Tomac and Craig on Hangtown
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac took home his first moto win aboard the Yamaha YZ450F in yesterday’s 450MX Moto 2 at the Hangtown Moto Classic. The victory also landed him his first podium of the outdoor season, taking third overall with a 4-1 score at Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Christian Craig had another solid result, finishing fifth overall with a pair of top-five finishes in the tricky conditions at the Prairie City SVRA in Rancho, Cordova.
Tomac got the day off to a good start, qualifying third. He was fifth after the start of the first moto and quickly made his way to fourth, where he would finish. The team went to work between the motos and made some improvements, giving the 2022 450SX Supercross Champion a better feeling in Moto 2. He got another top-five start and steadily made his way to third in the first three laps. Tomac kept charging forward and made the pass for second before the halfway mark and then wasted no time closing the gap to the front runner, taking the top spot on Lap 10. The series points leader stayed on his heels but the multi-time champion kept cool under pressure to claim his first moto victory of the season and end the day third overall with a 4-1 score.
Coming off of his first-career 450 podium, Craig went into the second round of the season with confidence. He had a solid start to the day, qualifying fourth, and was seventh after the start of the first moto. The Californian steadily made his way forward, breaking into the top five and slotting behind his teammate by Lap 4, where he ultimately finished. It was deja vu in the second moto, with Craig making his way from seventh to fifth in the first four laps, and managing a smart race in the tricky conditions to end the day fifth overall with another top-five moto result.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team starts the trek east with Round 3, stopping in Lakewood, Colorado, at the Thunder Valley MX Park on Saturday, June 11.
Eli Tomac: “It was a much improved weekend for us. We did a lot of good work leading into this race, and it showed. In the first moto, I think I was around fourth or fifth on the start and kind of just stayed there and rode okay – I was missing a few lines and a few jumps. There were some technical jumps out there, and there was one double that I was missing, so I felt like that kept me away from the leaders. In the second moto, I had the better race lines and just rode better on those technical jumps. We made a couple of little changes between the moto to get the bike balanced, so I was able to just go forward that time. I had a lot of fun riding. It was a really great racetrack. This was one of the better Hangtown tracks that I think we’ve had for just the way the dirt was. It was a good weekend for us.”
Christian Craig: “The day was pretty good at Hangtown. I qualified inside the top five and then went into the motos pretty confident from last week. I ended up getting a pretty good start in both motos and running fifth, but I was just off the pace of the top four. Finishing 5-5 on the day is nothing to be too bummed about, but I’m not crazy happy – I want more. We’ll take it though, and move on to Thunder Valley.”
Jeremy Coker: “The day was pretty good at Hangtown. I qualified inside the top five and then went into the motos pretty confident from last week. I ended up getting a pretty good start in both motos and running fifth, but I was just off the pace of the top four. Finishing 5-5 on the day is nothing to be too bummed about, but I’m not crazy happy – I want more. We’ll take it though, and move on to Thunder Valley.”
Words and image: Yamaha