RED BULL KTM CAP OFF SUCCESSFUL AMA PRO MOTOCROSS SEASON AT FOX RACEWAY
Round 12 – AMA Pro Motocross Championship
PALA, Calif. – The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team concluded a successful season in the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday with a fighting performance at the Fox Raceway II National in Pala, California. Extreme temperatures in the entire region made for an ultra-challenging day but the team stayed consistent and finished strong with top-10 overalls across the board at Round 12.
Coming off a strong podium at the previous round, Plessinger came into the finale with high confidence but he got caught up with his teammate Dungey off the start of Moto 1, causing him to drop back to 27th on the opening lap. He immediately put his head down and charged through the pack to bring himself inside the top-10 just after the halfway mark. As the race got tougher for most riders, Plessinger’s fitness and determination propelled him a few more spots to ultimately finish seventh. In Moto 2, he grabbed a ninth-place start and battled in seventh for a majority of the race to secure a hard-fought seventh in the moto, giving him sixth overall on the day.
Aaron Plessinger: “It was definitely hot today. I got the best qualifying time that I’ve gotten yet with sixth and then went out for the first moto feeling pretty good. When I got off the gate, I was behind Dungey and unfortunately, he laid it down and I ran right into him. I was stuck there for a second and managed to fight my way back to seventh in the moto. In the second moto, I got off to a decent start and then fought my way up. I was right behind Barcia and Dungey and I just kind of fell off at the end. It was hot and it was rough, probably one of the harder races all year, but I finished the season off strong and we’re taking the positives. We made a lot of progress with the bike [this season] and everybody was kind of trying to learn how I work, how I tick and I was doing the same with everybody else. I think we got a pretty good bond in and I think it’s going to be even better next year.”
It was a rough start to the day for Ryan Dungey, who found himself on the ground after a couple early issues in Moto 1, and he sat back in 38th on lap one. He put his head down and climbed through the field, ultimately making a big charge to finish 10th. Determined to end the season on a good note, Dungey charged off the start of Moto 2, fighting into the third spot early on. He overcame one small crash in the moto to round of the series with a fifth in the moto and eighth overall on the day.
Ryan Dungey: “First moto, I had a great jump off the gate and I stalled the bike coming into the turn and then I got shuffled back to about fifth. In the second turn, I got into somebody and fell down so I was left to kind of charge as hard as I could. In the second moto, I got a decent start and just tried to ride the track, pick good lines and do the best I could. I did fall down in the moto, but I got fifth which I was happy with. It’s a pretty long, grueling season and tough – the first one with little preparation – and I’m happy I did it. The conditions were really hot, probably the hottest race of the year and you just feel the heat deep in the muscles. It’s physically tough, but I felt like we managed it well.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s 450 rider Marvin Musquin made a last-minute decision to line up for the first time all summer – in the 250MX class – at the season finale. Racing in preparation for the Motocross of Nations, Musquin delivered a solid pair of 5-9 moto finishes to claim seventh overall amidst some of the most challenging conditions of the entire season.
Marvin Musquin: “I made the decision to race like a week ago. We tried a couple of things this week with the team and had only five days on the bike. It was strange to be back! DV, my trainer, told me it would be great training for Motocross of Nations and that was just the goal to actually do the two motos. Obviously, it would have been great to get better results but it was a decent day. Second moto, I was in the pack and physically it was difficult, the muscles were just not happy, but I tried my best and ended up seventh overall. it was good training.”
Max Vohland put a stamp on his 2022 season in the 250MX class with a strong Moto 2 finish at the final round. Building from his good starts last weekend, Vohland kept his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION up front off the start, but he got pinched off and lost a few spots on the first lap. He was up to seventh midway through the moto but a big crash set him back again and he ultimately finished 12th. In Moto 2, he grabbed another good jump off the start and he came into the first turn inside the top-three. Getting pushed wide again, Vohland dropped back to 13th and worked his way back through the field to finish with an impressive sixth in the moto, despite the extreme heat.
