Main image courtesy of Christophe Desmet.
Night two of the Paris Supercross is complete in this beautiful city and we saw some more great racing and a huge upset as well. Monster Energy Yamaha/Star Racing’s Eli Tomac had a masterful 2022 season with wins indoors, outdoors, at the MXoN, at the opening round of the World SX in Cardiff, and even night one in Paris. It was all going ET’s way and it seemed that he would end his final night of racing in 2022 on top as well. But Honda Genuine Parts’ Ken Roczen, still without a ride for 2023, had something to say about it as he swept all three main events and took his first King of Paris crown in his first try at this race as well.
Perhaps things started off on the wrong foot for Tomac when in the Superpole contest he came up short on the 3-4 in one rhythm and clunked it. It was a hard hit and seemed to stun the #3 Yamaha rider. He recovered quickly but that was all it took for him to finish last in the Superpole and get the 10th gate pick for the first main event.
And when that gate dropped it was Roczen continuing his strong weekend with a start to finish main event win while Tomac got up to third from a pretty decent start considering where he gated. At this point, the two riders were tied for the overall with the exact same finishes with two mains to go.
Both Red Bull KTM riders, Marvin Musquin and Cooper Webb, were better today and closer to Tomac, Roczen, and Kenny’s teammate Justin Brayton. In fact, Musquin scored a popular second in the first main today while Webb was fifth.
Main Event #2 saw Tomac start with gate number three, and he got the holeshot barely over Roczen. Ken then sent the triple going into the turn, his leg got a little crazy on his bike, he landed and pivoted to the inside getting by Tomac. It was an impressive bit of improv from the German and as he said after the race, he knew he had to get by Eli right away and on a track like this, he had to get aggressive. From there Roczen led the rest of the way with Tomac trailing right behind him. Eli closed the gap up a bit but Roczen’s whoop speed won out in the end and he took the win. And now, with one main to go, Roczen was up by one. Brayton got both of the KTM riders in the race using, yes you guessed it, great whoop speed.
The third and final race was exciting and it was Tomac again who led early before Roczen snuck by again. It was a great day for Roczen as he was on another level to his rival Tomac. Those two riders really started pulling on Webb and then Brayton. Webb and Brayton came into the final round tied for third and Webb looked to have a handle on it before shooting off the track and allowing Brayton and Musquin to get by.
In the end it was Roczen with 1-1-1 scores today and end off his whirlwind off-season with a win with Tomac second and Brayton third. Pretty cool racing all day long and some real good battles between Tomac and Roczen.
In SX2, it was a major upset in the making with Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Matt Moss really feeling it. After not making the podium on Friday at all (but coming through the pack with some good rides), Matt swept all three main events with some great starts and a clutch mid-race pass on Honda’s Jace Owen to take the Prince of Paris crown. It was quite an emotional night for the Aussie Moss who was suspended for four years for violating the WADA drug policy down under. He said on the podium this was his first win in six and a half years!
The reason that Moss was able to get the overall was because his teammate Chris Blose, who swept all three mains last night, went down hard in the whoops while in third in the final main. Blose went into the last race with an eight-point lead and just needed to stay in third to win. But he dropped the front end, went over the bars and DNF’d. That was quite a turn of events for sure. Owen was in position for the overall win while leading Moss in the third main but he got a bit tight, made some mistakes, and Moss got by him. Afterwards, Owen lamented that he didn’t know that pass was for the overall win. He assumed Blose was still behind him. Still, it was Matt Moss’s night and he was rewarded with a big win for his French-based team.