Eli Tomac scores first season win in Motocross Round 10 at Ironman Raceway


Eli Tomac scored his first Lucas Oil Pro Motocross victory of 2021 in Round 10 at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Ind., with a second-place finish in Moto 1 and his first 2021 moto win in the Race 2. But for the second straight weekend, no one could make up points on Dylan Ferrandis, who finished 1-2 and lost the overall on the tiebreaker.

One of the fittest riders in the field, the conditions were ideal for Tomac. Ironman is one of the toughest tracks on the circuit, made worse on Saturday by heat and excessive humidity. Tomac also benefitted from getting fast starts in both motos, while he has been forced to come from deeper in the field in the first nine rounds.

This was Tomac’s third consecutive Ironman victory.

Tomac has come close to winning on a few occasions with three previous moto wins and three second-place finishes in the overall standings.

“All I can say is it’s better late than never,” Tomac about his first win of the season. “I finally had the day I’ve been wanting to have. I kind of felt like there’s been two sides to me from one moto to the next all season. Today, I finally felt good in both. I got good starts, was able to make the pass (for the lead) happen in the second moto, and ride the race I wanted.”

Unaccustomed strong starts among riders who typically struggle early was the storyline of Ironman.

Ferrandis also typically struggles early in motos before mounting successful charges late in the race. In Moto 1, he had the leaders in sight through the early laps and was embroiled in a thrilling three-wide battle with Ken Roczen and Joey Savatgy.

When Roczen finally stumbled, Ferrandis pounced and built a lead on most of the field – but he could not shake Tomac, until the two lost contact in traffic in the final five minutes.

In Moto 2, a three-man battle developed early between Tomac, Ferrandis and Cooper Webb.

wins Motocross Round 10
Dylan Ferrandis has finished on the overall podium in every round of 2021 and is on the brink of winning the 450 championship in his rookie season. (Align Media)

Ferrandis earned the holeshot in Moto 2, but Webb caught him on Lap 1 and pulled out a slight advantage. Tomac settled into second, pushing Ferrandis back to third. Through the first half of the moto, the trio stayed in contact.

“(My success) has been from hard work that I’ve put in for years. It’s finally paying off,” Ferrandis told NBC Sports’ Ashley Reynard. “I do everything for my sport and to be on top. Today was just one of those days where I suffered on the bike. I don’t know why. I just didn’t have the strength. Eli was riding awesome, so credit to him. We had another good day in the championship, so I’m happy with the result.”

Ferrandis now has a 50-point lead over Roczen, which is the maximum number of points a rider can score in a round. If Ferrandis leaves Fox Raceway next week with the same advantage, he will wrap up the Motocross championship with one round remaining.

Tomac passed Webb at about the 10-minute mark with Ferrandis following him through four minutes later.

Webb was able to settle into third and scored his both his first moto and overall podium of the season.

Roczen finished 3-5 for fourth-place overall.

“The weather today was definitely on the warmer side,” Roczen said. “I just felt a little more fatigued than last weekend, but I gave it my best. Tried to maintain the second moto and make it through.”

Roczen’s teammate Chase Sexton rounding out the top five.

450 results (moto finish)

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (2-1)
  2. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-2)
  3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (4-3)
  4. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (3-5)
  5. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (5-4)
  6. Coty Schock, Dover, Del. (8-6)
  7. Joey Savatgy, Thoasville, Ga., KTM (7-8)
  8. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., KTM (10-7)
  9. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, NJ, Suzuki (9-9)
  10. Kyle Chisholm, Clearwater, Fla., Yamaha (11-10)

450 points standings

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 439
  2. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 389
  3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 368
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 342
  5. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 278
  6. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 240
  7. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas – 239
  8. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 232
  9. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha – 224
  10. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM – 216

In 250s, Jett Lawrence swept the weekend and wrested the red plate away from Just Cooper with two rounds remaining.

Like Tomac and Ferrandis in the 450 class, Lawrence is another rider who typically finds himself coming from the middle of field in early laps.

Since Lawrence has come from deeper in the field, head to head battles with Cooper have been rare. In Moto 1, both riders had strong starts and an opportunity to test one another. Lawrence came out on top, rode to the front, and won convincingly while Cooper faded to fourth.

“The intensity is pretty gnarly. It’s a hot day, so I’m definitely going to have to get back and recover, but it’s good to start off with a moto win. Hopefully I can do the same in the second one and get some more points.”

Moto 2 featured a battle between Lawrence and Jo Shimoda.

Coming off a second-place finish in Moto 1, Shimoda got the holeshot, led early in Moto 2 and held the position for about five minutes until Lawrence rode past.

With his 1-1, Lawrence earned his third overall win of the season and his seventh moto victory.

With a 2-3, Shimoda swept the podium for the first time in 2021 and finished second overall – the best result of his 450 Motocross career.

Consistency paid off for Cooper, he finished third overall with a 4-4, but took a major hit in the points. Entering Ironman with a three-point lead, Cooper now trails by 11 with two rounds remaining.

“Just got to keep fighting,” Cooper said after scoring his 10th overall podium in 10 rounds. “It’s not going to be easy. Jett was riding really good today. I really didn’t have anything for him. I’m giving my all every moto and that’s all I can do at the end of the day.”

