2022 Monster Energy Supercross: San Diego Recapby Jack Gaffney January 23, 2022 0 comments
Dating back to 2016, the rider who had won Round 3 of Monster Energy Supercross has gone on to win the 450 title five times. Going further back, 15 times has the Round 3 winner won the title dating back to 2003. Safe to say that San Diego was a high-stakes affair with that in mind. Jason Anderson entered Saturday coming off one of the most dominant outings of his career. Meanwhile, Chrisitan Craig kicked off the 250 West season with back-to-back wins. The pair started out strong this week as well, both qualifying first in their respective classes. Could the daytime speed carry into the night show?
Be sure to catch up on all of our Supercross coverage.
Military Appreciation Week
With San Diego back on the schedule came lots of military-themed bikes and kits. The teams did not skimp out for one of America’s best military cities either, as there was a ton of cool one-off designs. Standouts would be the Blue Angel Alpinestars kits run by Anderson, Eli Tomac, and Chase Sexton. along with the Team Solitare Yamaha bikes of Robbie Wageman and Ryan Surratt.
Heat Racing Recap
250 West Class
Carson Mumford, on a brilliant start, pulled out to a big early lead over Hunter Lawrence, Chris Blose, and Nate Thrasher. That lasted all of about two minutes, as Lawrence set up Mumford going into the corner before the triple to take the lead. Mumford continued to slide, however, didn’t fall any lower than fourth. The big mover in this opening heat was Garrett Marchbanks, who marched all the way up to P2 on his ClubMX Yamaha. Lawrence then cruised to a heat win after passing Mumford.
Vince ‘Mike Alessi‘ Friese stole a holeshot from Craig in Heat 2. After leading the opening lap, Craig stole the lead back with a dead stop block pass a lap later. From there the No. 28 let down the sails and took off on the field for the remaining few minutes. Further on behind was Jalek Swoll, who was making his return after a concussion at Anaheim 1. He was in the top five late but hit the deck on the final lap. Fortunately, he only lost two spots and still transferred to the Main Event. Once again, Craig cruised to a dominant win, and no one in the class has been able to hang as of yet.
Ken Roczen’s initial lead would be short-lived in 450 Heat 1. Both Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin made it by two corners in via a black pass by the former. The stunner was second fastest qualifier Dylan Ferrandis having a start outside of a transfer spot. Starts have been a problem for both Star Yamaha 450 riders, and that continued here. The reigning AMA Motocross Champion however sliced and diced into a top-five heat finish. Despite Musquin making things competitive at the end, the defending Champion Webb picked up his first Heat win of the year.
How about Alex Martin leading some 450 Heat Race laps in his rookie year? Even if Jason Anderson got by him and he slid after, that’s awesome to see for Troll Train. El Hombre meanwhile pulled out to a gigantic lead. Rewinding now to the start, Aaron Plessinger got into a tangle up on the start, but blitzed his way into the ninth and final transfer spot on the Red Bull KTM machine.
250 West Class Roundup
No. 29 Michael Mosiman- Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing (1st Place)
Saturday was all about being in the right place at the right time when talking about the No. 29. Mosiman was one of few big names able to dodge by the opening corner crash that took down Craig, among many others. He led the ensuing 20 laps, with only Lawrence having anything for him for the evening. Despite the aforementioned Honda rider looking much better down the stretch, Mosiman was far overdue for his first win, and wouldn’t be denied on Saturday. Probably won’t be too many nights where Craig isn’t on top of the box, so this is big for Mosiman.
No. 96 Hunter Lawrence- Honda HRC (2nd Place)
The incident, which Lawrence may have accidentally caused, basically left him and Mosiman out front to battle for the win. The Australian ended up running down Mosiman late in the whoops but ended up falling over at the end. In a shocking turn of events, Lawrence uncorked a monster second to last lap to make things interesting. Despite running three seconds faster going into the last lap, it was not enough for him to catch, or pass, Mosiman for the win. A missed opportunity, but he gained points on Craig, so that’s a plus.
No. 28 Christian Craig- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (3rd Place)
As a result of the opening corner pile-up, Craig started out last night dead last in the 250 Main. Although it shouldn’t feel like a surprise, the current points leader made up 19 spots in a little over 15 minutes. Only Mosiman and Craig put up better average lap times, and that was likely only due to them having much clearer track to play with. On a night where everything could have unraveled, Craig put on a potential championship-saving performance. More so, he keeps the red plate going back to Anaheim.
No. 43 Carson Mumford- BarX/Chapparal Suzuki (6th Place)
One of the nice surprises in this 250 West field has absolutely been the No. 43 BarX Suzuki machine. Mumford has looked rather competitive three rounds in, last night being his best run with a sixth. As of now, Mumfy sits 10th in points, and for sure could have been seeded higher if not for his rough start in Oakland. Based on his speed last night would be a good development for Mumford to start grabbing some top-five finishes for the BarX squad.
No. 31 Jalek Swoll- Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing (7th Place)
Not a bad return for Swoll all things considered. Albeit a lap down, a seventh coming off of a concussion should qualify as a quality outing for the Husqvarna rider. Swoll also took a start outside the top 10 and was able to gain five spots on the evening as well. A good building block round as he gets back up to full speed.
