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Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Thunder Valley: Burning Questions

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Pro Motocross

The 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season heads into its third of 12 rounds this weekend with a visit to Thunder Valley Motocross Park in Colorado for the True Value Thunder Valley National. While Thunder Valley has only hosted the championship since 2005, it’s quickly become one of the most exciting courses on the schedule, with its mile-high elevation a unique challenge for both riders and bikes.

Next weekend is one of only three off weeks during the 2018 calendar, so it’s important for riders in both the 450 and 250 classes to make moves here and go into the well-deserved break on a high note. Unfortunately, the entry list will be missing newly crowned Supercross champion Jason Anderson, who broke his foot on Thursday and will miss a huge chunk of the season. As the factory teams and privateers both get ready to go racing this afternoon, here are some of the top storylines to watch out for:

Seriously, does anybody have anything for Eli Tomac?

With two sweeps in two weekends to start the 2018 Pro Motocross season, Tomac looks like he’s playing a video game on easy mode against the competition. Certainly disappointed by another Supercross season that ended without a championship, last year’s 450 title winner has been successful so far at defending the red plate—and already has a 14-point lead over Marvin Musquin. A third consecutive victory going into next weekend’s off date would truly demoralize the rest of the pack.

Is Aaron Plessinger a legitimate challenger to Zach Osborne in the 250 class?

While Osborne successfully kicked off his title defense with a 1-1 sweep in the Hangtown opener, Plessinger replicated the feat last weekend at Glen Helen—extra impressive considering that he had only qualified ninth. The first win came after leading from the first lap, while the second required him to pass a number of riders and chase down Alex Martin and his multiple-second advantage. Osborne’s mistake in the second Glen Helen moto proved he’s not untouchable, and resulted in a tie coming into this event.

How will defending winner Blake Baggett respond after last weekend’s disappointment?

All things considered, seventh place overall for Baggett at Glen Helen wasn’t a terrible result. He scored a top five in the first moto, but fell and triggered a pile-up on the first lap of the second moto. Not only did he have to get restarted while facing uphill, he also had to deal with Justin Barcia getting over his downed bike before recovering to finish ninth. But it’d certainly make up for that setback, and help to close the 40-point gap on Tomac, if he can replicate last year’s overall victory at Thunder Valley.

 

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