Features 19 Feb 2022

Racefeed: 2022 Supercross Rd7 Minneapolis

Direct updates from round seven of the season at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Follow the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Championship with direct updates from round seven of the season at U.S. Bank Stadium – including the 250SX East opener – in Minneapolis through Racefeed.

Image: Octopi Media.

250SX qualifying:
There has been much anticipation leading into the 250SX East series, with many questions to be answered, and – already – we now have some of those. Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner is back on form after qualifying quickest in class, his 48.566s lap-time positioning him ahead of Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha duo Jeremy Martin and rookie Levi Kitchen, whose times were set in the B practice. Fourth overall was Jett Lawrence, the Team Honda HRC rider leading the first timed session earlier, and followed by two more title prospects, RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) and Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki). Positions six through 10 included Jordon Smith (Fire Power Honda Racing), Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas), Mitchell Oldenburg (Smartop Bullfrog Spas MCR Honda) and Stilez Robertson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna). The depth of the class was apparent with Red Bull KTM’s Max Vohland qualifying 14th, plus note that Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki newcomer Jett Reynolds injured his wrist on press day and is out for the weekend.

450SX qualifying:
A lot of energy has been evident in the premier class as we head to the east coast and, so far, it is Dylan Ferrandis who has proven fastest with Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha. Ferrandis posted a 57.565s in the final outing to top the charts, joined in the 47s by Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC), Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) and Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM). Defending champion Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) enjoyed an upswing of form for P5 this afternoon, while red plate-holder Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) slotted into sixth on combined times after being involved in a multi-rider pile-up during the second session, also including Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM). The top 10 was completed by Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC), Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) and Justin Brayton (Smartop Bullfrog Spas MCR Honda).

250SX heat one:
Winner of the opening heat of the 250SX East season was Brown, getting out front by lap two and going on to take victory by 4.082s. It marked a career-first for Brown both leading laps and winning a heat in the class, eventually topping Lawrence, who came from as far back as P8 at the end of the the opening lap. Finishing third was Robertson, followed by Kyle Peters (Phoenix Racing Honda), Martin, McAdoo, Vohland, Henry Miller (KTM) and Jeremy Hand (SGB Unlimited Honda) the final rider to transfer through this first heat race of the series.

250SX heat two:
Heat two was over before it even began for Oldenburg when his Honda failed to fire, but when the gates did drop it was Kitchen who hit the front momentarily. A couple of errors for the rookie enabled Smith to hit the front and he led the majority, until Hampshire made a move on the final lap and won by 0.6s from Smith in his debut with the Fire Power team. Kitchen managed to hold onto third place, with top-qualifier Forkner fourth after his share of mishaps, followed by Enzo Lopes (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha), his teammates Phil Nicoletti and Jace Owen. The final two qualifiers direct from the heats were Derek Drake (BarX Suzuki) and Husqvarna-supported Joshua Varize.

450SX heat one:
A controlled ride from Sexton in the first of the 450 heats saw him lead Tomac in his shadows by 1.614s at the finish, with Roczen riding to a third-place result. Fourth was an improvement for Plessinger after a difficult afternoon, in turn a couple of seconds clear ahead of teammate Musquin. Next up was Brayton in sixth, with Kyle Chisholm (Yamaha), Justin Bogle (Twisted Tea Suzuki) and Cade Clason (SGB Unlimited Honda) all heading straight through to the main event later tonight.

450SX heat two:
The second premier class heat was won by Stewart in convincing fashion, cleanly making his way by Vince Friese (Smartop Bullfrog Spas MCR Honda) in the early laps and going on to win his second heat race by 6.315s ahead of Webb, who will take confidence from the result. Fastest qualifier Ferrandis charged to third, as did Anderson in fourth after making contact with the fast-starting Friese on his way through. Shane McElrath (Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS) claimed P6, from Barcia after he went down while running third, Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) and Brandon Hartranft (Twisted Tea Suzuki), the final rider to go straight through to the main.

250SX LCQ:
In his first appearance with the Fire Power Honda team, Jarrett Frye made it count in the 250SX East last-chance qualifier to comfortably take the win ahead of Coty Schock (Phoenix Racing Honda), Marshal Weltin (Yamaha) and Cullin Park (Phoenix Racing Honda). Unfortunately for Oldenburg, his night went from bad to worse, only managing to recover to sixth position and spelling the end to the opener for him.

450SX LCQ:
It was Anstie who managed to win the 450SX LCQ after narrowly missing out on a transfer in the heats, cruising to a 7.017s advantage, followed by Justin Starling (GasGas), Ryan Breece (Yamaha) and Alex Martin (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) in what is his home race on the schedule.

250SX main event:
After qualifying fourth and finishing second in his heat, Lawrence peaked in time for the opening round main event to pick up win number one of the year and claim the red plate in the process. It was Forkner – fastest this afternoon – who jumped out of the gates and the the field initially, before Lawrence made light work of him in an immediate pass and gradually powered away to a 5.349s advantage as the checkered flag flew. Still, runner-up was solid for Forkner after enduring a rough outdoor campaign last year, trailed by teammate McAdoo throughout the main event. McAdoo was able to hold his composure despite having Martin chasing him down, who in turn himself was coming under pressure from Hampshire late on, but that is how the top five would remain. Sixth place was a convincing recovery from first heat winner Brown, moving forwarding from 12th on lap one, as Robertson was impressive for seventh with minimal recent seat-time, Lopes competitive in eighth, Kitchen registering P9 on debut and class veteran Nicoletti completing the top 10 in his return indoors. There were a number of high-profile non-finishers, including Vohland after going down early, Frye, Varize and Arenacross champion Peters, who was circulating inside the top 10 before Brown made contact on his way through mid-race.

450SX main event:
A remarkable main event saw all kinds of twists and turns, eventually won by Anderson in another pivotal result for the 2018 champion. Number one plate-holder Webb scored the hole-shot and led the first five minutes before Sexton took control. Anderson and Stewart also went by Webb soon afterwards, but not before Sexton was able to stretch a slight advantage and leave the chasing duo to do all the work in a bid to challenge at the front again. That was until Stewart crashed out of P3 with just a couple of minutes remaining and then, the major turning point – Sexton crashed out of the lead and race in the closing moments, handing Anderson his third victory of the year by 2.833s. It also awarded second-place on the podium to Webb – his first since Anaheim 1 – and he was joined by teammate Musquin in third, leaving Stewart to settle for fourth, well-clear of Barcia in P5. Meanwhile, trouble struck Tomac on the opening lap when he and teammate Ferrandis made contact, leaving the points-leader to go down on the face of the triple, only to claw his way back into the top 10 by midway and eventually make his way to salvage sixth position. Claiming seventh was Plessinger in another challenging day for him, the top 10 also featuring Roczen, Ferrandis and Brayton.