Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton & Eli Tomac battle to the finish in Washougal MX National thriller!

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Sexton breaks Tomac’s eight moto 450 class win streak in winning the Washougal overall; Jason Anderson 3rd to complete another Monster Energy podium sweep

CORONA, CA – July 25, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – With a masterful performance in the second and deciding 450cc class moto of Saturday’s Washougal MX National, Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton (Honda) held off a feverous chase from class point leader Eli Tomac (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) to capture the overall victory at Round Eight of the 2022 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. With the victory Sexton kept within five points of overall class leader Tomac (364-359) as the series enters its two week mid-summer break. Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson made it another Monster Energy sweep of the 450 class podium.

All totaled, Monster Energy racers, led by Tomac and Sexton, have swept five of the eight total MX National 450 class podiums this summer, including three-straight (Southwick, Spring Creek and Washougal).

And in 250cc class racing Monster Energy’s Justin Cooper (Star Racing/Yamaha) would win the second moto to place 2nd overall at Washougal, with Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki) scoring two moto podium finishes (3rd/3rd) to take 4th place overall.

Said Sexton of his ‘statement’ win at Washougal: “That was a really, really good moto for me (referring to the deciding second moto). The holeshot was awesome. Eli (Tomac) was on me the whole time. I was going as fast as I could go, got a little gap and cruised ‘er in. I couldn’t be battling with a better guy than Eli. Man, that race meant a lot to me. Got to come out swinging at Unadilla (Aug. 13). That’s all I can do.”

Chase Sexton and Eli Washougal (678)

Here’s a look at what went down at Washougal MX, beginning with the 450 class.

Eli Tomac 450 Moto 1 action Washougal

450 Moto 1 – Monster Energy’s Eli Tomac

Fresh of winning an ESPN ‘ESPY’ award as the Best Action Sport Athlete, Tomac opened the 450 class racing at Washougal with a 3rd place start, then moved into 2nd place, behind Monster Energy’s Sexton, when race leader Ryan Dungey’s (KTM) bike ceased to run. With Tomac in hot pursuit of Sexton, guest race announcer, Monster Energy’s 6-time champion Ryan Villopoto, said of Sexton and Tomac: “These two are on another level right now.” Dogging Sexton up to the 17:02 mark, Tomac set up the Honda rider with a slick move into Washougal’s lengthy whoop section – and Sexton failed to cover his inside line, allowing Tomac to blitz past and into the lead. Other Monster Energy racers in the 450 class top ten opening moto at Washougal included Anderson (4th), Joey Savatgy (Kawasaki) in 6th and Christian Craig (Star Racing/Yamaha), who had crashed on the opening lap, was up to 8th. At the moto’s midway point Tomac had opened up a 2.5 second lead on Sexton, Anderson was six seconds back of Ken Roczen (Honda) for 3rd and Craig had moved up to 7th, and onto Justin Barcia (Gas Gas) in a battle for, possibly, the third and final Team USA Moto Des National spot (with Tomac and Sexton). By the 10:47 mark Tomac and Sexton had opened up an incredible 20 seconds on 3rd place Roczen, with Sexton closing in and cutting Tomac’s lead to 1.1 seconds at the 8:10 mark, recording a 2:15.1 lap time to Tomac’s 2:16.3. With Tomac’s lead under one second with six minutes plus two laps remaining, the point leader made an uncharacteristic mistake, lazily tipping over in a corner – with Sexton piling on top of him (nowhere for the Honda rider to go). The two would eventually remount/rejoin the race, with still a 15-second lead over Roczen. Soon after the wreck Anderson would take 3rd place from Roczen, giving Monster Energy a 1-2-3 place in the closing moments of the opening moto. With two laps remaining Tomac put the hammer down, opening a gap on Sexton with a race-best 2:12.9 lap – on the moto’s final lap! The moto win for Tomac was his 8th straight, with he and Sexton going 1-2 nine times this year, Sexton finishing eight of those times in 2nd place.

Said Tomac: “Once again, me and Chase (Sexton) just going at it. He caught me at the start, then it was game on!”

Added Sexton: “Eli attached to me, (then) got me. We had a good flow going. Then we crashed together, which was almost laughable. Couldn’t get our bikes going.”

Said Anderson: “It’s frustrating. I fell over on the first lap. (I’ve) just got to give myself an opportunity to run with those guys (Tomac and Sexton). Learn from them. They’re on a pretty good pace right now.”

