Jason Anderson wins Supercross Round 16 in Denver; Eli Tomac takes the title

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Jason Anderson won Supercross Round 16 in Denver, Colorado, but Eli Tomac secured the 2022 championship in front of his home state fans with one round remaining in the season.

Round 16 was a day of statements. Tomac needed to finish 14th or better to secure his second Monster Energy Supercross championship, but in order to take the pressure off the main, he needed a strong heat run. He won Heat 1 and guaranteed a great starting position.

Heat 2 went to the Supercross Power Ranking leader Chase Sexton, but the only rider with a mathematical shot at catching Tomac was closing fast before finishing second in his heat. And that set up one of the most dramatic opening laps to a Supercross race of the season.

Sexton won the hole shot with Tomac second. If the Yamaha rider has had an Achilles Heel this season, it has been modest starts, so Tomac’s solid launch was another statement made during the race.

Jason Anderson slotted into third.

At the four-minute mark, Sexton took himself out of the picture by running wide, hooking a ledge on the exit of a turn, and hitting the dirt. Tomac’s home crowd roared as he took the lead, but he couldn’t shake Anderson, who made a clean pass for the top spot a couple of laps later. Anderson never looked back.

Anderson claimed his third consecutive win and sixth of the season. He can still tie Tomac for the most victories in 2022 if he wins next week in the finale at Salt Lake City.

Click here for complete 450 results

“It feels really good (to win), but it’s a little bittersweet,” Anderson told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “I wanted to make it go to the end, but congrats to Eli. I’ve been racing him forever. He’s been a tough guy to battle forever. He’s been really awesome.”

Anderson and Tomac have raced against one another since they were eight-year-old amatuers.

“For me, three (wins) in a row is awesome and I just want to keep progressing and hopefully we can come back in 2023 and grab that No. 1 plate,” Anderson added.

Once he relinquished the lead, Tomac had little to prove. He faded to fifth at the end, but revealed why his results have fallen off in recent weeks.

“Truly unbelievable. This was in my dreams to make this move – to make this happen this way. We were so strong the whole season. Actually, in Atlanta, I messed up my knee in the heat race and that is why I’ve been kind of sub-par in these last three races. Thankfully I was able to manage what we had going on.”

Unless it’s public knowledge, never show weakness, so Tomac kept this information to himself.

Tomac’s first Supercross title came in 2020 and he was crowned in an empty stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac also has three Lucas Oil Motocross titles, which came in 2019, 2018 and 2017.

With the championship locked up and second-place a virtual lock for Anderson, the focus shifts to third in the standings. A tight battle between Malcolm Stewart in third, Justin Barcia in fourth and Marvin Musquin in fifth will come down to the finale. Eight points separate the three riders.

Stewart earned a little more breathing room with a runner-up finish, while Musquin was able to close the gap slightly on Barcia with his fifth podium in the last six weeks,

Sexton rebounded from his crash and finished fifth.


In the 250 West class, Hunter Lawrence kept the pressure on Christian Craig and closed the gap to 18 points, forcing the rider who started the season with three wins in the first four rounds to ride mistake-free in the finale in Salt Lake City.

In the opening laps, it appeared Craig was stalking Lawrence. He showed his front wheel to the leader a couple of times to try and force Lawrence to make a mistake, but ultimately it was Craig who landed wrong and hit the dirt.

“It was interesting,” Lawrence told Daniel Blair after the race. “(Craig) was pulling me in some spots and then I’d get out a little bit. If he passed – if it was a dirty pass – I probably wouldn’t have been mad because it keeps my championship hopes alive if I had a shot to put him on the ground.

“It may not be nice, but that is honesty. He ended up going down and then I had to control the race.”

It was Lawrence’s third consecutive win and fourth in the last five races. If not for a crash in Anaheim 3, the two riders would be much closer entering the finale.

Lawrence and Craig each have four wins apiece in 2022.

Click here for 250 results

Craig could have locked up the championship with a win and that was on his mind before the crash. he landed awkwardly in the sand section early in the race, crashed and fell to sixth.

“The smallest mistake cost me on that one,” Craig said. “I was riding so good. I felt like I was putting the pressure on Hunter when I needed and almost had the pass a couple of times, but he was riding good; he was consistent.

“I got caught off guard with that crash. I’m glad I was able to come back through the pack again, to third and minimize the damage.”

Michael Mosiman slotted into second for this fifth podium finish of the season, three of which came in the last four rounds. He still has a shot at climbing to second in the points if Lawrence has a disastrous day in Salt Lake City, but can finish no worse than third.

Jo Shimoda in fourth and Garrett Marchbanks rounded out the top five.


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

ROUND 8, ARLINGTON: Tomac wins overall as Anderson takes two features

ROUND 9, DAYTONA: History made as Tomac sets Daytona Supercross record

ROUND 10, DETROIT: Tomac wins incident-filled, third consecutive

ROUND 11, INDIANAPOLIS: Tomac extends lead as competition falters

ROUND 12, INDIANAPOLIS: Tomac wins fifth straight and sets sights on 2022 championship

ROUND 13, ST LOUIS: Marvin Musquin scores first win of 2022 in Triple Crown format

ROUND 14, ATLANTA: Anderson keeps the pressure on with win

ROUND 15, FOXBOROUGH: Anderson’s second straight win pushes battle one more week

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

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Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s