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Images from the Round 10 of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
NEWS

Jason Anderson Wins Budd Creek MX Nationals

Aug 222022

With a strong 2-2 moto finish on Saturday at Budds Creek Motocross, Jason Anderson won his second overall premier 450 class Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship event of the summer. Anderson’s victory highlighted a wild day for racers as overall 450 point leader Chase Sexton crashed twice in the opening moto, which Eli Tomac won. Sexton then came back and won the second moto – only to have his point lead and coveted red leader race plate reclaimed by Tomac at day’s end with a 2nd place 1-5 finish.

“You don’t win championships on your good days… you win them on your bad days,” said Sexton of his heroic comeback in the second moto, salvaging a 4th place on the day (7-1).

Tomac: “I look at the positive… I’ve got the points lead, and we’re ready to carry on.”

As it stands, with two races remaining, Tomac leads Sexton by a single point, 449-448, in one of the closer Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship 450 class title chases of all time.

In 250 class racing, Jo Shimoda was this close to winning his second-straight overall, but settled for 2nd (3-1) to RJ Hampshire based off one thrilling second moto race finish position. Despite that, Shimoda moved from 3rd place to 2nd place in the overall 250 class point chase, six points ahead of Honda’s Hunter Lawrence (396-390).

Here’s a look at what went down at Budds Creek MX, beginning with the 450 class.

450 Moto 1 

 

With Honda’s Ken Roczen pulling the opening 450 moto holeshot, Sexton and Tomac were in strong positions – 5th and 6th, respectively – at the midpoint of the first lap. Tomac would quickly move onto Sexton, and pass the then 450 class point leader, who only moments later caught neutral in a corner, tucked the front end and went down over the bars as Tomac sped off. “All that (Sexton’s wreck) was caused by Eli passing Sexton on the uphill,” cited announcer, five-time MX champ James Stewart. Tomac then moved up onto former champ Ryan Dungey (KTM) and put the YZ’s power on the outside of a corner, confidently taking 2nd place. No sooner did Tomac move into 2nd place did Sexton crash, again, this time running into fallen rider, #484 Tanner Ward’s bike, which sent Sexton sailing back over the handlebars. With Sexton now back in an unheard of 25th place, Tomac put the hammer down and made up 2.5 seconds on race leader Roczen. Rounding out the top ten for at the 24:00 mark of the opening moto was Anderson in 5th, Christian Craig (Star Racing/Yamaha) in 6th and Joey Savatgy (Kawasaki) in 8th. … At the 23:21 mark, Tomac would blast past Roczen with an inside move on a sweeping dual berm corner, then powering up the hill for the race lead – a lead he’d never relinquish. Sexton, to his credit, mounted a furious charge back towards the top ten, while Anderson was making his move towards the podium, passing Aaron Plessinger (KTM) for 4th place at the 19:47 mark.  Three seconds back of Dungey for 3rd, Anderson continued to tame the oppressive heat and the rugged Budds Creek track. His skill and fitness level paying dividends as he got past Dungey for the podium spot in a downhill section at the 8:46 mark. Also moving into the top ten, and all the way up to 6th place, was defending 450 class champion Dylan Ferrandis. With Tomac up 10 seconds with three laps remaining, Anderson railed past Roczen for 2nd, while Sexton passed Savatgy for 8th. The moto’s best battle, between teammates Craig and Ferrandis for 5th place, would grab the attention of the live broadcast cameras as Craig won that battle, giving three racers in the top five of the opening moto (1st Tomac, 2nd Anderson, and 5th Craig).

 

Eli Tomac: “What was important for me there was to make moves early, like the first five turns and the top of the uphill were where I was able to get ahead. (I) worked on lines, trying to get the flow going. It all worked out well for us, and we’ll try and repeat that in the second moto.”

 

Jason Anderson: “I just want to keep progressing. But my progress has kept me in third place. So today, to get a step-up and move forward to second place is nice. Lot of carnage on that first lap with people going down, but, fortunately, I was able to get through it.”

