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This Week in SuperMotocross: Round 20 – Thunder Valley

June 6, 2024

450 Storylines: Round 19 Hangtown Recap

Chase Sexton

Chase Sexton: Swept the competition for his first 450 Class overall since Ironman 2022. Sexton charged from last to first in the Moto 2 to complete the 1-1 effort. His seventh 450 Class victory moves him into 21st on the all-time wins list, tied with legends Pierre Karsmakers, Jimmy Weinert, and Doug Henry. His 23rd SMX victory moves him right behind Karsmakers, who sits 30th on the all-time list.

Hunter Lawrence

Hunter Lawrence:

Has back-to-back runner-up finishes to start his 450 Class career. His 48th SMX podium moves him 8 points out of the championship lead. With Jett Lawrence finishing off the podium for the first time, Hunter now stands alone in 450 Class history with a 100% podium percentage.*
(H. Lawrence: 100%, Ricky Carmichael: 96%, Ryan Villopoto: 92%,
J. Lawrence: 92%)
*Riders with more than one 450 Class start.

Aaron Plessinger

Aaron Plessinger: Scored his eighth 450 Class podium in his 42nd start with 3rd overall in Hangtown. He was passed for the lead on the last lap in Moto 2 by teammate Sexton, who scored the overall win. Plessinger earned podiums in the final 2 rounds of 2023 as well. He has 47 podiums in 206 SMX starts.

Justin Cooper

Notes: Justin Cooper (4th) Earned his first career 450 Class top 5. He is the 229th different athlete with a top 5 in the 450 Class.
Jason Anderson (5th) Looked sharp en route to his 41st career 450 Class top-5 finish. He is approaching 300 SMX starts, with 155 top 5’s.
Malcom Stewart (8th) After making only 4 premier class starts in the previous 9 years, Mookie has scored 9th and 8th-place finishes to start the 2024 campaign. It was his 25th career 450 Class start and ninth top-10 finish.
Phil Nicoletti (17th) Made his 75th 450 Class start and 195th SMX start.
Tristan Purdon (25th) and Zac Weston (32nd) each made their first career 450 Class and SMX starts.

450 Class: Thunder Valley Facts

HISTORY LESSON: Thunder Valley hosted its first 450 Class round on July 24, 2005, when Ricky Carmichael swept the competition aboard a Suzuki. Carmichael only lost 2 motos in 2005 on the way to the championship. He also swept the 2006 Thunder Valley National on the way to his second title with Suzuki and the last of 7 career 450 Class titles.

THUNDER VALLEY 20 YEARS: Thunder Valley Motocross Park hosted a round of the championship consecutively since its inaugural event in 2005. As a result, 2024 will be the landmark 20th running of the Thunder Valley National. Only RedBud and Spring Creek have longer active streaks.

2010 MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS: In 2010 Thunder Valley Motocross Park became the third American venue to host the FIM Motocross of Nations. Ryan Dungey won each of his motos to carry Team USA to victory. Teammates Andrew Short and Trey Canard battled inside the top-10, including Short’s runner-up in the third moto.

CHAMPIONSHIP %: The winner of the 450 Class at Thunder Valley has won the championship 11 times in 19 seasons (58%), most recently with Jett Lawrence last year.

250 Storylines: Round 19 Hangtown Recap

Haiden Deegan

Haiden Deegan: Scored 1-2 finishes for the overall victory at Hangtown. Deegan now leads the 250 Class by 13 points after 2 rounds followig his fourth career 250 Class win. The reigning SMX Champion tied RJ Hampshire, Damon Bradshaw, Larry Ward, Stephane Roncada, and Justin Cooper for 45th on the all-time 250 Class wins list. He also tied Cooper in SMX wins with 8 and now has 37 SMX starts, with 19 podiums.

Tom Vialle

Tom Vialle: Finished on the 250 Class podium for the fourth time in his 13 career Pro MX starts with a runner-up at Hangtown. He broke through for the Moto 2 win over Deegan, who he trails by 16 points in the standings. In 35 SMX starts, Vialle has 12 podiums and 18 top-5 finishes.

Levi Kitchen

Levi Kitchen: In his 50th career SMX start, Kitchen scored his sixth 250 Class podium (17th SMX podium). Of the 3 top athletes in the 250 Class standings, Deegan leads the way in SMX podium percentage with a 51%, Vialle sits at 34.2%, and Kitchen at 34%.

Chance Hymas

Notes: Chance Hymas (4th) Made his 20th career SMX start and scored his fourth top-5 finish.
Jo Shimoda (5th) Will make his milestone 50th 250 Class start at Thunder Valley. Earned his 26th top 5 and 40th top 10 of his 250 Class career with a 5th at Hangtown.
Wyatt Mattson (29th), Blake Gardner (33rd), and Stav Orland (35th) each made their first 250 Class and SMX starts.

250 Class: Thunder Valley Facts

HISTORY LESSON: Thunder Valley hosted its first 250 Class race on July 24, 2005, when Ivan Tedesco posted 1-1 results on a Kawasaki, just as Carmichael did in the 450 Class. At the halfway point in the 2005 season Mike Brown had a 16-point lead on Tedesco going into Thunder Valley. Brown would go 7-8 while Tedesco’s sweep vaulted him into the points lead by 7. Tedesco never looked back on the way to winning the championship.

THUNDER VALLEY V20: The 250 and 450 Classes share the same venue history in Thunder Valley. The 2024 event will be the 20th time the gate will drop for a 250 Class round at Thunder Valley. Ken Roczen has the track record for combined overall wins with 5 and is tied with Ryan Villopoto in combined moto wins with 8.

HISTORIC STREAK: Kawasaki opened Thunder Valley’s 250 Class history with 7 straight overalls and 14 straight motos, from 2005-2011. Since then, the OEM has failed to win the first moto, but salvaged 4 second motos victories along with the overall win in each of those. The only longer streak at a single venue, in any class, is 9 straight overalls by Kawasaki in the 250 Class at Budd’s Creek, from 2006-2014. Mitch Payton and his Pro Circuit race team are responsible for both streaks and currently sit on the cusp of 300 AMA victories.

CHAMPIONSHIP %: The winner of the 250 Class at Thunder Valley has won the title in only 8 times in 19 seasons (42%), including each of the last
2 seasons with Jett and Hunter Lawrence. Combined, the winner of Thunder Valley has secured the title in 19 times in 38 chances (50%).