The time has come for the 250 East Supercross field to begin their season after a month off to start the new year. While this year’s crop of East riders may not be on part with the West, but this should still be a quality championship. Jett Lawrence of course is the headliner, but guys like R.J. Hampshire, Max Vohland, Jeremy Martin, and Pierce Brown should be in line for good seasons as well. Without any further delay, here’s how the bulk of the East stacks up.
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No. 18 Jett Lawrence
2021 Stats (250 East): 3 Wins, 5 Podiums, 2 Holeshots, Average Finish of 5.1, 47 Laps Led, 3rd in Points
The defending 250 AMA Motocross Champion was slated to run 250 West, but a preseason rib injury has him on the East for the second year in a row. Assuming he is 100-percent by now, he is the favorite entering this weekend in Minneapolis. There is arguably no one that is lining up that can match him in raw speed, but Lawrence has to steer clear of mistakes. He ended up bowing out of Indianapolis 2 last year due to an injury earlier that night. That ended up being a big reason why he lost out to Colt Nichols a year ago.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
No. 24 R.J. Hampshire
2021 Stats (250 East): (Only ran Houstons’ 1 and 2, finishing fifth and ninth respectively)
During qualifying for Houston 3, Hampshire took a nasty spill, resulting in a wrist injury that knocked him out until 2021 Motocross. In fact, as he enters year three with Rockstar Husky, Hampshire has made only six 250 Supercross starts. Granted, that brief sample size is solid. He’s averaged just south of a sixth-place finish, with a couple of podiums that both came in 2020. With how this field is, look for the veteran to be one of the few riders to give Lawrence a run for his money. He should be a threat at the two speedway races as well.
No. 50 Stilez Robertson
2021 Stats (250 West): 0 Wins, 1 Podium, 0 Holeshots, Average Finish of 13.6, 8 Laps Led, 13th in Points
Save for a very impressive run at Daytona Supercross, it was a rough rookie outing for Robertson. Including Motocross as well, he had trouble putting together good performances consistency all of last year. Only twice did he have back-to-back top 10 days. Robertson’s performance at Daytona should hopefully be what we begin to get used to seeing this year. Doubt his 2021 is his ceiling as a rider.
No. 37 Coty Schock
2021 Stats (250 West): 0 Wins, 0 Podiums, 0 Holeshots, Average Finish of 10.6, 0 Laps Led, 9th in Points
Schock, after a monster outing down the stretch in Motocross on a 450, finds himself on Phoenix Honda for 2022. In the 250 West tilt a year ago, the Delaware native hung around the back end of the top 10 most nights. His best two outings being at Daytona and Atlanta 2, going ninth and seventh respectively. Schock is entering Minneapolis coming off a broken collarbone, so his performance during practice/qualifying may be worth monitoring.
No. 52 Kyle Peters
Undefeated 2021 Kicker Arenacross Champion (250 and 450 Class)
Peters did run 250 West a year ago, but his biggest accomplishment was laying waste to the Kicker Arenacross Series. He went 20-0 in both the 250 and 450 Pro Sport classes (two Main Events per class). Peters once again ran the series this year as well, and in the last two years combined he went 78-2 in 80 ‘Motos’. Would be a safe bet to say that will not happen in Supercross, but look for Peters to make some noise. He picked up a podium at Arlington 2, and a pair of thirds in Atlanta afterward.
No. 56 Josh Osby
2021 Stats (250 East): 0 Wins, 0 Podiums, 0 Holeshots, Average Finish of 10.7, 0 Laps Led, 6th in Points
Outside of a rough go in Salt Lake City a year ago, Osby was fantastic in 2021. Save for those two races, his worst finish was a pair of 10ths in Houston, which is exceptional all things considered. Even more so, Osby ended up just 13 points back of a top-five points finish in 250 East. Whether or not that happens this year remains to be seen, but keep an eye out on the Indiana native.
