Features 8 Jan 2022

Racefeed: 2022 Supercross Rd1 Anaheim

Direct updates from round one of the season at Angel Stadium.

Follow the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Championship opener with direct updates from round one of the season at Angel Stadium in Anaheim through Racefeed.

Image: Octopi Media.

250SX qualifying one:
As he was in free practice earlier, Christian Craig (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) set the pace in 250SX West qualifying one, his 56.676s lap-time topping Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas) at 58.334s, followed by Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), reigning east region champion Colt Nichols (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) and Garrett Marchbanks (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) the top five. Positions six through 10 included Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC), Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), Vince Friese (Smartop Bullfrog Spas MCR Honda) in his return to the class, Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) and Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna).

450SX qualifying one:
Leading the way in the first 450SX qualifying session of the year was Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton with a 57.641s, 0.379s ahead of Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha), with Ken Roczen – teammate to Sexton – in P3. Next on the charts was Eli Tomac on debut aboard the factory YZ450F, directly ahead of Jason Anderson, who in turn is making his first appearance at Monster Energy Kawasaki. Top of the Red Bull KTMs by some margin was Marvin Musquin in sixth position, albeit a second away from Sexton at the front. Free practice leader Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) was seventh this time out, from Joey Savatgy (Team RMATVMC KTM WPS), the retiring Justin Brayton (Smartop Bullfrog Spas MCR Honda) and Dean Wilson on the second of the Husqvarnas. Last year’s opening round winner Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) ended the session down in 11th, ahead of defending champion Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) in 12th, and Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) was notably 14th as he carries a shoulder injury into the weekend and fell this afternoon. The anticipated KTM debut of Aaron Plessinger has been a challenging one so far, going down heavily in the whoops and winding up 18th overall.

250SX qualifying two:
A 57.480s lap-time saw Craig maintain his position at the top following the final 250SX West qualifier of the opener, leading early pace-setter Mosiman, with Lawrence in third. Craig trailed Lawrence mid-session to deliver the benchmark, while Mosiman’s best came early on – the trio the only riders in the 57s. Fourth on the charts was Hammaker courtesy of a late lap to edge teammate Shimoda, Nichols, Marchbanks, Friese, Swoll and Derek Kelley (AEO Powersports KTM), who in turn bumped Thrasher out of the top 10 in the session.

450SX qualifying two:
In his first outing with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna, Stewart qualified in first position to open the year after controlling the final session this afternoon and he was also P1 in free practice today. Stewart eventually posted a 57.216s lap-time, holding Tomac at bay after he lodged a 57.302s final-lap flier in a positive sign. Also equipped with a new team this year, Anderson was third on the charts also at a 57.3s, followed directly by Sexton and Ferrandis inside the top five. P6 came Musquin, again the top of the Red Bull KTMs, with Roczen the final rider beneath the 58s bracket, ahead of an improved Webb, ever-present Brayton and Barcia. Cianciarulo slotted into 11th overall despite his shoulder, while Plessinger sat all the way down in 18th, as he did in the earlier session.

250SX heat one:
Gates-down on the 2022 season and, in an action-filled first 250SX West heat of the season, it’s Mosiman who emerges the victor by 6.134s over Hammaker and early leader Friese. The big news, however, was east coast champion Nichols – who had to work his way by Friese in those opening laps – crashing out in the second set of whoops while leading, appearing to be nursing his left arm after being attended to by the medical team and not being able to finish. Fourth was Chris Blose (AJE Motorsport Motul GasGas), followed by Kelley, Robbie Wageman (Team Solitaire Nuclear Blast Yamaha), Mitchell Harrison (AJE Motorsport Motul GasGas), Cole Thompson (Yamaha), Ryan Surratt (Yamaha) and Thomas Do (KTM) the top 10.

