2022 RedBud Motocross Recap
So, why might Eli Tomac retire at year's end?
The three-time Outdoor Champion put on a "this-is-how-you-do-it" clinic Saturday for America's race at the RedBud National sweeping Round 5 of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season. It was Tomac's first 1-1 day since Round 12 of the 2019 season the last time he won an Outdoor title.
Tomac grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot in the first race and never looked back. Cruising out front by himself he was lapping other riders within five minutes only to dial his pace back and grab the checkers by a mere six seconds over Chase Sexton. Moto 2 was a little similar though it took him a third of the race to get around Ken Roczen for the lead and he won again by six seconds over Sexton.
Rumors have swirled this year about the 2-time Supercross Champion retiring or taking on a Supercross only contract next season. He has committed to at least one round of the newly formed World Supercross series starting in the fall. Clearly money drives the decision as the Supercross payout exceeds Motocross and riding indoors requires far less stamina than the Outdoors. There's also the television broadcast debacle that has come to define what should be a massive celebration of the 50th anniversary of every dirt bike rider's favorite sport. No, Tomac probably doesn't care about that but a well-run series generally touches all aspects of racing.
But now age-wise in the twilight of his career, Tomac, 29, has enjoyed a rare youthful resurgence as he rides a new bike (Yamaha) and joined a new team this year that propelled him to the 2022 Supercross Championship and arguably has him on the right trajectory for a fourth Motocross Championship.
However, he still has Sexton to contend with. Though Tomac enjoyed a sweeping overall, Sexton who rides the Red Plate and has all season, remains in the lead thanks to finishing runner-up to Tomac in both races. Sexton hasn't won since his opening round victory and tied Tomac in points at Round 4 - the win going to Tomac - and retains a seven-point lead. But Tomac also started the season in fourth 18 points back.
Elsewhere, Justin Barcia turned it on at redbud getting his first podium of the year in third with a (3-8) day, Jason Anderson finished fourth on a (7-4) day and Ken Roczen (4-7) rounded out the Top 5. Anderson, Roczen and Joey Savatgy (3-9), who finished sixth overall, all tied in points. Savatgy's third-place in Moto 1 was a career best. Ryan Dungey (6-5) took seventh overall.
2022 Motocross 450 Class Standings after Round 5
- Chase Sexton - 224
- Eli Tomac - 217
- Ken Roczen - 194
- Jason Anderson - 179
- Ryan Dungey - 153
In the 250 class, Jett Lawrence's season long win streak came to a heartbreaking end as his bike gave up the ghost halfway through the first race while he was leading. This opened the door for an epic cat-and-mouse race between Jo Shimoda and Hunter Lawrence which ultimately went to Shimoda who won by a considerable margin after getting by Lawrence. Shimoda enjoyed his first career Moto win and the third-place result in Moto 2 was enough to claim his first career overall. Lawrence went (2-2) for second overall. Jett Lawrence rebounded and won the second Moto and finished ninth overall despite the 35th place finish after his bike died. Stilez Robertson (3-5) finished third overall.
Jett Lawrence drops to second-place in the standings seven points behind brother Hunter but both still hold a hefty lead over Shimoda who sits in third 29 points back Jett. Consider this points damage from the bike malfunction - Jett entered the round 12 points ahead of Hunter and 49 points ahead of Shimoda.
2022 Supercross 250 Class Standings after Round 5
- Hunter Lawrence - 218
- Jett Lawrence - 211
- Jo Shimoda - 182
- Justin Cooper - 159
- Levi Kitchen - 145
The MotoSport Sponsored Muc-Off / FXR / ClubMX Team
Garrett Marchbanks finished 13th overall on a (16-10) day and Alex Martin rolled all 15s.
Moving on to the sand pit at The Wick 338 on Saturday in Southwick, MA.