Feature photo by: Octopi

The 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship went to the mile-high facility in Lakewood, Co. for the 2019 Thunder Valley National. For the second time in three weekend’s, it was HRC / Honda’s Ken Roczen taking the win in the 450MX class and for the third week in a row, Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo won the overall in the 250MX class.

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AC was joined on the 250MX podium by the Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha’s Justin Cooper—2nd for the third week in a row—and Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Michael Mosiman in 3rd—the first podium of his career. In the 450MX class, Roczen was joined by Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac 2nd and Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne (3rd) on the podium.

450 podium from Thunder Valley. Photo by: Octopi

After the racing was over, we gathered numerous quotes from riders about their day at round 3.

Ken Roczen: (1st in 450MX) “I’m stoked to come away with another overall win and to get the red plate back. The first moto was awesome. I’m honestly not sure what happened; the gate just dropped and I was on. I like this track and the ruts, so something just clicked. I could really just make something happen quickly in the first few laps and get away from the pack. It was a good feeling to have a gap and finish the moto not having to worry about everything. The track was a lot gnarlier in the second moto. I led about half the race but then Eli [Tomac] and I had a good battle, then even when he went by I tried to stick right behind him. He obviously gapped me a bit, especially when we started to get into some lappers; there were a few sketchy moments with some of them. I tried my best to stay with him but also didn’t want to risk making too big of a mistake, so I just rode solid to the finish.”

 

Adam Cianciarulo: (1st in 250MX) “I’m so pumped on this overall today, and it wasn’t an easy one by any means. From the crazy weather in Moto 1 to some mistakes and sketchy moments in Moto 2, today was just wild. I’m so happy that we get to carry this red plate to High Point. This team has been working so hard week after week and I think it’s showing in these results.”

 

Eli Tomac: (2nd in 450MX) “It’s always great to come home to Colorado and put my KX™ on the podium for my hometown fans. That first moto ended up being a little tougher than anticipated after a bad start and running into vision issues, but we were able to regroup and get back on top in Moto 2. We’ll take a second place finish for now, but expect to see us back up front making the charge in two weeks and taking that red plate back.”

 

Justin Cooper: (2nd in 250MX) “I have been feeling really good. It was another good win in Moto 1 even though it was cut short. In Moto 2, I came out of the rut and it threw my feet off the bike and I couldn’t get them back on and had to lay it over. I felt strong and was pushing until the end. I did my best today for all that was in my control. The bike and the team were awesome all day and it showed! I feel I definitely proved a lot today and look forward to bringing the heat at the next one. [About AC’s off-track incident] I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. Adam cut that corner and came in behind me. If they’re going to let that slide, there’s really no rules on the table. I saw it and believed I still had the overall, but I wanted to make a statement and go back after him. I don’t think they’re going to let that slide, but if they do, that’s a shame. I earned this one and we’ll see what happens”

 

Zach Osborne: (3rd in 450MX) “It was a pretty solid day. To get third in qualifying and then 2-4 in the motos for third overall, I feel pretty good about it. I feel like I didn’t ride to my peak today but I’m going to work on finding a little bit more speed and continuing to move forward from here.”

AC celebrates his third straight win in ’19. Photo by: Octopi

Michael Mosiman: (3rd in 250MX) “I like this track and I knew I liked it, so I had a good feeling about this weekend. I qualified fourth and that’s where I started to believe I can run with those guys. It was super cool to bring it home for my first-ever podium.”

 

Jason Anderson: (4th in 450MX) “I’m happy to be leaving Colorado with 4-5 finishes, that’s the most points I’ve ever scored here. I’ll move on and try to be better for the next one at High Point.”

 

Dylan Ferrandis: (4th in 250MX) “The conditions were good and the track was actually good, too. We had a little storm during Moto 1 so we had red flag and had to stop before the end. I managed to finish third, but Moto 2 wasn’t good for me. I had a bad start then crashed in the corner before the finish line and lost lots of positions today. We will work again to get ready for High Point in two weeks.”

 

Marvin Musquin: (5th in 450MX) “It was a rough start of the day for the motos and I gave my best to come back to eighth in the first moto. Those guys out front were fast, so to catch more than that, it was difficult. I put myself in a better position to fight for the podium and the win in the second moto. Something clicked a little bit and then my riding was better – I had better lines and better flow. We improved the bike a little bit for the second moto and that was the positive.”

 

Chase Sexton: (5th in 250MX) “We had some long testing days and I think it paid off, I felt a lot better than last week. My starts were not there this weekend. Second moto, I came from last to trying to pass for third but ended up falling over. Then I had to go back to work on [Justin] Cooper, and I think he got a second wind and I did everything I could but I couldn’t get him. Coming from that far back, you spend a lot of energy. Fifth overall is okay, we’re making progress, kind of the same way we started the season in supercross. I feel like I should be battling for wins, and I was up there in the first moto, I mean, I got fifth and was only 3.8 seconds behind the leader! So I can’t be too upset. We’re looking forward to Colorado making a few adjustments on the bike, but not too much.”

250 podium from Thunder Valley. Photo by: Octopi

Cooper Webb: (6th in 450SX) “It was a tough day in Colorado. I struggled a little bit in practice so it was nice to get on the podium in Moto 1. In Moto 2, I made a bike change that wasn’t good at all and I really struggled. It was a tough day but we have two weeks now to try to get better and start the east coast nationals off on a better note.”

