2022 Washougal Motocross | Race Report & Results
Packs of riders raced through the tree-lined hills of Washington State for the 2022 Washougal Motocross, round eight of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. The contenders found their usual places in the pack, with Jett Lawrence-Hunter Lawrence-Justin Cooper-Jo Shimoda running at the front of the 250 Class while Chase and Eli added another pair of incredible motos to their summer-long scrap for the 450 Class title.
250 Moto One
The first 250 Class moto of the afternoon got underway with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda at the head of the pack with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, closely followed by the Team Honda HRC siblings of Hunter and Jett Lawrence. The lead trio soon settled into their respective positions through the opening five minutes of the moto.
Hunter Lawrence kept Shimoda honest throughout the early stages as the lead pair traded momentum, causing the gap between them to fluctuate. As the moto surpassed the 10 minute mark Hunter started to apply pressure and took advantage of his first pass attempt to seize the lead. Once out front, he quickly established a multi-second advantage. As Shimoda continued to lose more ground to the lead he was forced to fend off the pressure from Jett Lawrence in third.
The battle for second waged on through the middle portion of the moto and it allowed both Shimoda and Lawrence to inch back on the lead and drop the deficit to 1.5 seconds. With seven minutes to go the top three were separated by less than two seconds and continued to tighten. Shimoda continued to push the pace and moved within striking distance of Hunter, while Jett lurked from third. As the race approached its final minute Jett pulled the trigger on a pass to get by Shimoda and set his sights on his brother for the lead.
Hunter Lawrence dropped the hammer on the final two laps, which effectively ended any chances of a late-race battle for victory between the siblings. He took his third moto win of the season by 4.1 seconds over Jett, with Shimoda in third. Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper finished fourth, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker rounded out the top five.
250 Moto Two
The second and final moto began with Cooper leading the way for the MotoSport.com Holeshot as Shimoda, Hunter Lawrence, and Jett Lawrence all gave chase to establish the top four. A strong opening lap saw Cooper build a 1.4 second lead over Shimoda as the lead group settled in.
The running order remained status quo through the first half of the moto, as Cooper was able to maintain a multi-second lead. However, the battle behind him intensified between Shimoda and the Lawrences. Hunter Lawrence started to apply pressure to look for a way around, but in the process lost traction with his front tire and tipped over. That allowed Jett Lawrence to move into third as Hunter remounted in fourth.
With 11 minutes remaining in the moto Jett Lawrence started to force the issue with Shimoda and applied heavy pressure on the Kawasaki rider. Shimoda kept his friend and rival at bay for multiple laps but Lawrence made the pass stick and took control of second. With approximately eight minutes to go Cooper and Lawrence were separated by 4.8 seconds, with Lawrence running the quickest laps on the track.
In the closing minutes Cooper picked up the pace to run his fastest laps of the moto, which fended off a late push from Lawrence. That turned the attention to Hunter Lawrence and his pursuit of Shimoda for third. With his chances for the overall win in the balance, Lawrence continued to make gains as both riders navigated through lapped traffic. Mere bike lengths separated the two riders as they took the white flag. Lawrence got close on multiple occasions, but couldn’t complete the pass.
Cooper went wire-to-wire for his first moto win of the season, 5.5 seconds ahead of Jett Lawrence, while Shimoda held on for third.
450 Moto One
The opening 450 Class moto began with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey and Sexton side-by-side exiting the first turn, where Dungey emerged with the MotoSport.com Holeshot. Sexton was able to solidify a hold of the lead in the next turn and looked to sprint away as Dungey then battled with Tomac for second.
Dungey continued his pursuit of the lead but suddenly experienced an issue with his KTM that ultimately ended his moto. That misfortune allowed Tomac to assume second and give pursuit to Sexton, while Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen took over third, nearly 10 seconds behind the leaders.
As the moto passed the 10 minute mark the battle for the lead was on. Tomac appeared to have the faster pace, but found difficulty in trying to complete a pass. The Yamaha rider continued to keep the pressure on his Honda rival and made his way by with a savvy move just before the halfway point. Once out front, Tomac quickly built a multi-second advantage over Sexton.
The closing 10 minutes saw Sexton claw his way back into the fight as he lowered the deficit to less than a second. Behind them, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson closed in on Roczen for a battle for third. Back out front, Tomac and Sexton reignited their battle for the final five minutes.
With three minutes to go Tomac’s front tire got stuck in a rut and caused him to tip over. Sexton’s close pursuit caused him to run into Tomac and also tip over. The two riders then raced to pick up their bike, restart it, and resume. Tomac got going first, with Sexton getting back underway moments later. As they returned to race pace, the distance between them remained the same, while their 30-second gap over the rest of the field dropped to just under 20 seconds.
Sexton made one more late push with two laps to go and was able to nearly get alongside Tomac, but the point leader fended him off and dug deep on the final lap to keep the Honda at bay. Tomac held on for his eighth straight moto win, 1.1 seconds ahead of Sexton. Anderson made the pass on Roczen for third, while Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia finished fifth.
450 Moto Two
The second and deciding moto began with Sexton and Tomac leading the way, with the MotoSport.com Holeshot going to the Honda rider. As the lead duo began their fight for the top spot, Anderson and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger engaged in a battle for third. A torrid pace on the opening laps allowed Sexton to inch away and open a lead of more than a second, while Anderson asserted his control of third and closed in to make it a three-rider breakaway.
Sexton continued to add to his lead and pulled out nearly two seconds clear of Tomac through the first 10 minutes of the moto. However, as soon as Sexton appeared to have the upper hand, Tomac responded and closed to within bike lengths of the lead. With their battle, Sexton and Tomac easily left Anderson behind in third.
The excitement ramped up again at the halfway point of the moto. Tomac appeared to have the faster pace and started to look for a way around, but Sexton countered and inched away once more as they navigated lapped riders. The lead stabilized to more than a second for Sexton approaching the final 10 minutes but Tomac found the pace to get back within bike lengths.
Sexton’s continued defense of every one of Tomac’s advances turned the closing minutes into a chess match. The Yamaha rider continued to drop back and mount charges, but was unable to find enough momentum to make a move. The lead was about as big as it had been to start the final two laps and continued to grow from there. Sexton put the finishing touches on his performance with his fastest lap of the moto on the second-to-last lap. He pulled away on the final lap and took his fourth moto win of the season by 8.4 seconds over Tomac, who saw his streak come to an end. Anderson finished in a distant third.