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Thunder Valley National Spoiler Report

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After a tough year of coming so close to victory so many times, Ryan Dungey finally sealed the deal and grabbed a solid 2-1 overall win at the Toyota Trucks Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, Colorado. Better yet, he did it with a straight-up win over Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship rivals Ryan Villopoto and Chad Reed, holding both at bay all the way to the end of a second-moto battle to notch his first overall win of the motocross season.

Those three riders are so close in pace this season that even the little things make a difference. In the first moto, Villopoto dropped the hammer early and passed holeshot artist Christian Craig to take the lead, leaving Reed and Dungey behind. Dungey finally made it into second, but by then it was too late to do anything with Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Villopoto’s lead. TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing's Reed was a distant and frustrating third in the first moto like he was last week at Budds Creek.

However, Reed bounced back strong  last week in the second moto, and he was set to do that again when he grabbed the holeshot. Honda’s Kevin Windham was there, too, and Dungey and Villopoto were ready for battle as well. Dungey moved to second and pressured Reed, then Reed made a mistake and Dungey slipped by. This time Reed didn’t have the second-moto magic, and Villopoto got by him and went after Dungey.

For nearly the entire race, the Ryans kept their 450s pinned and the gap never grew larger than five seconds. But Dungey answered every challenge from Villopoto and held on for the win, and the overall via 2-1 scores. Reed took 3-3- for the day, ahead of Windham’s 4-4 and Andrew Short’s 7-8 which was good enough for fifth.

In the 250 class, Blake “El Chupacabra” Baggett was back to the form that carried him to wins at the first and third rounds of the season, locking up both moto wins for the overall victory. The Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider was able to edge away from his teammate Dean Wilson in both races, after both fought their way past GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia, who started up front in both motos. Barcia had crashes knock him back, but Wilson stayed consistent for 2-2 scores, making him a big winner on the day because Tyla Rattray, the series leader coming in, went 5-5, to drop to second behind Wilson in points. Eli Tomac overcame bad starts to take third overall, with Darryn Durham, Rattray and Ryan Sipes also logging solid days.

In the WMX class, DNA Shred Stix Star Racing Yamaha' s Jessica Patterson retruned to her winning ways, winning both motos by solid margins. American Honda Racing's Ashley Fiolek--the series points leader--took second overall, and both were clearing most of the bigger jumps on the track, which allowed them to pull away from the field. Tarah Gieger took third overall on her Lucas Oil Troy Lee Honda.


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