Rockstar Energy Suzuki Racing teams prevailed at round three of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championships at the Thunder Valley National in Lakewood at the weekend despite gusting winds and severe lightning that were daunting enough to delay some of the racing.
Topping out the 250 class was Rockstar Energy Racing's Blake Wharton. Because of the inclement weather, the first 250 moto was delayed and, although the track didn't suffer too much, the hold-up was mentally tough on the racers. But Wharton came through, scoring sixth and ninth in the motos to finish the day in seventh overall.
Said Wharton: "The track was very technical. Add in the weather and it made for some wild conditions. I was happy with the first moto, but I didn't ride the way I should've in the second. I fell down twice. I know I can be way further up there, but I guess you have these weekends where you learn. But I'm already looking forward to next weekend. I like High Point. It's a neat track and it suits me."
Rockstar Energy Racing team-mate Jason Anderson turned in a concentrated effort in the 250 class but suffered get-offs. Doing his best to rally, Anderson wound-up 13th overall via 12th and 15th-placed moto results.
"I struggled quite a bit and had a couple of crashes," said Anderson. "It was kind of a bummer. But I know we'll come back strong for next weekend. I raced at High Point last year and I like the track, so it should be a good weekend."
For Rockstar Energy Racing 250 rider Hunter Hewitt, the Lakewood race was one in an ongoing series of motocross growth experiences. Every round so far, including this one, has seen Hewitt's results improve. Finishing 15th in the first moto and 16th in the second, Hewitt ended up 15th overall.
"This weekend was definitely another step in the right direction," said Hewitt. "In the last few races, I've been around 17th or 18th, but this weekend I ended up 15th so I've been progressively building each weekend. It's been a long time since I've raced motocross and it's slowly but surely getting better. I'll go home and train and be ready for High Point, which is a track I like."
Rockstar Energy Racing's Martin Davalos did not race this weekend as he's recovering from a mid-week crash. Davalos hopes to return to racing within the next few rounds.
Rounding out the Rockstar Energy Racing effort, WMX veteran Jessica Patterson rode like the multi-time Champion that she is and celebrated two moto wins to take the overall victory in the WMX class.
"The first moto was good," said Patterson. "I got about a second-placed start and I passed right away. The track was really gnarly and the ruts were crazy. But I rode a decent race and I felt comfortable. In the second moto, I got a horrible start but, luckily for me, a couple of riders made mistakes and I was there to capitalise on them. I'm just pumped to go to High Point off of a 1/ 1 result."
2012 Thunder Valley MX 450 Results:
1. Ryan Dungey 2. Jake Weimer 3. Andrew Short 4. Nico Izzi 5. Brett Metcalfe (Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450) 6. Mike Alessi 7. Justin Brayton 8. Michael Byrne 9. Billy Laninovich 10. Kyle Chisolm
2012 450 Motocross Standings:
1. Ryan Dungey - 136 2. Jake Weimer - 101 3. James Stewart (Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450) - 100 4. Mike Alessi - 100 5. Andrew Short - 97 6. Brett Metcalfe (Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450) - 84 7. Josh Grant - 73 8. Nico Izzi - 71 9. Broc Tickle - 63 10. Kyle Chisolm - 50