Thunder Valley Practice Report

Thunder Valley Practice Report

June 25, 2011 1:55pm

Round five of the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championships are underway here in Lakewood, Colorado and the gang at Thunder Valley Raceway have prepared an excellent course for the guys.

Leaving in the improvements made last fall when the Motocross des Nations visited here, the riders were left with just-over a two minute lap time track. Built on the side of a hill, there are plenty of elevation changes and of course with the altitude here, riders are going to be severely tested for the motos.

The weather is perfect, the sun is out and doesn’t look like it’s going to get too hot today either. The teams were busy remapping their EFI bikes for the thin air and looking for any advantage they can find out there (of course if you have a YZ250F, you were swapping out carb jets to make the bike run).

Privateer Jimmy Albertson made his return to the series after tearing up his knee at round one of supercross and as well, Rockstar Suzuki made some team changes as Jason Anderson is taking some time off from racing and will be back at Millville and the team added Les Smith as a replacement rider. Smith was filling in at JGR Yamaha for Justin Brayton who is also making his return to the outdoor series after missing the first four rounds with an ankle injury.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto was forced to miss the first practice session when he encountered some bike problems but rebounded to place well in the second taking third overall. The rider on top though after two sessions was the points leader Team TwoTwo Motorsports Chad Reed who put in a fast lap of 2:11.8 in the second session. Reed celebrated his times by pulling some nac-nacs out there.

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, last years champion who is still looking for his first win of this season, was solidly in second overall and a full second better than Villopoto. If you put much stock in qualifying times, it looks like a Reed/Dungey showdown today here at Thunder Valley.

Dungey’s teammate Brett Metcalfe ended up fourth, Honda’s Kevin Windham was fifth and Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi was sixth.

1-Chad Reed 2:11.8
2-Ryan Dungey 2:12.0
3-Ryan Villopoto 2:13.2
4-Brett Metcalfe 2:14.0
5-Kevin Windham 2:14.1
6-Mike Alessi 2:14.2
7- Jake Weimer 2:14.4
8- Davi Millsaps 2:14.4
9- Tommy Hahn 2:14.5
10- Josh Grant 2:15.6

In the 250 class, the altitude really affects the small bikes and the riders were out there screaming the small-bores to get all the HP’s they possibly can. Much like his big bike brethren Ryan Villopoto, Monster Pro Circuit’s Dean Wilson had some bike problems the first time around and was unable to complete a fast lap. Second practice, GEICO Honda and Colorado’s own (although he never really rode this Lakewood track much because of how far away he lives) Eli Tomac had the top spot for most of the session before Wilson blazed by late for the top time.

All in all, after two sessions Wilson’s time was good enough to stand atop the leaderboard. Tomac was second, Star Racing Yamaha’s Kyle Cunningham continued his strong rides with a third OA, privateer Nico Izzi was fourth and TLD Honda Travis Baker was fifth.

1-Dean Wilson 2:14.2
2-Eli Tomac 2:14.5
3-Kyle Cunningham 2:15.4
4-Nico Izzi 2:16.6
5-Travis Baker 2:16.8
6-Darryn Durham 2:16.9
7- Broc Tickle 2:17.1
8-Blake Baggett 2:17.1
9- Martin Davalos 2:17.6
10- Justin Barcia 2:17.7