Eli Tomac wins Motocross Round 7 at Spring Creek; Jett Lawrence continues to dominate 250s

Tomac Motocross Round 7
Align Media / ProMotocross.com

Eli Tomac got off to a slow start in 2022, but after winning at High Point in Round 4, he’s been undefeated and for the third straight week, earned maximum points in Motocross Round 7 at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minn.

The more things change, the more they remain the same. In the past three weeks it has been Tomac 1-1 and Sexton 2-2, but with Tomac slowly gaining the advantage, he finally assumed the championship lead and holds a five-point advantage.

“That was crazy, running at that pace the whole time [in Moto 2],” Tomac said. “I had my work cut out for me off the start and had to make some passes. I was able to get by Chase early and that was huge. We made some changes to the bike in the second moto that really helped and allowed me to put the bike where I wanted.”

Second-place finishes in both motos tell only part of the story for Sexton. In Moto 1, he was able to catch and pass Tomac until a fall near the end cost him the lead. He got a great start in Moto 2 and gapped Tomac by two seconds in the opening lap.

It didn’t last long. Tomac found another gear on the second lap, made some dangerous jumps, and muscled past Sexton.

Sexton did not let Tomac ride away. He stayed within two seconds for the remainder of the race and mounted a charge at the end.

“My riding hasn’t been an issue, but I honestly felt off today and made a lot of mistakes,” Sexton said. “I tried my best all day though.

“That was crazy running at the pace the whole final moto, but [Tomac] is riding awesome right now. I obviously need to do some things better and I’ll keep fighting.”

Jason Anderson had a strong and consistent run, finishing third in the first race and fourth in the second to claim third overall.

“I didn’t put myself in a good position to start, but I did what I had to do in order to get on the podium,” Anderson said. “I’m exhausted, but we’ll keep doing whatever we have to continue to be up here.”

Christian Craig withstood a charge from Anderson in Moto 2 and finished third, giving him a fourth-place finish overall.

Ryan Dungey rounded out the top five with a 4-6.

It was a disastrous round for Ken Roczen. He crashed in both motos to finish 16th overall with a 26-12.

450 results (moto finish)

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (1-1)
  2. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (2-2)
  3. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki (3-4)
  4. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (5-3)
  5. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plain, Minn., KTM (4-6)
  6. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas, (6-5)
  7. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (7-7)
  8. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (9-10)
  9. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Husqvarna (10-11)
  10. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Suzuki (13-13)

450 points standings

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha – 317
  2. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 312
  3. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki – 245
  4. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 236
  5. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 220
  6. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plain, Minn., KTM – 218
  7. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas – 190
  8. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 177
  9. Shane McElrath, Cantaon, NC, Husqvarna – 139
  10. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 125

Jett Lawrence continues to dominate, scoring his fifth consecutive moto win in the 250 class and earning his sixth overall win in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Round 7.

Moto 1 was hard fought between Jett and his brother Hunter Lawrence with Jett crossing the line a fraction of a second ahead. Moto 2 was shaping up to be the same with Hunter taking an early lead and Jett chasing, but two accidents on Lap 2 forced a complete restart. Hunter was not as fortunate on the second start. He got mired in traffic and completed the first lap in ninth.

“[In Moto 2], I had a much better flow where I wasn’t using as much energy as the first one,” Jett told MavTV’s Jason Thomas. “The first was kind of a sprint on, sprint off thing with Hunter. In this one, I got my gap and just managed from then. No need to send it. I was thinking, maybe I need to push and start the boat for 450s.”

Hunter climbed to fifth within a few laps, but he lost too much time getting through traffic and finished more than 30 seconds behind.

Jo Shimoda has been working on his restarts and got a good jump in Moto 1 before finishing third. He got a good start in Moto 2 as well, but was collected one of the early accidents. Shimoda dropped to the back of the pack until officials were forced to throw the red flag to get medical attention for Thomas Welch.

During the break, Welch walked to the cart under his own power. Stilez Robertson was also carted off holding his right leg.

Shimoda earned another strong start in Moto 2, challenging Jett for second in the opening laps. Once Jett got around Cooper, Shimoda had a tougher time and lost ground to the leader as the battled for position.

“Every race I feel like I’m improving little by little,” Shimoda said. “I was able to get a much better start in the second moto, coming out third or fourth is like a holeshot to me, so I’m really happy to get another podium.”

Hunter’s fifth-place finish in Moto 2 was enough to give him third overall, but after losing ground to the leader in both motos, he is now 27 points behind.

“My first start was good, but I messed up on the restart,” Hunter said. “I was really tired at the end there in the second moto, but got to take the positives and be happy to finish on the box. Jett is riding really great right now.”

Justin Cooper earned the hole shot in both motos. He fell in Race 1 and dropped to sixth. In the second moto, he was embroiled in a fierce battle with Shimoda before finishing third. That was enough for fourth overall.

With a 5-4, RJ Hampshire rounded out the top five.

There were a couple of solid runs for rookie contenders.

Nick Romano got the early lead from Cooper, but he couldn’t hang on as Hunter got around halfway through Lap 1. After the restart, Romano was battling for ninth with his teammate when Nate Thrasher clipped his back tire. The contact forced the rear wheel down, turning the bike almost vertical. Romano’s bike landed hard and pitched him into a vicious tumble. Romano tried to remount, but the bike was too damaged to continue.

It didn’t take long for Ryder DiFrancesco to get his first overall top-10 finish. One week after finishing 13th with a 14-12 in his debut at RedBud last week, he finished eighth overall at Spring Creek that included his first moto top-10.

250 results (moto finish)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-1)
  2. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (3-2)
  3. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (2-5)
  4. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, Yamaha (6-3)
  5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (5-4)
  6. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (4-6)
  7. Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Penn., Kawasaki (8-7)
  8. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki (13-8)
  9. Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GasGas (12-9)
  10. Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Suzuki (16-10)

250 points standings

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 311
  2. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 284
  3. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 266
  4. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, NY – 232
  5. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 180
  6. Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Penn., Kawasaki – 178
  7. Michael Mosiman, Sebastapol, Calif., GasGas – 169
  8. Stilez Roberston, Bakersfield, Calif., Husqvarna – 169
  9. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 166
  10. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 162

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
Round 6, Southwick: Tomac’s domination continues with a second perfect round

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)