Sexton Stamps 1-1 Day
Chase Sexton claimed a huge 1-1 day to take his third overall win of the season and his fifth career 450 Class overall win. With his win and Eli Tomac finishing 2-2 for second overall, Sexton reclaims the points lead by a single point. Last year after the ninth round (Budds Creek National), Dylan Ferrandis (392 points) had a 39-point lead over Ken Roczen (353 points). Since 2005, 2022 is only the third season with a single-digit gap between first and second in the standings after nine rounds. So in the last 18 years since 2005 (excluding the shortened, nine-round COVID-19 2020 season), there has only be three seasons where P1 and P2 in the premier class are separated by under ten points: 2011 with Ryan Villopoto (391 points) and Ryan Dungey (384) separated by seven points, 2022 with Sexton and Tomac separated by one point, and 2007 with Tim Ferry (311) and Andrew Short (311) tied!
This year is also the first year since 2009 that both first and second place are over 400 points after nine rounds. The previous high mark of points after nine rounds by second place in the last 14 years was when Justin Barcia had 393 points in 2014 behind Ryan Villopoto’s 413 points.
Championship gaps after round nine:
2022: 1 Points | Sexton (409 points) and Tomac (408)
2021: 39 points | Ferrandis (392) and Roczen (353)
2020: Only 9 rounds completed, so we’re not counting this season
2019: 50 points | Tomac (392 points) and Musquin (342)
2018: 15 points | Tomac (401) and Musquin (386)
2017: 32 points | Tomac (373) and Baggett (341)
2016: 55 points | Roczen (434) and Tomac (379)
2015: 59 points | Dungey (400) and Barcia (331)
2014: 14 points | Roczen (407 points) and Barcia (393)
2013: 34 points | Villopoto (413) and Dungey (379)
2012: 85 points | Dungey (430) and Alessi (345)
2011: 7 points | Villopoto (391 points) and Dungey (384)
2010: 111 points | Dungey (418 points) and Short (307)
2009: 82 points | Reed (387 points) and Short (305)
2008: 145 points | Stewart (450 points) and Ferry (305 points)
2007: 0 points | Ferry (311) and Short (311)
2006: 106 points | Carmichael (439) and Reed (333)
2005: 89 points | Carmichael (444) and Windham (355)
Jo Shimoda capitalized on a mistake from Justin Cooper in the first moto to take the race lead. Shimoda went on to claim the moto win, the second of his career, and then finished third in moto two, stamping the overall win. Shimoda’s first overall win came in his 29th Pro Motocross start, and his second win came in his 33rd start. Shimoda continues to run in third in the standings behind Jett and Hunter Lawrence.
Other Random Stats
Sexton has finished either first or second in all but one of the 18 motos raced so far this summer. A fourth in the first moto at the Thunder Valley National remains Sexton’s only finish that is not first or second: he has 11 second-place finishes and six moto wins.
That Does Not Happen
Someone running down and passing Eli Tomac is not something you see very often when the #3 is out front. However, that is exactly what Sexton did at Unadilla. According to our Kellen Brauer, in the 176 450 Class Pro Motocross motos of Tomac’s career prior to Unadilla, only eight times over those 176 motos (with 64 total moto wins to date) had Eli Tomac been leading the race at some point and not gone on to win the moto. Read Kellen Brauer’s write up on Sexton’s dominance over a usually untouchable rider.
Six in a Row
With Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen finishing 1-1 both in 2019 and 2021 (the 2020 Unadilla Naitonal was canceled due to COVID-19), Sexton going 1-1 over the weekend keeps the Honda HRC win streak alive at six straight moto wins at the venue.
In Dylan Ferrandis’ first race this summer, the French native grabbed the holeshot. He eventually finished fourth, before finishing tenth in moto two to claim seventh overall in his debut with the #1 plate.
8 Long Years
Malcolm Stewart made his return to Pro Motocross for the first time since July 2014. The Florida native finished 14-15 for 15th overall in his first Pro Motocross event in 2,954 days—or 8 years, 1 month, 1 day.
Malcolm Stewart's last @ProMotocross race the Budds Creek National on July 12, 2014. He finished 13-34 for 17th OA on a Honda CRF450R. If he lines up this weekend for the Unadilla National, it will be 2,954 days (over 8 years & 1 month) since that last outdoors race. #Motocrosshttps://t.co/NbTwXMUw8v— Mitch Kendra (@mitch_kendra) August 9, 2022
Mookie posted this to Instagram during the week.