250SX heat two:
The initial start led by Craig was red-flagged after Swoll went down at the triple and was being attended to, but once things got going again, it was Lawrence a major benefactor in getting out front for the opening laps. Craig quickly caught and made an unsuccessful attempt to go by, before his second go at it resulted in Lawrence going down prior to the second set of whoops. That allowed Craig to sprint away and win by 8.412s from Shimoda, with Marchbanks third and Lawrence recovering to salvage P4. Thrasher was next best, the top 10 completed by Carson Mumford (BarX Suzuki), Dominique Thurry (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha), Logan Karnow (Kawasaki), Devin Harriman (KTM) and Kaeden Amerine (KTM).

450SX heat one:
Sexton made his way by initial leader Shane McElrath (Team RMATVMC KTM WPS) early and took control from there, winning by 2.325s from McElrath, with Tomac following him to third, in turn right ahead of Barcia. Webb was running P3 when he went down, winding up fifth, ahead of Max Anstie (Team RMATVMC KTM WPS), Mitchell Oldenburg (Smartop Bullfrog Spas MCR Honda), Musquin after he went down and had to charge back through the pack into qualifying position on the final lap, with Freddie Noren (Cole Racing FXR KTM) the final to transfer. SGB Unlimited Honda teammates Cade Clason and Alex Ray both lost out on the final lap, heading to the LCQ in 10th and 11th respectively, as will Justin Bogle (Twisted Tea Suzuki), who also went down mid-race and crossed the line 14th.

450SX heat two:
It was a Team Honda HRC heat race double as Roczen repeated his teammate’s feat from the race prior, comfortably winning heat two by 5.743s ahead of Brayton and top-qualifier Stewart was third. Plessinger put forward an improved performance for fourth, leading Ferrandis, Savatgy, a fast-starting Cianciarulo, Anderson – who went down early on – and Wilson, rounding out the top nine and going directly into the main event. In his first premier class appearance, Alex Martin (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) was in the top nine early, before going down and eventually finishing in P18 and heading to the LCQ.

250SX LCQ:
Revo Seven Kawasaki’s Dylan Walsh won the 250SX last-chance qualifier 1.922s ahead of Amerine and Hunter Schlosser (Yamaha), as BarX Suzuki-mounted Dilan Schwartz was the final rider to make it through for tonight’s main event.

450SX LCQ:
GasGas privateer Justin Starling won the first 450SX LCQ of the year ahead of Brandon Hartranft (Twisted Tea Suzuki), Clason and Ryan Breece (Yamaha), setting the main event line-up for the opening round of the season. Bogle was the biggest name unable to transfer, going down and ending his night early with a sixth-place result.

250SX main event:
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 Friese on lap four and then maintaining the lead from there. Behind him, an impressive effort from Hammaker saw him stand on the podium as runner-up, keeping Marchbanks at bay in the closing stages for position, but it was 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, followed by Mosiman, Shimoda after he went down in the whoops mid-race, Wageman, Thurry and Mumford.

450SX main event:
It was a deserved win from Roczen in a relentless 450SX main event to open the season, going on to win by a full 7.296s margin and take the early red plate in the series. Behind him is where the action happened, ultimately seeing number one plate-holder Webb score second ahead of a determined Barcia. Earlier, Sexton had been challenging Roczen for the lead until the midway point when he made a minor error and tucked the front, only to go down more heavily soon after in the whoops and dash his hopes of a podium altogether. Next, Anderson was on par for a podium, passing Barcia for P2, but being taken down almost immediately after with three minutes to run, which set the ever-crafty Webb up for a run at the podium into second once he made his way through on Barcia. Sexton eventually fought back to fourth position, just ahead of Musquin, while a quiet ride from Tomac resulted in P6 across the line. Top qualifier Stewart was next, falling victim to a move of Musquin in the latter stages, as Savatgy, Plessinger and Anderson filled the top 10. In 11th, after circulating inside the top three at the beginning, was Cianciarulo. In the end, it was Roczen who stood up when it counted.