Max Vohland: “It was a good weekend. The track was really technical and really hard to pass on because it’s really slow in some corners and was pretty one-lined for the first moto. I was pushing for sixth and ended up making a pretty big mistake and went down pretty hard. Luckily, I haven’t had that all year and I got back to 12th. In the second moto, I got a really good jump and again got pushed into the deep stuff. I was back to like 13th and I just kind of kept picking guys off, some of them were getting pretty tired from the heat and I ended up in sixth towards the end. It was good to end that last moto on a high note and finish the season off like that.”
Results 450MX Class – Fox Raceway II National
1. Eli Tomac (USA), Yamaha, 1-1
2. Chase Sexton (USA), Honda, 2-2
3. Jason Anderson (USA), Kawasaki, 4-3
6. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM, 7-7
8. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, 10-5
12. Fredrik Noren (SWE), KTM
17. Tristan Lane (USA), KTM
19. Brayden Lessler (USA), KTM
Results 250MX Class – Fox Raceway II National
1. Jett Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 1-2
2. Jo Shimoda (JAP), Kawasaki, 4-1
3. Justin Cooper (USA), Yamaha, 3-3
7. Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, 5-9
8. Max Vohland (USA), KTM, 12-6
11. Derek Kelley (USA), KTM
18. Joshua Varize (USA), KTM
Standings 450MX Class 2022 after 12 of 12 rounds
1. Eli Tomac, 546 points
2. Chase Sexton, 539
3. Jason Anderson, 440
6. Ryan Dungey, 359
7. Aaron Plessinger, 322
11. Benny Bloss, 172
14. Fredrik Noren, 141
16. Antonio Cairoli, 97
Standings 250MX Class 2022 after 12 of 12 rounds
1. Jett Lawrence, 525 points
2. Jo Shimoda, 480
3. Hunter Lawrence, 468
6. Max Vohland, 303
13. Derek Kelley, 157
15. Joshua Varize, 14
Eli Tomac Captures Fourth Career 450 Class Title
Jett Lawrence Wraps Up Back-to-Back 250 Class Crowns at Fox Raceway
PALA, Calif. (September 3, 2022) – After 12 rounds of travel across the country and 24 hotly contested motos over the course of the summer, the 50th Anniversary of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, came to a dramatic conclusion from the proverbial home of the industry in Southern California. Champions were crowned at the PristineAuction.com Fox Raceway II National, presented by Fox Racing, where the historic showdown between Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Eli Tomac and Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton culminated with another memorable battle, from which Tomac prevailed following a 1-1 effort, to hoist the Edison Dye Cup for the first time since 2019 and secure the fourth 450 Class title of his decorated career. In the 250 Class, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence captured an exclamation point victory to successfully defend his hold of the Gary Jones Cup and secure back-to-back championships to further solidify his role as the sport’s youngest star.
Extreme heat protocols were implemented for the races, which shortened each moto in both classes to 25 minutes plus two laps. As the field stormed out the gate to open 450 Class Moto 1 it was Sexton and Tomac at the front, with Sexton grabbing the MotoSport.com Holeshot. The championship rivals set a torrid pace early and easily sprinted away from the field.
The pair traded fast laps as the gap between them ebbed and flowed through various parts of the track, where both riders appeared to have strengths in different sections. Sexton and Tomac opened an advantage of nearly half a minute on the field as the moto reached its halfway point, while the distance between them hovered around a second.
Lapped riders brought the rivals closer together entering the final five minutes and it opened the door for Tomac to take advantage. The Yamaha rider seized the moment and went on the attack to make the pass. Tomac then dropped the hammer and opened a gap of two seconds with three minutes to go.
As they took the two-lap board just 1.5 seconds separated Tomac and Sexton, but a bobble from Sexton allowed Tomac to establish the largest lead of the moto at its most critical juncture. Sexton battled back and closed in, but it was too little too late as Tomac secured his 13th moto win of the season by 1.5 seconds. Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Christian Craig finished third, one minute and 15 seconds behind the leaders, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson fourth and Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia in fifth.
The final moto of the 2022 season had everything on the line and as the field exited the first turn it was Craig who came away with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, followed by Anderson and Sexton. Tomac was forced to work his way forward from a start deep in the top 10. In his pursuit of Anderson for second during the opening laps, Sexton suffered a bobble that shot him off track and caused him to tip over. He lost multiple positions and reentered the race right behind Tomac, in seventh. Sexton then tipped over again and lost another position.
