2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class Race Report

Ken Roczen clinches second overall victory of the season.

Ken Roczen jumps at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class race.
Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen clinched his second overall victory in the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Thunder Valley Motocross Park.Brown Dog Wilson

Team Honda HRC's Ken Roczen achieved his second overall victory of the outdoor season at Thunder Valley Motocross Park in Lakewood, Colorado, round 3 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. In moto 1, the German rider was third off the start and quickly moved into the lead on the opening lap. He extended his lead over the entirety of the race, finishing 35 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher when the checkered flag flew. In the second moto, Roczen got off to another third-place start and captured the lead on lap 2. He held first place until Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac got around him with less than 13 minutes remaining. Roczen ran in the runner-up spot for the remainder of the race, taking the overall victory and series point lead with his 1-2 performance.

“I’m stoked to come away with another overall win and to get the red plate back,” Roczen said. “The first moto was awesome. I’m honestly not sure what happened; the gate just dropped and I was on. I like this track and the ruts, so something just clicked. I could really just make something happen quickly in the first few laps and get away from the pack. It was a good feeling to have a gap and finish the moto not having to worry about everything. The track was a lot gnarlier in the second moto. I led about half the race, but then Eli [Tomac] and I had a good battle, then even when he went by I tried to stick right behind him. He obviously gapped me a bit, especially when we started to get into some lappers; there were a few sketchy moments with some of them. I tried my best to stay with him, but also didn’t want to risk making too big of a mistake, so I just rode solid to the finish.”

Eli Tomac jumps at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class race.
Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac had goggle problems in moto 1 and finished fifth in that race. In moto 2, he passed Roczen for the lead and took the victory, which gave him second overall in his home state race.Brown Dog Wilson

Tomac got caught behind a fallen rider in the second corner of moto 1 and as he began moving toward the front, had a goggle problem and made a pit stop to swap them out for a fresh pair. He rejoined the race and worked his way up to fifth place by the end of the moto. In the second race, Tomac got off to a fifth-place start and caught Roczen by lap 4. After passing the German rider, Tomac rode the rest of the race unchallenged to take the moto win and second overall at his home state race.

“It’s always great to come home to Colorado and [get] on the podium for my hometown fans,” Tomac said. “That first moto ended up being a little tougher than anticipated after a bad start and running into vision issues, but we were able to regroup and get back on top in moto 2. We'll take a second-place finish for now, but expect to see us back up front making the charge in two weeks and taking that red plate back.”

Zach Osborne races at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class race.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne rounded out the podium in Colorado.Brown Dog Wilson

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Zach Osborne captured the holeshot and early lead in moto 1, was passed by Roczen on the opening lap, and held the runner-up position for the remainder of the race to claim a career-best moto finish. In moto 2, he put his FC 450 Rockstar Edition in seventh place off the start, climbed his way to fourth by the halfway point, and held steady to finish fourth in the moto and third overall for the day. After three rounds, Osborne sits third overall in the championship standings.

“It was a pretty solid day,” Osborne said. “To get third in qualifying and then 2-4 in the motos for third overall, I feel pretty good about it. I feel like I didn’t ride to my peak today, but I’m going to work on finding a little bit more speed and continuing to move forward from here.”

Jason Anderson races at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class race.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson has historically suffered from altitude sickness at the mile-high track, but was able to finish fourth overall.Brown Dog Wilson

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson, who has historically battled altitude sickness at the mile-high Thunder Valley track, began in 10th on the opening lap of moto 1 and quickly worked his way to eighth. He battled in eighth for the first half of the race before making a charge late in the race. With three laps to go, Anderson made the move into fourth and held on until the checkered flag flew. In the second moto, he began sixth and battled just outside the top five for a majority of the race. With four laps to go, he made a charge to ultimately claim fifth in the moto and fourth overall for the day.

“I’m happy to be leaving Colorado with 4-5 finishes; that’s the most points I’ve ever scored here,” Anderson said. “I’ll move on and try to be better for the next one at High Point.”

Marvin Musquin races at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class race.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin rounded out the top five after going down early in the first moto.Brown Dog Wilson

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Marvin Musquin came around the first turn of moto 1 inside the top five, but got pinched off in the second turn and another rider took out his front end causing him to go down. Musquin remounted and rounded the opening lap in 27th. From there, the French rider put on an incredible charge to ultimately get an eighth-place finish. In moto 2, he got off to a top-five start and immediately jumped into the podium battle by lap 2. Bouncing around the third-place spot, he held off a hard-charging group behind to ultimately claim third in the race.

“It was a rough start of the day for the motos and I gave my best to come back to eighth in the first moto,” Musquin said. “Those guys out front were fast, so to catch more than that, it was difficult. I put myself in a better position to fight for the podium and the win in the second moto. Something clicked a little bit and then my riding was better. I had better lines and better flow. We improved the bike a little bit for the second moto and that was the positive.”

Cooper Webb races at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class Race.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb put his 450 SX-F Factory Edition in sixth at Thunder Valley. “It was a tough day in Colorado,” Webb said. “I struggled a little bit in practice, so it was nice to get on the podium in moto 1. In moto 2, I made a bike change that wasn’t good at all and I really struggled. It was a tough day, but we have two weeks now to try to get better and start the East Coast [rounds] off on a better note.”Brown Dog Wilson

2019 450MX Class Championship Point Standings

Position Rider Brand Points
1 Ken Roczen Honda 136
2 Eli Tomac Kawasaki 134
3 Zach Osborne Husqvarna 110
4 Marvin Musquin KTM 107
5 Jason Anderson Husqvarna 106
6 Cooper Webb KTM 98
7 Justin Barcia Yamaha 77
8 Dean Ferris Yamaha 69
9 Justin Bogle KTM 63
10 Blake Baggett KTM 61
Blake Baggett races at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class race.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS’ Blake Baggett’s 7-7 moto finishes put him in seventh overall on the day.Brown Dog Wilson
Dean Ferris races at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class race.
Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing's Dean Ferris clinched a season-best eighth-place overall result at Thunder Valley. "Big improvements for me today," Ferris said. "I got two reasonably good starts and kind of got pulled along with the big group. We made improvements with the bike. I'm somewhat comfortable now and feel we're getting the train on the tracks now for the rest of the season."Brown Dog Wilson
Justin Barcia races at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class race.
Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia’s 11-6 moto finishes put him in ninth overall. “It was a tough day for me,” Barcia said. “I went back to Florida this week and came down with some kind of sickness. I don’t really know what it was, but I had really bad migraines all week and struggled with that.”Brown Dog Wilson
Justin Bogle races at the 2019 Thunder Valley National Motocross 450 Class race.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS’ Justin Bogle rounded out the top 10 on his 450 SX-F Factory Edition.Brown Dog Wilson