Anaheim 3 was a big round of Supercross for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it was the final time the 250 West Series would run for the next month and a half. Any momentum that guys like Michael Mosiman or Hunter Lawrence could gain on Christian Craig would have been astronomical. Secondly, Anaheim 3 was the final California stop of the season. Why that is important is because 5 of the final 11 Supercross rounds are in domes, rendering the elements null and void. Not that they have been an issue so far, but it will be a for sure non-issue for the foreseeable future. In addition to ‘East Coast Dirt’ coming into play as well.
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Heat Racing Recap
250 West Class
Robbie Wageman took home the opening holeshot of the night on the extended ‘start’ but would have gotten it even if the line was in the usual spot. Both Garrett Marchbanks and Jo Shimoda got by and set sail on the No. 69 in short order, however. That ended up becoming the top two for the entire Heat. That was until on the last lap, Shimoda went down extremely hard at the end of the second to last rhythm section. This incident would end his night early, while Marchbanks picked up the heat win.
To no surprise, Craig looked great in this second Heat. Took the opening holeshot and never sat out of first place for the entire race. Mosiman and Lawrence were both also in this heat. The former got close to Craig a couple of times, but a washout on corner exit on the latter attempt sealed the deal.
Justin Brayton pulled off a surprise holeshot, but the big story was Dylan Ferrandis going down hard in the first corner. He pulled it to the back as a result. His teammate Eli Tomac had a bad start as a result but stormed his way to a top-three finish. Brayton meanwhile dropped out of the lead to Justin Barcia but held his own after pretty well. Marvin Musquin and Tomac were the only two other guys to get by him. In the end, it was a solid heat win for Bam Bam.
Jason Anderson parlayed his fastest qualifying performance into a holeshot in Heat 2. Then he proceeded to pull on the field with Aaron Plessinger. Ken Roczen meanwhile, who was alarmingly slow in the final Qualifying session, got a horrendous start here. Luckily he comfortably made it into a transfer spot, but something to mention. Wire to wire heat win for El Hombre meanwhile.
250 West Class Roundup
No. 28 Christian Craig- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (1st Place)
With only four rounds left on the year and only two of them being straight up 250 West races, Craig is well on his way to icing this championship after this break. The Star Yamaha rider became only the fourth rider in 125/250 class history to win three rounds of Anaheim with this dominating win. The other three riders are Ryan Villopoto, Ernesto Fonseca, and Hot Sauce Ivan Tedesco. Now Craig gets to kick back and relax for a month after going four for six to kick-off 2022.
No. 62 Vince Friese – Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda (2nd Place)
After one of the more tumultuous weeks of his career, Friese picks up a season-best result, and his first podium to boot. Although it wasn’t a top-three level ride, sometimes it’s better to be in the right spot and that was the case here. Heading into the break, Friese now also sits fourth in points, sitting 20 points back of Lawrence in third.
No. 66 Chris Blose – AJE Motorsport MOTUL GasGas (6th Place)
How about Zombie Blose? In his final year, his sixth place on Saturday was his best run in Monster Energy Supercross since Seattle in 2019. Blose had a chance to match his career-best of fourth as well, but a late incident forced him back a couple of spots. In any event, it was a fantastic night for the 17-year veteran.
No. 59 Ryan Surratt – Team Solitare/Nuclear Blast Yamaha (10th Place)
Wageman has of course had a great year for the Solitare guys, but Surratt picked up his first top 10 with the team on Saturday. This after failing to qualify for the Glendale Triple Crown round a week ago. A very good result, especially taking his qualifying performance into account. He ended up in 24th in the class and was then able to qualify straight to the Main Event in Heat 1.
No. 41 Hunter Lawrence – Honda HRC (DNF)
Shimoda was not the only 250 heavy hitter to suffer an injury, unfortunately. Around the halfway mark, Lawrence went over the bars at the end of the whoops and took a nasty spill. Heading into the break now, the Australian goes from eight points back of Craig, to 31 points back. Hopefully, Hunter ends up ok from this, but his title hopes are likely gone even if he is good to go in a month.
250 West Class Anaheim 3 Top 10
1st No. 28 Christian Craig
2nd No. 62 Vince Friese
3rd No. 29 Michael Mosiman
4th No. 35 Garrett Marchbanks
5th No. 910 Carson Brown
6th No. 66 Chris Blose
7th No. 69 Robbie Wageman
8th No. 74 Derek Kelley
9th No. 67 Logan Karnow
10th No. 59 Ryan Surratt
450 Class Roundup
No. 21 Jason Anderson – Monster Energy Kawasaki (1st Place)
Saturday was about as perfect as a performance as Anderson has ever had in Supercross. Save for a brief few moments where Tomac had the lead, Anderson never sat outside the top spot the entire Main Event. He and ET3 gapped the field in short order, then Anderson was able to hold off Tomac for about 13 minutes and change. Although this doesn’t get him into the points lead, it stops a back-to-back stretch by Tomac as the series heads east. Also Anderson’s kit last night was amazing.
No. 3 Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (2nd Place)
Not a win, but it’s now been four straight podiums for Tomac to end this West Coast swing. He didn’t have anything for Anderson, but then again no one else did either. As for the big picture, ET3 still has a tight grip on the red plate, sitting 12 up on Anderson, and 18 up on Chase Sexton. Speaking of whom.
No. 23 Chase Sexton – Honda HRC (7th Place)
Despite a seventh, Sexton didn’t fall back too far in the points to get worried. However, not what he was likely looking for when his two title rivals held the top two spots all night. This further gets compounded by the fact that he only had a net gain of one spot on the night, starting in eighth. If this, however, was the worst Sexton has been all season, he has absolutely nothing to worry about.
No. 1 Cooper Webb – Red Bull KTM (8th Place)
It’s official, the panic button has been hit for the defending Champion. Whether it be his split from Aldon Baker or the new KTM model not being the monster it was expected to be, Webb has not been great in 2022 so far. Through six rounds, Webb has no wins, one podium, and an average finish of 6.2. The latter being by far his worst through six rounds since joining KTM in 2019. Whatever the cause may be, Webb may already be out of the title hunt this year.
No. 94 Ken Roczen – Honda HRC (11th Place)
If Webb’s panic button has been hit, Roczen may as well be in the same boat. At this point last season, the German had over a double-digit points lead, an average finish of second, and three wins. While he did win Anaheim 1, the other five rounds have been a nightmare for Roczen. He currently is a whopping 42 points back of Tomac and is averaging a finish of 8.2 at the six-round mark. San Diego wasn’t on him, as for those other four rounds, it just hasn’t been there for Roczen this year outside of Anaheim 1.
450 Class Anaheim 3 Top 10
1st No. 21 Jason Anderson
2nd No. 3 Eli Tomac
3rd No. 51 Justin Barcia
4th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart
5th No. 25 Marvin Musquin
6th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis
7th No. 23 Chase Sexton
8th No. 1 Cooper Webb
9th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger
10th No, 10 Justin Brayton
Week 6 PulpMX Fantasy Supercross Lineup
With the 250 East series kicking off next week, expect a full class preview at some point this week. As for the MXGP and MX2 classes as well, with the series kicking off next Sunday in Great Britain. As for the 250 West guys, the next time you will see them is in Seattle in just over a month.
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image via KTM