Tomac’s 2nd career 450cc class title… Monster Energy’s Jason Anderson wins Denver SX main event… Monster’s Christian Craig 3rd crashes, places 3rd on 250s
CORONA, CA – May 2, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – In front of a boisterous hometown Colorado crowd numbering in excess of 40,000, Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Eli Tomac wrapped up the premier 450cc class Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship, his second overall career title, with a 5th place main event finish at Denver’s Empower Field at Mile High on Saturday. Tomac won the championship one race early in the 17-round season despite valiant effort from Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson, who dominated Denver, winning his 4th main event in a row and sixth on the season.
Tomac, who grew up in nearby Cortez, Colo., was elated on the podium. Cheered on massively by friends and family who turned out in numbers enough to fill an entire seating section at Empower Field, home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos, Tomac hoisted the AMA No. 1 plate and championship trophy aloft as the place went berserk.
“This is truly unbelievable,” said an elated Tomac. “It’s been in my dreams to make this happen. I messed up my knee in Atlanta, so that’s why my racing was subpar the last few rounds. But we were able to make it happen. Thanks to my team, Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha, my family, my friends and the fans. … I LOVE YOU DENVER!”
Anderson, for his part, gave Tomac everything the champ could handle. Had it not been for Anderson’s wreck in Detroit, Monster Energy AMA Supercross would be heading into Salt Lake City next weekend with the championship on the line.
“The win tonight’s a little bittersweet,” said Anderson atop the podium. “But congrats to Eli. We’ve been racing each other since we were eight years old and he’s tough to beat.”
In 250 class racing Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Christian Craig also had a chance to clinch his class (WSX) a race early, but a crash at the 10:07 mark of the 250 main relegated Craig back to 7th place. And though he battled back powerfully to a podium 3rd place finish, Craig leaves Denver with an 18-point lead (over Honda’s Hunter Lawrence) and will have earn what would be his first SX championship next weekend in Salt Lake City.
Here’s a look at how the day’s racing transpired for the Monster Energy-backed racers at 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross’ penultimate round…
450 Denver podium. Center: Monster Energy’s Jason Anderson
450 class qualifying
Monster Energy’s Eli Tomac
- Tomac grabbed the holeshot in the opening 450 heat race and never looked back, putting up five seconds on Marvin Musquin (KTM) by the checkers.
- Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Kyle Chisholm moved back to this privateer bike to contest the Denver 450 class, and transferred to the main with a respectable 5th in Heat 1.
- Said Tomac on his Heat 1 win: “The crowd here is just nuts! I can hear them when I race by the stands. Colorado’s an awesome supercross state… and it’s showing today.”
- Heat 2 featured Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton (Honda), who was the day’s fastest qualifier, along with Anderson.
- Sexton would grab the Heat 2 holeshot and early lead. Anderson starting in 4th, moved up to 3rd, past defending supercross champion Cooper Webb (KTM) near the end of the opening lap.
- Anderson would then make quick work of Justin Barcia (Gas Gas), passing his rival via an inside run through the whoop section.
- At the midway point of Heat 2, Sexton and Anderson were running 1st/2nd.
- With Sexton up 1.6 seconds on Anderson on the hard, slick and dusty race surface, Anderson buckled down and made it close in the end – but ran out of time as Sexton won the heat by a bike length.
- Said Sexton: “The track was a lot more difficult than in qualifying. A lot drier. So I had to adapt. … Jason’s (Anderson) fast on this track, so I’m looking forward to the main event.”
- Noteworthy: The heat race win for Sexton was his seventh of the season, which is tops in the 450 class.
