In front of his home state fans, Colorado native Eli Tomac (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) came out blazing at the Lakewood Thunder Valley Raceway MX National, Round Three of 2022 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, presented by Monster Energy, catching and passing longtime rival Ken Roczen (Honda) in the opening 450 class moto to take the win. Then, in the second and decisive moto, Tomac rallied back from a sub-par start and raced his way up to 3rd place – which would have been enough for the overall victory (1st-3rd).
Only problem was that Tomac’s Monster Energy-backed cohort, 450 class point leader Chase Sexton (Honda), who was leading the second 450 moto, made a last lap mistake that not only cost Sexton a spot on the overall podium, the bobble allowed Roczen to sneak by for the win – giving him the overall 450 victory over Tomac on the day at Lakewood.
Tomac, a three-time MX Nationals champion, would take the situation in stride, acknowledging the crowd and saying “It’s always fun racing Ken (Roczen). We both raced each other really clean. Bummed I didn’t get the overall, but it was a good weekend for the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha team.”
Sexton, for his part, got right to the point on the Moto 2 podium, saying: “It’s a bonehead mistake. That’s the last one I’ll make this season.”
Overall, on the weekend it was an incredible run for the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha team. In addition to Tomac, the 250 team was led by Levi Kitchen’s opening moto victory and career-best 3rd place overall finish. As a whole, the team put four of its five racers in the top ten (Justin Cooper 4th, Matthew Leblanc 8th, and Nick Romano 10th). And had it not been for a Moto 2 crash that was not his fault, Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Nate Thrasher (14th), who placed 8th in the opening 250 moto, could have also made the top ten.
And on the Monster Energy-backed Green Machines, Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson was fast all weekend in the 450 class, placing 4th (3rd-6th) overall while his teammate, Joey Savatgy placed 9th (8th-9th). And on the 250s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki was led by Jo Shimoda in 5th (7th-6th) and Seth Hammaker in 9th (5th-15th).