A season of parity continued in the 250 Class at Thunder Valley, as Alex Martin and Joey Savatgy became the fourth and fifth different moto winners. Both motos were dramatic, and at the end of the day, the top four riders were separated by just a single point.
Edging out the competition was Joey Savatgy, who scored his first overall win of the year.
The drama will continue at the next round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship because the 250MX championship race has also gotten tighter. Zach Osborne still holds the red plate but saw his points lead chopped from 21 to 9.
Read on for a breakdown of what happened in both motos at the Colorado track.
Entering Round 3 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Alex Martin sat third in 250MX points despite not having a single podium finish in any of the motos this year. He broke that trend in Moto 1 at Thunder Valley in a big way, taking the victory in the year’s most exciting race so far.
As the bikes came through the uphill start straight and around the first turn, Alex Martin edged out his brother Jeremy to grab the holeshot. Behind them, points leader Zach Osborne moved past Adam Cianciarulo to move into third but then went down as he tried to do battle with Jeremy. He got up pretty quickly but was in 16th after the opening lap.
On the second lap, Cianciarulo was all over Jeremy for second place, making the pass just over three minutes into the race. But 30 seconds later, he tipped over while going through a rut and got shuffled back to seventh. Jeremy retook second, with Mitchell Harrison moving up to third.
About six minutes into the race, Jeremy made a mistake while rounding a turn through the ruts, which allowed Harrison to pass him for second place. The next two riders, Joey Savatgy and Aaron Plessinger, soon closed in on Jeremy to start a three-way battle for third. Plessinger ultimately cleared Savatgy and was on the rear wheel of Jeremy before getting re-passed by Savatgy.
By the 10-minute mark, Martin re-caught and passed Harrison for third. After his great start to the race, Harrison soon dropped back all the way to eighth.
While all the intense racing for 2nd place and further back was going on, Alex Martin was pulling away out front. But once things settled down, the gap began to close.
Twenty minutes into the race, less than four seconds separated the top four riders: Alex Martin, Jeremy Martin, Savatgy, Plessinger. Cianciarulo rounded out the top five.
With about seven minutes left on the clock, Jeremy had cut his brother’s lead down to about a half-second. But before he could challenge Alex, Jeremy had to contend with Savatgy, who overtook him for second place.
A little further back behind the top three, Austin Forkner got around Cianciarulo and Plessinger to move into fourth.
With about a minute left, Alex Martin nearly made a mistake that could have cost him. He managed to hang on and stay in front of Savatgy, but Savatgy continued to press. Just behind them, Forkner — who had caught up to the lead group — got around Martin for third, then immediately set his sights on Savatgy to take away second place.
With two laps to go, Forkner was right on Alex’s rear fender, but nearly crashed as he went through a turn. Although Forkner saved it, he lost too much time due to the mistake. Right behind him, Jeremy moved back around Savatgy for third.
As the riders came around for the final lap of the race, the top four were not separated by very much, but Alex Martin stayed in front to take the checkered flag, with Forkner, Jeremy Martin and Savatgy going to 2-3-4. Cianciarulo came across the line in fifth soon after.
With five motos in the books, Alex Martin is the fourth different rider to win a 250MX moto so far this year.
Elsewhere, Osborne worked his way up to eighth after his first-lap crash, Dylan Ferrandis was ninth one week after scoring a moto win at Glen Helen, Harrison had fallen back to 11th by the end of the race, and Mark Worth had a solid 14th-place finish.