450 Main Event
Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson
Sexton would pull the holeshot and take the early lead in the Denver main event, followed by Tomac in 2nd and Anderson – who started in 4th and moved up to 3rd by the end of the opening lap. … With Monster Energy-backed racers running 1st (Sexton), 2nd (Tomac) and 3rd (Anderson), Sexton would bobble coming out of the whoop section, allowing Tomac to take over the lead. Sideways and stuck up against some signage, Anderson would come around and appeared to possibly graze Sexton’s bike, who’s which dropped to the ground. … With Tomac up front and Anderson in 2nd, Sexton would re-mount all the way back in 8th place. … A lap later, and with the overall championship on top of his thoughts, Tomac let the charging Anderson by – something he’d do with other racers throughout the remainder of the main event. … The confident Anderson up front would check out early, leaving no doubt who the fastest racer was at Denver. … Sexton would put a charge on towards the podium as well, passing defending SX champ Webb for 6th, then inheriting 5th when Barcia went down. … Tomac would gift Sexton 4th place towards the end and that’s where they’d finish, Anderson in 1st, Sexton in 4th and Tomac in 5th – with the overall championship in hand!
Said Anderson: “I want to come back and win it next year. That’s what we do. We race dirt bikes.”
Noteworthy: Tomac’s 450cc class overall championship was the first since title for Yamaha since James Stewart won in 2009.
250 class qualifying
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda
- Craig pulled the holeshot and early lead in Denver’s opening 250 heat race, with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda jumping into 3rd on the opening lap. … On lap three Shimoda moved into 2nd place with a pass on Dominic Thury (Yamaha). … Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’ Nate Thrasher, who started just outside the top ten, had moved up to 7th at the 3:08 mark with some solid, come-from-behind racing. … Craig would separate from the field, as would Shimoda. Craig up 7.3 second on Shimoda and Shimoda up 6 second on Thury. … Thrasher continued to charge, moving all the way up to 4th at the checkers (with Craig winning and Shimoda 2nd).
- Said Craig from the podium: “Man, it’s easy to say this is all fun and games. But I’ve got a lot going on in my head. Good thoughts and bad thoughts. We’ll try to wrap it up tonight. But if Hunter (Lawrence) rides well, we’ll have to take it to Salt Lake City.”
- Noteworthy: The heat race win for Craig was his eighth of the season, making him 8-for-8 in heat race wins.
250 Main Event
Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Christian Craig
Craig didn’t hold back on the start, going bar-to-bar with the field into the first turn and coming out in 2nd place behind Lawrence. … “I would rather be where Christian Craig is right now. Try and pressure him (Lawrence) into a mistake,” said race announcer Ricky Carmichael. … At the 12:33 mark Craig was all over Lawrence, Shimoda moving up to 6th and Thrasher within sight of the top ten (11th). … No sooner did Craig show Lawrence a front fender in a turn – BAM! – Craig’s down in the sand section. Crossed his bike up jumping into the sand, landed sideways and went down. From 2nd to 7th place in an instant. … Shimoda quickly moved up to 3rd place following Craig’s crash, Thrasher into 10th at the 8:41 mark. … Undaunted, Craig mounted a charge back towards the podium – gaining a point-per-rider he passed. … Five seconds back of Shimoda for the 3rd podium position, Craig got past Garrett Marchbanks (Yamaha) for 4th with 5:39 plus one lap remaining in the contest. … At the 4:53 mark Craig had moved up to three seconds back of Shimoda, quickly shaving off seconds before he was poised to pass the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racer. … Craig’s pass on Shimoda would be immediately answered by Shimoda, who passed the 250 WSX points leader right back. … Craig finally caught Shimoda where he does a good share of his passing – in the whoop section – and make this pass stick at the 1:11 mark. … With two laps to go Craig, now in 3rd, was three seconds back of Michael Mosiman (Gas Gas), but was unable to make up further ground. … The final 250 results from Denver had Craig on the box in 3rd, and more importantly, 18 points up on Lawrence with one race remaining for the 250 WSX overall championship. Shimoda raced strong for 4th and Thrasher snuck into the top ten in 9th.
Overall 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Points (through 15 rounds)
1st – Tomac *
2nd – Anderson
6th – Sexton
250 class (SX West)
1st – Christian Craig
5th – Jo Shimoda
6th – Nate Thrasher
2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross next stops at Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium for the World Supercross Championships, May 7th, the final round of the 17-round series. Tickets are available online at www.supercrosslive.com
About Monster Energy
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Source: Monster Energy Company