With an overall victory at Indiana’s Ironman MX National on Saturday, Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton (Honda) stayed within one point, 496-495, of Monster Energy’s Eli Tomac (Star Racing/Yamaha) in what is the closest premier class title point battle in the 50-year history of Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship racing.
In the second and decisive moto, Sexton withstood a strong charge from Tomac late in the contest and, coupled with a slight Tomac error, won the moto by 11 seconds – and the overall – with a 2-1 two-moto finish (to Tomac’s 1-2 finish).
Said Sexton on when Tomac closed in on him in the second and deciding moto: “I was like (sighs) ‘This is going to be a hard race.’ But I just kept my head down and never gave up. That’s my mentality. It’s going to be a fun weekend next weekend.”
Next weekend is the 12th and final round of the 2022 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, Fox Raceway 2, set for Sept. 2nd in Pala, Calif. Sexton won Fox Raceway 1 back in May, sweeping both motos.
Added Tomac, who maintains the red leader’s plate heading into Pala: “Overall I’m happy with the day, happy to come out of here with the point lead still, and proud of my team. We’re going on to Pala, and it’s an all-or-nothing situation now.”
In 250 class racing at the Ironman, Monster Energy’s Jo Shimoda (Pro Circuit/Kawasaki) teamed a second moto victory with a come-from-behind 5th place opening moto finish to place 2nd overall on the day (5-1). With the effort, Shimoda increased his 2nd place overall series point lead to seven points over Hunter Lawrence (Honda), 437-430, and still has a mathematical chance of catching series point leader Jett Lawrence (Honda), who has 478 points heading into Pala.
Also, noteworthy from the 250 class, the much-anticipated pro debut of Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) ended with a couple crashes for the rookie and a rough 31st place finish (34-24). Deegan’s Monster Energy-backed teammate, Nate Thrasher (Star Racing/Yamaha), picked the team up by scoring a season-best overall 5th place 250 class finish.