Motocross goes mile high: Thunder Valley preview


The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship goes mile-high this week as Round 3 is contested just outside of Denver, Colo. at Thunder Valley Motocross Park.

The Supercross debut in Denver two months ago provides a sneak peak of what viewers can expect. Eli Tomac was favored to win in his home state, and he lived up to expectations as his late-season surge put pressure on Cooper Webb.

Tomac should be able to pick up where he left off after winning this April in the Broncos Stadium at Mile High and last week on Fox Raceway at Pala, Calif. because he is the defending winner on Thunder Valley as well. If he can score back-to-back victories on this track, he will be the first repeat winner in five years. Blake Baggett won in 2017, Ken Roczen in 2016 and Ryan Dungey in 2015.

Roczen expects to challenge, however. He won the opener at Hangtown and finished third last week. He is also the most recent repeat winner with a victory in 2014. Still battling a mysterious health issue that drains his strength, Roczen will have to overcome the high altitude this week. He finished only seventh in the Denver SX race.

The track will be altered from its weekly format with the addition of sand to soften the surface. As the day progresses, the sand and native soil churn together creating new conditions and challenges with each lap.

In addition, the altitude will starve the engines of oxygen – changing the throttle response from what the riders have experienced during the past two weeks.

Baggett bent his front wheel in Moto 1 at Pala and hurt his throttle wrist, but has been cleared to race.

Rookie Joey Savatgy has recovered from a shoulder injury sustained in the Nashville SX race and a deep leg bruise from Las Vegas. He is expected to be back on his Kawasaki this week.

MORE: Third Time’s the Charm for Blake Baggett
MORE: Eli Tomac Outfoxes the Field at Pala


Qualifiers: 12:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold
Race: Live, 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold (Moto 1) and 5:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold (Moto 2); replay 4 p.m. ET, June 2

May 25 – 2019 Fox Raceway at Pala

450: Eli Tomac (1-1) won over Marvin Musquin (3-2) and Ken Roczen (2-3).
250: Adam Cianciarulo (3-1) won over Justin Cooper (1-4) and Dylan Ferrandis (7-3).

June 2, 2018 – Thunder Valley

450: Eli Tomac (1-1) defeated Ken Roczen (2-2) and Blake Baggett (3-3).
250: Jeremy Martin (2-1) beat Alex Martin (3-2) and Justin Cooper (1-8).

Overall Wins

[1] Ken Roczen (Hangtown)
[1] Eli Tomac (Pala)

[2] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown, Pala)

Moto Wins

[3] Eli Tomac (Hangtown II, Pala I & II)
[1] Ken Roczen (Hangtown I)

[1] Justin Cooper (Hangtown I, Pala I)
[1] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown II, Pala II)

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Formula E announces Portland, Oregon as US race in 2023

Formula E Portland 2023
Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

The American date for the 2023 Formula E schedule will move from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon on June 24, 2023, filling the calendar at 16 rounds. This will be the first time in the nine-year history of the series that they have raced on the West Coast in only the third different city in the United States. Miami hosted one Formula E race in 2015. The series has visited the United States every season except 2020 due to the COVID-1+9 pandemic.

The 2023 race will be Round 12.

“We are excited to bring the premier electric motorsport world championship to Portland for the first time in June next year,” said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E in a press release. “There is a big, passionate fanbase for professional sports in the city, together with strong ecological credentials which makes Portland a perfect host for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“The USA remains an important market for Formula E. We are delighted to maintain that critical presence and engage a new audience in the Pacific Northwest region in all-electric motorsport.”

MORE: McLaren Racing’s Ian James organization’s entry into Formula E

Last year’s American round in Brooklyn was made up of two races with Nick Cassidy from Envision Racing winning Race 1 and António da Costa from DS Techeetah taking the second race.

Portland will host only one Formula E race in 2023.

The 2023 season will be highlighted by the new Gen 3 car, which features a battery capable of generating 350 kilowatts with regeneration capability from both the front and rear axles. This contributes to a top speed of 200 miles per hour (m.p.h.), an increase of about 25 m.p.h. from last year.

The 2023 season also marks the entry of two new iconic teams, Maserati and McLaren, who completed their roster of drivers in late November with the addition of Jake Hughes.

Season 9 Calendar

Round 1:  January 3, Mexico City, Mexico
Rounds 2 & 3: January 27-28, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Round 4: February 11, Hyderabad, India*
Round 5: February 6, Cape Town, South Africa*
Round 6: March 8, São Paulo, Brazil*
Rounds 7 & 8: April 22-23, Berlin, Germany
Round 9: May 6, Monaco
Rounds 10 & 11: June 3-4, Jakarta, Indonesia
Round 12: June 24, Portland, Oregon*
Rounds 13 & 14: July 15-16, Rome, Italy
Rounds 15 & 16: July 29-30, London

*subject to final FIA Safety and Technical checks,