Thunder Valley Motocross Lakewood, CO Race Center: Thunder Valley Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship

Welcome to the Racer X Race Day Feed, your one-stop shop for round three of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross from Lakewood, Colorado, at the Thunder Valley National. We’ll be updating this post throughout the day with news, notes, and results from qualifying and the motos, so be sure to check back throughout the day. You can also follow Racer X on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook to stay up on all the action.

(Note: All updates will run top to bottom, starting with the morning report and going through the motos. So, make sure to scroll down for the latest.)

After the first round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross at Hangtown, several riders and media members made mention of how tough the conditions were for an opening round. This was due to the rough track and high temperatures throughout the day. The second round at Glen Helen was a little bit cooler, but our Steve Matthes still felt it was pretty hot. Today, in Lakewood, the weather is looking perfect for a day of riding with temperatures expected to be in the mid-70s, low humidity, and no rain in sight on the radar. 

The one thing the riders will have to deal with is the altitude at the track, which sits at just above 6000 feet. We know 6000 feet seems pretty insignificant to those of you who have lived or currently live in mountainous regions, but you have to remember, most of these riders either train in Florida which has a max elevation of 345 feet above sea level, or they train in Southern California (San Bernardino sits at about 1,053 feet). The jump in elevation and decrease in the amount of available oxygen will cause the riders' heart rates to climb faster and the bikes will be down on power compared to other tracks. 

One rider known to suffer from the elevation change is Jason Anderson. Our own Aaron Hansel talked to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team owner Bobby Hewitt this week to figure out just what Anderson struggles with. He said, "What happens, like most riders, [Anderson’s] heart rate elevates in the first couple laps. It happens all the time, and under normal circumstances, he’s able to control his breathing and bring his heart rate back down and finish the moto. When he’s at altitude, he can’t get his heart rate back down, and it continues to climb. If your heart rate is beating 200 times a minute, you feel that, and because he can’t control it and bring it back down like he does at the other races, he starts to get panic attacks. It’s something that’s very serious, and it’s not a joking matter. There have been people who have died from this stuff. Last year, he was leading, but it got to a point where he felt his heart was going to explode in his chest. He was scared he was going to die if he didn’t pull off."

Hewitt's plan to combat this is pretty simple, get Anderson in and out of there as fast as possible. "All the doctors I’ve spoken to, he’s spoken to, and Aldon [Baker] has spoken to, they say it takes at least 24 hours for the body to really start feeling the effects of altitude,” he said. “So if he can keep it to a 12-hour period, he hopefully won’t feel the effects as much. That’s what we’re going to do this week. We've tried all kinds of things to help him with it, but this is the one thing that seemed to work at Salt Lake, and we'll try it again this Saturday." Anderson is currently 39-points down in the championship, so getting through this weekend will be huge for his title chances. 

One rider who also needs a good weekend is Eli Tomac. After getting a poor start in the first moto last weekend, he ended up finishing second to Marvin Musquin. Then in the second moto, a rock hit his front master cylinder and his front brake locked up, requiring a lengthy stop in the pits and him riding the rest of the moto without his front brake. In the end, he gave up 21 points to Musquin on the day and now trails in the championship by 15.

The front brake issue has to be frustrating for Monster Energy Kawasaki, but what might be more concerning is Tomac's starts. In three out of the four motos this year Tomac has found himself buried in the pack to start the race, and Musquin showed at Glen Helen that he can capitalize on Tomac's poor starts and snag a win. Keep an eye on how Tomac gets out of the gate today. 

In the 250 Class, Zach Osborne has gone two-for-two in the overalls this summer. He didn't get a moto win last weekend, but was able to extend his points lead out to 21. Jeremy Martin and Dylan Ferrandis are the only other riders to get a moto win, we'll see if either of them can put two motos together for an overall today. 

Practice just started so be sure to check back for a report on who's topping the field. For now, take a minute to refresh yourself on the points standings as we get ready to kick off the third round of the year. 

1Zach Osborne Zach OsborneAbingdon, VA90
2Adam Cianciarulo Adam CianciaruloPort Orange, FL69
3Alex Martin Alex MartinMillville, MN67
4Colt Nichols Colt NicholsMuskogee, OK65
5Aaron Plessinger Aaron PlessingerHamilton, OH64
6Jeremy Martin Jeremy MartinMillville, MN59
7Joey Savatgy Joey SavatgyThomasville, GA50
8Austin Forkner Austin ForknerRichards, MO47
9Mitchell Harrison Mitchell HarrisonLansing, MI43
10Michael Mosiman Michael MosimanSebastopol, CA40
Full Standings
1Marvin Musquin Marvin MusquinLa Reole, France89
2Eli Tomac Eli TomacCortez, CO74
3Blake Baggett Blake BaggettGrand Terrace, CA63
4Josh Grant Josh GrantRiverside, CA60
5Dean Wilson Dean WilsonScotland, United Kingdom58
6Jason Anderson Jason AndersonEdgewood, NM56
7Cole Seely Cole SeelyNewbury Park, CA54
8Broc Tickle Broc TickleHolly, MI53
9Justin Bogle Justin BogleCushing, OK49
10Weston Peick Weston PeickWildomar, CA46
Full Standings