Chase Sexton 450 Moto 2 action Washougal

450 Moto 2 – Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton

No question on the 450 Moto 2 holeshot as Sexton ripped out of the gate on his CRF450R and up Washougal’s famed Horsepower Hill with the lead. Monster Energy racers, led by Sexton, were 1, 2 (Tomac) and 3 (Anderson) in order to open the day’s final moto. Tomac would get passed, briefly, by Anderson early on, but aired it out bravely off a downhill jump to quickly get back past the Kawasaki racer. Tomac would then reel Sexton in, cutting the Honda rider’s race lead down to 1.8 seconds. Craig and Barcia would find each other again, with Craig applying the pressure in a battle for 9th and 10th. The pressure would soon get to Barcia as the Gas Gas rider went down in a slick corner, and Craig was gone. At Moto 2’s halfway point Sexton was up, barely, on Tomac as the two yo-yoed back and forth – from Tomac showing Sexton a front tire in some sections, to Sexton putting two seconds on Tomac in others. With Anderson some 15 seconds back in 3rd place, Savatgy, who’s injured his ankle in practice, was having a great moto, running as high as 5th. Tomac would crush a 2:12.6 lap at the 5:00 mark (to Sexton’s 2:13.2), only to have Sexton turn the tables a lap later with a 2:14.4 to Tomac’s 2:15.7. With three laps to go Sexton, who won Washougal in 2021 with a 1st/3rd finish, was up 1.5 seconds on Tomac. A final charge by Tomac was answered by Sexton, who rode mistake-free for the remainder of the contest for the moto win – and overall victory. Anderson would place 3rd with Craig coming in 5th, and 5th overall (6th/5th), and Savatgy placing a respectable 7th overall (7th/7th).

Said Tomac: “I was pushing and Chase and I were so close. I was eating a lot of dirt. Congratulations to him (Sexton). I did everything I could and 2nd was all we had today.”

Added Anderson: “I definitely was the third-best guy out there (laughter). All-in-all two podiums in a row is good progress for me. Let’s see if we can keep it going the next four rounds.” Note: With the 3rd place overall finish at Washougal Anderson increased his 3rd place overall series point standing ahead of Roczen to 11 points, 285-274.

Jo Shimoda 250 Moto 1 action Washougal

250 Moto 1 – Monster Energy’s Jo Shimoda

Shimoda, rocking some metal platform plates beneath his boots to assist him with his starts, blasted out to the holeshot and early race lead in the opening 250 moto at Washougal, with Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki) in 4th and Cooper in 5th. Shimoda would battle with Hunter Lawrence (Honda) up front, 2.6 seconds up on Jett Lawrence (Honda) in 3rd. Hunter Lawrence would use the shadows of the towering pine trees to his advantage, passing Shimoda with an outside/inside move for the lead. Shimoda would move quickly onto Hunter Lawrence as the two entered the whoop section, with Lawrence leaving the track momentarily before jumping back on and holding the lead. Past the moto’s halfway point a great three-way battle between Shimoda and the two Lawrences would come together as Shimoda cut Hunter Lawrence’s lead to 1.1 seconds, with Jett Lawrence closing fast. As Cooper got past Hammaker for 4th place, Jett Lawrence caught Shimoda on a downhill section and stood the Pro Circuit/Kawasaki up, taking 2nd place. At the end it’d be three Monster Energy racers in the top five with Shimoda in 3rd, Cooper in 4th and Hammaker in 5th.

Said Shimoda: “Two holeshots, two weeks in a row. I’m just trying my best every weekend. I use the starting blocks and I think I might have figured it out… but who knows? I’ve got another moto to race and we’ll see what happens.”

Justin Cooper 250 Moto 2 action Washougal

250 Moto 2 – Monster Energy’s Justin Cooper

Leaving the gate in about 6th place, Cooper showed off the YZ250F’s power as he pulled the holeshot and ripped up Horsepower Hill with the early race lead, Shimoda (2nd) and Hammaker (5th) in hot pursuit. Cooper opened up a 1.4 second lead on Shimoda by the end of Lap 1, extending that lead to 2.3 then 3.5 seconds by the 20:28 mark of the moto. As Hunter Lawrence caught up to Shimoda the Moto 1 winner ended up laying his bike over and threw away pretty much any shot at the overall race win. The race’s halfway mark came and Shimoda was still holding off a hard charge from Jett Lawrence, the battle bringing the Washougal faithful (the “Hill People”) to their feet as Shimoda and Jett Lawrence put on what was then the day’s best battle. Jett Lawrence would finally catch and pass Shimoda for 2nd on a downhill section, with Cooper still up four seconds with 2:50 plus two laps remaining. Shimoda, in a thrilling finish, would deny a hard-charging Hunter Lawrence 3rd place, in what would eclipse Shimoda’s earlier battle with Jett Lawrence as the day’s best racing. At the checkers it’d be Monster Energy’s Cooper – with his first moto win of the 2022 MX Nationals season. Cooper was joined on the 250 Moto 2 podium by Shimoda (3rd), with Hammaker in 6th (jumping from 8th to 5th in the overall 250 class standings) and Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) a respectable 8th.

Said Cooper: “It’s great to be back,” of his first outdoor moto win since Hangtown ’21. “I felt in practice I had the speed today. My intensity was off a little bit in Moto 1. I made a few changes for Moto 2 and before I knew it I had a good gap going and just managed the race from there. I look forward to coming back swinging at Unadilla.”

Overall 2022 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, presented by Monster Energy, Points (Round 8 of 12)

450 class

Chase Sexton headshot Washougal

Chase Sexton


2nd Sexton

3rd – Anderson

5th – Craig

9th Savatgy

250 class

Cooper headshot Washougal

Justin Cooper


4th – Cooper

5th – Hammaker

8th – Kitchen

Up Next

The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, presented by Monster Energy, takes its two week summer break before returning east for the long-running Unadilla (NY) MX National on Saturday, August 13. For more information visit

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