View From The Infield: Mile High Madness 4

There were some unusual things going on this weekend in Thunder Valley, with a points lead change in the 250s, big crashes, DNFs, and more.

View From The Infield: Mile High Madness

Cell phones ready? Let's get into it! Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac grabbed the early lead in 450 moto one.

Things were settling in, with Barcia stretching the early lead, and the usual suspects trailing behind him.

Ken Roczen is definitely ahead of where he thought he'd be as he started the season, and the break comes at a good time to give his hands some rest.

It's not every day that you see a bike spit its rider off before a big uphill double, and still have enough speed to launch a big portion of the gap. Kyle Chisholm was laid out halfway up the jump (and rolled full length back down the hill, obviously unconscious), which prompted a quick call for a red flag and restart to the moto. The good news is, he later walked off the track under his own power.

It was fun watching Ken Roczen run out front for a good chunk of both motos. Eventually, Eli Tomac reeled him in and got by.

Blake Baggett had the early jump in moto two. He was on the podium at the end of the day with a pair of thirds.

Phil Nicoletti had a pair of eighth-place finishes for...you guessed it...eighth overall.

Yeah, this downhill at Thunder Valley has some history. It's the same chunk of the track where James Stewart crashed as a photographer crossed the track in front of him, and also where Eli Tomac wrecked both shoulders while leading a few years back. This time around, Justin Barcia was leading, and went down. As he rushed back to get to his downed Yamaha (which Eli Tomac had gotten hung up on), he had to dodge a quick-moving Ken Roczen. Fortunately, after getting untangled everyone continued on.

After everyone got pointed back in the right direction, it was Roczen out front, followed by Tomac and Baggett.

Benny Bloss had a great day, with a fifth overall.

Marvin Musquin had kind of a quiet weekend with a pair of fourth-place finishes.

After taking the lead from Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen led until lap nine, when Eli Tomac worked his way by...in the same spot that worked for him in moto one.

Eli was stoked to score a 1-1 after some struggles in previous tries at Thunder Valley.

Let's take a quick break before heading into the 250 action...

Justin Cooper was impressive in the first 250 moto, leading the first nine laps...and the last two after Joey Savatgy's DNF...giving him his first moto win. Despite an eighth in moto two, he still finished third overall for the day.

Jordon Smith was much-improved this week, with a fourth and fifth in the motos, his best efforts of the season.

Jeremy Martin's 2-1 day was good for the 250 overall, and with tough days for Plessinger and Osborne, he'll have the red plate when the series resumes in two weeks at High Point.

Alex Martin boosting off the big jump near the hospitality areas at the top of the hill. He had to settle for second this week, with a 3-2 score.

RJ Hampshire was tenth overall in the 250s this week, and was seventh in moto two.

Last week's 250 winner, Aaron Plessinger, had to settle for a 6-4 day at Thunder Valley.

Every rider we talked to told us that the roost at Thunder Valley was brutal. Here, Chase Sexton gets a taste.

Joey Savatgy had started second behind Justin Cooper, moved his way into the lead after nine laps, and looked like he was going to run away with his first moto win of the season...until he coasted down the hill with no fire in the powerplant of his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki. He stood helplessly while rider after rider went by...

Talk about gutted...

Heading into the first turn at the start of moto two, it was a battle between the Martin brothers, and the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM of Shane McElrath.

Zach Osborne went down in a multi-rider crash in moto two, and after they dug him out from under his bike, he got up, popped his shoulder back into place, and rode a hard moto...to earn a single point. There's no surrender in this guy.

In moto two, Alex Martin led the first six laps, while Jeremy Martin was out front for the final ten.

One of the better battles of moto two in the 250s was between Austin Forkner and Aaron Plessinger, who finished third and fourth.

Eli is now six for six in the '18 outdoor season. Yeah, we've already seen the messages in the forum asking if he can go 24-0. Is it possible? Yep. It'll be interesting to see if anything changes as the riders head east, and get to some softer tracks.

These two talk a lot of smack during press conferences, and race plenty hard against each other, but the Martin Brothers going against each other each week is a fun race-within-a-race.


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