Quotes from Around the Paddock
Chase Sexton | 1-1 for 1st overall
“Today was awesome. I liked the conditions, which were similar to what I grew up riding on. In practice I was really struggling with trying to adapt to it being dryer and choppier than usual. We had to make more bike changes than I have been, but I didn’t change it from moto 1 to moto 2. I felt pretty comfortable for the race, even though the track could bite you really easily; I had a few close calls in the first moto. You really had to be on your game, and today was one of those days where I felt like I was in control and flowing really well. This means a lot, as this is one of my favorite tracks to come to; it has a lot of history. I’ve been wanting to have a good race here for a long time, and I’m pumped with how today went.”
Said Team Honda HRC team manager Lars Lindstrom:
“Just like we’ve had other weekends, it was an up-and-down day for the team—struggled in some ways but absolutely crushed it in others. I think the thing to focus on this time is Chase’s extreme dominance and the way he was able to do something to Eli Tomac that no one else really has ever done. It speaks volumes, and we’re all just so stoked for him to take the red plate back—can’t wait for the next one!”
Eli Tomac | 2-2 for 2nd overall
“It was a decent day for us. I had really good starts in both motos today, so I was happy about that. With the racing, I put myself in a great position in both motos, but I felt like I was just kind of the second fastest guy today. I did what I could and made some adjustments between the first and second moto, but I had the same result. With that being said, it was definitely an improvement over what I've done here in the past few years, so I'm happy about that. I'm chasing Chase again for the overall, so we will keep pushing and see if we can get it back next week.
Said Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 450 team managerJeremy Coker:
“It was a really good day. It was a phenomenal first race back for Dylan. Unadilla is a tough track to come back on, but he pulled the holeshot in the first moto and ended up finishing fourth, which is really good. He just has to race himself back into race shape. Christian had a big crash in practice but ended up racing really well considering he was thinking he might not race. Eli had a phenomenal day and limited the damage as best he could with the 2-2 result. Chase (Sexton) was just the better man today, so we have to rebound and be better next week.”
Jason Anderson | 3-3 for 3rd overall
“The track conditions were different than what we’ve come to expect from Unadilla, so getting comfortable on the fast edgy sections was the big challenge of the day. I’m happy with how my KX™450SR handled in both motos and we put together two solid races for another overall podium. I’m still getting better as we go on and I’m going to continue pushing toward the front through these final three rounds.”
Aaron Plessinger | 7-4 for 4th overall
“It was a pretty good day! I got a pretty good start in the first moto and kind of pumped up in the middle, and went from fifth to seventh. We didn’t really make too many changes in the second moto and I got a really good start – I was right there with Eli [Tomac], and then Chase [Sexton] got by me and I was trying to follow his lines but he was on another level today. I kind of dropped back a bit in the middle and with about five laps to go, I really, really picked it up and tried to get Jason [Anderson] back. I made up good time but still finished up fourth. It was really good, better than my last few motos, and we’re making really good progress with the bike, so I’m really pumped and looking forward to Budds Creek.”
Ken Roczen | 5-7 for 5th overall
“Unadilla was somewhat of a step in the right direction. I definitely showed some speed on the day, but I really struggled with riding super-tight and my right arm being extremely pumped up, to where I had a very hard time holding on, especially with how choppy it was and the speed of the track. That unfortunately made me go backwards, especially in the first moto. I made some passes and was leading for a little bit, but I had to let it go. It’s a bummer, but I’ll try and work on it. We went fifth and seventh for fifth overall. Obviously, I was looking forward to trying to get on the podium; that didn’t happen, but I’m working hard at home to try and come back and hopefully put it on the podium at these last few rounds. Thanks to the team; they’ve been supporting me really good.”
Ryan Dungey | 6-6 for 6th overall
“Unadilla was pretty nasty today – the track was pretty gnarly and more unique than it has been in the past. I feel like we had two good starts but my first laps didn’t execute as good as I should have. I had little mistakes and got passed by a couple guys, which made it harder for me to work in the moto and passes were tough for me today. All things considered, I was really happy with my riding and the bike setup was good for such a nasty track. I’m honestly just really excited to finish out these last three and just keep building.”
Dylan Ferrandis | 4-10 for 7th overall
“It was a tough track to come back on. I had a good first moto and it was good to get the holeshot, but unfortunately, in Moto 2, I ran out of strength in my hands due to my injury. It was a positive day overall and was good to be back racing.”
