Features 7 Oct 2020

Quotebook: 2020 Pro Motocross Rd8 Thunder Valley

Assorted racer comments following the eighth round of the season.

With the penultimate round of the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in the books, a broad range of riders recalled their weekend at Thunder Valley.


Image: Octopi Media.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – First:
Everything just felt right today. Similar to moto two from last weekend at WW, I was able to go forward and get to the front like I have done for the past three years. I thought they did a wonderful job with the track, it was smooth in the morning, but by the time our second 450 moto came around it was rough and challenging and it wasn’t just a big freeway out there. Being able to win in front of the home crowd is always something special and something I don’t take for granted. When I passed for the lead, it reminded me of Supercross a little bit as I could hear the fans cheering – it makes you appreciate having them back at the race. I am looking forward to finishing out the season strong next week at Fox Raceway.

Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Second:
I am frustrated that I couldn’t seal the deal today. Moto one, we led from start to finish with a good amount of pressure from behind. In moto two, we got to the front in a hurry on the opening lap, but I kept making a few minor mistakes that ultimately added up and cost me two positions. I try to remind myself that this is only my rookie season, but I also know that I have what it takes to win if I can just clean up some of those little pieces throughout the race. All in all, it was a great day for Kawasaki going 1-2 on the podium. My Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450 has been an absolute beast this season and has helped put me at the front of the pack in each moto. Let’s go have some fun this weekend at Fox Raceway and put on a show for the fans!

Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Sixth:
It’s frustrating. Obviously, last weekend I did good in more of the sandy conditions, but this weekend was harder dirt and the track was a bit difficult, just a very tough day overall. It’s been a tough two weeks since my crash at Millville and then at practice at WW. I rode a couple laps this week, but I can’t train on the motorcycle during the week because of my thumb. On race day, pain isn’t the issue, but strength-wise it’s not awesome and confidence-wise I was off. We’ll do everything we can to finish on a high note at Pala next weekend.

Zach Osborne (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – Third:
t was a decent weekend. I had some decent riding there in the second moto, I kind of found my feet a little bit and did some points racing today, so I feel good about my chances going into Pala next weekend. Our focus now is on this championship and wrapping it up, so that’s what we’re going to go there and do.

Justin Barcia (Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing) – 12th:
It started out to be a great day but didn’t end well. I really was happy to be up front with the group in the first moto. The track was tough, but we were able to get a good result. The second moto was even tougher and I ended up going down and wasn’t able to keep going. I’ll work on getting back to 100 percent this week so we can end the season strong.

Broc Tickle (Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing) – 18th:
I think overall, it was a positive day for myself. That big crash at Millville set me back and I missed WW Ranch. My starts were a little better today. The first moto was better than what I have been on the start, but I would say my riding wasn’t the best. I finally found a flow about halfway through and started clicking off some decent lap times as the track deteriorated. I ended up getting 10th, which wasn’t what I’m looking for, but it was an okay finish for the circumstances. Going into the second moto, I knew the track was going to deteriorate even more, which I normally strive and thrive in. I went out there and came close to the best start I’ve had all year. I was able to be close to the top 10 on the first lap, but unfortunately, I had to pull into the mechanic’s area and sit the second moto out. So all in all, like I said it was a positive day and good to be back at the races, but it’s kind of a bummer to miss out on some more points. We’ll come back at Pala and work to get back into the top 10 in the championship.

Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – Fourth:
Round eight in Denver was pretty good. In the first moto I ran behind Adam and tried to make a push for the win and ended up second, which was my best moto finish so far. I had a really good start in the second moto and finished fifth, I didn’t ride as well as I wanted, but ended with fourth overall, so still top five. We’re making improvements.

Christian Craig (Team Honda HRC) – Fifth:
The day started off good in Colorado. I qualified fourth, which was one of my best of the year. I felt good on the bike and on this track, so I went into the motos pretty confident. Unfortunately, I got off to a bad start, which has kind of been my story all year. I had to make some passes and got up to seventh, tagging along with Musquin for the whole moto, pretty much. In the second moto, I got off to a better start, top five off the line. I battled with some guys, made a couple passes and ended up fourth – it’s exactly what we’ve worked for. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to win, but to improve is what we look for every weekend. I ended up with 7-4 for fifth overall and am headed to the final round ready to go.

Joey Savatgy (JGRMX Yoshimura Suzuki) – 42nd:
It was another tough weekend. A practice crash put a halt to my weekend. I tried to go racing anyway, but couldn’t hold on with my feet, so I shut it down.

Fredrik Noren (JGRMX Yoshimura Suzuki) – 11th:
I’m more comfortable, but I’m not finishing in the results where I feel like I should and can be. In the second moto I had a crazy start crash – I’m glad I didn’t get hurt in it. I was able to get going and back to 13th place, which was good. I’m looking forward to Pala next weekend to finish the season strong!

Max Anstie (Twisted Tea HEP Motorsports Suzuki) – Seventh:
It was a solid day. We got better in each session and had a strong couple of motos. I’m pleased with how my crew managed to make the bike competitive up at altitude and especially with it being our first time there. I’m looking forward to Pala.

Justin Bogle (Team Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS) – Ninth:
Today was a good day. I was in the groove all day and feeling really fast on the bike. We have been working hard and it feels good to put in two solid motos like that to earn a top 10 for the weekend. I’m ready to end the season strong with another top 10 ride next weekend at Pala.


Image: Octopi Media.

Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Second:
We had a perfect moto one with a good start and took the win. It was a completely different scenario in moto two. I had a bad start and a crash and then had to come back from behind. The track was tricky today. I’m happy to leave with second overall and gain some more points before the finale next week.

