Eli Tomac wins Supercross cat-and-mouse Round 8 at Arlington by one point over Jason Anderson

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Eli Tomac finished 3-2-2 in the Triple Crown format of Round 8 of the Monster Energy Supercross season and won the overall by a single point over Jason Anderson.

Tomac’s third win of the season came one week after Anderson won for a third time and closed the points gap to three over Tomac. With Anderson finishing second in Arlington, the gap widens slightly to six as these two riders serve notice they intend to have the championship come down to a two-man battle.

“I was trying to get the win (in Race 3),” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “Gosh, that was a really fun cat-and-mouse. To be honest, my first couple of laps were not clean enough. I was making a couple of mistakes. I probably paid a little too much attention to who was behind me.

“Once I got passed by Jason, I rode on his rear wheel. I was there the whole time and I knew I had to wait until the very end.”

Tomac and Anderson rode handlebar to handlebar in both the second and third races for big swaths of the event, which made this an interesting prelude to the second half of the season.

Tomac’s win in Arlington came with consistency. He failed to win one of the three feature races, while Anderson won twice and Cooper Webb won once, but the overall finish is when the points get paid.

With his victory, Tomac is now two-for-two in regard to Triple Crown wins after also taking the overall at Glendale earlier this year. The third and final Triple Crown format will be held at St. Louis on April 9.

Anderson might have swept the night if not for an eventful Race 1.

Anderson battled Malcolm Stewart in the mid-stages of the first race as Tomac was mired deep in the pack.

Anderson and Stewart made contact in a bowl turn and crashed. As the pair prepared to remount, Stewart pushed Anderson to the ground to insure he would restart first. In the meantime, Tomac swept past the two riders and dropped Anderson to sixth.

“I’m just ready to battle,” Anderson said. “I want to give it my all every time and sometimes I may be behind a little bit, but I’m going to try and make my race craft every time.”

It was the only flaw in an otherwise perfect race. Anderson would later take responsibility for the mistake in the post-race press conference.

After sweeping all three races of the Arlington residency in 2021, Cooper Webb was prepared to make noise when the gate dropped on the first race. Last year’s residency was run on three separate nights on three different course configurations and it gave Webb momentum to eventually win the championship.

Webb struggled in the first Triple Crown at Glendale with an 8-8-5 that ended in an eighth overall.

With Anderson and Stewart taking each other out, Webb snuck through for the win Race 1 of Supercross Round 8 and put himself in a position to contend for the overall victory. He finished two points behind Tomac and one behind Anderson in the closely matched battle.

Chase Sexton finished fourth overall with a best finish of third in Race 2.

After being denied the win in Race 1, Stewart finished fifth in that feature. He followed it with a sixth in Race 2 and finally got his elusive podium in the final feature.

With his fifth-place finish overall, Stewart extended his streak to seven consecutive top-fives.

Click here for complete 450 results

Cameron McAdoo followed up on a third-place finish in Minneapolis in the 250 East opener last week with his first win of the season in the Triple Crown format in Arlington.

McAdoo took the victory in style by backing up two podiums in the first two races with a win in the final race of the night. He entered the final event in a three-way tie with Austin Forkner and Jett Lawrence for the top spot.

“It was a crazy night of racing as everyone saw,” McAadoo told NBC Sports’ Daniel Blair. “These Triple Crowns are gnarly. We went in with a tie, me Austin (Forkner) and Jett (Lawrence). Winner take all and we all knew that.

“It was intense. I was really just trying to lock in, get a really good start. I picked the same gate every race, got a good start and I put down some good laps.”

The 250 class was filled with drama.

The stakes were high in the third race and, as McAdoo said, everyone knew that each position in the race meant a difference on the podium.

Forkner and Lawrence battled side-by-side throughout the final feature until a late-race incident between them turned into chaos.

Lawrence made a pass for third over Forkner, but as they jumped over the finish line, the two make contact mid-air and crashed hard. Lawrence was able to remount. Forkner was not and he was carted off the course by the medical staff.

“I’m really disappointed with myself,” Lawrence said after the race. “I’m bummed because I took a guy out in the air. I’m not about that, so I’m disappointed in myself.

“I hit the off ramp and clipped a Tuff Blox and it sent me to the right. I hate doing that to a rider. I was hoping we would have a good battle. I just pray that he’s okay and can come back next week.”

Finishing 10th secured the final position on the podium for Lawrence.

Wedged between McAdoo and Lawrence was Jeremy Martin who got his poor performance for the night out of the way in Race 1. He finished second in Feature 2 and secured another podium in Feature 3.

There was some good news for Forkner. He scored his first win of 2022 in Race 1 and from the podium, expressed a sense of relief because of what he thought was a slow start in Minneapolis in Round 7. Forkner finished fourth in his heat there and second in the main.

After missing his Heat with a mechanical issue and then failing to advance to the Main through his LCQ, Mithcell Oldenburg saw some redemption in Arlington with a 5-6-5.

Jordon Smith rounded out the top five with a 6-10-7 in the three features.

Click here for complete 250 results


RACE RECAPS

ROUND 1, ANAHEIM: Ken Roczen renews battle with Cooper Webb by winning the opener

ROUND 2, OAKLAND: Jason Anderson wins for first time since championship season

ROUND 3, SAN DIEGO: Chase Sexton (450s) and Michael Mosiman (250s) deliver first career wins

ROUND 4, ANAHEIM: Four races, four winners as Eli Tomac solidifies points lead

ROUND 5, GLENDALE: Tomac wins back-to-back races in Arizona Triple Crown

ROUND 6, ANAHEIM: Anderson ties Tomac with two 2022 wins

ROUND 7, MINNEAPOLIS: Anderson does it again and closes to within three of Tomac

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.