Justin Barcia | 10-5 for 8th overall
“Going into the first moto, I was feeling good! I got off to a decent start and unfortunately had a crash and found it a little hard to regroup, so I ended up getting 10th. It’s frustrating because I felt like I didn’t ride to my ability but I came back, made a couple more bike changes and ripped a pretty good holeshot in the second moto. I rode behind Aaron [Plessinger] a lot of the race and we were pushing each other hard; I was trying to catch him really bad but just couldn’t make it happen. I was really happy with the change we made on the bike and I was happy with the finish. Wish I would have had a better first moto but we’re definitely going in the right direction and headed towards that podium in these last few races!”
Joey Savatgy | 9-8 for 9th overall
“I definitely started the day out strong with the third fastest lap in qualifying and looked to contend for a spot in the top-5. I had a minor fall while trying to make a pass in Moto 1 that ended up costing me quite a bit of time but, altogether, I had two pretty consistent motos for another top-10 overall. I’m still making steady progress with the team, and we’ll look to clean up the mistakes and improve the result next weekend.”
Christian Craig | 11-9 for 10th overall
“The day started off pretty rough. About the third lap of practice, I had a big crash. It caught me off guard and slammed me to the ground pretty hard. From there, it was just survival mode. I was debating whether or not to sit out and rest for a couple of days, but we gutted it out, and I got through the motos. The first moto was definitely rough and I pretty much rode around in 11th. In the second moto, I got off a little bit better on the start and was able to get up to ninth. Now I’ll just need to recover and get ready for Budds Creek.”
Malcolm Stewart | 14-16 for 15th overall
“First outdoor race back in eight years and I think it was a good day just being back. Of course, the results didn’t show it, but just having that race back there again was really good for me. I'm happy to be back, but we have some work to do. I'm really looking forward to Budd's Creek because that's obviously one of my favorite tracks. I learned a lot, and you can't replicate racing, so this is just a good race just to come back to – to get through it.”
Dean Wilson | 19-13 for 15th overall
“On paper, it wasn't very good but it was a long time off. I think it was five months off total, so it's great to be back. I really struggled with the track, it was so choppy and I feel like I'm not quite in shape where I should be yet. I got arm-pump really bad in the first moto so I told myself to just get through it and the second race was a little bit better. I think I'm going to get better every moto, it's just tough coming back, especially when all these guys have been racing and they're in the flow. By the end of the summer, hopefully I’ll be where I should be.”
Marshal Weltin | 38-15 for 18th overall
"Right from the start, I struggled in qualifying. That break, I just came back to racing and felt just a little off with my riding. I rebounded in the motos. I put myself in a decent position in Moto 1, I was around 12th at the start, but got shuffled back, I was around 15th or 16th then had some unfortunate trouble and couldn't finish. We had the far outside gate pick for Moto 2, so it was tough to get a start. But I came from last to charge back to 15th. With everyone coming back this weekend I feel that's a respectable finish. Now I'm going to put the work boots on and grind this week back in California."
Jo Shimoda | 1-3 for 1st overall
“In the first moto I had a good start and passed a couple of riders ahead quickly before putting in some sprint laps to get away. Once I established a gap I focused on maintaining my pace and controlling the race from the front. In the second moto, I got an okay start before a small tip over cost me a few positions. I had to make a comeback through the field to get to the podium but, I feel both motos were good for me. It feels great to back up my first overall motocross win from earlier in the season with another one here at Unadilla.”
Justin Cooper | 5-1 for 2nd overall
“It was a good day overall, I just had the one mishap in the first moto while leading, and that kind of threw away my chances to win the overall. The bike was pretty messed up from that, so I just tried to salvage what I could in the first moto. Then in the second moto, I got the holeshot and was able to manage the race. It was a good day overall. I’m just bummed about the little crash I had that cost me the overall. I’m feeling good though and looking forward to Budds Creek next weekend.”
Said Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team manager Jensen Hendler:
“We had a good start to the day in qualifying and had all three guys in the top 10 to give us some good gate picks for the first moto. After the Moto 1 start, Justin pulled the holeshot and was riding well. Unfortunately, he had a crash early, which twisted up his handlebars pretty bad, but he ended up with a pretty good result in fifth. In the second moto, he ripped an awesome holeshot and I think at one point he had a 15-second lead on second place. It was a great ride, and we couldn’t be happier to see him back up front.
“Nick ended up fourth in that first moto for his career-best result, which we’re extremely happy with. In the second moto, he had an okay start but made some passes early and found himself in the top five on the first lap. He was maybe a little bit spent from that first moto and ended up ninth for seventh overall. That's amazing and we're happy with that.
