2022 Spring Creek Motocross | Race Report & Results
How many all-out, down to the wire, memorable motos are we going to see during this year’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship? The 2022 Spring Creek Motocross added a few more to the list, as the summer’s front-runners went at it for the top spots in the 250 and 450 Classes. Jett Lawrence and Eli Tomac got the overall victories again, but the championship point leaders had to work to stay ahead of Hunter Lawrence, Jo Shimoda, Justin Cooper, Chase Sexton, Jason Anderson, Christian Craig at the sandy Minnesota circuit.
250 Moto One
The first race of the day was off and Justin Cooper was off to a great jump but pushed his front end, allowing Jett Lawrence to sweep inside and into the lead as they crossed the hole shot line. Justin Cooper then passed momentarily for the lead, but Jett took it right back. Hunter Lawrence was then challenging for second place, but Justin Cooper responded by taking an inside line at the bottom of the hill and then taking the race lead from Jett.
Justin Cooper then tipped over at the bottom of the next hill, slowing Jett and allowing Hunter Lawrence to take the lead. Jett rebounded just behind Seth Hammaker in third, while Justin Cooper got shuffled outside of the top-10. On the second lap, Jett made a pass on Hammaker to take over second place. Also on the second lap, Michael Mosiman went down hard in the sand whoops and was slow to get up.
Hunter Lawrence got sideways and went off track through the whoops, allowing Jett to close in. Jett looked to have the pass made, but Hunter took his brother wide to hold onto the lead. Jett then railed an outside line and pulled alongside Hunter going up the hill, before diving inside to take the race lead before the pair jumped down the hill. Hunter took one more shot at the race lead at the bottom of the hill, but ran out of room and had to settle for second place.
Maximus Vohland was on Hammaker’s rear wheel and challenging for third place, just as Hunter Lawrence was back to pressuring Jett for the lead. Maximus trailed for a few laps but ultimately made the pass on Seth for third place. While, Hunter continued to search for an opening to make the pass and did so after cutting inside of Jett on a flat corner. Hunter Lawrence was back in the race lead, but Jett was just behind and now on the pursuit.
Hunter Lawrence picked it up on the back of the track and raced his way to a 2-second lead over his brother. Back in the pack, Justin Cooper was back inside of the top-10 after falling back on the opening lap. Justin Cooper made the pass on Robertson for seventh place, and Jo Shimoda looked to follow. A few positions ahead, Nate Thrasher was pressuring Seth Hammaker for fourth place, but Nate had Rj Hampshire and Justin Cooper trailing.
Thrasher scrubbed past Hammaker, but both Hampshire and Cooper followed. Rj was now pressuring Nate for fourth place, and ultimately made the pass through the rollers. Jo Shimoda then entered the picture after passing Hammaker, as he made the pass on both Thrasher and Cooper to take over fifth place. Back up front, Hunter Lawrence continued to lead Jett and sat with a 2.5 second cushion.
Jo Shimoda didn’t stop after taking fifth place, as he went after Rj Hampshire and made the pass for fourth place. Up front, Jett continued to work on Hunter, while the brothers sat over 20-seconds ahead of Maximus Vohland in third place. With three laps to go, Jo Shimoda had trimmed the gap between Maximus and himself down to 2-seconds.
Two laps were left in the first 250MX moto and the battle for the lead was on, as Hunter made a slight mistake that allowed Jett to get within a second of him. Jett dove inside while Hunter got held up behind two lapped riders, easing Jett’s pass for the lead. At the same time, Shimoda was on Vohland’s rear wheel and challenging for third.
On the final lap, Hunter was back on Jett’s rear wheel. Hunter was just behind but unable to make a pass to retake the lead from his younger brother, as Jett Lawrence crossed the finish line and grabbed the moto win just ahead of Hunter. However, Jo Shimoda was late to the breaks going down the hill and beat Maximus to the following corner to take third place with just a few turns to go.
250 Moto Two
As 250MX moto two left the gate, Justin Cooper was off to the early lead but Nick Romano made the pass into the lead before the second corner. Hunter Lawrence then passed Cooper and took over second place, Jett followed just moments later. Before the end of the lap, Hunter Lawrence was pressuring Nick Romano and made the pass after finding a further inside rut at the bottom of the hill.
On the first lap, Jo Shimoda and Thrasher got together, causing a massive pile-up involving Swoll, Robertson, and plenty more. Ty Masterpool also went down hard on the first lap and was slow to remount. Back up front, Jett Lawrence made the pass for second place on Romano before they rejoined the start straight to begin their second lap.
After a privateer went down hard in the sand whoops and was unable to get up, the track officials brought out the red flag. Thankfully, Thomas Welch, the down rider, was seen awake and walking minutes later. Unfortunately, Stilez Robertson was holding his leg and taking a ride in the medic mule after being involved in that first lap pile-up.
The gate was back down and the restart was off, as Justin Cooper was off to another great start with Preston Kilroy alongside. Jo Shimoda and Jett Lawrence quickly shuffled into second and third place, but Shimoda made a slight mistake after the rollers that allowed Jett to make the pass for second. Nick Romano got another great start, as he sat in fourth place with Rj Hampshire trailing.
Hunter Lawrence sat in ninth place at the end of the first lap and had some work to do, as his championship rivals were up front. On the second lap, Jett Lawrence made the pass on Justin Cooper for the lead after a line did not work out as intended for Cooper. Jo Shimoda was now pressuring Justin for second place, meanwhile, the top-3 had already built up a 4-second lead on Hampshire and the rest of the field.
