Motocross Round 12 season finale at Fox Raceway crowns Eli Tomac and Jett Lawrence

Tomac Motocross Round 12
ProMotocross.com
0 Comments

The first moto of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Round 12 at Fox Raceway in Pala, Calif. told the story of the 2022 season as Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton finished nose-to-tail in that race with a more than one minute gap on the field.

Other riders have won the occasional moto and when Tomac and Sexton struggled unaccustomedly, they were even capable of winning an overall, but between the two championship contenders, they won 22 of 24 motos and finished 1-2 on 17 occasions.

The swapped the red plate in three of the five rounds heading into the season finale and stayed within a point of one another for most of that time.

When the checkers waved over Moto 2 of Round 12, Tomac easily won the overall with a pair of race wins, but the drama never evaporated.

Sexton took the early lead in Moto 1, but Tomac stayed on his back tire. They were evenly matched for most of the race until the pair caught traffic, and with typically bad starts throughout the season, Tomac had the advantage navigating these rolling obstacles. Tomac pounced on Sexton but could not create much separation until a slight bobble by the Honda in the closing laps gave Tomac a two-second gap on his Yamaha.

For Tomac, the race was about pressure release. Trailing Sexton halfway through Moto 1, a loss would mean he would most likely be forced to win the second race to maintain his one-point advantage. And Sexton’s bobble also took the pressure off the Race 1 win.

In fact, it shifted the pressure to Sexton. In Moto 2, both riders had modest starts, but Sexton overcame his early and climbed to third with Tomac in eighth. Sexton crashed before the halfway point to allow Tomac to slip past and maintain the head-to-head advantage for the remainder of the day.

“I think of this whole season as its entirety, it’s been the most enjoyable year by far of my career,” Tomac told MavTV’s Jason Thomas. “I had so much fun doing it. Starting with Supercross and now Motocross. The competition was unbelievable from Chase. He is the next 450 guy, hands down. We pushed ourselves to the limit. I feel like when even raised the bar this year.”

Sexton’s second accident came later on the same lap as his first. He regained his mount and rode like he had nothing to lose.

With 11 minutes remaining on the clock, Sexton caught Tomac again and was about to pass him, which would have forced the eventual champion into a defensive mode. Then Sexton hit the ground for the third time.

“That was a never quit attitude all year,” Sexton said. “Eli is so tough and he obviously got the upper hand with me.

“That second moto was frustrating. I knew I had to pass Eli and try to get to the front. I fell three times. We have to stop with those mistakes, but it’s been an awesome summer. I’ve made some big strides. I feel like I’m a different person than I was when we started.”

Winning the second moto provided bookends for Tomac’s career. He won his first Motocross race in 2010 at Hangtown. Tomac has announced he will race Supercross only in 2023 and, if he does not change his mind, this will be his last race in the outdoor season. This is 45th overall win, which puts him fourth on the all-time list.

The defending champion of the Monster Energy Supercross series, Tomac is the first rider to sweep the titles since Ryan Dungey won both in 2015. This is Tomac’s fourth Motocross title with other championships coming in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Fittingly, Jason Anderson finished third overall with a 3-3. Anderson is the only other rider to win multiple overall races this season with victories in Round 2 at Hangtown and Round 10 two weeks at Budds Creek.

With a 3-4, Christian Craig finished fourth overall.

Justin Barcia was fifth with a 5-6.

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 (4-3)
  4. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (3-4)
  5. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas (5-6)
  6. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (7-7)
  7. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (6-8)
  8. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (10-5)
  9. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (8-13)
  10. Dean Wilson, Scotland, Husqvarna, (13-9)

450 points standings

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha – 546
  2. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 539
  3. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki – 440
  4. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 394
  5. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 373
  6. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plain, Minn., KTM – 359
  7. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 332
  8. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas – 303
  9. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 218
  10. Shane McElrath, Cantaon, NC, Husqvarna – 213

In a 250 season dominated by Jett Lawrence, it is fitting that he finished 1-2 at Fox Raceway to score his ninth overall win in Motocross Round 12 while Tomac waited anxiously in the pit area to contest the razor thin championship in 450s.

Lawrence entered the weekend with a substantial lead in the points and needed to finish only 12th to wrap up the title. That was not the way the rider who led this division since winning the opening round on this same track wanted to take the title, though.

In May, Lawrence finished 1-1 to earn maximum points. His brother Hunter Lawrence and Jo Shimoda rounded out the podium. Those three riders would continue to be the class leaders as the field battled for fourth in the standings.

