Jason Anderson's Consistency Pays Off At Budds Creek National
Jason Anderson's Consistency Pays Off At Budds Creek National
Jason Anderson used a pair of second-place finishes to score the overall Lucas Oil Pro Motocross victory during Saturday's Budds Creek National.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its annual visit to Southern Maryland for Round 10 of the 50th anniversary season in the shadow of the nation’s capital. The GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National featured hot and humid conditions at famed Budds Creek Motocross Park, which resulted in a competitive afternoon of racing where a consistent effort from Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson allowed him to prevail for a second career 450 Class victory. In the 250 Class, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire emerged to become the division’s third different winner of the season.
The first moto in the 450 Class began with Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen leading the way for the MotoSport.com Holeshot with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey in tow, followed by Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Eli Tomac and Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton, the two championship leaders. Sexton then crashed and dropped deep in the field. He encountered even more misfortune on the following lap when he was caught up in another rider’s incident.
Sexton’s hard luck provided an opening for Tomac, who made the pass on Dungey for second and pressured Roczen for the lead. Tomac bided his time and made the pass happen seven minutes into the moto as Sexton looked to fight his way back into the top 20 in the running order.
Tomac slowly added to his lead through the middle portion of the moto and moved out to more than five seconds clear of Roczen, who asserted his hold on second. Dungey maintained third for most of the moto but was forced to do battle with Anderson as the moto reached its final 10 minutes. Anderson went on the attack at his first opportunity and made the pass for the position.
Anderson’s march forward didn’t end there. He closed in on Roczen just a couple laps later and made an easy pass for second inside the final five minutes of the moto. From there the battle for third came down to Roczen and Dungey as the two longtime rivals gave chase to one another throughout the closing minutes of the moto.
Tomac was in a class of his own out front and charged to his 11th moto win of the season by 12.1 seconds over Anderson, while Roczen held off Dungey for third. Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Christian Craig rounded out the top five. Sexton fought back to finish seventh.
The final moto of the day saw Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy charge to the MotoSport.com Holeshot only to be quickly passed by Dungey as Roczen followed through into second. A little further back Sexton started in sixth while Tomac found himself just outside the top 10 in 13th place. Back up front, Dungey and Roczen duked it out for control of the moto. Roczen appeared to make the pass, but Dungey countered and reaffirmed his hold on the spot.
A persistent Roczen didn’t relent and was able to make the pass five minutes into the moto, which left Dungey to fend off Anderson, who soon moved into second and dropped Dungey to third. Sexton lurked in fourth, while Tomac fought his way up to seventh. Back up front, Anderson closed onto the rear fender of Roczen and made quick work to take control of the lead nine minutes into the moto, while Sexton passed Dungey for third.
Anderson continued to build on his lead as Roczen came under fire from Sexton and lost his hold of second, as Tomac remained stuck in seventh. Sexton’s pursuit of the lead continued as he started to inch on Anderson at the halfway point of the moto. The Honda rider continued to chip away and got close enough to mount an attack, surging around the Kawasaki and into the lead. Unfortunately, Sexton crashed and gave up control of the moto, remounting in third with just over 10 minutes to go.
Anderson reclaimed the lead and Roczen moved up into second, but Anderson briefly stalled and dropped from first to third, which moved Roczen back out front and Sexton up into second. Not long after that Sexton made another pass on his teammate to retake control of the top spot. That left the battle for the overall between Roczen and Anderson as they fought for second. Anderson amped up his aggression and went on the attack and made his way past to move into the runner-up spot. Further back, Tomac was slowly moving forward and methodically worked his way into fifth in the waning minutes.
Sexton overcame the earlier misfortune to grab his seventh moto win by 4.2 seconds over Anderson, with Roczen third, Dungey fourth and Tomac fifth.
As the most consistent rider of the afternoon Anderson emerged with his second overall win of the season (2-2) and the second victory of his career, as Tomac finished in second (1-5) for his ninth consecutive podium result. Roczen completed the overall podium in third (3-3), his first since taking the win at the third round.
Tomac reclaimed possession of the point lead one week after losing it to his rival, while Sexton missed out on the overall podium for the first time in fourth (7-1). A total of two points changed hands between the two riders, with a single point now separating them with two rounds and four motos to go.
PHOTO: Podium finishers Jason Anderson, Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen celebrate at Budds Creek.
Jason Anderson, Monster Energy Kawasaki
“Today, two plus two equals one. I’ll take it [the win] any way I can get it. I said we’re making progress and this proves it. I’ve always liked Budds Creek and it feels really good to get the job done today. Let’s keep it going and see if we can finish the season strong.”
Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing
“The bad start there [in Moto 2] was what it was. I wasn’t making moves like I was in Moto 1. I did what I could. We need to look at the positives, we got the red place back [as point leader], and move on.”
