Natives bring the thunder to motocross

Scott Stocker
Posted 6/8/12

LAKEWOOD — It was a pretty good homecoming for Colorado Springs native Andrew Short in Saturday’s Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Series on the Thunder …

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Natives bring the thunder to motocross

LAKEWOOD — It was a pretty good homecoming for Colorado Springs native Andrew Short in Saturday’s Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Series on the Thunder Valley National Raceway in
While it was not all that bad for Eli Tomac, the Cortez native had hoped for a better overall finish in his class.
Short, who resides in Smithville, Texas, was able to come through with a third-place finish over the course of the two, 30-minute rides on the windy and rain soaked afternoon in the 450 Class competition. He finished seventh in the first moto, but was able to come back as runner-up in the second to finish third overall.
Tomac finished fourth overall in the 250 Class. He was fourth in his first moto, but rallied for third in the second. Still, his overall performance was not good enough to put him on the winners podium at the end of the day as he had to settle for his fourth place finish. Ryan Dungey, from Waconia, Minnesota was the No. 2 qualifier on the day. Yet he was the runaway winner in both motos in 450. Not only that, but it was his third consecutive win in the Thunder Valley hosted National event.
One would have though the riders would have been more disappointed in the track. The day started with high winds and the thunderstorms came in early in the afternoon and the races were delayed for more than two hours.
“The course was grooved, more so with the rain, but it was not as slick as it may have looked,” said Short at race press conference. “I thought I was able to handle it alright. I’ve raced here a lot since I was a kid and I have good thoughts when I come out here and confident in what I have to accomplish.
“The first moto was a little shaky, but in the second we were able to rebound,” Short said. “I tried to fight for good position in the second and got it. I was certainly out to stay where I was as Ryan was getting away from all of us. I just wanted to ride as well as I could and not make mistakes.”
Short’s first moto could have been worse, but that lucky seventh would later elevate him. He had dropped back to ninth after the first 10-minutes, but with five-minutes to go, was eighth. Within the final two laps he was able to garner his first-round seventh.
Dungey felt pretty good following his third win on the Thunder Valley site.
“I don’t underestimate anyone,” Dungey said. “I’ve had a lot of success here, but things can happen too quickly on the course. I felt good after the first practice and the guys had a good setup on the bike. The rain was heavy, but I think it actually helped us out. It’s a fun track, but I do struggle a bit with the elevation.”
Short, racing for Supercross Honda, is off to a fairly good start this season and sits number five in points with 97 after the first three events. Dungey, riding for Red Bull KTM, currently holds down the top spot with 136 points. Only two other Colorado riders managed to make the final 30 field in the 450 Class. Arvada’s Derek Anderson went on to finish 16th; Denver’s Michael Giese, 24th.
The most frustrating thing for Tomac was the fact that he was the number-one qualifier in the 250 class. However, he wouldn’t be able to come out on top.
“That second moto could end up being one of the best races of the season,” said Tomac, who rides for Geico Honda. “For me, it was certainly better than the first. I’ll take the third in that race. The key was to get a good start, but we had a little crash in the first corner.
“Once I got up and got going again I had some serious traffic to deal with,” Tomac added. “So it was actually pretty good to finish fourth. There was a lot on the line and I felt it was going to be close between the four of us. We were right there, but I did want more.”
Justin Barcia, from Monroe, New York, was the overall winner in the 250 class combining a first place finish in Moto 1 and a second in Moto 2. The top four riders, which also included runner-up Blake Baggett from Grand Terrace, California and third-place Ken Roczen from Apolda, Germany, never wavered through the two motos.
“It was a wild day,” Barcia said. “But a really fun day, a good day for our Geico team. It started off slick in the first moto but I was lucky enough to get the hole shot and was able to pretty much run my own race the entire time. I kind of checked out from there and had a nice gap by the end. It was actually nice and smooth despite the rain and wind.”
The only other Colorado finisher in the 250’s top 30 was Kellian Rusk of Durango, who came in 21st.
Morrison’s Christina Reed had the best finish among the Colorado women with an 11th place finish. The overall race winner was Jessica Patterson of Tallahassee, Florida, who won both motos.
Alyssa Fitch of Gunnison was 14th, Ashley Boham of Loveland 15th with Denver’s Lauren Volentir rounding out the state’s top riders at 24th.
Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Series
Thunder Valley National, Lakewood
450 Pro Motocross
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn. 2. Jacob Weimer, Twin Falls, Idaho. 3. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs. 4. Nico Izzi, Rochester, Mich. 5. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia.
Other Colorado finishers: 16. Derek Anderson, Arvada. 24. Michael Giese, Denver.
250 Pro Motocross
1. Justin Barcia, Monroe, New York. 2. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif. 3. Ken Roczen, Germany. 4. Eli Tomac, Cortez. 5. Marvin Musquin, France.
Other Colorado finisher: 21. Kellian Rusk, Durango.
Women’s Motocross
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla. 2. Tarah Gieger, Puerto Rico. 3. Ashley Fiolek, Wayne, Mich. 4. Sayaka Kaneshiro, Japan. 5. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz.
Other Colorado finishers: 11. Christina Reed, Morrison. 14. Alyssa Fitch, Gunnison. 15. Ashely Boham, Loveland. 24. Lauren Volentir, Denver.


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