After some incredible racing at Millville, AMA Pro Motocross shifted back to the west coast. More specifically the Pacific Northwest and Washougal, Washington. Heading into a double bye week, momentum was at a premium going into the final four rounds. Speaking of momentum, ESPY Award winner Eli Tomac, along with Jett Lawrence had a ton entering this weekend. The former was riding in on a seven Moto win streak, while the latter was on a five Moto win streak.
Not having a fun time was Chase Sexton, who lost the red plate for the first time all season last week. Along with Hunter Lawrence, who has had literally everything go wrong in the middle portion of this season after getting the 250 Points lead. With just four rounds to go, including Unadilla and Budds Creek, the margin for error is close to nothing now.
Be sure to keep up with all of our Motocross coverage.
Motocross Injury Roundup/Updates
On top of Max Anstie’s crash from last week holding him out, for the time being, there are two other injuries to talk about, first is Ty Masterpool, who also got hurt last weekend in Millville. The Privateer KTM rider, who was running very well to that point, suffered a broken kneecap during Moto 2. According to Masterpool, his recovery timeline is eight weeks, meaning his 2022 is over which is a shame. Hopefully, he can secure a full-time gig next year as well, it never felt like Star Yamaha gave him a fair shot.
The next 250 rider injury is to Stilez Roberston of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing. He also crashed during Moto 2 at Millville and suffered some torn ligaments in his ankle. Like Masterpool he is also done for the year now, and this also ends his stint with Husqvarna. Robertson is expected to move to Star Yamaha with the excess of 250 riders moving on up. Finally, Micheal Mosiman of TLD/GasGas missed out on Washougal, but he should be back at Unadilla.
Motocross Des Nations Team USA Update
As of today, the Motocross Des Nations is nine weeks out on the dot. At this point, it is crystal clear that the MX1/Open slots will be occupied by Tomac and Sexton. However, the MX2 spot situation may be getting settled soon. As it has been reported for a while now, it will be a 450 rider hoping down for the event as opposed to going with Justin Cooper, Seth Hammaker, etc. What is now clear is the two riders who are in contention for the spot, Justin Barcia and Christian Craig.
Barcia was spotted at Glen Helen during the week on a GasGas MC250 by the folks over at VitalMX, which cant be coincidental at the point. Craig meanwhile will be testing a 250 during this break according to his mechanic Brent Duffe on the broadcast. Both are good options despite the long gap to their last Nationals on a 250. However, Barcia putting a 250cc Engine and Clutch in the Steiner Recliner/Figure Four/Walls of Jericho/Ankle Lock/etc for two 30-minute Motos would be great content. But if given the option, who would you pick?
No. 1 Jett Lawrence – Honda HRC (2-2 for First Overall)
The Jett continues to find ways to win, even on his bad days, this season. This is now the second time this season that the reigning Champion has won a National without winning a Moto. Furthermore, he is now 7-for-8 on National wins this season, with the engine failure at RedBud certainly being the reason why that isn’t 8-for-8. In Moto 1 it was his brother who he had nothing for, then it was Cooper later on in the day. Due to some inconsistencies, Lawrence ended up as the top dog once again. Just four rounds now are in between himself and a back-to-back run.
No. 32 Justin Cooper – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (4-1 for Second Overall)
Ironic that Cooper breaks his nearly year-long dry spell for Moto wins where he ultimately lost the title a year ago. The starts hadn’t been there for much of this season, but when they did to this point, Cooper wasn’t able to put it all together. That all changed in Moto 2 when all he needed was the holeshot and he was home free 10 seconds into the Moto. No overall win, but this is a good step in the right direction after some rough outings earlier in the season.
No. 96 Hunter Lawrence – Honda HRC (1-4 for Third Overall)
We’re officially declaring Hunter cursed at the two-thirds mark of the season. Even when he wins now he ends up losing. This weekend after a superb win in Moto 1, Lawrence ultimately lost out on the National via a tip-over. In addition to not being able to pass Jo Shimoda on the home stretch to get what would have been a winning 1-3 run. With eight Motos left, Hunter is over a full Motos worth of points back of younger brother Jett. An absolute nightmare scenario after leaving RedBud with a seven-point advantage.
No. 30 Jo Shimoda – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki (3-3 for Fourth Overall)
The Jo Shimoda Agenda™ continues to improve week after week as the Pro Motocross season begins to wind down. Now riding nine consecutive Moto podium finishes, the Pro Circuit Kawasaki Ace continues to give both Lawrence brothers a run for their money. Shimoda ultimately wasn’t able to capitalize on a Moto 1 holeshot but held steady on the podium for just about the entire day. If Hunter continues to slide down the stretch, don’t count out Shimoda ending up second in points.
No. 36 Max Vohland – Red Bull KTM (7-5 for Fifth Overall)
Vohland has for sure had his ups and downs in 2022 but is currently riding exceptionally well as of late. Going into the break, he has finished no worse than seventh in his last four Motos and tied a season-best fifth overall as well. Furthermore, the path is there for Vohland to end up top five in points even after his brutal run in the early/middle portion of the season. He is only back two points of R.J. Hampshire in sixth and 15 back of Hammaker in fifth.
