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2022 AMA Pro Motocross Recap: Budds Creek

AMA Motocross 2022 Budds Creek Chase Sexton Eli Tomac
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The final true east coast round of AMA Pro Motocross was held at the famed Budds Creek facility just south of Washington D.C. After this it’s just Ironman then Pala again, then the season is a wrap. Drama of the highest order is on deck in the 450 class with one of the best one on one title battles in years. Last week it was Chase Sexton laying down the gauntlet at Unadilla, reclaiming the points lead over Eli Tomac. The Honda rider had a chance to do what nearly no one in this class has done maybe ever, straight-up beat ET3 in a full-on title battle. To do that, he would need a good day at the site of the 2007 Motocross Des Nations. As for his 250 teammate Jett Lawrence, he is inching closer and closer to back-to-back 250 Motocross titles. How much closer would he get on Saturday?

Be sure to keep up with all of our Motocross coverage.

Click here for the Team USA Motocross Des Nations team.

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Foreign Exchange Student

Star Yamaha’s Nick Romano was unfortunately sidelined with an injury that will keep him sidelined for the rest of the season. With that said, the team went with an intriguing replacement option in Guillem Farres. This isn’t some random out-of-the-blue rider by any means, but a highly touted prospect out of the MXGP/European Motocross Championship feeder system. Recently he has also dipped his toes into some MX2 rounds as well.

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Farres, a native Spaniard, won his homeland’s 125 National Motocross Championship in 2020. Additionally, he leads the German National 250 series at the moment. Adding to the 19-year-old’s impressive resume is that he was selected to Spain’s Motocross Des Nations team alongside Jorge Prado and Ruben Fernandez. This is a massive opportunity for Farres, who gets to jump on one of the best bikes on the planet in the Star Yamaha YZ250. His performance was worth monitoring on Saturday.

Stewable Commentary

The latest member of the rotating legends commentator squad was none other than James Stewart. Stew (so good by the way) returns to the site of his first in-race scrub two decades later and did a phenomenal job with Weege. Really, all of the guest commentators have done great, but this is Stew were talking about. He brought a great blend of insight and funniness which wasn’t much of a surprise if you have seen his race breakdowns. There would be no complaints here if this ends up leading to a more permanent role down the road.

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250 Class

No. 24 R.J. Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing (1-2 for First Overall)

Felt like Hampshire was due for a Moto win sooner or later, and he not only did that but took home an impressive National win to boot. All the veteran 250 rider needed in Moto 1 was a good start, then he proceeded to check out on the field. Hampshire even shut down a late surge by Jett Lawrence as well which was notable. Additionally, he did just enough to hold him off again in Moto 2 to secure the National win. Also feels worth mentioning that Hampshire is fifth in points with two rounds to go. This despite missing three Motos and then crashing out in another at Hangtown.

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No. 30 Jo Shimoda – Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki (3-1 for Second Overall)

The Jo Shimoda Agenda™ almost got another massive victory with two straight National wins. Instead, a very respectable second overall and a Moto win will suffice. Shimoda did a good job battling with Justin Cooper in the early going of Moto 2 and was able to get by him five laps in for what was ultimately the winning move. After, he rattled off several lap times under two minutes to build a gap to Lawrence, Cooper, and Hampshire behind him.

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In more good news for Shimoda, he also passed up Hunter Lawrence for second in the series points standings with two rounds to go. He’s 37 points back of Jett which makes his title hopes slim, but a lot can happen in four Motos. Either way, linking up with Nick Wey is paying off big in year one. Make no mistake, this kid has something. Additionally, he is the Beast from the Far East from here on out, a little spin on Damon Bradshaw’s old nickname. ‘Sushi’ just isn’t a great nickname in all honesty.

No. 36 Max Vohland – Red Bull KTM (5-8 for Seventh Overall)

One rider that has quietly put together a nice second half of the season now is Vohland. From Millville to now, he has eight consecutive Moto finishes inside the top 10, including three top fives. One of those was today in Moto 1, where Vohland ran as high as fourth in the early goings. His struggles indoors have been well documented, but the KTM rider has quickly proven himself to be a capable Motocross rider nearing the end of his second professional season.

No. 96 Hunter Lawrence – Honda HRC (8-9 for Eighth Overall)

Sadly, Saturday likely ended the Championship hopes of the elder Lawrence Brother. With several incidents in both Motos, he nearly finished outside the top 10 in both races but did just enough to make it inside. With the 8-9, Lawrence falls from second to third in the points and is only eight points in the good as it relates to being in title contention. Have to feel bad for Lawrence, as some of his shortcomings haven’t been on him.

No. 109 Guillem Farres – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (6-13 for Ninth Overall)

One of the bigger winners on the day was the Spanish Motocross Federation. That’s because their Des Nations MX2 rider impressed big time at Budds Creek in his AMA debut. Not to mention, Farres is normally on a KTM, so even with the bump in equipment, that is still a big change. In Moto 1, he beat Hunter Lawrence, Cooper, Nate Thrasher, and Cameron McAdoo. Not that I would know, but you would like to think there were some team managers in the paddock that were impressed with the young Spaniard yesterday.