Out front, the battle for the lead heated up between Anderson and Craig. The Kawasaki rider got alongside the Yamaha and made a savvy move to take the lead a little more than five minutes into the moto. Behind this exchange Tomac was able to break into the top three, while Sexton was on a recovery charge and clawed his way up to fourth. Tomac closed quickly on Craig, his teammate, and moved into second with ease. At that point, Tomac faced a 2.8 second deficit to Anderson. Needing to make a push, Sexton closed in on Craig for third but suffered another tip over. He remounted without losing a position.
As the moto surpassed the halfway point the battle for the lead was on between Anderson and Tomac. Despite having a faster pace, Tomac was unable to get enough of an edge to make a move. A slight miscue by Anderson saw him briefly put the bike in neutral, which allowed Tomac to slip past and seize control of the moto with six minutes to go. Sexton’s fight continued as well with a pass on Craig for third. From there, the Honda rider tried to track down the lead duo.
With the lead in hand, Tomac opened up a lead of more than six seconds as Anderson started to lose ground to Sexton for second. The Honda rider was decisive and made the pass, but faced too big of a deficit to contend for the lead. Tomac brought home an emphatic final moto win by 9.2 seconds over Sexton, with Anderson in third.
Tomac’s fourth 1-1 performance of the season was his biggest as he finished the year with a class-leading fifth victory, his first since the seventh round. His third win at Fox Raceway was the 32nd victory of his career and marked his 70th career podium finish, which moved him into second all-time. Sexton’s runner-up finish came on the heels of a hard-earned 2-2 effort, while Anderson’s strong final moto landed him third overall (4-3).
Tomac’s 11-race podium streak to close out the season and his 14 moto wins were the tipping point in the championship, where he finished seven points ahead of Sexton in the final standings in what has been the closest battle in the history of Pro Motocross. Anderson enjoyed a career-best season to finish third on the championship podium. Tomac’s title, combined with his Monster Energy Supercross Championship from earlier this year, also made him the first rider to sweep the season championships since Ryan Dungey did it during the 2015 season. The fourth premier class title of Tomac’s career is also the second most in history, trailing only Ricky Carmichael (7).
Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“I just think of this whole season in its entirety. It’s been the most enjoyable season of my career, by far, starting with supercross and now motocross. This summer was incredible battling with Chase [Sexton]. He’s the future of this division. We pushed ourselves to the limits [all summer] and even raised the bar.”
Chase Sexton, Team Honda HRC
“I had a never-quit attitude all year. Eli [Tomac] is so tough and he got the upper hand on me. That second moto was so frustrating. I was trying so hard and made three mistakes. I need to stop making those. We made huge gains this year and I’m really looking forward to the future. We’re just getting started.”
Jason Anderson, Monster Energy Kawasaki
“I spent a lot of energy in that first moto to finish fourth. In the second moto the pace was too tough, and I used too much energy earlier so I couldn’t keep it up. It’s been an amazing season for me, but I still want more.”
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)
1 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (1-1 // 50)
2 Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (2-2 // 44)
3 Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki (4-3 // 38)
4 Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha (3-4 // 38)
5 Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS (5-6 // 31)
6 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (7-7 // 28)
7 Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (6-8 // 28)
8 Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (10-5 // 27)
9 Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (8-13 // 21)
10 Dean Wilson, Scotland, Husqvarna (13-9 // 20)
450 Class Championship Standings (Round 12 of 12)
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, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha – 373
6 Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 359
7 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 322
8 Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS – 303
9 Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 222
10 Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Husqvarna – 213
The first 250 Class moto of the afternoon got underway with Jett Lawrence leading the field through the first turn for the MotoSport.com Holeshot, followed closely by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda. The close friends engaged in a spirited battle on the opening lap as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin slotted into third in his first start in the division since the 2015 season.
Lawrence continued to control the moto from the lead through the opening five minutes, but Shimoda was able to keep him honest with consistent lap times. Musquin settled into third but eventually faced a challenge from Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence. A small miscue forced Musquin off the track, which handed the position to Lawrence. Back up front, Jett Lawrence stabilized a lead hovering around two seconds over Shimoda as the moto reached its halfway point.