250 West Class San Diego Top 10
1st No. 29 Michael Mosiman
2nd No. 96 Hunter Lawrence
3rd No. 28 Christian Craig
4th No. 62 Vince Friese
5th No. 30 Jo Shimoda
6th No. 43 Carson Mumford
7th No. 31 Jalek Swoll
8th No. 49 Nate Thrasher
9th No. 161 Cole Thompson
10th No. 910 Carson Brown
450 Class Roundup
No. 23 Chase Sexton- Honda HRC (1st Place)
It was never a matter of if, just when Sexton was gonna pick up his first 450 Supercross win. This could have happened two weeks ago in Anaheim, but a wreck all but ended that bid. Sexton however would not be denied in San Diego. All it took was an impressive early pass on Musquin, and Sexton led the field from there on out. He was the only rider in the field to average a lap time under 50 seconds as well, which was good enough to keep Tomac at bay behind him. As well as Anderson before his problems.
Two rounds in, it is hard not to feel more impressed with one rider than Sexton outside of probably Anderson. The results haven’t been all the way there just yet, but you can tell Sexton is riding extremely well so far. Needless to say, this was his best run of the season so far. Now it will be interesting to see what he does from here on out. Recent trends would suggest he will be in the thick of this Championship hunt.
No. 3 Eli Tomac- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (2nd Place)
The good news for ET3 is that this was his first podium run of the season. The even better news is despite having zero wins or laps led, is now the points leader three rounds in. Also interestingly enough, his average finish of exactly fourth is the best among all 450 riders now. Can’t say Tomac is the best rider right now, but based on these last two weeks he is absolutely trending in the right direction. Would be hard to imagine it being much longer before he gets his first win for Star. Additionally, the ‘break in case of emergency’ glass was shattered to hit the ‘Tomac got a good start button’. That of course is as rare as viewing Halley’s Comet.
No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (3rd Place)
Tomac’s teammate is also happening to be trending in the right direction as of late. Ferrandis trailed only Anderson in 450 Qualifying earlier in the day, then later made up for his poor Heat Race start in the Main. Even then, the Frenchman has his work cut out for him, having to pass guys like Roczen, Webb, and Anderson in front of him. After the 16th at Anaheim 1, the sixth and third place outings these last two weeks are where we should be expected Ferrandis to end up. Perhaps even better moving forward as well.
No. 94 Ken Roczen- Honda HRC (7th Place)
As insane as it sounds, these last two weeks mark Roczen’s worst two-race Supercross stretch dating back to the two Atlanta rounds in 2015. There he finished 18th and 8th, while this year in Oakland and San Diego he picked up a 13th and 7th. But is there reason to panic for the No. 94? The short answer is absolutely not. Despite a bad stretch, Roczen sits only seven points out of the points lead, and his San Diego result was not entirely of his own doing. Contact in the corner out of the whoops with Anderson sent him out of third around the halfway mark. The speed was there when he was in a podium spot, so hard to fault Roczen for Saturday at all.
No. 21 Jason Anderson- Monster Energy Kawasaki (8th Place)
Moving on to last week’s winner, Anderson again had another podium taken away via outside factors. In San Diego, it was due to a radiator issue by the sounds of it. You could clearly see smoke coming from the gas cap area of Anderson’s bike, which led to him nursing the bike home for the final third of the evening. Well after the Main Event, Anderson did get some good news. Due to a pair of incidents involving Justin Barcia and Justin Bogle, Anderson, who finished ninth, gained one spot due to a one spot penalty to Barcia.
No. 9 Adam Cianciarulo– Monster Energy Kawasaki (DNS)
All we saw from AC during the night program was a few laps in his Heat Race. He pulled off the track and went back to the pits and, that as they say, was that. Cannot overstate how sad it is that Cianciarulo isn’t at 100 percent, and it is quite clear he isn’t right now. It may be for the best to get the shoulder situation figured out now. No point in forcing the issue, plus he could hopefully be all set for Motocross.
No. 17 Joey Savatgy- Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM WPS (DNS)
It was revealed earlier in the week that Savatgy was riding on a torn ACL. Not helping that out was an opening corner incident with Plessinger where his bike landed on top of him. Savatgy after a few more laps pulled it off and then was seen getting carted to the pits. Today, Savatgy said he will get his knee operated on and will miss time as a result. As surprising as it sounds, riders have ridden with torn ACL’s in the past. Most notably Cianciarulo did it in one of his final 250 seasons. However, far from the worst call by Savatgy to get his knee looked at.
450 Class Oakland Top 10
1st No. 23 Chase Sexton
2nd No. 3 Eli Tomac
3rd No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis
4th No. 1 Cooper Webb
5th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart
6th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger
7th No. 94 Ken Roczen
8th No. 21 Jason Anderson
9th No. 51 Justin Barcia (docked one spot for cleaning out Bogle. Bogle DQ’d for retaliation)
10th No. 25 Marvin Musquin
Week 2 PulpMX Fantasy Supercross Lineup
450 Class Lineup: Ken Roczen (All-Star +4), Dylan Ferrandis (No Handicap), Justin Brayton (+4), Alex Martin (+10)
Next week will mark the second of three trips this year to Angel Stadium in Anaheim. This will not, however, be the final trip, as this will be the first season with three Anaheim Rounds in about a half-decade. As a quick warning, this is one of two rounds this year that will exclusively be live on Peacock Premium. The reason is NBC and their associated channels airing the 24 Hours of Daytona next weekend. Two weeks after, Anaheim 3 will not air live on TV due to the opening week of the Winter Olympics, which NBC also carries. Figured we’d let you know ahead of time.
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image via Honda