Eli Tomac establishes domination with perfect Motocross Round 6 at Southwick, Jett Lawrence regains red plate

Motocross returns Unadilla
Align Media / ProMotocross.com
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Eli Tomac won both motos of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Round 6 at The Wick 338 in Southwick, Mass., to score his third consecutive win. Tomac made it look easy, but as he climbed from his Yamaha at the end of the day, he was noticeably worn.

The first four rounds 2022 were won by four riders but once Tomac found the front, he has been almost perfect. He won Round 4 on a tiebreaker over Chase Sexton as the two riders earned the same number of points. The tiebreaker came in the form of the best finish in Moto 2 at High Point and to earn that, Tomac had to win. Tomac now has five consecutive moto wins.

Tomac left nothing to the imagination in the last two rounds with wins in all four motos.

In both races at in Motocross Round 6, Tomac had modest starts and was forced to ride through the field. It is not an unaccustomed position for last year’s runner-up finisher in MX points.

“We’re just doing what we can,” Tomac told Will Christien from the top of the box. “This is a gnarly, gnarly points’ race. Obviously neither one of us has made a mistake yet, or blinked, and we’re both pushing each other. That time I got a better start.

“This place is a lot of fun, but at the same time it brings a lot of pain. By the end of that moto, your legs are done.”

Despite his wins, Tomac has not been able to establish clear domination over Sexton, who finished second in all four of those races. Tomac has been able to make significant inroads in the points, however. Motocross scores each race individually and that means Tomac shaved six points off Sexton’s lead in the last two rounds.

Sexton also rode from the middle of the pack in his races. Once he knew Tomac had enough points to take the red plate away from him, Sexton threw caution to the wind, clipping the edge of the track and making bold moves on Roczen and Plessinger. His pass for second came with two laps remaining in the race.

“That was a tough race,” Sexton said. “I definitely didn’t get a good start and those guys were gone. I put my head down. This place has never been my favorite and today I had fun. I’m just happy to get out of here still with the red plate and the rest of these tracks I really like.

“I’m looking forward to battling with Eli. He’s been on a roll lately, which I’ve got to stop.”

As they have pushed one another, Sexton and Tomac have stretched their lead to 41 and 40 points respectively as the series hits the halfway point.

Aaron Plessinger had a bad first moto and finished only seventh. He challenged for the lead in Moto 2, running second to Ken Roczen for the first 15 minutes, but when he was passed by Tomac, he found another gear and followed him through. In the closing laps, Plessinger was not quite able to hold off the charging Sexton and was pushed back to third, but that was enough for third overall.

Ken Roczen continues to get great starts in Motocross, but in Round 6, he let them slip away. Roczen earned the holeshot in both races and led the first halves of those events. He faded to sixth in Moto 1 and fourth in the second race.

Christian Craig’s elevation to 450s after winning the 250 West Supercross title continues to go well. He stood on the podium in Moto 1 and finished eighth in the second race to round out the top five. Craig sits sixth in the points, one behind Ryan Dungey

450 results (moto finish)

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (1-1)
  2. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (2-2)
  3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (7-3)
  4. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (6-4)
  5. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (3-8)
  6. Max Anstie, Newbury, England, Honda (5-5)
  7. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plain, Minn., KTM (4-7)
  8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki (8-6)
  9. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (10-10)
  10. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas, (13-9)

450 points standings

  1. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 268
  2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha – 267
  3. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 227
  4. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki – 207
  5. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plain, Minn., KTM – 185
  6. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 184
  7. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas – 159
  8. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 149
  9. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 125
  10. Shane McElrath, Cantaon, NC, Husqvarna – 118

One week after losing the points lead because of a mechanical failure in Moto 1 at RedBud MX Park, Jett Lawrence came back with a vengeance at The Wick 338 in Southwick, Mass., earning the holeshot in both motos and winning both races of Pro Motocross Round 6 in the 250 class. If not for that mechanical failure, Lawrence would most likely have a perfect record of overall wins this season instead of going five for six.

Jett’s problems last week cost him the points lead. He came into the race with a seven-point deficit and left 15 ahead of his brother Hunter Lawrence as it was the older brother’s time to experience trouble.

“I’ve got to be pumped,” Lawrence told Will Christien from the top of the podium. “Hunter had a pretty rough one today. He looks a little bit like [Lloyd] now from ‘Dumb and Dumber’ with his chipped tooth, but at least he joins me now with the chipped teeth now. I didn’t really want to take it away like that. I would have rather raced against him because I find that a little more fun.”

Hunter got a bad start in Moto 1 and his day got worse. Riding close to Stylez Robertson in the middle of that race, he clipped his back tire and went down hard. As he tried to rise, he was hit twice by the competition, but regained him mount and rejoined the fray in 16th.

Determined to get ahead of the rider he felt was responsible for his fall, Hunter rode back to sixth and completed an aggressive pass on Robertson at the end of the race. It didn’t end there. Hunter grabbed Robertson by the helmet and shook him in displeasure.

Banged up, Lawrence rode with a chipped tooth and sore muscles to a distant eighth in Moto 2 and finished seventh overall.

And it was not all clear sailing for Jett. He hit the dirt midway through Moto 1 and gave the lead over to Justin Cooper, but when that rider stalled on an uphill segment, Jett regained the top spot and stayed there until the checkers.

Jo Shimoda kept Jett honest in Moto 1. Coupled with a third-place finish in Moto 2, he finished second overall.

“The track is really difficult,” Shimoda said. “Honestly, I never practiced for conditions like this, so I’m grabbing my bike so hard your muscles just can’t take it sometimes. I have to keep improving.”

Cooper finished third in Moto 1 and a solid fourth in Moto 2 gave him the final spot on the podium.

In Moto 2, it was Levi Kitchen’s turn to keep Jett honest. He rode in the winner’s rooster tail of sand for the first half of the race before fading at the checkers. With an 8-2, he finished fourth overall.

RJ Hampshire rounded out the overall top five with a 4-5.

250 results (moto finish)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-1)
  2. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (2-3)
  3. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, Yamaha (3-4)
  4. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (8-2)
  5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (4-5)
  6. Stilez Roberston, Bakersfield, Calif., Husqvarna (7-7)
  7. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (6-8)
  8. Michael Mosiman, Sebastapol, Calif., GasGas (5-9)
  9. Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (15-6)
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (8-8)

250 points standings

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 261
  2. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 246
  3. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 224
  4. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, NY – 197
  5. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 180
  6. Michael Mosiman, Sebastapol, Calif., GasGas – 169
  7. Stilez Roberston, Bakersfield, Calif., Husqvarna – 158
  8. Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Penn., Kawasaki – 151
  9. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 132
  10. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 129

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
Round 4, High Point: Now four-for-four, Eli Tomac takes the trophy
Round 5, RedBud: Tomac becomes first in 2022 with two wins; Hunter Lawrence takes red plate in 250s