)
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (11-13)
250 Class Championship Standings
- Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Kawasaki – 214
- Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki – 206
- Blake Baggett, Redlands, Calif., Kawasaki – 194
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 176
- Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda – 137
- Kyle Cunningham, Irving, Texas, Yamaha – 127
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki – 113
- Gareth Swanepoel, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha – 106
- Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda – 94
- Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 89