“Nate got hung up with another rider off the gate in that first moto and didn't fare so well. He had to fight his way back to 10th place, which was solid because he was buried after the first lap. He had a much better second moto and was ninth overall. These are tracks that these rookie guys haven't ridden before, so to see them do well, we are very happy with that. We are happy with all the guys and how they rode. We'll just keep building and keep fighting for wins.”
Hunter Lawrence | 2-5 for 3rd overall
“It was an okay day. The first moto wasn’t too bad; we had an average start and then fought back to second, which was really good. In the second moto we were in a great position—we had the overall—and then ran into some issues mechanically, which funnily enough resolved themselves. We were able to finish the race, thankfully, and salvage what we could. I’m not happy by any means, but we’ll take it.”
Jett Lawrence | 7-2 for 4th overall
“If you want an example of when it’s not your day, it was not my day today! [laughs] The riding side of things was great—I felt really good—but I think in the first moto I was just pushing too much. I was riding the track faster than it was supposed to be ridden at that point in time; I was washing a lot everywhere, and over-leaning. I had two crashes, but thankfully I was okay apart from some road rash on my back. The second moto I got a really good start but again pushed too hard and went down again—not an ideal day.”
RJ Hampshire | 3-8 for 5th overall
“We had positives today. I was fast in qualifying, which I haven't been. First moto, I felt like I got into a really good flow early and was clicking good laps off and landed back on the podium for the first time since Round 1. Second moto, I got a decent start and then just split out right after the finish. Someone went into the line I was going for and I tried to get out of it and just swapped the front. It was a bummer but we'll definitely take the positives out of today.”
Max Vohland | 6-6 for 6th overall
“Another solid weekend for me, I went 6-6 for sixth overall. I feel like I rode really good today and feel like the bike is in a really good spot and my endurance is in a good spot. The only thing I'm missing is getting some good starts, so we're going to go back to Florida this week, really hone in and try to figure something out. I'm looking forward to going to Budds Creek next weekend.”
Nick Romano | 4-9 for 7th overall
“My first Unadilla was an awesome time. I ended up 4-9 on the day for seventh overall and had some really good battles in that first moto with the top guys. The second moto was a solid ninth, so I'm super stoked on how it went, and I'm already excited for Budds Creek next weekend.”
Nate Thrasher | 10-7 for 9th overall
“Unadilla was a fun one. I didn’t have my best ride, but we will keep building for the next three races.”
Cameron McAdoo | 11-4 for 8th overall
“It’s always tough to jump back into racing this late in the season when everyone already has their rhythm and has been racing with that intensity every weekend. That said, I built up throughout the day to make a strong ride through the pack after a bad start in Moto 1 and I battled for the podium with Jo until the very end of Moto 2, so I’m happy with this as a starting point. It’s great to be back out there battling and I’m ready to bring the fight again next weekend.”
Jalek Swoll | 12-11 for 11th overall
“My starts were good, I just kept finding myself on the ground. I was trying to push but every time I fell, it was just a huge gap – so I was kind of just in no man's land. I feel like my riding was okay, I just have to get those starts again and just be a little bit better and we'll be fine.”
Ryder DiFrancesco | 8-37 for 15th overall
“In Moto 1 I felt like I was putting in a really good ride early to make my way up into the top-5. It’s great experience for me to keep racing up there with the top guys so I was happy with that and ended up finishing the moto in eighth. In Moto 2, I was way further back early and I knew I had a tough race ahead of me. I was making forward progress until I got a big rock to my shoulder part way through the moto and it just took away my strength. I wasn’t able to hold on and maintain the pace safely, so I headed back to the truck to regroup for next weekend.”
Preston Kilroy | 15-14 for 14th overall
"This weekend had its ups and downs, but I'm excited to keep pushing each weekend! In Moto 1 I didn’t get the best start but made some quick moves and made my way into the top 15! In the second moto, I came off the line really well and was top five until the second turn when I made a small mistake. After that, I just tried to put in fast laps. I'm ready to finish these last three rounds off strong."
Derek Drake | 14-16 for 16th overall
"Today was good. I struggled late in the motos with how choppy it was," Drake said. "But I know my speed is there and I'm looking forward to next weekend.”
Dilan Schwartz |21-25 for 25th overall
"It was a tough day at Unadilla and obviously these are not the results we want." Schwartz went on to explain, "I’m dealing with some illness right now so just getting through the day was a success. But I’m doing my best to get over it and get back to my normal self ASAP."
Carson Mumford | 38-DNS for 43rd overall
"I had a great day going with good lap times in practice," Mumford told. "But on the first lap in the first moto had a terrible crash and the bike was so damaged I had to pull off. I'm a little banged up, but should be okay for Budds Creek."