No. 140 Cullin Park
Making Supercross Debut
The fourth and final man on this Phoenix Honda quartet is Peters’ running mate from Arenacross. The 20-year-old Park picked up a handful of podium results this year in Arenacross before he makes his big show debut this weekend. In 2020, Park ended up having a strong showing at the 2020 Mini O’s in his last trip as an amateur. Going 3-3 for third in Motocross, 7-3 for third in Supercross. How fast he can get acclimated to Supercross should be a fun storyline to watch unfold. Park has a good group of teammates to lean on which helps out.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki
No. 33 Austin Forkner
2021 Stats (250 East): (Only ran Houstons’ 1 and 2, finishing second and sixth respectively)
Forkner, now the elder statesman of this Pro Circuit team, enters his sixth full year as a pro rider. Injuries have been a big part of his story of course, and it was last year. Due to his broken collarbone suffered in Houston 3 qualifying, he raced in five Supercross and Motocross rounds combined from June 21 2020-June 21 2021. We all know Forkner can win races, heck he’s the 250 class leader in Supercross Main Event wins. At the end of the day, however, his health may keep him from where he ultimately wants to be.
No. 48 Cameron McAdoo
2021 Stats (250 West): 1 Win, 6 Podiums, 1 Holeshot, Average Finish of 4.5, 6 Laps Led, 3rd in Points
After a freak knee injury ended his Motocross season right away, McAdoo is good to go for 250 East Supercross. In his first year with Pro Circuit, he won Daytona Supercross on top of podiuming at a 66-percent clip. Of course, there was the whole Atlanta thing as well which is still insane all of a year later. Wouldnt call McAdoo the favorite, but if Lawrence cracks, he should be one of the few riders to jump into the conversation.
No. 124 Jett Reynolds
Making Supercross Debut
At long last, Reynolds will be making his professional debut this weekend. One of the all-time Loretta Lynn’s phenoms has been snakebitten with injuries in recent years but is ready to go for this weekend. Last year, Reynolds won in the 250 Futures and Open A classes at the Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross. Would not be surprised in the slightest if Reynolds makes an immediate impact. He’s been talked about as one of the best amateurs out there for quite some time before 2022.
Red Bull KTM
No. 36 Max Vohland
2021 Stats (250 East): 0 Wins, 0 Podiums, 0 Holeshots, Average Finish of 7.7, 0 Laps Led, 17th in Points
Despite the injury in Indianapolis, Vohland looked great in year one, despite KTM somewhat admitting they forced him pro ahead of schedule. He did better with each round in the Houston residency a year ago, going 9-8-6 in the opening three rounds. As he enters year two, Vohland could maybe jump into the contender category. A good start would be to nab a first career podium on Saturday.
Troy Less Designs/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing
No. 44 Pierce Brown
2021 Stats (250 West): 0 Wins, 1 Podium, 0 Holeshots, Average Finish of 8.2, 0 Laps Led, 12th in Points
Brown missed a handful of rounds which is why he finished 12th in 250 West. Outside of a podium at Daytona, he had no other top-five finishes in 2021. With a full year being acclimated to the GasGas and with a clean bill of health, expect better runs from the No. 44, starting this Saturday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
No. 6 Jeremy Martin
2021 Stats (250 West): (Injured in opening Main Event in Orlando, missed rest of season)
2021 was not the best for Martin, facing a pair of devastating injuries, one in Supercross and one outdoors. He’s also technically missed two of the last three Supercross seasons as well. Perhaps it is a good omen he starts out in his home race in Minneapolis, which is also where he last won in 2018. If Martin can keep it upright, he likely has the best chance of anyone in the field to give Lawrence a run for his money.
No. 59 Levi Kitchen
Making Supercross Debut
‘The Master Chef’ (put it on a shirt) made his pro debut last year in Motocross, now he makes his Supercross debut this weekend. In late October/early November, Kitchen ended up breaking his shoulder blade, which explains why he wasn’t running 250 West. In Motocross, he got better with each National, so expect the same trajectory for ‘The Master Chef’ indoors as well.
Preseason 250 East Supercross Top 10 Power Rankings
10. Levi Kitchen
9. Jett Reynolds
8. Max Vohland
7. Pierce Brown
6. Austin Forkner
5. Kyle Peters
4. Cameron McAdoo
3. R.J. Hampshire
2. Jeremy Martin
1. Jett Lawrence
2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250 East Regional Championship Pick: Jett Lawrence
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image via Honda HRC