Jeremy Martin tried to deny Lawrence the Moto 1 win so he could help teammate Cooper. Martin and Lawrence battled handlebar to handlebar through the first half of the moto until Martin crashed.

By motocross standards, the crash was not particularly brutal, but already riding with a fractured wrist, it was enough to complete the break. Martin did not remount his Yamaha for Moto 2 and is done for the season.

Michael Mosiman returned to the track after missing several races. It didn’t take long to knock off any rust. He finished third in Moto 1 and climbed right back on the podium. A sixth in Moto 2 placed him fourth overall.

One week after earning his first overall top-five of the season, Austin Forkner finished fifth with a 5-5.

250 results (moto finish)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-1)
  2. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (2-3)
  3. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (4-4)
  4. Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., GasGas (3-6)
  5. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (5-5)
  6. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (13-2)
  7. Ty Masterpool, Paradise, Texas, GasGas (6-7)
  8. Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Honda (8-8)
  9. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (12-9)
  10. Dilan Schwartz, Alpine, Calif., Suzuki (9-13)

250 points standings

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 414
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 403
  3. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 319
  4. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 307
  5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 300
  6. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 262
  7. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki, – 218
  8. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 195
  9. Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., GasGas – 189
  10. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 182


Round 1: Dylan Ferrandis, Jett Lawrence victorious at Fox Raceway

Round 2: Ken Roczen’s perfect day as Justin Cooper takes 250s at Thunder Valley

Round 3: Dylan Ferrandis wins Motocross Round 3 at High Point, takes points lead

Round 4: Dylan Ferrandis wins again, stretches points’ lead over Ken Roczen

Round 5: Dylan Ferrandis remains hot in 450s; another new 250 winner with Hunter Lawrence

Round 6: Justin Barcia snaps Ferrandis streak at Spring Creek, gives GasGas first victory

Round 7: Chase Sexton gets first 2021 win at Washougal, Jeremy Martin doubles in 250s

Round 8: Ken Roczen gets back in the 450 chase; Jett Lawrence trims Justin Cooper lead in 250s

Round 9: Ken Roczen keeps momentum alive with 1-2 finish, but Ferrandis answers with a 2-1

IndyCar Power Rankings: Pato O’Ward moves to the top entering Texas Motor Speedway


The NBC Sports IndyCar power rankings naturally were as jumbled as the action on the streets of St. Petersburg after a chaotic opener to the 2023 season.

Pato O’Ward, who finished second because of an engine blip that cost him the lead with a few laps remaining, moves into the top spot ahead of St. Pete winner Marcus Ericsson and Alexander Rossi, who finished fourth in his Arrow McLaren debut. Scott Dixon and St. Pete pole-sitter Romain Grosjean (who led 31 laps) rounded out the top five.

St. Pete pole-sitter Romain Grosjean (who started first at St. Pete after capturing his second career pole position) Callum Ilott (a career-best fifth) and Graham Rahal entered the power rankings entering the season’s second race.

Three drivers fell out of the preseason top 10 after the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – including previously top-ranked Josef Newgarden, who finished 17th after qualifying 14th.

Heading into Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, here’s NBC Sports’ assessment of the current top 10 drivers through the first of 17 races this year (with previous preseason rankings in parenthesis):

NBC Sports’ IndyCar Power Rankings

1. Pato O’Ward (5) – If not for the dreaded “plenum event” in the No. 5 Chevrolet, the Arrow McLaren driver is opening the season with a victory capping a strong race weekend.

2. Marcus Ericsson (7) – He might be the most opportunistic driver in IndyCar, but that’s because the 2022 Indy 500 winner has become one of the series’ fastest and most consistent stars.

3. Alexander Rossi (10) – He overcame a frustrating Friday and mediocre qualifying to open his Arrow McLaren career with the sort of hard-earned top five missing in his last years at Andretti.

4. Scott Dixon (3) – Put aside his opening-lap skirmish with former teammate Felix Rosenqvist, and it was a typically stealthily good result for the six-time champion.

5. Romain Grosjean (NR) – The St. Petersburg pole-sitter consistently was fastest on the streets of St. Petersburg over the course of the race weekend, which he couldn’t say once last year.

6. Scott McLaughlin (6) – Easily the best of the Team Penske drivers before his crash with Grosjean, McLaughlin drove like a legitimate 2023 championship contender.

7. Callum Ilott (NR) – A quietly impressive top five for the confident Brit in Juncos Hollinger Racing’s first race as a two-car team. Texas will be a big oval litmus test.

8. Graham Rahal (NR) – Sixth at St. Pete, Rahal still has the goods on street courses, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan remains headed in the right direction.

9. Alex Palou (4) – He seemed a step behind Ericsson and Dixon in the race after just missing the Fast Six in qualifying, but this was a solid start for Palou.

10. Will Power (2) – An uncharacteristic mistake that crashed Colton Herta put a blemish on the type of steady weekend that helped him win the 2022 title.

Falling out (last week): Josef Newgarden (1), Colton Herta (8), Christian Lundgaard (9)