Ken Roczen, Team Honda HRC
“We’re trying. I’m super excited to be back on the podium. We tend to take these things for granted. We were battling all day long today and really had to earn our spot up here, which feels good.”
Chase Sexton, Team Honda HRC
“I never really felt good on the track all day. I made too many mistakes and had a tough first moto. I knew I needed to come out in Moto 2 and score max points, which we did. I fell, but I believed I could still win and I just dug deep to make it happen. Now we can look ahead to next week and try to be better.”
The opening 250 Class moto got underway with Hampshire at the head of the pack with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, followed by Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing’s Michael Mosiman. The GASGAS rider went on the attack immediately and was able to make the pass on the opening lap. Hampshire settled into second, followed by Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Nate Thrasher in third and Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence in fourth.
As the first full lap of racing started Thrasher crashed out of third, which moved Lawrence into podium position. From there, the lead trio was able to sprint away from the field and open an advantage of more than 10 seconds. Hampshire closed back in on Mosiman and looked for a way around, but the GASGAS rider fended him off, which allowed Lawrence to close in from third. The top three stabilized again but Hampshire picked up the pace once more as the moto reached its halfway point.
Hampshire pulled the trigger on the first opening he saw and was able to make the move to reclaim the lead. Lawrence then went on the attack and appeared to have the pass complete, but Mosiman fought back. Mosiman got back ahead of Lawrence briefly, but then slid out and went down. He was able to remount in third, but lost valuable ground to Hampshire and Lawrence.
As the lead duo continued forward the attention shifted to a brewing battle for third between Mosiman and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda, who battled his way forward from a start deep inside the top 10. Mere bike lengths separated the two riders for multiple laps, as lappers ultimately factored into any pass attempts by Shimoda. The Kawasaki rider’s persistence eventually paid off as he made the pass just before the start of the last lap. Mosiman repassed the Kawasaki, but Shimoda reclaimed the spot and inched away in the waning moments.
Out front, Hampshire went unchallenged the rest of the way and captured his first moto win since the opening moto of Round 2 during the 2020 season. He took the checkered flag 5.3 seconds ahead of Lawrence, with Shimoda a distant third. Mosiman soldiered home in fourth, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Max Vohland in fifth.
The field exited the first turn to open Moto 2 with Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper out front with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, followed by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jalek Swoll and Shimoda. Hampshire started inside the top five as well, while Lawrence was mired deep in the top 20.
Shimoda made the move on Swoll to slot into second and gave chase to Cooper. A slight bobble by Cooper opened the door for Shimoda and the Kawasaki rider took advantage of it to grab the lead. Cooper regrouped and fought back to reclaim the position. The Yamaha rider then pushed to put some distance on Shimoda as Swoll strengthened his hold of third over Hampshire, who ran fourth.
The battle for the lead reignited 12 minutes into the moto as Shimoda closed back in on Cooper and was able to get back into the lead, this time distancing himself from the Yamaha after the pass was complete. Behind them, Hampshire closed in on Swoll for third and made the pass on his teammate to move into podium position just before the halfway point of the moto.
While the leaders settled in out front Lawrence was going to work charging through the field. The defending champion easily climbed into the top 10 and started to make impressive moves to fight his way up into the top five with just under 10 minutes left in the moto. The resiliency paid big dividends in the overall classification as it put Lawrence into podium position. The battle for the overall also factored into the fight for second as Hampshire closed in on Cooper and challenged for the runner-up spot. The hard-charging Husqvarna rider went on the attack and got by to seize control of the position, which proved to be the winning move.
Shimoda rode clean through the rest of the moto to secure his third moto win of the season by 4.8 seconds over Hampshire, while Lawrence’s impressive rise through the field culminated with a late pass on Cooper to grab third.
The same three riders traded positions over the course of both motos as Hampshire prevailed with the overall win following 1-2 finishes for his first podium performance of the season. It’s the fourth victory of his career and came at the site of his maiden victory during the 2018 season. Shimoda was forced to settle for a runner-up finish (3-1) for his seventh podium result of the season, while Lawrence rounded out the overall podium in third (2-3).
Despite missing out on the win, Lawrence saw his lead in the point standings grow significantly as he now holds a 37-point lead with two rounds and four motos remaining. Shimoda has now moved into second in the championship, dropping Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence to third after the elder Lawrence brother endured through an eighth-place result (8-9). It marks the first time this season the Lawrence siblings don’t sit 1-2 in the 250 Class standings.
RJ Hampshire, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
“It’s so special [to get this win]. We’ve been progressing and progressing and have been close, but today we were just clicking. Getting those good starts was huge today and made things a lot easier. Today we got it done.”
Jo Shimoda, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
“Getting a better start always helps. Overall, my riding today was great. If I can stay second in the championship that would be great as well.”
Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“That definitely wasn’t the start I wanted [in Moto 2], but I went out there and tried to do my best coming through the field. It was a bit a bummer, but at least we got back onto the podium, and I’m pumped with that.”
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