Eli Tomac had to overcome modest starts in both motos to become the fourth winner of 2022 in Motocross Round 4 at High Point Raceway.
It was a hard-fought victory as he had to rely on the tiebreaker to take the overall win from Chase Sexton. Both riders scored moto wins and second-place finishes. In the 250 class, Jett Lawrence earned his fourth straight overall win in the same manner over his brother, Hunter Lawrence.
Sexton ran away with the first moto, stretching his lead to 15 seconds before shifting into cruise mode in the last few laps. Tomac was charging, but it took too long to get around Jason Anderson in Moto 1 and he ran out of time.
Moto 2 was far more dramatic with last week’s winner Ken Roczen leading Sexton and Tomac as the three combatants battled in a single-framed shot.
Just past the halfway point of the second race, Tomac found more speed and rocketed to the lead. He was not able to completely shake his rival, however. Sexton kept the gap close and on the final lap, he closed to within four seconds and finished second. With 47 points each, Tomac was awarded the overall win on the tiebreaker, which is the rider with the best second moto finish.
Tomac’s Moto 2 win is the fourth time he’s won the second race at High Point.
“Seems like I’ve got to learn my lines in the first one and today, that’s what we did,” Tomac told MavTV’s Jason Thomas. “We made a small adjustment between motos that helped too. My body was clear, and I was able to put power down the whole time.”
This was Tomac’s 28th overall win, which moves him into sole possession of third.
“I just struggled overall with how choppy the track was,” Sexton said. “I didn’t feel as good as the first moto, but Eli was riding awesome. I heard him behind me. I made a couple of mistakes after I passed Kenny; he passed me back. Eli sucked me up and passed me as well.”
Jason Anderson finished 3-5 in the motos and took third overall, but that position also came down to the wire. Trailing Aaron Plessinger for the fifth position and with Ryan Dungey running third in as time ran off the clock in Moto 2, he saw Plessinger land hard and injure his knee.
Meanwhile, Roczen nipped Dungey at the line, denying him his first podium finish in his return to Pro Motocross action.
Roczen’s last turn heroics gave him a 7-3 and fourth-place finish overall.
Dungey finished fourth in Moto 2. Combined with his sixth-place finish in the first race, he scored his second top-five overall finish of 2022 in fifth. Dungey still has something to hang his helmet on: he earned the hole shot in Moto 2 and led the opening laps.
Antonio Cairolli went down in Moto 1 while attempting an aggressive pass on Christian Craig. He hurt his knee and couldn’t complete Moto 2.
450 results (moto finish)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (2-1)
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (1-2)
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki (3-5)
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (7-3)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plain, Minn., KTM (6-4)
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas, (4-7)
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga. Kawasaki (5-8)
- Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (8-6)
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (10-10)
- Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Husqvarna, (13-9)
450 points standings
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 180
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha – 167
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 162
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki – 147
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plain, Minn., KTM – 122
- Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 120
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas – 106
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 90
- Antonio Cairolli, Sicily, KTM – 89
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha – 86
Anotha one for Jett Lawrence 🔑 #ProMotocross pic.twitter.com/oaCox7JbQl
— Pro Motocross (@ProMotocross) June 18, 2022
Jett Lawrence will go down as the 250 overall winner and with that continue his perfect record of 2022, but the second moto was one of the best races the series has produced this year.
Hunter Lawrence won Moto 1 to cut slightly into his brother’s lead, and Jett was forced from overcome a 10th-place start in that race. A couple of tip overs by Levi Kitchen and Michael Mosiman in Moto 1 helped Jett move toward the front, but he finished a little more than four seconds back.
So, Jett was highly motivated when the second race came around.
In Moto 2, Seth Hammaker got the hole shot on his home track, but early in the race he tucked his wheel and hit the ground. That handed first and second to the Lawrence brothers and it appeared we would finally see how they raced head-to-head for the win.
Not so fast: Justin Cooper broke up the dual for a few laps until Jett was able to get back around him and challenge Hunter once more. Over the final 20 minutes of Moto 2, Jett and Hunter swapped the lead five times.
With time off the clock and two laps remaining, Jett had a two-second lead, which was the most anyone had all race long. Hunter mounted a determined charge and finished a half-second behind.
“I had to get him because if not he would have gained some points on me, so at least we tied,” Jett said after winning the overall. “It was a sick race. I relaxed for a second and Hunter jumped to the inside. Even though I got past, I have to admit that [move] was pretty sick.”
By winning the first race, Hunter stayed within 12 points of the lead as the two Lawrence’s slowly pull away from the rest of the field in their quest to make the championship a family affair.
“I’ll get him back another day for sure,” Hunter said. “It was cool, we traded motos today. It’s Father’s Day, so hopefully we gave Dad the best Father’s Day he could have [with a] 1 and 2.
Jo Shimoda finished third overall with a 3-5 in the two motos.
Mosiman with a 5-4 finished fourth overall and Cooper with an 8-3 rounded out the top five.
250 results (moto finish)
- Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (2-1)
- Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-2)
- Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (3-5)
- Michael Mosiman, Sebastapol, Calif., GasGas (5-4)
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, Yamaha (8-3)
- Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Penn., Kawasaki (4-6)
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson , Fla., Husqvarna (7-7)
- Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (6-9)
- Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GasGas (10-10)
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (9-11)
250 points standings
- Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 186
- Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 174
- Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 137
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, NY – 133
- Michael Mosiman, Sebastapol, Calif., GasGas – 115
- Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 115
- Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Penn., Kawasaki – 110
- Stilez Roberston, Bakersfield, Calif., Husqvarna – 94
- Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 90
- Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GasGas – 80
Round 1, Fox Raceway: Chase Sexton takes early lead in the championship hunt
Round 2, Hangtown: After 12 years of trying, Jason Anderson wins a Motocross race
Round 3, Thunder Valley: Three races, three winners as Ken Roczen takes the top spot