Moto Media

James Stewart scores first win of the season


Once again, Ken Roczen found himself in a last-lap battle for the lead. But like two weeks ago at Glen Helen, he would have to settle for a runner-up finish.

Josh Grant earned the Holeshot for the second time this season but was quickly passed by Stewart. JS7 would go on to lead the rest of the race, but it was not without challenges from multiple riders.

Five minutes into the race, Stewart had built up about a 2-second lead, but Ryan Dungey was able to reel him in over the next five minutes. With under 17 minutes left on the countdown clock, Dungey made a pass attempt on the Yoshimura Suzuki rider and briefly had a wheel in front of him, but Stewart came right back and shut the door on him.

Meanwhile, Roczen was working his way up through the field, passing Andrew Short and Josh Grant to move into fourth. It set him up for a battle with Trey Canard, with the two of them not far behind Stewart and Dungey. With 14 minutes left on the clock, Roczen was finally able to make the pass on the outside to take over third and set his sights on his teammate.

Roczen caught Dungey, and the two would fight for second place, allowing Stewart the opportunity to extend his lead just slightly to about 1.5 seconds. Roczen got around Dungey as time was close to expiring and was soon on Stewart's rear wheel. Over the final three laps, Roczen applied the pressure but was never quite able to set himself up for the pass, and once he was got a little held up by lapped traffic on the final lap, Stewart had just a bit of breathing room to allow him to take the checkered flag - his first of the season.

Thanks to an uncharacteristic fall in the final laps, Dungey was passed by Canard and would finish off the podium - a rarity in his career.

After taking the Holeshot, Grant would lose a few spots to the "fast four" of this race but held on for a top-five finish. It's a great bounce-back after last week's misfortunes.

Colorado native Andrew Short got off to a strong start, sitting as high as third early in the race. His sixth-place moto finish is a season-high.

Thunder Valley 450 Moto 1

1. James Stewart
2. Ken Roczen
3. Trey Canard
4. Ryan Dungey
5. Josh Grant
6. Andrew Short
7. Malcolm Stewart
8. Jake Weimer
9. Brett Metcalfe
10. Weston Peick
11. Ivan Tedesco
12. Phil Nicoletti
13. Chad Reed
14. Matt Goerke
15. Killy Rusk
16. Fredrik Noren
17. Tommy Weeck
18. Nick Schmidt
19. Jimmy Albertson
20. Cade Clason