Features 7 Sep 2022

Quotebook: 2022 Pro Motocross Rd12 Fox Raceway

Assorted racer comments following the final round of the season.

In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the 12th round of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Fox Raceway.


Image: Octopi Media.

Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM) – Eighth:
First moto, I had a great jump off the gate and I stalled the bike coming into the turn and then I got shuffled back to about fifth. In the second turn, I got into somebody and fell down so I was left to kind of charge as hard as I could. In the second moto, I got a decent start and just tried to ride the track, pick good lines and do the best I could. I did fall down in the moto, but I got fifth which I was happy with. It’s a pretty long, grueling season and tough – the first one with little preparation – and I’m happy I did it. The conditions were really hot, probably the hottest race of the year and you just feel the heat deep in the muscles. It’s physically tough, but I felt like we managed it well.

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM) – Sixth:
It was definitely hot today. I got the best qualifying time that I’ve gotten yet with sixth and then went out for the first moto feeling pretty good. When I got off the gate, I was behind Dungey and unfortunately, he laid it down and I ran right into him. I was stuck there for a second and managed to fight my way back to seventh in the moto. In the second moto, I got off to a decent start and then fought my way up. I was right behind Barcia and Dungey and I just kind of fell off at the end. It was hot and it was rough, probably one of the harder races all year, but I finished the season off strong and we’re taking the positives. We made a lot of progress with the bike [this season] and everybody was kind of trying to learn how I work, how I tick and I was doing the same with everybody else. I think we got a pretty good bond in and I think it’s going to be even better next year.

Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Fifth:
Pala was pretty solid but for sure a hot day, I left the jacket at home! I felt really good during the first practice but the second practice I struggled a little bit. I just kept my bike the same all day and I had two really good starts. I got fifth in the first moto, which I was very happy with. I was running up front for a bit and then a sixth in the second moto. Overall, a solid day. I’m happy to finish the season out healthy and just building on next year. I’m going to take a good break now, regroup and come back swinging for next season!

Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 18th:
Not really what I wanted to end with but at least we’re getting out of here safely, I haven’t raced Pala since 2011. In the first turn of the first moto, some riders got collected and I got hit from behind pretty hard and got a pretty good burn on me. I felt like the best opportunity was not to go back out for the second moto. It’s pretty bad and we just needed to be smart. I think the overall, the goal was to get back racing and get a couple of races under my belt. Of course, the last four race results haven’t been the way we wanted, but I think it was more than just results for us. It was really about gate drops and just being sharp. We’re going to try to enjoy the off-season and we’ll be back riding Supercross and getting ready for 2023 and just have fun with it.

Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 10th:
My day was alright, my goal was to be top-10 in both motos and unfortunately, a second corner pile-up was not ideal. I had to come from the back to 13th again. Second moto, I had another bad start and had to come through to ninth. It wasn’t great, but it was my last American Pro Motocross moto of my career and it was a hot one! I won’t forget this one, that’s for sure. The track was gnarly. I’m very grateful to the team for being behind me these six years. I’m happy to be safe and to now focus on Motocross of Nations.

Christian Craig (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fourth:
The final round went well, other than the heat. I wanted to finish the year with two good motos, and I was able to do that with a 3-4. It wasn’t quite an overall podium, but to get top five in the points was my goal from the start. It was also my first time finishing all 24 motos, so that was another accomplishment for myself and the team. I had a super fun year with everyone.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – First:
It was a perfect end of the season to go 1-1. My goal for the day was to execute the first moto and go for the win, and then deal with the second moto after that; I was able to accomplish that. For the second moto, it definitely didn’t go down without a little drama. I was a little shuffled back on the start from where I wanted to be and had some fast guys in front of me, but Chase (Sexton) ended up making a mistake so that made things a little easier. It was still a fight to the front of that race and an awesome way to end the season. This was not an easy race to finish out on and was probably the most challenging of the season. It was an unbelievable year for me – to get both championships. It was the best year I’ve ever had.

Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) – Ninth:
This weekend, everything was very unique; the weather was obviously super-hot, and I had really bad luck. I went down in the first turn in both motos. The second one took me a while and really knocked the wind out of my sales; I’m kind of banged and bruised up everywhere. I was really far behind the whole field, so I just rode the best I could; I didn’t want to miss the second moto like in the last round last year. I’m kind of glad this one’s over. I’ll regroup, reset and try and charge forward in the off-season.

Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – Second:
It was a tough day for me. I led the first moto and felt like I rode really well, and even if Eli [Tomac] got the better of me, I left it all out there. I got a bad start in the second moto and made my way up; I had a few falls but never gave up. It was a good building year for me; I made a lot of progress, and it’s definitely the best I’ve ever ridden. We can build off this and go into next year. Not winning definitely stings today, but we’ll use it for motivation, have a good off-season and come back swinging next year.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Third:
I was running inside the top-10 at the start of moto one but, unfortunately, the rider in front of me tipped over and I was unable to get around him which dropped me back to around 16th. I still managed to work my way up to fourth before the end of the race but used a lot of energy. moto two started much better. I was running in second after the first turn and took over the lead on the third lap. I thought I had the speed to hold off the guys charging behind me, but they were on another level today and I finished the race third. Overall, the team put in a great effort today and I’m happy we were able to bring home another podium result. This has been one of the most fun seasons of my career and I can’t thank the guys at Monster Energy Kawasaki enough for all their hard work. I’m looking forward to more good times and race wins next season with the team.

Marshal Weltin (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 14th:
The way the track was prepped made it really difficult with a lot of ruts and bumps. I think it was the hardest track of the year and surely those were the most demanding conditions. I feel the team and I have made great progress all year and I really enjoy working with them. I’m really thankful to be part of the Twisted Tea Suzuki team and I want to give a big shout out to the Pipes family for making me feel like family all year and giving me this opportunity.

Justin Rodbell (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 21st:
It was a good day, I just didn’t execute in that last moto. Unfortunately, I was just a little dehydrated at the end. But that’s life, just keep rockin’ and keep on moving. I want to say think you to the Twisted Tea Suzuki team for giving me this opportunity.


Image: Octopi Media.

Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Second:
I got a good start in moto one and was battling for the lead most of the race. Unfortunately, I made contact with another rider and went down with only a couple of laps to go and finished fourth. In moto two, I was in second off the start and I quickly moved into the lead on the first lap. From there, I went all out for the first few laps of the race to build a good size gap and won the race by over 24 seconds. I think I could have secured another overall win without the accident in moto one but it still feels good to end the season with another overall podium.

Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 12th:
That first moto was extremely hot, but I was able to use my conditioning to push through the heat and finish eighth. The second moto start was much better than the first. I think I was in third right behind Jo and tried to follow him early in the race but got caught up in a battle with another rider. I was giving it everything I had out there and with only a few laps left, I made a mistake going over the Fox triple and went down. The crash ended my race early but I’m glad I was able to get up and feel okay.

Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Sixth:
Today was a hot one but overall, a good day. I felt good in the morning qualifying sessions and carried that momentum into the motos. The track got pretty gnarly towards the end of the final moto but I was able to push through for sixth overall with 6-7 moto scores. It feels good to get a complete season of Pro Motocross under my belt, I learned a lot from each race and hope I can carry that experience into next year.

Ryder DiFrancesco (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 19th:
Even though the result didn’t go as planned, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have raced in these select Pro Motocross rounds, it has been a real eye-opener. It’s nothing like racing the amateur circuit where there are one or two fast guys. At the pro level, everyone is fast and you really have to work for each position. I learned a lot from this experience about what I need to work on in the off-season to be ready for my full transition into the pro ranks next year.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Third:
This is not how we wanted to finish it. Obviously, we had a few unfortunate races along the way that put us in this position, but it’s better than last year. I’m bummed with how it ended, but Jett and Jo rode great. I’ve got to be better.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
It was a good day. I’m just glad it wasn’t like last year’s last round, as I didn’t hit the ground much. I qualified in P1, and in the first moto I ended up going with the Dunlop paddle tire to get that drive in the deep stuff. I got a really good jump and got the holeshot, which made my life easier. I tried to play around with Jo [Shimoda] a little bit, hoping that Hunter would catch up; I could see him in the background. In the second one I had the paddle again, and it helped me a lot. I was banging bars with Seth Hammaker coming out of the gate, but I still really pulled. I tried to get into second as quick as I could, but Jo just put on the boost and was out of there; he rode good. It’s awesome to get it done back-to-back, and I’m definitely grateful. The team has been awesome this year.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Third:
It was an up and down season, so I’m happy to end it with a podium. The race was super demanding physically and mentally so it was good to get back on the box. Now the focus shifts to Motocross of Nations; we’re looking to have a good one there and fight for the win for Team USA.

Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Ninth:
I did what I could to finish out the year strong, but it was a tough one today. I’m looking forward to the off-season to keep building and come back stronger next year. Thanks to the team for all of their support and hard work.

Matt Leblanc (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 21st:
I had good starts today, but I was still not where I should be coming back from injury. I rode decent but went down in the second moto and was banged up pretty good. There was nothing broken, thankfully, but I was in too much pain to ride the rest of the moto. The last race of the season is a little bitter, but we’re going to move on and focus on next season.

Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 13th:
It was a good day. We know we need to work on starts since they weren’t the greatest. I know I only did two rounds, but I’m glad I was able to end it with a top 10 since that was one of my goals. Overall, I’m really happy with the day. It was a good experience, and hopefully, next year for Pro Motocross we can come out swinging.

Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – 14th:
Practice was okay, I had like 10th or 11th gate pick. In the first moto, I got a decent start and I made a few mistakes on the first lap but ended up working my way up to ninth at the end. Second moto, I fell twice on the first lap twice and just didn’t recover. I fought until the end, but it just was not the way I wanted to end it

RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Fifth:
It was hot today, I kind of struggled all day. I qualified decent, but my first moto start was not great at all. I was probably outside of the top-20. I rode decent but I was just kind of saving myself a bit there because the heat was hitting pretty hard. Second moto was a little bit better of a start and I rode decent, making it up to fourth. I’m looking forward to the off-season. Through all the challenges we’ve dealt with this year, it was good to kind of end it there on a high note. Looking forward to next year.

Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 16th:
It was a very, very tough day, not good starts on a really one-lined track, which made the day really tough. The first moto wasn’t very good. Second moto, I had a fall and that was kind of all she wrote. It is what it is and I’m excited to get into this off-season and sharpen the tools to come out firing for next year.

Talon Hawkins (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 17th:
My day was pretty good, I just tried to come into this with a positive attitude and I knew it was going to be a hot one. I did the best I could trying to prepare for it. Obviously, everybody struggled and that’s just part of it. I had a really good day – a lot of improvements – and there’s lots of positives to take away from today. My 18-14 scores don’t look too good on paper but it’s improvement and I’m excited to get back to training and get back to grinding.

Carson Mumford (BarX Chaparral Suzuki) – 10th:
It was a great day for me, I got strong starts that I was happy with in both motos. I even made good passes in the first few laps of each moto. It was hot and the track was rough, but it was fun. I rode in sixth place in the second moto for a long time and ended up 10th overall.

Preston Kilroy (BarX Chaparral Suzuki) – 30th:
This track was brutal, and it was very difficult to not make mistakes; unfortunately, I made some in both motos, in the first moto, I didn’t get a very good start and crashed twice. In the second moto, I got off the line better but then crashed three laps in. I got going again and unfortunately, hit a rut and it ripped my chain off and bent my chain guide, and that was the end of my day. I definitely made a lot of progress this season and I’m excited for a little break!

Derek Drake (BarX Chaparral Suzuki) – 38th:
I had a good start in moto one, my body just wasn’t cooperating with me to be able to run that pace for the whole moto. Then I didn’t have enough energy to ride the second moto.

Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) – Eighth:
It was a good weekend. The track was really technical and really hard to pass on because it’s really slow in some corners and was pretty one-lined for the first moto. I was pushing for sixth and ended up making a pretty big mistake and went down pretty hard. Luckily, I haven’t had that all year and I got back to 12th. In the second moto, I got a really good jump and again got pushed into the deep stuff. I was back to like 13th and I just kind of kept picking guys off, some of them were getting pretty tired from the heat and I ended up in sixth towards the end. It was good to end that last moto on a high note and finish the season off like that.

Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) – Seventh:
I made the decision to race like a week ago. We tried a couple of things this week with the team and had only five days on the bike. It was strange to be back! DV, my trainer, told me it would be great training for Motocross of Nations and that was just the goal to actually do the two motos. Obviously, it would have been great to get better results but it was a decent day. Second moto, I was in the pack and physically it was difficult, the muscles were just not happy, but I tried my best and ended up seventh overall. it was good training.