Moto 1 Results
1. Alex Martin
2. Austin Forkner (-1.4 seconds)
3. Jeremy Martin (-2.4 seconds)
4. Joey Savatgy (-4.2 seconds)
5. Adam Cianciarulo
6. Colt Nichols
7. Aaron Plessinger
8. Zach Osborne
9. Dylan Ferrandis
10. Shane McElrath
11. Mitchell Harrison
12. Michael Mosiman
13. Kyle Cunningham
14. Mark Worth
15. Sean Cantrell
16. Jimmy Decotis
17. Justin Hill
18. Bradley Taft
19. Nick Gaines
20. Lorenzo Locurcio
Joey Savatgy took the holeshot, with Aaron Plessinger and Mitchell Harrison next in line. On the opening lap, Plessinger took the lead from Savatgy, and Dylan Ferrandis took fourth place from Jeremy Martin.
In the next few minutes, Harrison dropped spots to Ferrandis, Jeremy Martin and Austin Forkner to fall back to sixth.
While leading the race and beginning to build up a gap, Plessinger went down, and unfortunately his bike landed in one of the worst possible places — in a blind spot for riders coming over a jump. He had to wait for the field to come through before he could retrieve his bike and ultimately ended up not finishing the race.
Plessinger’s crash shuffled the riders up front. About ten minutes into the race, the top five was now as follows: Savatgy, Ferrandis, Jeremy Martin, Forkner, Zach Osborne. Alex Martin eventually got around Osborne for fifth, while the top four riders pulled away from everyone else.
With about 12 minutes left, Martin passed Ferrandis for second to move within one point of the overall victory. In order to get the overall, he would need to chase down and pass Savatgy, who was in line to get the overall himself if he held on to win the moto.
The race for the overall got even tighter when Ferrandis went down and allowed Forkner and Alex Martin to each pick up an additional spot.
Up front, the battle between Savatgy and Jeremy Martin heated up in the closing minutes. After Savatgy fended him off and opened up a slight gap, Jeremy closed back in for an exciting last-lap duel. Savatgy continued to hold him off, crossing the finish line just a half-second ahead of Jeremy.
Savatgy’s victory made him the fifth different winner in six motos so far this season.
Because Forkner was able to hold off Alex Martin for third, Savatgy’s win gave him the overall victory for the day with 4-1 moto results. Alex Martin (1-4) tied him in overall points but ended up second overall based on the Moto 2 tiebreaker.
The top four overall riders on the day were separated by just one point, as Jeremy Martin (3-2) finished third overall and Forkner (2-3) was fourth overall.
Zach Osborne, who revealed he had been sick all week, finished fifth overall with 8-5 moto finishes. He’ll still hold the points lead, but lost 13-14 points to each of the top four riders. Osborne now holds a 9-point lead over Alex Martin and an 18-point lead over Jeremy Martin.
Moto 2 Results
1. Joey Savatgy
2. Jeremy Martin (-0.4 seconds)
3. Austin Forkner
4. Alex Martin
5. Zach Osborne
6. Dylan Ferrandis
7. Justin Hill
8. Mitchell Harrison
9. Shane McElrath
10. Michael Mosiman
11. Sean Cantrell
12. Colt Nichols
13. Kyle Cunningham
14. Jimmy Decotis
15. Bradley Taft
16. Nick Gaines
17. Jerry Robin
18. Lorenzo Locurcio
19. Mark Worth
20. Luke Renzland
37. Adam Cianciarulo (DNF)
39. Aaron Plessinger (DNF)
1. Joey Savatgy (4-1)
2. Alex Martin (1-4)
3. Jeremy Martin (3-2)
4. Austin Forkner (2-3)
5. Zach Osborne (8-5)
6. Dylan Ferrandis (9-6)
7. Colt Nichols (6-12)
8. Mitchell Harrison (11-8)
9. Shane McElrath (10-9)
10. Michael Mosiman (12-10)
11. Justin Hill (17-7)
12. Sean Cantrell (15-11)
13. Kyle Cunningham (13-13)
14. Adam Cianciarulo (5-37)
15. Aaron Plessinger (7-39)
16. Jimmy Decotis (16-14)
17. Bradley Taft (18-15)
18. Mark Worth (14-19)
19. Nick Gaines (19-16)
20. Jerry Robin (25-17)