Lucas Oil Pro Motocross returns to action at Unadilla: Eli Tomac, Chase Sexton resume battle

Motocross returns Unadilla

After a two-week summer break, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series returns to action at Unadilla MX in new Berlin, N.Y. and several of motorcycle racing’s biggest names will compete in their first national of the season.

Last year’s Pro Motocross champion, Dylan Ferrandis will get his first taste of the outdoor season after missing the opening races with a thumb injury. Malcolm Stewart returns from a knee injury while Dean Wilson is back in action after getting injured by a foot peg to his rear end at the end of the Supercross season.

Phil Nicoletti was scheduled to return this week after rehabbing a broken arm. Unfortunately, he rebroke the arm in a practice crash. Shane McElrath, who was prepared to mount a privateer campaign to finish the season, will fill in with the Muc-Off Yamaha team for the final four rounds.

In the 250 class, Cameron McAdoo made the gate for the opening race, but broke his sternum during that round. After seven rounds of racing and two off weeks, he’s ready to return.

The season began with four overall winners in the first four rounds until Eli Tomac took the trophy home from High Point. He was the only victor during the next three rounds, but Chase Sexton did not let him build a huge gap and it was not until the end of that streak in Round 7 that Tomac wrestled the red plate from Sexton.

In the latest round, Sexton became only the second rider this year to win multiple races and as a result, is keeping the title fight close. Sexton won the most recent round on a tie breaker as he and Tomac each won a moto and finished second in the other.

The same thing happened at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Penn. with Tomac taking the tiebreaker with a win in Moto 2. At that point, Tomac mounted a charge that resulted in eight consecutive moto wins with Sexton finishing second each time.

Tomac has a bare five-point lead in the championship standings in what will probably come down to the final week.

The 250 battle is a two-brother show for now with Jett Lawrence leading his brother by 28 points. Jett has amassed the lead with a near-perfect season of seven overall wins in eight rounds. The only event he failed to win was RedBud when he suffered engine failure in the first Moto. He rebounded to win Moto 2.

Siting third in the points’ standings, Jo Shimoda is the only other rider with a 250 win in 2022. He sits 49 points out of first. In a series that awards a maximum of 50 points for each round, that deficit will be hard to overcome, but he is 21 behind Hunter, so the drama is not over.

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
Round 7, Spring Creek: Tomac takes points’ lead with another 1-1 day
Round 8, Washougal: Sexton brackets the first eight weeks with second win

2023 MotoGP schedule announced, highlighted by trips to India and Kazakhstan

2023 MotoGP schedule
Hasan Bratic / Getty Images

A new opening venue and the addition of two Grands Prix in India and Kazakhstan will highlight the 2023 MotoGP schedule.

The 2023 MotoGP season will kick off March 24th with the opening round in Portugal instead of the typical trip to Qatar. Work on the Losail International Circuit pushed their date back to the penultimate weekend after the series finishes a series of races around the Pacific Rim.

Following Portugal, MotoGP heads to Argentina and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for their only visit to the United States before heading back to Europe for most of the next 10 rounds.

Interrupting the long European stint will be the series’ first visit to the Sokol International Circuit in Kazakhstan on July 7, 2023. The traditional summer break will be three weeks and then MotoGP heads to England for the British GP in August.

After three more European rounds at Austria, Catalunya and San Marino, the second new date on the calendar will come on the 16-turn, Buddh International Circuit for a September 24 race date. Both the India and Kazakhstan races are subject to homologation and approval by the circuit.

The next six races will be held in Asia and Oceania before Qatar and Valencia close out the schedule.

“We’re very proud to announce that Buddh International Circuit will be on the 2023 calendar,” said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, which manages the series. “We have a lot of fans in India and we’re excited to be able to bring the sport to them.

“India is also a key market for the motorcycle industry and therefore, by extension, for MotoGP as the pinnacle of the two-wheeled world. We very much look forward to racing at Buddh International Circuit and can’t wait to welcome the fans through the gates to see this incredible sport in person.”

One of two new races announced for 2022, in Finland, did not materialize this season and has not been added to the 2023 MotoGP schedule. In addition, the Aragon GP has been removed to keep the rounds at 21.

2023 Provisional Schedule

Portugal GP, Algarve, March 26
Argentina GP, Termas de Río Hondo, April 2
American GP, Circuit of the Americas, April 16
Spanish GP, Jerez, April 30
French GP, Le Mans, May 14
Italian GP, Mugello, June 11
German GP, Sachsenring, June 18
Dutch GP, Assen, June 25
Kazakhstan GP, Sokol, July 9 *
British GP, Silverstone, August 6
Austrian GP, Red Bull Ring, August 20
Catalan GP, Catalunya, September 3
San Marino GP, Misano, September 10
Indian GP, Buddh, September 24 *
Japanese GP, Motegi, October 1
Indonesia GP, Mandalika Street Circuit, October 15
Australian GP, Philip Island, October 22
Thailand GP, Chang International Circuit, October 29
Malaysian GP, Sepang, November 12
Qatar GP, Losail International Circuit, November 19
Valencia GP, Ricardo Tormo, November 26

* subject to approval