Tomac Maintains Championship Lead in Epic Title Fight at Washougal
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac maintained his advantage in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450MX Championship, taking a 1-2 moto score in a fierce battle at the Washougal MX Park. He ended the day second overall to earn his seventh-consecutive overall podium of 2022 and leaves Washougal, Washington, with the red plate. Teammate Christian Craig put in an impressive ride on a track that is difficult to make passes on and fought his way back from early race tip-overs to end the day fifth overall (6-5).
Tomac fired the first shot at the eighth round of the championship and was the fastest qualifier in the premier class. He got a good start in the first moto, battling up front in third, and then advanced to the runner-up position on the second lap. The Coloradan kept charging and passed Chase Sexton before the start of Lap 6. He tried to build a gap, but the competition kept him in sight, and the duo set a hot pace up front to leave everyone else behind.
With around three minutes remaining on the clock, Tomac went down in the tricky conditions, collecting his championship rival who was right behind. The pair rejoined the race in the same order, and the pace got even hotter for the sprint to the finish. On the final lap, Tomac threw down his fastest lap of the race, equaling the fastest time of moto, which his rival set the lap before, and went on to take his eighth-consecutive moto victory. He got another good start in the second moto and quickly claimed the runner-up spot. On the heels of his title rival, Tomac tried to make a pass but ultimately settled for second to hold onto his five-point lead in the championship as the series heads into a two-week break.
Craig qualified fifth, but unfortunately, a tip-over on the first lap had him back in 18th. Undeterred, the Californian put his head down and made his way through to sixth, which was an impressive charge on a track that is difficult to make passes. In the second moto, Craig had another tough start and went down on the opening lap. This time he was 12th after the first lap and shortly after was locked in a battle for ninth. On Lap 4, he advanced to ninth after the competition went down, then continued to put in some fast times to break the top five a couple of laps after the halfway point. His 6-5 score resulted in fifth overall and helped solidify his top-five position in the point standings.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team returns to action in two-weeks time for Round 9 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Unadilla MX on Saturday, August 13.
Previous Motocross Articles