Practice Report: Thunder ValleySaturday, June 2, 2012 | 2:00 PM
Round three of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships are taking place today in beautiful Lakewood, CO at the Toyota Thunder Valley National, located not far from downtown Denver. The track was primo today for the practices and the track designers added some new jumps for the racers this year.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart has been perfect so far this season with four moto wins, but right behind him in three of those motos has been Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. We’ve seen some incredible racing so far and after practice, we’re set up for another great battle. In the 250 class Blake Baggett, Eli Tomac, Kenny Roczen and Justin Barcia have been a little above the rest of the field.
Eli Tomac is the fastest 250 qualifier in his home state of Colorado
Simon Cudby photo
Usually the first set of practices are the faster ones and most riders use those times as their personal bests but here in Lakewood the track was pretty smooth for both practices and in the second one, the berms were built up, which enabled some riders to go faster. Remember, the better the time in practice, the better the gate pick for the first motos.
In the 450 class it was the second practice in which Stewart and Dungey were fastest. Stewart stood atop the board with a slightly better time than Dungey. Both riders again showed that they are the class of the field by posting times nearly three seconds better than Stewart’s teammate Bret Metcalfe.
In the 250 class, although he hasn’t spent a lot of time at the Thunder Valley track, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac used his home state advantage to take the top spot on the board. As with the 450s, the second practice times were a little better for most of the guys. As we said at the top of this report, the four riders that separated themselves a bit from the pack in the first two races kept it up here at round three, with Baggett, Barcia and Roczen sitting second, third and fourth fastest in practice. Rockstar Suzuki’s Martin Davalos won’t be racing today due to a crash suffered in practice during the week.
Another race, another Oakley Bomb Award for fast qualifier James Stewart
Simon Cudby photo
In WMX action, Jessica Patterson topped the field by nearly a second. Ashley Fiolek, who pulled out a win in Texas last week despite feeling the effects of food poisoning, wasn’t quite on pace and qualified fourth fastest, roughly three seconds off of Patterson’s best lap. Tarah Gieger and Australian Meghan Rutledge took second and third, respectively.
Jessica Patterson was fastest in WMX qualifying
Simon Cudby photo
All in all, the practice times indicate that it’s going to be another great battle in the 450 class between the top two guys and in the 250 class, we’re starting to see some separation up front. We’re definitely set up for another great day of racing between the two guys and if it’s anything like Freestone last week, buckle up it’s going to be a fun ride.
For a complete look at qualifying times, go here.
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Thunder Valley Practice Times
- James Stewart Suzuki RMZ 450 2:04.221
- Ryan Dungey KTM 450 SX-F 2:04.347
- Jacob Weimer Kawasaki KX 450F 2:06.874
- Brett Metcalfe Suzuki RMZ 450 2:07.041
- Nico Izzi Yamaha YZ 450F 2:07.214
- Justin Brayton Honda CRF450R 2:07.516
- Mike Alessi Suzuki RMZ 450 2:07.670
- Broc Tickle Kawasaki KX 450F 2:07.762
- Vince Friese Suzuki RMZ 450 2:08.206
- Matt Lemoine Kawasaki KX 450F 2:08.339
- Eli Tomac Honda CRF250R 2:06.617
- Blake Baggett Kawasaki KX 250F 2:07.049
- Justin Barcia Honda CRF250R 2:07.438
- Ken Roczen KTM 250 SX-F 2:08.587
- Marvin Musquin KTM 250 SX-F 2:08.788
- Malcolm Stewart KTM 250 SX-F 2:09.257
- Travis Baker Honda CRF250R 2:09.781
- William Hahn Honda CRF250R 2:10.020
- Jason Anderson Suzuki RMZ 250 2:10.450
- Kyle Cunningham Yamaha YZ 250F 2:10.521
- Jessica Patterson Suzuki RMZ 250 2:24.338
- Tarah Gieger Honda CRF250R 2:25.238
- Meghan Rutledge Kawasaki KX 250F 2:25.367
- Ashley Fiolek Honda CRF250R 2:27.316
- Kasie Creson Honda CRF250R 2:30.522
- Jacqueline Strong KTM 250 SX-F 2:32.838
- Mariana Balbi Honda CRF250R 2:32.936
- Sayaka Kaneshiro Honda CRF250R 2:33.118
- Alexah Pearson KTM 250 SX-F 2:36.697
- Sara Pettersson KTM 250 SX-F 2:36.734
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