The eighth round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship took place at Thunder Valley MX in Lakewood, Colorado on October 3. The series has come down to these final races, and the results in Colorado could very well determine the championship in California. For the 450s, Zach Osborne had a comfortable 29-point lead over 2nd place coming into Colorado. For the 250s, Dylan Ferrandis was sitting less comfortable with a smaller 13-point lead. So, did Thunder Valley shake up the points standing, or are the current points leaders all but locked into the title? Find out in the race report below.

450MX Start at Thunder Valley 2020
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

450MX Report

Adam Cianciarulo was the fastest qualifier of the day for the 450s, and it showed as he shot out of the starting gate first in Moto 1. Chase Sexton followed closely in 2nd while Zach Osborne, Justin Barcia, and Blake Baggett brought up the rest of the top 5. Almost unsurprisingly, Eli Tomac was farther back after getting a bad jump off of the start. That said, it didn’t take him long to catch up to Barcia and Baggett at the rear of the top 5. He got right into it with the two riders, though Baggett didn’t put up much of a fight for the defending champ. Tomac made quick work of Baggett and was riding in 5th place before the 10-minute mark of the race.

Justin Barcia at Thunder Valley 2020

After riding in his new position for a few minutes, Tomac started to really pressure Barcia. He’d been stalking 4th place for several laps, and he finally made a quick and decisive move around the Yamaha rider. Tomac was so quick around that he was able to immediately gap Barcia, leaving him with the focus he needed to reel in Osborne a full 14 seconds ahead of 4th place.

Adam Cianciarulo at Thunder Valley 2020

Back up front, Cianciarulo was still leading the race, sitting a full three seconds ahead of Sexton in 2nd. Osborne was eight seconds behind them, and it was clear that both Sexton and Osborne were trying to pick up the pace to close Cianciarulo’s gap. Cianciarulo was onto them, though, and picked up his own pace. After a few laps of increasing speed, Osborne let off the throttle and shifted his focus to Tomac, who had miraculously made up those 14 seconds. A fight from Osborne was expected, but as soon as Tomac caught up to him, Tomac flew right by. The top 5 was then Cianciarulo, Sexton, Tomac, Osborne and Barcia. There were a few minutes left in the race and a few riders tried everything they could to make a pass, but the lineup stayed the same all the way through the checkered flag.

The second 450 moto was nothing short of exciting. Cianciarulo got the jump out of the gate once again to take the early lead, but Osborne wasn’t letting him gain even a 1-second lead. Tomac was out front this time as well, making quick work of Max Anstie to ride in 3rd place. Three seconds behind Osborne, Tomac didn’t take more than a few laps to inch up to 2nd and eventually get bar-to-bar with Osborne. With his speed, Tomac was well qualified to pass Osborne, which he did after a few turns. Cianciarulo was able to gap the other podium positions while Osborne and Tomac battled, but Tomac was on a charge and ate up that gap in no time. After just 12 minutes of racing, Tomac had already climbed up to Cianciarulo and was close enough to make his move. Through a turn, Tomac took an inside line that pushed him right past Cianciarulo and into the lead. Cianciarulo tried to keep Tomac in his sights, but Tomac was on his game and near impossible to catch.

Christian Craig at Thunder Valley 2020

In 4th place, Christain Craig was riding a great race of his own. He was fending off Anstie and Barcia, and doing a great job of riding defensively. While Anstie and Barcia battled, Craig remained cool and in charge of his position, even when Barcia managed to get around Anstie for 5th. Then, something happened to Barcia, and he fell back a few positions and eventually DNFd the race.

450MX Podium at Thunder Valley 2020

With the race winding down, Tomac was still in 1st place. He was looking fine, too, until it became clear that he was having an issue with his clutch. As Tomac’s pace slowed on account of the mechanical issue, Cianciarulo inched closer and closer. It seemed as though Cianciarulo might get close enough to take back the lead, but Tomac resolved his issue and got on the throttle once again. This left Cianciarulo firmly behind Tomac and in the line of fire for Osborne. In the final few laps, Osborne was all over Cianciarulo and eventually pressured a mistake from the Kawasaki rider. Cianciarulo almost went down coming off a jump, but he was able to keep it on two wheels. He did lose a position to Osborne, though, and he wasn’t ever able to get it back. The final three riders for the second moto were Tomac, Osborne, and Cianciarulo, with Craig finishing in 4th and Sexton finishing in 5th. The overall podium for the day was Tomac, Cianciarulo, and Osborne, with Sexton and Craig rounding out the top 5.

450MX Results

11Eli Tomac3145278
29Adam Cianciarulo1345301
316Zachary Osborne4240325
423Chase Sexton2538245
562Christian Craig7432195
625Marvin Musquin6828283
7103Max Anstie9627166
850Benny Bloss1472168
919Justin Bogle1292193
1078Jake Masterpool13101982
1131Fredrik Noren111318125
1251Justin Barcia53716234
134Blake Baggett8DNF13232
1443John Short17121334
15349Grant Harlan20111129
16258Justin Rodbell16151169
1742Ben LaMay15161132
1820Broc Tickle103911145
1979Isaac Teasdale18141029
2034Tyler Bowers1918528
21309Jeremy Smith2117422
22141Richard Taylor231922
23647Matthew Hubert2820111
24503McClellan Hile252203
25441Scott Meshey222600
26280William Clason242700
27722Adam Enticknap292400
28269Dalton Dyer262800
29130Austin Root342100
30711Tristan Lane322305
31881Jerry Lorenz III302500
32600Connor Olson272900
33139Nathen LaPorte333100
34768Cole Shondeck313600
35824Carter Stephenson373300
36946Matthew Toth353500
37114Nick Schmidt363800
3861Alex Ray394007
39519Jorge RubalcavaDNF3000
40841Jeffrey WalkerDNF3204
41565Dominic DeSimoneDNF3400
4217Joey Savatgy38DNF0147
43577Felix Lopez40DNF05

250MX Report

Dylan Ferrandis tore out of the gate up front in the first 250 moto. He was flanked by Mitchell Harrison and Shane McElrath, and it didn’t take McElrath more than a few turns to take over the lead. As he and Ferrandis broke away from the competition, Justin Cooper charged past Harrison to overtake 3rd. Jeremy Martin, 2nd overall in points, needed a good race (ideally 1-1) to have a shot at taking the title over Ferrandis. He was sitting back in 7th place, however, giving him lots of ground to make up on Ferrandis, who had just stolen the lead back from McElrath.

RJ Hampshire at Thunder Valley 2020

The top three was then Ferrandis, McElrath, and Cooper, and it seemed as though they had settled into their positions and left the drama for the rest of the top-10 riders. Martin was making slow work of the field, climbing up to Harrison in 4th place by the halfway point of the race. He hadn’t even had to work for 5th place as RJ Hampshire crashed out and handed it over to Martin. Eventually, Martin was able to make it around Harrison, but he was left 14 seconds behind Ferrandis, not to mention seven behind Cooper in 3rd. Then, Cooper made a quick pass around McElrath, changing up the running order and Martin’s closest competition.

Hunter Lawrence at Thunder Valley 2020

As Martin settled in behind McElrath, an interesting battle for 5th was brewing between Harrison and the Lawrence brothers. Harrison was trying to hold down 5th, but Hunter led the charge around him, taking Jett right past as well. Jo Shimoda got involved in the action, too, and took advantage of the situation when Jett fell back two spots. Hampshire even started creeping up to the mess of changing positions, but he crashed hard and eventually DNFd. Positions continued swapping between the riders until the order was Hunter, Jett, Shimoda, and Harrison in 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th place, respectively.

Dylan Ferrandis at Thunder Valley 2020

Back up front, Ferrandis had first place in the bag. He rode to the checkered flag uncontested, followed by Cooper, McElrath, and Martin, who was never able to reel in 3rd place.

In the second moto, it was Cooper who got the holeshot. McElrath was right up there again in 2nd place, but he wasn’t able to overtake 1st like he did in Moto 1. Cooper was holding strong and began to gap the riders behind him. Meanwhile Martin, who had started in 4th place this time around, was on a charge. It started with Jarret Frye in 3rd, then continued on to McElrath in 2nd. With his speed, it was clear Martin was going to be serious competition for Cooper.

Justin Cooper at Thunder Valley 2020

Back in 8th place, Ferrandis was working his way up from a poor start. He made a few passes early on but didn’t seem to be riding with the reckless urgency we’ve seen in previous races. As he held his pace, Martin was pushing his up front. He was right up to Cooper’s rear wheel, trying everything to overtake the lead. Cooper wasn’t budging, though, and blocked every attempt Martin made to get around. Eventually, Cooper was able to build up a two-second gap between him and Martin.

Jeremy Martin at Thunder Valley

Looking back at Ferrandis, he was up to 6th and appeared ready to make a move around Brandon Hartranft and Hunter. That said, Hartranft and Hunter took a turn wider than Ferrandis anticipated, leaving the Frenchman down on the ground. When he resumed the race, he was in 9th place and worse off than where he started. This is when he got on the throttle and battled harder. By the halfway point of the race, he was back in 6th place and all over Hartranft in 5th, and it didn’t take long for Ferrandis to make that pass as well.

As the clock continued to tick down, Martin began turning up the heat on Cooper once again. He would manage to inch past Cooper in one turn, but Cooper would always come out in the lead in the next. The two riders clicked off several laps like this until Martin almost got aggressive, but pulled back at the last second to avoid a nasty crash for both riders. After that, Martin bobbled, hit lap traffic, and fell far enough behind Cooper that he wasn’t able to get close enough to make a pass. To Cooper’s credit, he was riding an incredible race – the best we’ve seen from him all season.

250MX Podium at Thunder Valley 2020

Ferrandis managed to ride up to 3rd place by the end of the second moto, finishing just ahead of Hunter and McElrath. With those finishes, the final podium went to Cooper, Ferrandis, and Martin, with McElrath and Hunter taking the final top-5 positions.

250MX Results

132Justin Cooper2147251
214Dylan Ferrandis1345352
36Jeremy Martin4240334
412Shane McElrath3536254
535Hunter Lawrence5434122
683Jett Lawrence6630230
784Jo Shimoda7827141
874Mitchell Harrison8925163
9134Jarrett Frye9102355
10220Carson Mumford131118134
1126Alex Martin121218242
12374Dilan Schwartz10151722
13488Nathanael Thrasher11161515
1430Brandon Hartranft22714148
1560Mitchell Falk14141414
16355Joseph Crown4013832
17380Preston Kilroy151988
18387Joshua Varize1918512
1967Jerry Robin1637533
20667Jesse Flock2117412
21227Derek Kelley1820419
2268Nick Gaines1740462
23726Gared Steinke2321011
2457Derek Drake20DNF1107
25188Gage Schehr252200
26874Zack Williams272306
27981Curren Thurman262502
28310Kai Aiello282400
29251Ezra Hastings2927014
3077Kevin Moranz243407
31554Wade Brommel332600
32162Maxwell Sanford322904
33504Gerhard Matamoros313000
34135Robert Fitch, Jr. 342800
35124Lane Shaw363200
36495Blake Ashely303900
37701Jake PinhancosDNF3100
38289Otto BertonDNF3300
3929Cameron McAdoo35DNF0165
40204Kyle GreesonDNF3500
41410Tyler LoweDNF3600
42815Colton Eigenmann37DNF00
4324RJ Hampshire38DNF0217
44127Jacob BorkDNF3800
45239Mason Gonzales39DNF075

Zach Osborne is headed to Fox Raceway with a lead of 24 points over Adam Cianciarulo. Dylan Ferrandis has an 18-point lead of Jeremy Martin. Barring DNFs or crazy mishaps at Pala, we could be looking at our 450MX and 250MX Champions for 2020. We’ll wait until next weekend to be sure, though. See you then!

Photo Credit for All Gallery Images: Kardy Photo