Redbud MX, Buchanan, MI — September 25, 2022
The forecast looked ominous, with an 80% chance of rain all day. Mother Nature did her best to soak the racetrack at Redbud MX. Wave after wave of storms off Lake Michigan moved through the area just north of South Bend, Indiana. The Motocross of Nations (MXoN) runs rain or shine, wet or dry. It’s up to the riders to adapt to the conditions and prove who is the best dirt track motorcycle racer in the world.
Eli Tomac, for all of his success on the track, has never won an MXoN moto. That changed today when Tomac sprinted to the lead early by virtue of the starting gate he chose after a great qualifying heat yesterday.
Jago Geerts from Belgium tried to make a race out of it, closing to within two seconds of Tomac on several occasions during the moto. Eli stayed calm and rode smart giving the win to the US and getting the finals off to a perfect start.
Justin Cooper also ran in the first moto for the US. He finished ninth to give Team USA an early lead. Cooper was second in his class behind.
Results – Race 1 – MXGP & MX2 (Top 10)
|10.||Kay De Wolf||(HUS)||NED|
The second moto of the day featured Chase Sexton and Justin Cooper riding for the Americans. Carnage in the corner just off from the start gathered several riders in a big pile-up. Guadagnini, the Italian rider grabbed the early lead with Sexton close behind. Jett Lawrence sat third with Cooper in fourth and Jett’s brother Hunter in fifth. Cooper and Hunter Lawrence collided on an early turn with Lawrence hitting the dirt. Justin stayed up and continued to hold his position.
Just before the halfway point of the race, Sexton made the pass for the lead. He could not hold it long as Guadagnini moved back to the front. As the pair continued to battle, Jett Lawrence passed both riders to become the new leader.
Cooper continued to hold the fourth spot with a good interval over the rest of the pack. Hunter Lawrence was the man on the move recovering from his earlier spill to move into the top 10. Another spill cost Lawrence three spots as he dropped back to 13th.
With six minutes left Sexton moved back to the second spot and began to pull away. However, he trailed Jett Lawrence by 11 seconds. The moto finished with Sexton in second and Cooper in fourth. The finish by Cooper clinched the MX2 class for the American rider.
After two races the US leads the standings with 16 points, Australia with 24, and France with 32. Rules allow each team to throw out their highest score of the three-race series. to capture the title Team USA needs a top finish by Tomac or Sexton. The two strongest riders on the team.
Results – Race 2 – MX2 & Open (Top 10)
Chase Sexton got a good start and came out in third place. Tomac got caught up in a tangle at the start and was back in 11th early. The bad news for the Americans, the French riders Ferrandis and Renaux ran first and second cutting into the overall lead of Team USA.
At the 10-minute mark, Tomac had worked his way to seventh. Ferrandis went down and dropped to sixth costing the French precious points. The spill moved Sexton into the second position, where he trailed Renaux by 1.5 seconds.
At the halfway point of the final moto, the US led by nine points over France in the live standings.
Jett Lawrence caught and passed Sexton with just under nine minutes to go. Team USA still led by seven points as the minutes counted down. With five minutes to go Jett Lawrence was closing on Renaux. A pass could impact the silver medal position.
The rain picked up into a downpour as the riders worked through the final laps. Sexton stayed focused and took the third position. When Tomac crossed the finish line in sixth place, Team USA was the 2022 Motocross of Nations champions.
Results – Race 3 – MXGP & Open (Top 10)
France finished second and Australia took the third spot.
|1. USA – 16pts
2. France – 23pts
3. Australia – 24pts
4. Italy – 49pts
5. Belgium – 50pts
6. Spain – 51pts
7. The Netherlands – 62pts
8. Germany – 71pts
9. Switzerland – 90pts
10. Great Britain – 98pts
|11. Latvia – 101pts
12. Sweden – 109pts
13. Norway – 116pts
14. Finland – 1124pts
15. Canada – 129pts
16. Chile – 130pts
17. Guam – 131pts
18. South Africa – 154pts
19. Estonia – (DNS) 98pts
20. Venezuela – (DNS)108 pts
The National Anthem could not have sounded any sweeter as the fans sang loudly honoring their heroes atop the podium.
For more pictures of MXoN 2022 at Redbud MX, visit the author’s Facebook Page at this link. https://www.facebook.com/journalist.steve.s.sports.editor.thelascopress/