Eli Tomac wins 2022 AMA Pro Motocross 450 National Championship

Eli Tomac 2022 AMA Pro Motocross 450 Champion

The 50th anniversary season of AMA Pro Motocross was one for the books. Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton, arguably the two best Motocross riders anywhere on the planet, were separated by just one point going into the season finale in Pala, California. No title fight had ever gone this deep, uncharted territory didn’t even begin to describe this predicament.


Tomac, perhaps not considered the favorite this weekend due to the success of Sexton at Pala, kicked things off by qualifying first. Then Tomac picked up a gigantic first Moto win over Sexton, getting by him in the late stages to bump his lead up to four points. All Tomac needed to do was finish second, but instead, it was a 1-1 for Tomac. Likely bookending his Motocross career with National wins, Tomac now becomes a four-time 450 Class Motocross Champion.


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

All-Time Great

Assuming Star Yamaha can’t cajole Tomac into running Motocross next season, even with SMX on the horizon, his spot in AMA Motocross is near the very top. His four 450/250-Two Stroke Titles trail only Ricky Carmichael, as in the guy who never lost a full-time season outdoors. Additionally, his 32 National wins put him behind only Carmichael and Ryan Dungey in the premier class. No other rider has ever hit the 30-win plateau save those three. The only thing Tomac is missing on his outdoor resume is a Motocross Des Nations win, and it’s fair to say he has a good shot to do that later this month.


It Takes Two to Tango

You cannot talk about this Championship and how exciting it was just with Tomac. Sexton was just as good this year and it’s gutwrenching that he had to be the guy to lose, and more the fashion he lost it. No one had ever taken Tomac into deep waters like this before. Not Blake Baggett in 2017, Marvin Musquin in 2018, Ken Roczen in 2019, nobody.


There were several times this season where Sexton took Tomac’s best shot and was able to not just withstand it, but beat him. Practically unheard of in Motocross. We saw some unreal speed out of Sexton this summer, and he showed that he is going to be a serious problem in Motocross for years to come. Tomac in a nice gesture in his postrace interview, went out of his way to praise his title rival and Motocross Des Nations teammate. There never seemed to be any animosity between the two all year, but nice to see all the same.

What’s Left?

The next question for Tomac is simply what’s left for him to do? There’s a 90% chance we never see him line up for Motocross ever again after today. In turn, this Des Nations run is not just his last shot to get a Chamberlain Trophy, but to redeem Team USA’s 2018 efforts. Even if Tomac came back, a perfect season with how stacked things are doesn’t feel obtainable at this juncture.

Getting to the point, Tomac is probably reaching the endgame. He has done quite literally everything save for a Des Nations win at this point and is just over two months away from turning 30 years old. He is without question closer to the end than the beginning, and a hypothetical third Supercross Championship would be the cherry on top for a first ballot hall of fame career. Tomac could retire right now, and he’d be one of the greatest Motocross/Supercross riders we have ever seen in any event. This Championship win over Sexton perhaps was his biggest accomplishment.

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Main Image via Yamaha Racing

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