Teammate Nichols injured as Hammaker and Lawrence complete podium.
Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Christian Craig delivered a commanding first win of the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross season in a hard-fought 250SX West main event at Anaheim 1.
Capping off a dominant day for Craig, he stamped his authority on the field at A1, going on to take victory by 5.625s and maximum points as a result.
It wasn’t completely straightforward, however, finally working his way by the fast-starting Vince Friese (Smartop Bullfrog Spas MCR Honda) on lap four and then maintaining the lead from there.
Behind him, an impressive effort from Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) saw him stand on the podium as runner-up, keeping Garrett Marchbanks (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) at bay in the closing stages for position, but it was Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence who lit things up on the final lap.
In one of the rides of the night, Lawrence was around 14th on the opening lap and clawed his way all the way back to third – passing Marchbanks on the last lap and almost making a move on Hammaker in the final turn of the race.
That was the podium, Craig winning from Hammaker and Lawrence, with Marchbanks solid on his way to P4. Friese crossed the finish in fifth on return to the class.
The top 10 was completed by Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas), Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) after he went down in the whoops mid-race, Robbie Wageman (Team Solitaire Nuclear Blast Yamaha), Dominique Thurry (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) and Carson Mumford (BarX Suzuki).
Disaster struck reigning eastern regional champion Colt Nichols in the first heat, crashing heavily in the second set of whoops while leading and appearing to sustain a left arm injury that ruled the Star Racing Yamaha rider out of the evening altogether.