Shane McElrath (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Fourth:
It was a pretty good day for me today overall. We were just shy of a podium, but huge improvements were made. I’m excited about the progress we are continuing to make on the bike for the rough tracks. We will be ready to give it everything at the last round.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – First:
It was a good weekend for myself and the team. We got a win under our belt and it feels dang good! I felt comfortable all day. I came here looking for this win, so I’m glad to put it on the top step. We’re focusing on finishing this season out strong. Not much more to say except that I am just so stoked on the day!

Jarrett Frye (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Ninth:
It was a good weekend for me. There were a lot of positives to take away from today, including my best result so far. We are getting better each weekend. I’m looking forward to finishing out the season strong next weekend.

Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – 13th:
It was a solid day for me to get my first pro national under my belt! I had pretty good speed all day, I just needed to clean up a few things. I definitely learned a lot thanks to the whole team behind me. I’m going to give it my all for the last round at Fox Raceway!

RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – 43rd:
t’s a disappointing way to end my season. I hit the ground hard the past couple weekends and today finished it off. It’s a pain riding injured and always seems to lead to more. I have a couple broken bones in my right hand but everything is in place so surgery shouldn’t be needed. My body needs a few weeks to recover. I’m bummed for myself and the team, but we have a lot more to look forward to.

Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 39th:
Unfortunately, on the last lap of Moto 1 a lapper went down right in front of me and I was hit by his bike which resulted in breaking three fingers on my right hand. The good news is that I should heal well with just a couple weeks of rest. I can’t thank my Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team enough for sticking behind me. This is obviously not the way I wanted to end my season, but I’m grateful it’s not worse and should heal quickly.

Mitchell Harrison (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Eighth:
It was a much better day overall. Qualifying wasn’t the best, but I made some adjustments to the bike and really focused on my form and technique which paid off in the races. I pride myself on being a good starter and with the combination of my Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX250, we have the recipe for success, and it showed in moto one. It was good to just get out front and run with those top three guys. I feel like my 8-9 scores for eighth overall do not really do justice for how good I was really feeling on the bike. I am bummed we only have one more race left this season because I am just enjoying racing with my team, but we’re going to the make the most of it one last time next weekend.

Jeremy Martin (Geico Honda) – Third:
Today, 4-2 for third overall. Not super-stoked on that. I had a really good jump out of the gate in moto one. Straight up, some of the guys went right around me. I don’t really know what happened there. I executed my shifts and everything pretty good. Then it was just a dog fight, really. The whole first moto I was just trying to catch the blue bikes. I inched up on Shane a little bit, but I’d get up on him a little bit and then he’d sprint and kind of get away. Moto two we made a change with gearing and it just helped a ton out of the gate. I got off to a really good start. I tried to definitely get in on Justin there, but he was riding really well. I thought maybe I could get him early, but he started to kind of catch onto some of my lines. Then I just threw a couple good little efforts at him and he rode well. I just didn’t have anything there and that was it.

Hunter Lawrence (Geico Honda) – Fifth:
For sure, it was definitely a better day today. Obviously the year kind of sucked for me, I haven’t had much races up the front like today just due to starts and stuff like that and my shoulder not being 100 percent there, but it was good. We had two pretty decent starts. Just feeling more and more like myself, hopefully we can put in a good two motos at Pala and we’ll see how we go.

Jett Lawrence (Geico Honda) – Sixth:
Good riding this weekend, but just had a bad qualifying time and that gave me a bad gate in moto one. I got a good start, but I was on the outside. Made my way to sixth then saved a big mistake. I lost two positions, but got back to sixth, but my brother Hunter was too far to catch up to. Second moto I spun in the gate, so I was starting the moto from outside 20th again. It took me a while to get my lines down but once I did I started clicking off good lap times and made my way up to sixth with a last lap pass. So I was pretty consistent, but I just need to sort my starts, so I can start up front and make my life easier.

Jo Shimoda (Geico Honda) – Seventh:
In qualifying one I felt loose right away and built my lap time toward the end for P11. Qualifying two, I was running third for a while, but as the track was getting packed in, on the last a couple laps guys went faster. In moto one, I had an okay start, around ninth, put some good laps in and made some passes, but I got passed on last lap for seventh. Moto two, 15th-place start, but made some quick passes in the second turn and was running 11th . I got contact with Alex and went back to 12th, but I was able to catch up to eighth for seventh overall.

Carson Mumford (Geico Honda) – 10th:
I felt terrible in the second moto in the altitude because I have asthma. Two bad starts, too. I’ve been feeling really tense for the first 10 minutes of the first race, not sure exactly why – maybe just because these are new tracks for me, or racing as a pro in front of the fans or maybe because I’m starting in 35th! Not sure. It shouldn’t be an issue this weekend for Pala, I’ve ridden that track since I was eight years old, so I’m definitely feeling better each week. I wish the season was longer, because I’m loving it and I really want to do good

Alex Martin (JGRMX Yoshimura Suzuki) – 11th:
I had some rough luck this weekend in Colorado. I tangled with another rider off the start in the first moto and made a couple more mistakes throughout the day. I’m looking to make a strong comeback at the last race in Pala next weekend and get back into the top three in the championship.

Dilan Schwartz (BarX Chaparral Fly Suzuki Racing) – 12th:
Colorado was a step in the right direction. I got a good start in moto one and put together a solid moto getting tenth place. In moto two, I didn’t get the greatest start, but came from the back to finish 15th. I’m happy with the bike and the team and I’m excited to give it our all next weekend at Fox Raceway.

Preston Kilroy (BarX Chaparral Fly Suzuki Racing) – 17th:
After Loretta’s I knew Larry and the team had my bike dialed, so I wanted to see where I stood. I set a top 20 goal for Thunder Valley and finished with a 17th overall. I’m excited to work on improving that next weekend at Pala.