When the pressure was on, so was Eli Tomac. The veteran four-time outdoor Motocross champion joined an elite class of FIVE-TIME Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships winners, taking a one-point premier 450 class lead into the final round over Chase Sexton (Honda) and making an absolute statement as to who’s the best with a bold, 1-1 two-moto finish at Fox Raceway in Pala, California, on Saturday.
Tomac’s performance in the arid (temperatures teetering at or above triple digits) region near Carlsbad, California, the birthplace of American motocross racing, was nothing short of superhuman – as was Sexton’s as well. In the opening moto the two distanced themselves from the rest of the field and went 1-2 – with the next-closest competitor (3rd place Christian Craig) being an unheard of one minute and 17 seconds behind. Tomac and Sexton, in their feverous pursuit of the championship, lapped the field all the way up to 11th place (out of 40 racers that started).
The second and deciding moto would see Tomac overcome a poor start and take advantage of an unbelievable three (3) unforced errors that led to crashes by Sexton which, ultimately, handed the championship over to Tomac as the veteran rode pretty much error-free in both motos.
“This has been the most enjoyable year of my career,” said Tomac from the podium following his second moto victory and 91st career MX Nationals moto win. “Starting with supercross (Tomac won the 450 class in 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross) and now motocross. The competition was just unbelievable with Chase (Sexton). He’s (Sexton) the next 450 guy, hands down.”
Added Sexton: “Man, Eli’s (Tomac) so tough. He, obviously, got the upper hand on me. I made some big strides this summer and feel like a different person than I was when I started. We’ll keep going and get better for next year.”
Noteworthy here is that Tomac and Sexton will lead Team USA, along with Justin Cooper in the upcoming, Sept. 24-25, Motocross Des Nations at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich.
In 250 class racing at Fox Raceway, Jo Shimoda overcame a questionable/aggressive pass from Honda’s Hunter Lawrence, which caused Shimoda to crash in the opening moto, to win the second moto, and with it, secure 2nd place overall in the standings – 12 points ahead of Hunter Lawrence. Cooper would join Shimoda on the 250 podium at Fox Raceway in 3rd place.