Overall winners Tomac and Lawrence recall fourth round in Pennsylvania.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac scored his first 450MX overall victory in blue at the fourth round of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at High Point, as Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence made it four round wins in a row in 250MX. Both riders were available to the media after the races for this Debrief feature.
Eli, when you went into that mode with about twelve minutes to go in both motos, it just seemed like the ability to come to the next level was very easy and very natural on the track to you. It seemed like the track suited your style.
I’ll say that for moto two, those things, but, moto one, to be honest, I was kind of caught off by quite a few lines. I was missing some lines, the one far into the track, I was missing an outside rut and Jason [Anderson] got really close to me again over there. I felt like I was kind of just fighting the ruts in that moto one. In moto two, I felt like I had the better lines on the track and was able to make things work and make the lines just feel right. Just had good riding in moto two so that was nice for us to finally come forward with a win.
Doing it going into a week off, so you’ve got great momentum, great confidence. Again, sure that you have some things that you’re going to do with the family and this, but it’s just basically going to be another day at the office for you this week?
Yeah, it will be a normal week for us. This was important for us, obviously, Chase is riding really well right now and he won the first moto. So, just trying to do what I can to keep him from running away with it.
Eli, this is a couple races in with the Yamaha. How are you feeling that you’re clicking? Obviously, moto wins and everything are starting to come now, you got the overall win. How do you feel like you’re setting up the bike? Do you feel like you’re in a good spot now moving forward fighting for this championship?
Yeah, I feel like we’ve been in a good spot since Hangtown. Since then, I feel like we’ve been able to do our normal thing and not really searching for a whole lot right now. Yep, we’re in a good place.
Which track are you most looking forward to going to in the remainder of the season?
RedBud and Southwick.
Jett, you did what Jett Lawrence does. You sat there in second place, third place in both of the motos for three or four laps, you closed the gap at will it seemed like. Your willingness to cross the line a little bit, you’ll take a bad line, you’ll let it hang out a touch maybe in an untraditional position. Where does that come from?
The track, it was a fun layout, like the track is fun, but the main line was always the fastest. It was pretty one-lined, in that second one, thankfully I had energy, not like last weekend where I had nothing, so I was able to fight a bit. But, whenever we’d pass in a certain spot, the next lap if I got Hunter [Lawrence] somewhere, and then we would go back to that line and block that line so they can’t use it. So, it was always kind of playing, not cat-and-mouse, but we’re smart enough to know Hunter got me here, so that every lap when he was behind me, once I got him back I would stay to the inside so he couldn’t use that line again. So, it was a fun race to just go back and forth, we know we can push the limits hard. We get close to each other, but we know we’re technically good enough not to take each other out in that race. So, it was fun but very difficult because you’d have to use a passing spot and make sure you made the pass, because otherwise, they would use that spot or that line.
That’s very interesting that you say that, because I used the term cat-and-mouse, as well. You were able to just have an uncanny ability to know where they were going to be, and just be able to protect that race line. Very interesting. Got a week off, back to the mill, or are you going to have a little fun this week?
Probably same stuff, nothing crazy, just keep at it, just keep chugging along. Obviously trying to get rid of this sickness still. Today was a lot better, I was actually able to push, like I said. But, hopefully we can get rid of this sickness fully and come back to RedBud and be 100 percent.
What are your thoughts on racing with Hunter?
The biggest thing with us is that we know we are not ever going to back down. Even those last laps, I got a bit of a gap on him through lappers, but then like he said he finished half a second behind because he is always coming. I think if it was vice-versa, it would be the same, we are always coming because the track this weekend it was kind of… like the racecraft he said, we had to use racecraft a lot and kind of almost relying on a few mistakes somewhere just to get next to them, so you can maybe put a front wheel and put him off a bit. It was fun. I would much rather that racing than racing some other guys that just go in to try and take you out, I mean that just shows how much they know they don’t want you to get past them. With us, we know that we don’t want to let each other pass, but we do it in a respectful way where it’s never we are going to be coming off going ‘why the hell did you do this?’ or you end up getting into a fist-fight, because one, I would get my ass knocked down because I know not to go there, we just like having fun racing being close. We got close a couple of times, but it was never like a ‘ooh we are close’, but we are comfortable and we know how good we are on a bike and technical wise we know we are not going to take each other out on purpose.
You mentioned about him not giving you anything and you not giving him anything. You’re both going to fight to the end, did you realize he was that close behind you at the finish?
I didn’t realize it was that close, I think it definitely was a little bit closer. I think he got that inside rut and came out, because that timing line is at the bottom of the up-ramp [of the finish]. So, I just kind of sent it through that rut just to get through it hopefully. If I went a little bit wider, I think on the timing gates he might have gotten me because he just went that tight line. I could hear him, because there’s only one other bike out there that sounds like mine, that I know. So, I could hear him. I’m like, ‘damn it, I thought I had a bit of a gap’. It’s cool because you like having that race where it’s like the whole time 100 percent and just having that guy push you. It was fun, I mean it was nothing crazy where you were like, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’. I was more like, ‘let’s keep going, it was good’.