Budds Creek National 250 Class Top 10

1st No. 24 R.J. Hampshire 1-2

2nd No. 30 Jo Shimoda 3-1

3rd No. 1 Jett Lawrence 2-3

4th No. 29 Michael Mosiman 4-7

5th No. 32 Justin Cooper 9-4

6th No. 49 Nate Thrasher 7-6

7th No. 36 Max Vohland 5-8

8th No. 96 Hunter Lawrence 8-9

9th No. 109 Guillem Farras 6-13

10th No. 43 Carson Mumford 14-10

250 Class Point Standings After Budds Creek

1st No. 1 Jett Lawrence 433 Points

2nd No. 30 Jo Shimoda 396 Points (-37)

3rd No. 96 Hunter Lawrence 390 Points (-43)

4th No. 32 Justin Cooper 346 Points (-87)

5th No. 24 R.J. Hampshire 274 Points (-159)

450 Class

No. 21 Jason Anderson – Monster Energy Kawasaki (2-2 for First Overall)

El Hombre is closing out what is the best all-around year of his career on a positive. Although he didn’t win a Moto, a 2-2 was good enough for his second career 450 National win. Even Anderson himself said he would win him however he can get him, and that’s the right mentality to have. Anderson is also now just two rounds away from his best-ever result in Motocross, both from a position (third) and points perspective. He’s not going to win a title stateside this year, but hard not to respect how well Anderson has done in his first year with Kawasaki.

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No. 3 Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (1-5 Second Overall)

The good news for Tomac was that he regained the points lead by one with two rounds remaining. The bad news is he didn’t seem thrilled at all with how Saturday went down based on his podium interview. It was brief and radiated frustration and anger. Reason being his Moto 2 result, where he had a golden opportunity to go for the jugular in the Championship and he blew it.

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Tomac, after dominating Moto 1, went from down one point to Sexton to up 10 going into the final race of the day. With the dagger in hand in Moto 2, ET3 fumbled it in his hands. He had a brutal start around 13th and was only able to make it to fifth. He almost lost at the end to former teammate Joey Savatgy as well, who had a brief surge from sixth. In the end, Tomac went from down one point, to up 10, to up one in the span of around four hours. Those nine points lost in Moto 2 have the serious potential to cost Tomac a fourth 450 Motocross title. Ironman is a good track for him, but Pala is certainly Sexton’s best track.

No. 94 Ken Roczen – Honda HRC (3-3 for Third Overall)

On a hot and humid day in the northeast, late Moto fades were a non-issue for Roczen. The former two-time 450 National Champion was excellent on Saturday, flirting with Moto wins in both races, and being a top three rider nearly all day. These were also Roczen’s first Moto podiums dating back to High Point, and Overall podium since his win at Thunder Valley. All things considered, Saturday was a positive development in regard to his riding. Worth noting though that he is still technically a pending free agent as of now. Honda is more or less his only option unless something else opens up. Off-topic, but his whip game these last few weeks has not gone unnoticed.

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No. 23 Chase Sexton – Honda HRC (7-1 for Fourth Overall)

You want to talk about Championship rides, that is exactly what Sexton did at Budds Creek. After a pair of early endos put him outside the top 30 in Moto 1, he rallied all the way up to seventh. Then after crashing out of the lead in Moto 2, he went from third to first again in the span of about two laps. Sexton may have just saved his season this weekend. If you told him before Moto 2 that he would only leave Maryland down one point to Tomac, I’d bet Sexton would have been over the moon. Pala, the venue of the season finale, is also Sexton’s best venue which is gigantic for him.

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No. 222 Antonio Cairoli – Red Bull KTM (19-16 for 19th Overall)

It wasn’t the return to the AMA Nationals that Cairoli was hoping for, after an early crash in Moto 1, the No. 222 KTM was clearly not at 100 percent. To the MXGP legend’s credit, he came from well-passed 30th to finish 19th. Cairoli was then able to do slightly better in Moto 2, coming home in 16th. A disappointing result considering he qualified second during the morning hours in his first trip to Budds Creek since the 2007 Motocross Des Nations.

Budds Creek National 450 Class Top 10

1st No. 21 Jason Anderson 2-2

2nd No. 3 Eli Tomac 1-5

3rd No. 94 Ken Roczen 3-3

4th No. 23 Chase Sexton 7-1

5th No. 5 Ryan Dungey 4-4

6th No. 28 Christian Craig 5-7

7th No. 17 Joey Savatgy 9-6

8th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger 10-9

9th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart 12-11

10th No. 61 Freddie Noren 16-9

(Justin Barcia received Moto 2 DNF after going 8-8)

450 Class Point Standings After Budds Creek

1st No. 3 Eli Tomac 449 Points (New Points Leader)

2nd No. 23 Chase Sexton 448 Points (-1)

3rd No. 21 Jason Anderson 369 Points (-80)

4th No. 94 Ken Roczen 343 Points (-106)

5th No. 28 Christian Craig 303 Points (-146)

Week 10 PulpMX Fantasy Motocross Lineup

250 Class: Jo Shimoda (All-Star, +2), Derek Kelley (+5), Guillem Farres (+12), Tyler Stepek (+18)

450 Class: Ken Roczen (All-Star, +5), Antonio Cairoli (-2), Malcolm Stewart (+5), Marshall Weltin (+7)

FFL: Ken Roczen (Successful) and Jett Lawrence (Unsuccessful)


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Main Image via Honda HRC

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