450 Moto 2

 

Blasting out to the holeshot and early lead was Savatgy, with Anderson out in 4th, Sexton moving up to 5th early. Not in the picture was Tomac, who started outside the top ten (13th) – but moved up to 9th by the end of moto 2’s opening lap. Anderson would get past Savatgy for 3rd at the 26:20 mark, and up onto moto leaders Roczen and Dungey. At the 24:26 mark, Sexton would get past Savatgy for 4th, and was coming on fast towards the lead pack. A couple of minutes later, Sexton would get Dungey, after which Anderson passed 2nd place Roczen for the lead – setting up an Anderson vs. Sexton battle. Nearing the moto’s halfway point, Sexton caught and passed Roczen, putting him 1.5 seconds back of race leader Anderson. During this time Tomac was hustling, passing Plessinger for 6th, though having to do so with great effort following his subpar start. At the 14:41 mark, Sexton was able to make quick work of Anderson, passing for the lead and opening up a 1.5 second gap almost immediately. Having lost 11 points to Tomac in the opening moto, Sexton, in his effort to open his moto 2 lead up further, crashed a third time, allowing both Anderson and Roczen to get by before re-mounting and continuing the moto. Anderson would then stall his bike momentarily at the base of Henry Hill, allowing both Roczen and Sexton by. Sexton would then flat track his bike around a hilltop corner, find traction, and passing Roczen for the lead at the 8:58 mark. Moments later, Anderson would get past Roczen, giving the 1-2 positions in moto 2. Tomac was continuing to hustle, making up spots (and championship points) as he passed Savatgy for 5th and was on to Dungey for 4th. But the crafty Dungey wasn’t going to be an easy task for Tomac, and he ended up holding off Tomac for 4th at race’s end. With only nine seconds separating the top six racers with two laps to go, Sexton put the hammer down and increased his gap on Anderson to 2.6 seconds. And they’d finish just like that, 1-2, with Tomac placing 5th.

 

Chase Sexton: “Man, today was not my day. Just made too many mistakes. I knew I had to bounce back in that second moto. So if we can come back next week and ride really strong, we’ll be in a good spot.”

 

Eli Tomac: “I got a bad start and did not make the moves as early as I did in moto 1.”

 

Jason Anderson: “Today 2+2 = 1. This was a step in the right direction. I was a little nervous, I didn’t have it in practice. But we were able to bring it around. Let’s keep it going and see if we can finish the series strong.”

250 Moto 1

 

Nate Thrasher was out of the 250 moto 1 gate fast, pulling a 4th place start and quickly moving up to 3rd. No sooner did Thrasher move into podium position did his teammate, Justin Cooper, get tangled up with Jalek Swoll (Husqvarna) and crashed – rejoining the race in 33rd place. And the bad luck continued when Thrasher went down, going from 3rd to 15th. With a podium finish pretty much out of the picture for Cooper, and Thrasher, Jo Shimoda made his move into the top ten. And as the crowd focused in on the rallying racers, a #109, running the same bike graphics and race wear, was seen running up front in the top five. Spain’s Guillem Farres, a last-minute replacement rider for his teammate Nick Romano, had everyone thumbing through their programs to find out who this #109 was and how is he flat out hauling in his first-ever American MX National. At the 22:16 mark Thrasher moved back into the top ten (10th), while Shimoda was busy tracking down Farres – pulling to within a couple seconds, then eventually passing Farres for 5th at the 17:23 mark. Shimoda continued to fight his way towards a possible podium finish, at one point literally jumping over the head of KTM racer Max Vohland to take 4th place. Shimoda then focused on 3rd place Michael Mosiman, passing the Gas Gas racer late, only to be passed back by Mosiman in a great battle. Shimoda would pass Mosiman back one more time, railing an outside berm and making the final pass stick – through the checkers – for 3rd place.

250 Moto 2

 

Rallying back from a disappointing opening 250 moto, Cooper grabbed the holeshot in moto 2, with Shimoda tucked in behind in 3rd. Shimoda would track and pass Swoll at the 27:27 mark for 2nd place, then raced to the lead, past Cooper, to the inside of an uphill section. Cooper would then get Shimoda back, wrestling the lead away a half lap later.  The two racers would engage in a great battle for the next couple laps, with Shimoda winning an uphill drag race and taking 1st place back from Cooper. At the moto’s halfway point RJ Hampshire (Husqvarna), who won the opening moto, was moving up through the pack, closing in on Cooper. Cooper’s three-second lead on Hampshire would be cut down to just a couple bike lengths when the two reached lap traffic, with Shimoda still well out front. The overall victory for Shimoda now rested in Cooper’s hands, and his ability to keep Hampshire out of 2nd place (Shimoda’s 3-1 would beat Hampshire’s 1-3). Cooper would hold off Hampshire until the 4:13 mark when the Husqvarna racer made his move, taking 2nd – and with it the overall from Shimoda, though the racer did move into 2nd place overall in the 250 class standings ahead of Honda’s Hunter Lawrence.

 

Jo Shimoda: “I got a better start in the second moto and had a good battle with Justin (Cooper). Overall, my riding was great, and moving into 2nd place (overall) was great, too.”

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