Colorado played host to the third overall winner in three rounds of 250 Pro Motocross competition. The Lucas Oil Championship saw split moto wins between the two powerhouse teams of Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki and Geico Honda, but a new rider emerged a winner from the high-altitude battleground.
The 250 class lined up with big gusts of wind and a smattering of rain threatening to wreak havoc. Colorado’s National lived up to its name as distant lightning and thunder caused a slight delay as the riders went back to the pits to let the squall pass. Eventually the gates dropped and the grudge match between the powerhouse teams resumed.
Eli Tomac put his native Colorado knowledge to use in securing the fastest qualifying time. He would be unable to translate that into moto wins. His teammate, Justin Barcia, leapt out front in Moto 1 and never relinquished the position. Ken Roczen has some experience at the Thunder Valley venue as he dominated the 2010 Motocross des Nations aboard a Suzuki. He raced wire-to-wire in second place aboard his Red Bull KTM 250 SX-F.
Blake Wharton had a good start in third but couldn’t hold off the Frenchman, Marvin Musquin. The factory KTM rider held third until Lap 12 when Monster PC Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett put on his signature late-race charge to the podium. Baggett was unable to move past Roczen.
Barcia jumped out to the lead again in Moto 2 and held it for the early going. He eventually succumbed on Lap 7 when Baggett put his #12 KX250F into the point position. Roczen followed suit three laps later but Barcia was able to regroup and mount an attack in the final laps. The German rider took a Colorado soil sample in the final moments which allowed Barcia to secure second and ensure the overall victory.
“Last weekend was tough on me, but today was awesome,” said Barcia, who last won as a rookie during the 2009 season. “The first moto couldn’t have gone any better and the second moto was good too. I knew what I had to do (in the second moto). I rode my own race a little bit, but then I put on a hard charge at the end. Ken and I may have touched a little bit, but I just kept going.”
Baggett took second overall with 3-1 moto scores and leaves Round 3 with the championship lead ahead of Barcia. Roczen was third and Tomac quietly finished the day in fourth. They hold the same positions in the point standings.
2012 Thunder Valley 250 Motocross Results:
1. Justin Barcia (Honda) 1-2
2. Blake Bagget (Kawasaki) 3-1
3. Ken Roczen (KTM) 2-4
4. Eli Tomac (Honda) 4-3
5. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 5-5
6. Malcolm Stewart (KTM) 8-6
7. Blake Wharton (Suzuki) 6-9
8. Will Hahn (Honda) 10-7
9. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) 9-10
10. Jake Canada (Honda) 7-14
11. Ivan Tedesco (Kawasaki) 14-8
12. Gareth Swanepoel (Yamaha) 13-13
13. Jason Anderson (Suzuki) 12-15
14. Travis Baker (Honda) 16-12
15. Hunter Hewitt (Suzuki) 15-16
2012 AMA Motocross 250 Championship Points:
1. Blake Baggett, 139
2. Justin Barcia, 123
3. Ken Roczen, 120
4. Eli Tomac, 117
5. Marvin Musquin, 84
6. Blake Wharton, 82
7. Will Hahn, 71
8. Kyle Cunningham, 65
9. Jake Canada, 62
10. Ivan Tedesco, 61