At Fox Raceway, Jett left nothing to the imagination. He grabbed the holeshot and early lead in Moto 1, but was in a tricky position of needing to balance caution with his desire to win.

“I’m just glad it wasn’t like last year’s last round,” Lawrence said after the second moto was in the books and he was awarded the No. 1 plate. “Thankfully I didn’t see the ground much. I did over jump (at one point) and thought my eye popped out.

“In the second one I got a good start like the first one, but me and [Seth] Hammaker banged bars a little bit, but I was able to pull out a little bit. I had that Dunlop paddle tire so I really pulled. I tried to get into second spot, but Jo just put on the boost and he was out of there.”

Jett did not ride away from Shimoda in Moto 1, but he had an ulterior motive. While he was safe with the championship lead, Hunter and Shimoda were embroiled in a tight battle for second.

“In the first [race] I was trying to use the least amount of energy possible,” Jett said. “I tried to play around with Jo a little and let Hunter catch up; I could see him in the background.”

Jett successfully held Shimoda up and allowed Hunter to catch the pair. An aggressive pass by Hunter sent Shimoda to the ground, but the Japanese rider remounted and finish fourth. He was not happy with the move.

“I don’t know about the pass,” Shimoda said. “I don’t think you could call it a clean pass. He put me over the berm and it hurt my shoulder a little bit and that kind of made me a little pissed off, so in the second moto I just got a start and charged to the end.”

Hunter finished second in Moto 1, but was unable to mount up for the second race and settled for ninth overall.

Justin Cooper finished third in both races to score his fifth podium of the season.

RJ Hampshire finished fourth overall with a 7-4.

Marvin Musquin made his first Motocross start of 2022 as a warmup for his effort to help France win the MX of Nations. He rode well in the first moto and was comfortably in third until he steered off course at the 18-minute mark. He finished fifth in that race and seventh in Moto 2 for fifth overall.

250 results (moto finish)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-2)
  2. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (4-1)
  3. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, Yamaha (3-3)
  4. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (7-4)
  5. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (5-7)
  6. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (12-5)
  7. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (8-11)
  8. Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (14-6)
  9. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (2-DNS)
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., KTM (13-12)

250 points standings

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 525
  2. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 480
  3. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 452
  4. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, NY – 415
  5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 346
  6. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 304
  7. Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha – 253
  8. Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Penn., Kawasaki – 242
  9. Michael Mosiman, Sebastapol, Calif., GasGas – 208
  10. Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GasGas, 196

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
Round 9, Unadilla: Sexton retakes points’ lead by one with back-to-back wins
Round 10, Budds Creek: Anderson wins as points lead swaps for third time in four weeks
Round 11, Ironman: Nothing changes as Tomac and Sexton split motos again

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston: Eli Tomac retakes 450 lead, Hunter Lawrence tops 250s

0 Comments

After his Anaheim 2 crash, Eli Tomac was surprised he was not injured, but despite getting knocked down momentarily, he picked himself up, rode to last week’s win and reascended to the top of the SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston. This is the third time in three weeks Tomac has topped the rankings.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Houston
Jason Anderson has back-to-back podiums to his credit and sits second in the Power Rankings. – Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Last week, Tomac finished second in his heat before winning the Main – and that translated to near-perfect points in the Power Rankings, which award 100 for a win in the feature and 90 for a heat victory. Tomac’s average was marred by the Houston accident when he finished 13th in that heat before settling just outside the top five in overall standings. Racing is about bouncing back and last year’s Supercross and Motocross champion Tomac did just that as he chases a third consecutive title.

Jason Anderson earned his second consecutive podium finish with a third at Houston. He momentarily rolled past Aaron Plessinger into second during a restart following an accident involving Dylan Ferrandis and held that position for four trips around the track until he was tracked down by Chase Sexton. Afterward Anderson faded and finished 12 seconds off the pace, but along with a heat win, he easily leapfrogged Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb, who struggled in the fourth race of the season.

MORE: Eli Tomac rebounds from Anaheim 2 crash with Houston win

Webb held his position by passing Roczen in NBC’s SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston. Webb has been solid in 2023 with a worst moto result of seventh in the first Triple Crown race at Anaheim 2, but in order to be considered a solid challenger to Tomac he needs to win either a heat or main this week in Tampa.

Roczen was involved in the incident that sidelined Ferrandis in Houston. Racing for eighth at the time, his bike may have sustained some damage when Ferrandis landed on his back tire, but he was not overly impressive in his heat either with a fifth-place finish. That was enough to drop him three positions in the standings, but he still has Tomac in sight.