Washougal National 250 Class Top 10
1st No. 1 Jett Lawrence 2-2
2nd No. 32 Justin Cooper 4-1
3rd No. 96 Hunter Lawrence 1-4
4th No. 30 Jo Shimoda 3-3
5th No. 36 Max Vohland 7-5
6th No. 47 Seth Hammaker 5-8
7th No. 24 R.J. Hampshire 8-6
8th No. 44 Pierce Brown 6-9
9th No. 49 Nate Thrasher 13-7
10th No. 38 Josh Varize 10-10
250 Class Point Standings After Washougal
1st No. 1 Jett Lawrence 355 Points
2nd No. 96 Hunter Lawrence 327 Points (-28)
3rd No. 30 Jo Shimoda 306 Points (-49)
4th No. 32 Justin Cooper 275 Points (-80)
5th No. 47 Seth Hammaker 207 Points (-147)
No. 23 Chase Sexton – Honda HRC (2-1 for First Overall)
I mean what an incredible run by Sexton today, it’s hard to really put it into words how good he was. He took Tomac into deep water not once but twice, and almost straight up beat him not once but twice. You could argue that he should have gone 1-1, had he not gone down with Tomac in the closing stages of Moto 1. If Sexton didn’t stall the bike trying to get going again, he would have had the late lead in all likelihood. Fun little statistic for you, Tomac and Sexton had nearly a 30-second lead over third when that incident happened, then lost 13 seconds as a result. The pair then stretched it back out to 44 seconds in the end. Absurd doesn’t even begin to describe that sequence of events, just a Motocross clinic if there ever was one.
Moto 2 was nothing short of a clinic for Sexton, as he went wire to wire and held off several Tomac charges. The pair once again were laughably faster than the rest of the field, both putting up 2:12 second laps to finish out the day, just two other riders were in the 2:10s bracket in the entire field. That ultimate is a credit to Sexton, who now gives himself a real shot at a Motocross title with four rounds to go. Can he gain six points in eight Motos? That’s the million-dollar question.
No. 3 Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (1-2 for Second Overall)
Not a bad day by any stretch for Tomac, but he gained no points on Sexton and his Moto win streak is now broken. We ended up seeing an elusive mistake by Tomac in the first Moto with that fall. The last off-hand mental error from Tomac I can think of was the pair of odd falls he took at East Rutherford Supercross in 2019. They don’t happen often, but the good news is it ended up costing Tomac nothing in the end. This will likely be ET3’s toughest path to a Motocross title in his career, in what very well may be his swan song in the Great Outdoors.
No. 94 Ken Roczen – Honda HRC (4-6 for Fourth Overall)
You may have not noticed it, but Roczen quietly had a solid outing at Washougal. Save for a slight fade late in Moto 2, this was the best Roczen has looked in a few weeks. He had nothing for those top two, but literally, no one else did either. Outside of Tomac and Sexton, the only riders to beat him were Craig, Ryan Dungey, and Jason Anderson. Now Roczen gets back-to-back off weeks for this final stretch run, as he likely gets set to captain Team Germany in Des Nations.
No. 17 Joey Savatgy – Monster Energy Kawasaki (7-7 for Seventh Overall)
During qualifying, Savatgy ended up going down and hurt his ankle, making his afternoon hopes look bleak. Keep in mind as well that he tore his ACL earlier in the year which likely didn’t help the situation out any. Despite this Savatgy valiantly put up back-to-back sevenths for seventh overall. Just an all-around great story, have to imagine the Kawasaki rig was over the moon with the result.
No. 5 Ryan Dungey – Red Bull KTM (DNF-4 for 12th Overall)
This was going to be the week dammit. Diesel was finally going to hit an Overall podium for the first time in over six years but his engine did not want to cooperate. After pulling out the Moto 1 holeshot over Sexton, Dungey settled into second before he suddenly lost power. Just a gut-wrenching result as the early pace was there to keep up with those top two. Then Dungey, after getting buried off the start, ended up in ninth going to the stripe the first time and dug his way up to fourth. Sadly, the DNF held him back for a 12th Overall finish. Just a devastating turn of events on what should have been a great day. This of course has nothing to do with my Pulp Fantasy team, why would you ask?
Washougal National 450 Class Top 10
1st No. 23 Chase Sexton 2-1
2nd No. 3 Eli Tomac 1-2
3rd No. 21 Jason Anderson 3-3
4th No. 94 Ken Roczen 4-6
5th No. 28 Christian Craig 6-5
6th No. 51 Justin Barcia 5-8
7th No. 17 Joey Savatgy 7-7
8th No. 73 Benny Bloss 9-9
9th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger 8-13
10th No. 26 Alex Martin 10-12
450 Class Point Standings After Washougal
1st No. 3 Eli Tomac 317 Points
2nd No. 23 Chase Sexton 312 Points (-5)
3rd No. 21 Jason Anderson 245 Points (-72)
4th No. 94 Ken Roczen 241 Points (-76)
5th No. 28 Christian Craig 220 Points (-97)
Week 8 PulpMX Fantasy Motocross Lineup
FFL: Chase Sexton (Successful) and Jett Lawrence (Unsuccessful)
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image via Honda HRC