Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Thunder Valley 3

We're here to give you our thoughts on who did good, who did...well, Bad and who had a day to forget forever (the Ugly).

Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Thunder Valley

Welcome to the Good, Bad 'n Ugly from Thunder Valley! It's the third round of 2022 AMA Pro Motocross season and we're here to give you our thoughts on who did good, who did...well, Bad and who had a day to forget forever (the Ugly). Staff member Grant Dawson is sharing his thoughts this weekend.

Do you agree with our picks and opinions, or do you have thoughts that differ? Let us know in the comment section below.

250 Motocross Class

The Good | Levi Kitchen - 3rd Place Overall

Yamaha mounted riders have always seemed to have a bit of a power advantage when the series heads to the highly elevated Thunder Valley Track. Surprisingly, it didn't appear to be as obvious of an advantage this year, but I assume it did assist Levi Kitchen snag a much needed holeshot that led to the first moto win of his career. Given the buzz around Kitchen when he initially turned pro, it was just a matter of time until he found himself leading a race. Of course, the win didn't come easy. He was absolutely gassed by the end of the race, and honestly I figured he'd left it all out there during that moto and that he wouldn't have much for moto two. I was wrong. He didn't go out there and win the second moto, but he did push forward despite a bad start and was able to secure himself an overall podium by working his way up to fifth place. As with any youngster that claims his first moto win out of the blue, everyone is going to keep an eye on him over the next few rounds and see if he suddenly becomes a consistent frontrunner...or if he'll slip back to being a fifth or sixth place guy more times than not. Whether riders will live up to their potential when they turn pro in this sport is no easier to predict than a draft pick in the NFL, but, man, Star Racing Yamaha has to have the best percentage of success with amateur riders than the other factory teams. 


The Bad | Nate Thrasher - 16th Place Overall

I've already talked about Thrasher this season, but this time it's less about his performance and more about some bad luck he encountered. He had an incident with Seth Hammaker at Thunder Valley that left Thrasher on the side of the track with clearly no intention of getting back onto his bike. I've seen a couple of different opinions as to whether it was a racing incident, or if Hammaker was at fault, but I'm not inclined to jump into that debate right now. I'm more interested to hear from either the team or Thrasher as to what his current condition is. I haven't seen any updates from him or his team as to what, if any, injuries he sustained and if he'll miss any time as a result. The radio silence doesn't seem encouraging, but maybe there's a valid reason and an update will be posted by the time this article is published. Like I've said previously, I think this is a big season for Thrasher. He hasn't been a total disappointment for the team, especially when it comes to Supercross, but I do think he really needs to log some career-best results in the remaining rounds of this series. 


The Ugly: Maximus Vohland - 15th Place Overall

Vohland is currently the only rider on the Factory KTM 250 squad, and I always assume some pretty high expectations are set on any rider that lands that ride. Now, I don't think Vohland is on the hot seat or anything, but I am a little surprised we haven't seen more from him so far in his career. He had a ton of hype behind him when he was coming through the amateur ranks, and I believe he even turned pro early at the request of KTM. Up to this point, though, he has not really shown any flashes that have made me think that he's necessarily the next big thing. Maybe that breakout ride will happen later this season. 


450 Motocross Class

The Good | Ken Roczen - 1st Place Overall

So far, so good for Ken Roczen. He has landed on the podium in five of the six motos, and he only sits five points out of the series lead. He wasn't able to hold off a red hot Eli Tomac in the first moto, but he did engage in some excellent defense in the second moto that held Tomac at bay and resulted in the overall win after Chase Sexton crashed on the final lap. If things continue to go like this, I would bet some money right now that we'll see a red plate on his bike at some point this season. As always, though, the main question when it comes to Roczen is how his body will hold up as we progress later in the season. We've seen these red hot starts from Roczen followed by a mid-season fade time and time again, but I sure do hope that this time will be different. 


The Bad | Christian Craig - 12th Place Overall

Christian Craig has had an excellent season so far, but things just weren't going his way on Saturday and he ended up with 10-12 moto scores. I don't think this is indicative of how the rest of his season will go, but considering how strong he was at the first two rounds it was a surprise to see him so far down in the overall results. He's still fifth in the standings, though, and I think it's reasonable to expect him to be around the same spot at the end of the season. Also, I think he has already proven that he 100% deserves to be on a 450 full time, and I am glad that he already has a ride locked up for next year. A full time 450 deal has been a long time coming for Craig. 


The Ugly | Justin Bogle - DNS

Given how Justin Bogle's past few seasons outdoors has gone, I can't blame him for electing to take a break from motocross and enjoy a summer away from the sport. He's at a point in his career where he still logs Supercross results that are solid enough to deserve a ride, but then the outdoor series rolls around and he's out there suffering for 35 minutes to finish 19th or 20th. That's why I never blame guys who switch to Supercross only contracts later in their career. As much as we all love the outdoor series, there's no doubt that it takes a lot out of these guys both mentally and physically. It is a bummer because I think this sport benefits a lot just from having guys like Bogle at the races, but like I said, I get it. I hope we see him at Anaheim 1 next year. 

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