Shimoda looked inside of Justin at the bottom of the hill, but Cooper held it wide to get away before the pass attempt. Half a lap later, Shimoda looked inside again before the uphill but was denied, Jo would take three more shots at the pass but was denied each time. Jo continued to work on Justin Cooper, as Hunter Lawrence made the pass on Ryder DiFrancesco for fifth place.
Laps after his first pass attempt, Justin Cooper made a slight mistake and Jo Shimoda found a new line to make the pass for second place. Nick Romano and Nate Thrasher collided mid-air, sending both of them into the dirt hard. Romano scrubbed the jump, flicking his rear wheel towards thrasher’s front wheel and sending Romano into a loop-out through the air after the bikes hit. Romano was slow to get up, though he managed to walk over to his bike but did not re-join the race. While, Nate Thrasher remounted quickly and went into the pits to get his bike straightened out.
Back up front, Rj Hampshire was reeling in Justin Cooper and mounting a charge at third place. However, Justin upped his pace and put some time back between Rj and himself. A few spots behind, Seth Hammaker was pressuring Ryder DiFrancesco and ultimately made the pass for seventh after diving inside of his teammate.
On the final lap, Rj Hampshire went down after losing the front-end while going after Cooper. Rj remounted quickly and ended up in fourth place. Jett Lawrence crossed the checkered flag to claim the overall win at Millville with a 1-1 performance. Jo Shimoda finished in second place, a few seconds ahead of Justin Cooper.
450 Moto One
The first 450MX moto was off and Joey Savatgy was off to the early jump, but Eli Tomac immediately took over the race lead as they exited the first turn. Ryan Dungey sat just behind Savatgy, alongside Chase Sexton. Dungey made a slight mistake before the uphill, allowing Sexton to make the pass for third. Jason Anderson now trailed Dungey in fifth place. Joey Savatgy was getting pressured from Sexton and nearly high-sided, ultimately going down and remounting outside of the top-10.
Jason Anderson then made the pass on Dungey for third place, as Sexton began to work on trimming the gap between Eli Tomac and himself. On the second lap, Ken Roczen went down and was backwards on the uphill, preventing him from regaining the race until he found an opening outside of the top-20. Back up front, Chase Sexton was closing on Eli Tomac.
After a few laps of Sexton sitting within a second of Tomac, Eli began to up the pace and break back away with the race lead. Further back in the pack, Joey Savatgy went down again, this time while leading Alex Martin at the bottom of the hill. Joey was late to the brakes going down the hill and jumped into some soft dirt on the bank, grabbing his front wheel and sending him over the bars.
Chase Sexton was back on Eli Tomac and made the pass for the lead after charging down the hill. Eli looked to fire back after railing the outside berm, but Sexton beat him to the next corner. After fending off Eli, Chase Sexton stretched his lead over Tomac out to a few seconds. Laps later, Chase Sexton lost the front-end at the bottom of a hill and went down in a rut. Sexton remounted, but not until Eli Tomac re-passed to take over the race lead.
Eli Tomac grabbed the first 450MX moto win and continued his moto win streak at Spring Creek. After throwing it away, Chase Sexton crossed the finish line in second place. Jason Anderson finished in third place, just ahead of Ryan Dungey.
450 Moto Two
450MX moto two was off and Joey Savatgy was off to another great start, though, Ken Roczen and Chase Sexton were trailing. Savatgy led Sexton into the second corner, but Chase made the pass for the lead just a few sections later. Eli Tomac sat in fourth place, just behind Ken Roczen. Before the end of the first lap, Roczen took an outside line around Savatgy and made the pass for third place.
Eli Tomac rocketed past Savatgy through the outside of the start straight, only to have Christian Craig blitz past Savatgy through the whoops that followed. After passing into third, Eli switched his focus to Ken Roczen. At the end of the second lap, Eli railed an outside line and scrubbed past Roczen over the finish jump to take over second place.
Just moments after passing Roczen, Eli Tomac was now on Chase Sexton’s rear wheel and the battle for the lead was on. Eli nearly lost it jumping down the hill, as he went for a pass on Sexton through the inside rut and scrubbed down the hill. Sexton shut the door on Tomac, but Eli was back with another pass attempt just a few sections later.
As the duo jumped back onto the start straight, Eli cut down from the inside and took Sexton wide to take over the race lead. A few laps after losing the lead to Eli, Chase Sexton was still hanging in there, as he sat just over a second behind. Meanwhile, Christian Craig was pressuring Ken Roczen for third place, as Jason Anderson lurked just behind.
After a great corner, Craig pulled alongside Roczen going up the hill and then jumped to the inside rut at the top of the hill to take over third place. Back up front, Chase Sexton had tracked Eli down ever so slightly, as they were back within a second. A lap after Ken lost third to Craig, Jason Anderson made the pass on Roczen after doing the same thing going up the hill.
Laps later, Justin Barcia also made the pass on Roczen to take over fifth place. With 6-minutes left on the clock, Sexton was beginning to close on Tomac again, as Eli was reaching to adjust his pants in the air with a possible equipment failure. Ken Roczen went down after attempting to pass Ryan Dungey back, dropping him further down the field.
While running in the top-10, Max Anstie went down hard on the downhill and was out of the race as the medical team tended to him. With two laps to go and Chase Sexton still lurking within two seconds, Eli Tomac did his best to sprint and pull away from his challenger. Eli fended off Sexton for nearly the entirety of the moto to go 1-1 at Millville and take over the 450MX championship points-lead. Christian Craig crossed the finish line ahead of Jason Anderson to take third place in the second moto.