 

Colt Nichols: (6th in 250MX) “The conditions varied a lot throughout the day from practice to the downpour in the first moto, and then the second moto had a ton of ruts that were a little stickier from the rain. The first moto was tough because I didn’t get a great start. I had to make a goggle swap and in the second moto I didn’t really have the pace midway through, but I was able to manage a fourth. We will keep working. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

 

Dean Ferris: (8th in 450MX) “Big improvements for me today. I got two reasonably good starts and kind of got pulled along with the big group. We made improvements with the bike. I’m somewhat comfortable now and feel like we’re getting the train on the tracks now for the rest of the season. The conditions were demanding, the track was really rutted and rough as usual, but I liked it. I’m definitely really happy about the improvements we made and the result this weekend. It’s something to build on.”

 

RJ Hampshire: (7th in 250MX) “Felt really good all day and was happy with my bike. First moto I didn’t get a great start and struggled the first couple laps. I hung in there and just started flowing, late in the moto was so much fun. Top 5 finishing within 4 seconds is crazy! I was definitely happy with the second [place finish]. Second moto the gate flinched so a few of us hit the gate. 100 percent, that race should have been red flagged. The whole first lap I was expecting a red flag, and I was not happy that it didn’t come out. So my start was terrible, and then as I was making my way through the pack, AMart [Alex Martin] got sketchy and I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, he smoked me and I ended up going down pretty hard. When we hit he broke my water pump which caused the DNF. A lot of positives from the weekend and could have been a different ending with a red flag. Oh well, heal up and be ready for Colorado!”

 

Justin Barcia: (9th in 450MX) “It was a tough day for me. I went back to Florida this week and came down with some kind of sickness. I don’t really know what it was but I had really bad migraines all week and struggled with that. I didn’t get a lot of sleep. It was difficult. I wasn’t feeling good the first moto at all and unfortunately, it showed. That was really frustrating. In the second moto I felt a little bit better, kind of regrouped, got a little energy and put it all out there. All in all, I was happy with my bike settings and stuff like that. It seems like I’ve been making some progress, but it really hasn’t shown at the moment. I just need to use this off-week coming up to do a little testing, get healthy and go to the East Coast. That’s when I plan on really moving forward and turning it on.”

After struggling to get through the pack in moto 1, Eli Tomac was dominant in moto 2. Photo by: Octopi

Hunter Lawrence: (8th in 250MX) “Bitter sweet weekend here at Fox Raceway. Started off the day solid with third and fourth in the qualifying sessions. First moto had a good start and worked my way into third and then a rock broke my oil filter cap so all the engine oil was draining out and it was dying on the lap just before the accident with Smith happened [Jordon Smith and Lawrence came together and both crashed]. The crash didn’t cause the bike problem, it was already happening, and then it locked up on the downhill where we came together. Lucky to have no injuries. The next moto was cool! Average start from all the way outside and worked my way up to first. I was really feeling it, but I washed the front wheel out and ended up second. Such a big week and I want to give a huge thank you to the team, we rode five days in a row this week, with three big testing days to improve the bike from last weekend, then press day and then race day so it was a big week for us and we are happy to see it pay off in relation to speed and how the bike handled!”

 

Cole Seely: (11th in 450MX) “This weekend definitely went better than the past weekends, but unfortunately it doesn’t really show that in the results. The first moto I felt like I had a really good flow and got into the zone. I started setting good lap times and picking my way through the pack. I went from 10th and almost passed into fourth before I fell over. I kind of knocked the wind out of myself because the bike just stopped in the rut and I went forward into the bars. I managed to get up and finish ninth. In the second moto I definitely didn’t have the same flow. I was just a little off and I think it was a combination of the altitude and being a bit tired from the first race. I just tried to push through it and tried to manage my energy and fight my way through, but I wasn’t able to put together the results I needed. I’m looking forward to continuing to build and get stronger.”

 

Garrett Marchbanks: (11th in 250MX) “This weekend wasn’t my best result, but an overall good learning experience. I was pumped and ready to ride after posting my best finish so far in the 250MX class last weekend, but the bad weather in the first moto gave me some problems and my results suffered a little bit. We’ll get back to work this week, I’m ready to be back in the top-10.”

 

Joey Savatgy: (39th in 450MX) “Today was rough, man. I was really looking forward to this weekend since it was my first race back, but things just didn’t come together like I hoped they would. The entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team and I will work on some things during the off week, I’ll continue to rehab and I just know we will be ready to go for High Point.”

 

Ty Masterpool: (13th in 250MX) “It was a great learning day with a ton of experience gained. I got the holeshot in the first moto and rode smart but ended up sixth. In the second moto I got a top-five start and rode pretty well but then I collided with a rider so I lost around five spots and tweaked my shoulder pretty good. I ended up 13th overall. I’m enjoying the learning process and look to keep moving forward.”

After winning moto 1 for the third straight weekend, a crash while leading in moto 2 handed the overall once again to AC. Photo by: Octopi

Thomas Covington: (16th in 250MX) We had a tough weekend out here. I made a lot of mistakes. I went off the track in the first moto and then I was starting all the way on the outside and had a hard time coming back. I’m really just looking forward to resting up so I can get ready for the next weekend.”

 

Christian Craig: (18th in 250MX) “Overall, I had some good improvement from the first round. Worked my way to sixth in the first moto and felt good. Second moto I got a terrible start but worked my way to around ninth but unfortunately had a second-to-last-lap crash which forced me to lose a couple spots. Would have had a solid overall if I hadn’t crashed but overall I’m happy with my improvements and look forward to next weekend!”

 

Martin Davalos: (19th in 250MX) “I’m pretty disappointed in our results this weekend. I haven’t been to this track in a couple of years and my ribs are still a little sore from my crash at Hangtown, which I feel is hindering my performance right now. I know what I’m capable of and we’ll keep putting in the work. It will be nice to have this week off from racing to fully heal and get us back up where we belong.”