After his disappointing heat in San Diego when he crashed and sustained enough damage to place him last, Sexton has roared back. He won the overall in Anaheim 2’s Triple Crown format and narrowed the points’ gap slightly on Tomac. Last week he yarded the field in his heat race and won by a wide margin. A modest start in the Main kept him from getting to Tomac’s back wheel early in the Houston round, and he lost a little ground in the championship.

450 Rankings

This
Week
Rider Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1 Eli Tomac
[3 Main; 3 Heats Wins]
85.20 2 1
2 Jason Anderson
[2 Heat Wins]
82.60 4 2
3 Cooper Webb 82.10 3 0
4 Ken Roczen 81.70 1 -3
5 Chase Sexton
[1 Main; 3 Heat Wins]
80.70 6 1
6 Dylan Ferrandis 71.60 5 -1
7 Aaron Plessinger 71.30 8 1
8 Justin Barcia 70.10 7 -1
9 Justin Cooper 68.00 NA
10 Adam Cianciarulo 67.40 9 -1
11 Joey Savatgy 61.20 10 -1
12 Marvin Musquin 61.00 10 -2
13 Malcolm Stewart
[1 Heat Win]
58.75 11 -2
14 Christian Craig 57.20 13 -1
15 Colt Nichols 56.50 14 -1
16 Dean Wilson 49.30 15 -1
17 Justin Hill 39.67 18 1
18 Shane McElrath 36.33 22 4
19 Brandon Scharer 34.00 21 2
20 Logan Karnow 33.33 19 -1

Supercross 450 Points


The 250 East division debuted in Houston and with only one race – and therefore no chance yet to stumble – three of their riders jumped to the top of the chart.

Hunter Lawrence had a perfect week with wins in both his main and heat. It wasn’t without drama, however, as he was forced to jump wide early in the feature to avoid contact with Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut. Without a former 250 champion in the field, it is guaranteed someone new will grace the top of the box at Salt Lake City after the season-ender and it looks like it’s going to be Lawrence’s to lose.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Houston
Jordon Smith’s last podium before Houston came four years ago in Detroit. – Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

It was more than four years ago that Jordon Smith scored his last Supercross podium in Detroit. Despite finishing second that afternoon, he was battling a wrist injury that eventually sidelined him. More injuries have followed, but Smith was a favorite to win the title in 2019 and he’s shown how well he can ride when he’s healthy.

Debuting third in the Houston SuperMotocross Power Rankings, Max Anstie moved from the 450 class last year to 250s in 2023 and the change has gone better than he anticipated. Finishing second in both his heat and main, Anstie was edged by Smith because he finished second behind that rider in their heat. That is Anstie’s first top-10 since finishing sixth at Southwick, Massachusetts last year on his 450. In that race, he scored fifth-place results in both motos.

Supercross 250 Points

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his graduation into the 250 class was well deserved and he landed fourth in his division and fifth overall in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings. In his first professional Supercross race, he finished fourth in his heat. In a field with twice the talent, he finished fourth again in the main. At Houston, he balanced aggression with patience. Now that he has a taste of that success, everyone will be watching him closely at Tampa to see if he can continue tiptoeing on the line.

Michael Mosiman, Jeremy Martin, and Vialle are tied for fifth in the 250 East division and seventh overall.

Vialle is the most notable of these three because he challenged for a podium position during the Main before making a mistake and falling in a turn. Significantly, this was not only his 250 debut, but his first time in Supercross. As with Deegan, he has generated a lot of attention for the coming weeks.

250 Rankings

This
Week
Rider Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1 Hunter Lawrence – E
[1 Main; 1 Heat Win]
95.00 NA
2 Jordon Smith – E
[1 Heat Win]
90.50 NA
2 Max Anstie – E 90.50 NA
4 Jett Lawrence – W
[2 Main; 2 Heat Wins]
89.13 1 -3
5 Haiden Deegan – E 81.50 NA
6 Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat Win]
77.63 2 -4
7 Mitchell Oldenburg – W 77.00 3 -4
7 Michael Mosiman – E 77.00 NA
7 Jeremy Martin – E 77.00 NA
7 Tom Vialle – E 77.00 NA
11 Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat Win]
76.75 4 -7
12 Chance Hymas – E 74.50 -12
13 Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main Win]
73.75 5 -8
14 RJ Hampshire – W
[3 Heat Wins]
70.00 6 -8
15 Max Vohland – W 69.29 7 -8
16 Cullin Park – E 66.00 NA
17 Chris Blose – E 65.50 NA
18 Derek Kelley – W 63.75 8 -10
19 Enzo Lopes – W 63.25 9 -10
20 Pierce Brown – W 61.29 10 -10

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days.

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Chase Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage