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Thunder Valley: Kawasaki Racing summary

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Lights Up the Night in Colorado Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki had a dominating performance at Thunder Valley Raceway in Lakewood, Colo. as Jake Weimer earned his first career 250 class overall win with...

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Lights Up the Night in Colorado

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki had a dominating performance at Thunder Valley Raceway in Lakewood, Colo. as Jake Weimer earned his first career 250 class overall win with his teammate Christophe Pourcel finishing second. Tyla Rattray finished ninth overall. In the 450 class, Canidae/Motosport/Kawasaki's Tommy Hahn earned his first career podium finish while Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ricky Dietrich was seventh overall and Timmy Ferry was 17th.

First Time on Top
Weimer rode two solid motos to earn his first career motocross win, finishing second in the first moto and first in the second moto. In both motos, the Idaho native got great jumps out of the gate and rode smooth for the overall victory.

"This is something huge for me," said Weimer. "It seems I expect supercross wins, but an outdoor win is something I didn't know if I would ever get. The race was really good. I got the starts I needed and rode well in both motos."

Championship Lead
Pourcel continued his streak of perfect first motos taking the holeshot and the win at Thunder Valley. In the second moto, a problem with his gate had him last heading into the first turn, but by the end of the first lap the Frenchman was already up to 17th. He continued to move his way through the pack finishing sixth in the second moto and earning second overall. He also scored enough points to stretch his championship lead to nine points.

"I'm pretty pumped to get the podium today," said Pourcel. "I'm very happy and I feel really good with the Kawasaki. I've struggled in the second moto this year and today I was 40th so my goal was to ride really fast and finish as high as I could. That's what I did and I got on the podium. My stomach is felling better, and since it was cooler it didn't bother me as much.

Podium Finish
After finishing seventh in the first moto, Hahn rode a daring race in the second moto battling for the runner-up spot nearly the entire 15 laps. The fight paid off as he was able to earn his first career podium finish in the 450 class with a third-place overall.

"I just kept charging that second moto," said Hahn. "I didn't know where I stood in the overall. I just wanted to do the best I could. I'm really glad to get up on the podium for my Canidae/Motosport/Kawasaki team."

First Time Under the Lights
The night event at Thunder Valley made for great racing with cooler temperatures. For Rattray, it was his first time racing an outdoor national at night and he thought the event was great.

"I've never raced a motocross under the lights," said Rattray. "I really enjoyed it. They did a great job on the track. There were some good lines and you could see pretty well. There were a couple of spots where it was a little dark, but I really liked it."

Top Ten
As Dietrich has shown during the last three events, he has the speed to be a contender as he moved up to ninth in the series points standings.

"I have the speed to ride up front," said Dietrich. "In the first moto I didn't get a good start and almost made it to the top 10. In the second moto I was aggressive through the first couple of corners and was fifth. I just rode a good pace and held on for sixth place."

Coming Back
Ferry returned to the race track at Thunder Valley as he continues his comeback from a broken heel during the supercross season. Ferry qualified with the 10th fastest practice time and rode strong in both motos.

"I was really happy with practice," said Ferry. "Even the first moto was okay considering I haven't really raced since Daytona. I had no clue where I was in comparison to these guys. I feel like I had a little more speed than my 12th place finish in the first moto, but my arms got pumped up. I crashed in the second moto so it was really tough."

Night and Day
Coming off of one of his worst events, Weimer turned in his best performance of the season getting a moto win and his first career victory.

"After the last race, this feels incredible," said Weimer. "This week I felt energized. I think I needed a week off because the first couple of rounds didn't go as well as I wanted. I was really pushing hard and it caught up to me."

Faulty Gate
The second moto got off to a horrible start for Pourcel as his gate malfunctioned and almost threw him off his bike. The bad gate caused him to start last, but he was able to quickly get back up with the leaders.

"I think the gate didn't work properly," said Pourcel. "I'm not sure why they didn't put out the red flag. I was last and I was surprised when I didn't see the red flag, so I just knew my job was to get into the top five. This track wasn't easy, but I finished sixth."

Lady Luck
Dietrich's sixth-place finish in the second moto wasn't without drama as he jumped a little early on the starting gate.

"Getting a good start in the second moto was pure luck," said Dietrich. "I don't know how I pulled it off. I hit the gate, and as I'm backing up the gate drops. I pin it and the guys on either side of me split wide and I had a big gap heading into the first turn. Everybody was bunching up and slowing down. I had open track, so I just held the throttle on longer than anyone else. It worked out for me, but I was lucky."

Taking Back the Lead
During the second moto Weimer was running strong up front before he got cross rutted and went down. He lost two spots before he got going again, but he quickly got back into second and then picked his spot to regain the lead.

"There's a tricky little whoop section up the hill," said Weimer. "I got a great run through there and got over the next double really clean. I squared him up and stayed low over the next jump. After that I was able to out power him up the hill to get the lead back."

Off Track
Hahn actually moved into second during the lsecond moto, but a small mistake saw him lose that spot. He regrouped quickly and continued to pressure the rider in front of him until the checkered flag.

"I just missed my rear brake and went off the track," said Hahn. "I didn't want to give up. I went back after him, but he got me this time. I'm just going to keep learning and working and hopefully get a moto win before the end of the year."

Working Together
In the first moto at both High Point and Thunder Valley, Pourcel and Weimer have been the first two riders through the first turn. Following High Point, Pourcel offered Weimer some advice to help him.

"In the first moto, I got the holeshot and I was really happy with my bike," said Pourcel. "I saw Jake behind me and I had told him earlier he should follow me because he would have a good pace and finish pretty high. That's what he did and I'm really happy for him to get his first win."

"Christophe is very smooth and hardly ever makes mistakes," said Weimer. "In the first moto I stayed right behind him and used his lines and it worked out really well for me."

Early Return
Ferry had targeted the national at Millville for his return to racing, but after a couple of weeks of good riding he wanted to get back into race shape.

"The intensity is so much higher in a race," said Ferry. "No matter how hard you try to practice nothing can duplicate a race. That is why I came out a little earlier than my goal. I wanted to see how I measured up and find out what I need to work on."

Working Hard
Rattray ran consistently in the top 10 all night, but couldn't make the charge he wanted to get to the front.

"There was good racing out there," said Rattray. "I think the fans really enjoyed it. I just got a little tired at the end of the second moto. It is difficult when you're racing with all those guys. I'm going to take some time this week to rest and not train as hard. I will still get some riding in, but it's a long season and I need be ready all the way through."

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Jake Weimer , Christophe Pourcel , Tyla Rattray