As the moto entered its final 10 minutes Shimoda picked up the pace and closed the deficit by a second with the fastest laps on the track. The Japanese rider began looking for a way around with alternate lines and soon found himself all over the rear fender of the Honda. As they played cat and mouse with one another it allowed Hunter Lawrence to close in from third and make it a three-rider battle with three minutes to go. Less than a second separated the top three as time ran out on the moto and set the stage for a thrilling battle to the finish.
With two laps to go, Hunter Lawrence pulled the trigger with a pass on Shimoda as they descended one of the track’s downhills. It resulted in hard contact between the two riders and sent Shimoda to the ground as Lawrence continued on in second. Shimoda remounted in third but was forced to fend off Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper from fourth.
The Lawrence brothers went head-to-head on the final lap as Jett narrowly held off Hunter by a mere four tenths of a second for his 11th moto win of the season, which also clinched the championship. Cooper made the pass on Shimoda for third, while Musquin rounded out the top five.
The final 250 Class moto of the season started with Cooper at the head of the pack with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, with Shimoda and his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Cameron McAdoo in pursuit, with Jett Lawrence in fourth. Shimoda bided his time and waited for an opening. Once it appeared he wasted no time in making the move and grabbed control of the moto a little more than four minutes into the race.
Once he had the lead in hand, Shimoda began to build a gap on Cooper that soon grew to more than five seconds. Behind him, Cooper was forced to fend off Lawrence, who made the pass on McAdoo and looked to continue his push forward. The champ chipped away at the deficit and closed in on the Yamaha at the halfway point of the moto. He made quick work of Cooper and took control of second. With a little more than 11 minutes to go the gap between Shimoda and Lawrence was more than nine seconds.
Just as it appeared as though Lawrence had control of the runner-up spot, Cooper mounted a counter attack to reignite the battle for the position. With Shimoda well in control of the moto, this battle became the focal point of the closing minutes.
Back up front, Shimoda was in a class of his own and rebounded from the frustrating end to the first moto to earn his fifth moto win of the season by 24.3 seconds over Lawrence, who kept Cooper at bay through to the finish.
Lawrence’s 1-2 effort carried him to his ninth win of the summer, tied for third most in a single season, and the 14th victory of his career, which moves the young Australian into a tie for eighth on the all-time wins list. It also signified the sixth different moto score combination that has carried him to victory this season and maintained Lawrence’s undefeated record at Fox Raceway, where he now has five wins. Shimoda followed with his ninth overall podium result of the season in second (4-1) and ended the year with four straight finishes on the box. Cooper’s solid afternoon landed him third overall (3-3) for the landmark 30th podium result of his career, good enough to move into a tie for ninth on the all-time podiums list.
Lawrence’s final championship margin was 45 points over Shimoda, while Hunter Lawrence completed the championship podium in third following a fourth-place finish (2-5) in the finale. Jett Lawrence is 12th two-time champion in the history of the division and the first to earn back-to-back titles since Jeremy Martin in 2014-2015.
Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“It was a lot better today than last year [trying to wrap up the title]. I just wanted to use the least amount of energy possible today. I got into second as soon as I could [in Moto 2] and tried to catch Jo [Shimoda], but it didn’t happen, so I just decided to settle into second.”
Jo Shimoda, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
“I was pretty pissed off from the first moto, so I just wanted to get a good start in the second moto and put in a charge. I got a pretty good gap and kept it to the finish, so that’s pretty awesome. I’m just really happy with my season.”
Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“It was a fun day, but definitely hot. Glad to come out of here in one piece. I had a fun race with Jett [in Moto 2] but Jo was just on another level and we had nothing for him. I’m glad to finish the season on the podium.
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)
1 Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-2 // 47)
2 Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (4-1 // 43)
3 Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (3-3 // 40)
4 Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (2-5 // 38)
5 RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (7-4 // 32)
6 Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Pa., Kawasaki (6-7 // 29)
7 Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (5-9 // 28)
8 Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (12-6 // 24)
9 Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (14-8 // 20)
10 Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Suzuki (10-12 // 20)
250 Class Championship Standings (Round 12 of 12)
1 Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 525
2 Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 480
3 Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 468
4 Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 415
5 RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 346
6 Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 303
7 Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Pa., Kawasaki – 256
8 Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha – 251
9 Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., GASGAS – 208
10 Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS – 198
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