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Eli Tomac holds 1-point lead in Motocross standings after Ironman duel

Eli Tomac of Cortez on Saturday split the two motos at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana, with Chase Sexton. Tomac leads the series standings by one point heading into the final race Saturday, Sept. 3. (Star Racing Yamaha)
Chase Sexton and Tomac split motos in Indiana; final race is next week

Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton battled for the overall victory and the series lead Saturday in the 450cc motocross at Ironman Raceway and ended where they started – one point apart.

Tomac won the first moto in Crawfordsville, Indiana, with Sexton in tow. Sexton won the second, with Tomac in tow.

Sexton was given the overall Ironman victory because he won the second moto. Both riders racked up 47 points, but Tomac retained his one-point lead in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross standings, 496 points to Sexton’s 495.

The final race to determine the 2022 champion next Saturday at Fox Raceway II in Pala, California.

Aaron Plessinger was third overall on Saturday to join Tomac and Sexton on the podium. Jason Anderson (sixth and fourth) and Christian Craig (fifth and fifth) filled out the top five.

Moto 1: There’s no denying …

Tomac was sixth after one lap in Moto 1, after a crash at the start that sent Anderson to 32nd place and gave the lead to Ken Roczen.

Craig was second, and Shane McElrath, Ryan Dungey and Justin Barcia filled out the top five.

Tomac didn’t wait long before making his charge to the lead. He moved into third place in Lap 2, second place in Lap 3, and past Roczen for the lead in Lap 6.

Sexton also was on the move, jumping from 10th place in Lap 1 to second place in Lap 6.

Again, the race became a fight to the finish for Tomac and Sexton.

Sexton overtook Tomac for the lead in Lap 13, but Tomac responded with his fastest lap of the race – 2:01.372 – to overtake Sexton in Lap 15 for the lead. Tomac then stretched out a 4-second lead in Lap 16 before easing off the throttle in Lap 17 to win by 1.533 seconds.

Plessinger was third, 32.766 seconds back. He was followed by Dungey and Craig.

Moto 2: Comeback trail

Sexton win the hole shot in Moto 2, but gave up the early lead to Roczen.

Sexton went to the lead in Lap 2, and Tomac, in third after one lap, began to challenge Roczen for second place. Dungey was fourth, and Plessinger was fifth.

Tomac passed Roczen in Lap 5 to come within 5.4 seconds of Sexton and the lead, and Roczen dropped to more than 4 seconds behind Tomac.

In Lap 7, Tomac ran his fastest lap of the race – 2 minutes, 1.008 seconds – to close the gap to Sexton to about 4.6 seconds. Dungey challenged Roczen for third.

Plessinger and Craig passed Dungey in Lap 9 to take over fourth and fifth, as Sexton and Tomac left the field about more than 16 seconds behind. Plessinger followed up his pass by taking over third place from Roczen in Lap 11, and Anderson took over fourth place in Lap 12 and third place in Lap 13.

As the race entered the final laps, Tomac closed to within 1.6 seconds of Sexton in Lap 12, but wobbled and dropped to 4.7 seconds back with about 2½ minutes to go. He finished 11 seconds back.

Plessinger was third, about 36 seconds off the pace. Anderson and Craig rounded out the top five.

What’s next

The 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship wraps up Saturday, Sept. 3, at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

2022 AMA Motocross standings
1. Eli TomacYamaha496
2. Chase SextonHonda495
3. Jason AndersonKawasaki402
4. Ken RoczenHonda373
5. Christian CraigYamaha335
6. Ryan DungeyKTM332
7. Aaron PlessingerKTM294
8. Justin BarciaGAS272
9. Joseph SavatgyKawasaki222
10. Shane McElrathHusqvarna197