2022 Fox Raceway 1 Motocross Recap

If not the most anticipated round ever, then certainly one of the most anticipated rounds ever defined the start of the 50th anniversary season of Motocross as the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series got underway on Saturday at Fox Raceway in Pala, CA.

Let's see...

  • Fan favorite and 3-time MX Champ Ryan Dungey returned from a five-year retirement
  • 9-time MXGP Champ and Italian all-time great Antonio Cairoli ended his career overseas last year but brought his #222 plate for at least the first two rounds of the American series
  • 3-time MX Champion Eli Tomac, enjoying a career resurgence and fresh off his 2022 Supercross Championship, lined up
  • Jason Anderson, also enjoying a career resurgence and placed second to Tomac for Indoors, lined up
  • Fan favorite and 2-time MX Champ Ken Roczen, who dropped out of Supercross mid-season (again) seems intent on proving the naysayers wrong about his ability to compete at the highest level to the end
  • Oh, and I met Ryan Villopoto, Alex Martin and Garrett Marchbanks. We do sponsor those three so I guess that wasn't all that big of a surprise

As far as the five bullet points you care about, Round 1 delivered and then some.

Chase Sexton left nothing on the table in the 450 class with a resounding sweep to start his season. Sexton did enjoy a head start in preparation as he bowed out of Supercross early because of injury but no one was even close to contesting him except for Roczen. Both far outpaced the field in both Motos as Sexton and Roczen raced nearly bar-to-bar all day. Roczen showed primetime brilliance and even though he finished second twice, he certainly proved ready for battle and competition.

The big question of the day was how will Ryan Dungey do?

He last raced the Outdoors in 2016 when he broke his neck at Thunder Valley. Then with motivation at an all-time low, he narrowly secured the 2017 Supercross Championship before calling it quits.

The #5 finished in fifth for both races for fifth overall. How apropos.

In Moto 1, Dungey appeared headed for the final podium spot after getting by Tomac but ultimately lost ground to Anderson and Christian Craig. Tomac, who entered the day with a bit of a question because of a torn MCL suffered in Round 14 of Supercross went (7-4) on the day taking fourth overall by taking the tie-breaker over Dungey.

And let's not forget Christian Craig a (somewhat) surprise on the day as the reigning 250SX West Champion took third in both Motos for third overall as he fully transitions to the premier class. Craig raced the 450s last year in Outdoors taking third overall at the final round in Pala. Anderson took fourth in Moto 1 but got hung up by downed riders in a first turn crash and worked his way to 8th place for sixth overall.

Cairoli finished 10th and 6th for 7th overall in his first competition since his Italian team victory in the 2021 Motocross des Nations proving an old rider can learn new tracks.

In the 250 class, the Lawrence brothers made a splash with their entourage on vender row ($4 donuts? I think not) and an even bigger one on the track. Both considered heavy contenders for the title, Jett Lawrence showed no hangover from his 250SX East class Championship dominating both Motos with brother Hunter in tow. If Round 1 is a foreshadow of things to come expect a long season for the rest of the riders.

Joe Shimoda finished third on a (4-3) day with RJ Hampshire (3-9) and Michael Mosimon (9-4) rounding out the Top 5, respectively.

The MotoSport Sponsored Muc-Off / FXR / ClubMX Team

Martin (15-13) finished 14th overall in his first year on 450s for Outdoors and Marchbanks took 11th overall on a (9-12) day.

Motocross moves north to Hangtown for Round 2 on Saturday.

2022 Fox Raceway 1 Motocross