Monster Energy’s Eli Tomac makes it two in a row, wins premier 450 class supercross Triple Crown event in Arizona

Eli Tomac MAIN PHOTO (678)

Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton (Honda) 3rd in AZ 450 SX Triple Crown; Monster Energy’s Christian Craig (Yamaha) survives takeout, places 2nd in 250 Triple Crown

CORONA, CA – February 7, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series action moved to Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday and Eli Tomac (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) would make it two wins in a row in the premier 450 class, adapting to the change in format and going 1st/1st/3rd in the three-moto main event, round one of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Triple Crown. Joining Tomac on the 450 podium was Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton, who placed 3rd with an 11th/3rd/1st effort.

And in 250 class racing at Glendale Christian Craig (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) overcame a scary situation where he was blasted off the track by another racer (Vince Friese) who was attempting sketchy pass in the sand section. Craig would remount and race back from dead last to 4th place, going 1st/4th/3rd for 2nd overall. And Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda would put up his best finish of the year thus far on the 250s, going a consistent 5th/3rd/3rd for 3rd place in the Glendale Monster Energy AMA Supercross Triple Crown event.

450 class qualifying

Chase Sexton action

Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton

Monster Energy-backed racers would dominate the afternoon timed qualifying rounds, led by Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) would was the top dog in qualifying for the first time this year. Ferrandis was joined up front by Tomac and Jason Anderson (Monster Energy/Kawasaki) in the 2nd and 3rd spots, respectively, giving Monster Energy the 1st/2nd/3rd qualifying sweep.

450 Main Events

Jason Anderson action (1)

Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson

There’s been nine Monster Energy AMA Supercross Triple Crown events to date – and Tomac has now won five of them. Tomac holeshot the opening 450 race, and led it wire-to-wire. He’d do the same in the second race, and took a commanding lead into the third and final Triple Crown moto. At the start of the third moto Tomac wouldn’t get quite the same gate drop anticipation, and subsequent jump on the pack, and ended up getting pinched a bit by Malcolm Stewart in the first turn (following a Sexton holeshot). Undaunted, the veteran Tomac rode smart – but fast – remainder of the ten minutes plus 1 lap race and brought home the overall win, the 39th of his career.

Said Tomac on his incredible starts: “We had good execution through the rut to the gate, then good shift and got a good combination going with our starts tonight.”

Sexton’s opening moto saw him on the ground twice with unforced errors, and leading him to say from the podium later in the evening: “If you were watching my first race you’d have thought I was a beginner.” Sexton would following that opening 450 moto 11th place effort with a podium 3rd in the second moto and a 1st place effort in the deciding final moto.

Said Sexton: “It’d been quite a struggle for me all day long, beginning with qualifying (5th). The second race was better and the third race we got the holeshot and set sail.”

450 class noteworthy:

  • Anderson, who was running 2nd in the opening moto when he left the track and got hung up on a Tuff Block. Had he been able to hold onto 2nd position his 2nd/2nd/2nd effort would have awarded him 2nd overall on the night.
  • Said Anderson: “It sucks. I was in 2nd place and tried a little transfer (off a jump) and left the track. After than I went into damage control and Kawasaki kept me calm.”
  • Ferrandis was poised for an excellent overall position following his timed qualifying win. But a 7th in the opening moto and a 5th in the second moto would have him playing catch up, leading to a crash in the final moto and a very un-Ferrandis-like 22nd place finish (12th overall on the night).
  • Said Tomac from the winner’s podium: “We just put ourselves in such a good position after the first two motos. Had so much fun tonight riding and racing. The Triple Crown’s tough, but we had great race team service tonight. Thank you to the team.”

250 class qualifying

Jo Shimoda action

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda

Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Nate Thrasher was the second-fastest timed qualifier out of the Monster Energy 250 camp, leading teammate Craig into the main events by 5/10th (1:04.27 to 1:04.735). Shimoda would qualify for the night program in a solid 5th.

250 Main Event

Christian Craig action

Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Christian Craig

After a Friese holeshot in the opening moto, Craig would be the first to see the green flag wave as he led after lap 1. Mistakes by Shimoda and Thrasher would keep them out of the lead three, with Shimoda holding on for 5th and Thrasher in 8th. The night’s opening Triple Crown 250 moto would be Craig’s first Triple Crown moto win (to go with three career Triple Crown podiums). The 250 class’ highlight (or lowlight, depending who you’re rooting for) saw Friese clean out Craig, right after Craig had passed him for the lead. The move led announcer Ricky Carmichael to comment: “That was over the line right there.” Fortunately Craig was able to get up, make his way back to the track from the edge of the grandstands, and re-fire his YZ250F. Entering the race in dead last, Craig put on a riding clinic for some of the world’s top 250 supercross racers, battling all the way back to 4th place (from 22nd), which included a statement pass on Friese. Craig would go on to win the final moto in convincing fashion, but his 1st/4th/1st effort would come up just a bit short in the overall to Hunter Lawrence (2nd/1st/2nd). Shimoda would rally back from his opening moto woes and nail to 3rd place podium finishes (5th/3rd/3rd) for 3rd overall. And Thrasher would improve in every moto, going 8th/7th/5th for 7th overall.

250 class noteworthy:

  • Said Craig on his opening moto win: “I feel like the first one’s the hardest. No heat race to warm up on so it was go time when the gate dropped on race 1. So we’re warmed up now and good to go for races 2 and 3.”
  • The UK’s Dylan Walsh (Monster Energy/Revo Seven/Kawasaki) had a solid evening, running as high as 3rd place in the second moto and placing 12th on the night (11th/11th/11th).
  • “You want to talk about a clutch start? That’s a command performance,” said Carmichael on Craig’s start in the third 250 moto.
  • Shimoda and Michael Mosiman battled hard for 3rd place in the final 250 moto, each putting up the fastest lap times at that point in the race. Shimoda would finally make a pass stick, after which Mosiman went down, placing 15th and losing nine points on the night to Craig in the overall 250 WSX point chase.

Overall 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Points (through five rounds)

450 class

Eli Tomac on bike headshot

Eli Tomac


2nd Sexton

3rd Anderson

9th Ferrandis

250 class (SX West)

Jo Shimoda podium headshot

Jo Shimoda

1st Craig

4th Shimoda

5th Thrasher

Up Next

Round Six of 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads back to California for the third and final season installment at Anaheim’s (Calif.) Angels Stadium on Saturday, February 12th. Gates open at noon (FanFest) with qualifying rounds beginning shortly thereafter. Opening Ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. with the gate dropping on the first moto at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at

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