Christian Craig wins 2022 Monster Energy Supercross 250 West Regional Championship

Christian Craig wins 2022 Monster Energy Supercross 250 West Regional Championship

by May 7, 2022 1 comment

In March of 2018, Christian Craig’s career in Supercross suffered a major roadblock. He wouldn’t know until 10 months later, but he had traces of Heptaminol in his system from a drug test. Craig was subsequently given a two-year suspension by the FIM, which was not retroactive despite WADA waiting 10 months to notify him of the failed test. Luckily, Craig successfully appealed the suspension and missed minimal time as a result.

After a switch to the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha team last season, a Supercross title was in reach. That was before an injury in Salt Lake City ended those hopes. Now, in the same building where his title hopes ended, he reaches the top of the mountain one year later. Craig, just shy of 30 years old, is a 250 Supercross Champion.

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How Craig Got it Done

Going into tonight, Craig had about as clear a road to the 250 West Championship imaginable. All he needed was to finish 14th or better, and no matter what Hunter Lawrence did, Craig had the title in the bag. He got off to a good start but added some unnecessary pressure on himself by going down right before the finish line in the opening five minutes. That put Craig into sixth place, but he didn’t take long to get by Jo Shimoda in fifth.

Then with about five minutes left, he fell back to seventh with Shimoda and Austin Forkner getting by him. He lost a few more spots, but he was playing the long game. Better yet, his teammate Nate Thrasher held off Lawrence by the skin of his teeth for the Showdown win, which gave Craig the extra breathing room if needed.

How Sweet It Is

Not many riders have gone through the wringer like Craig in this sport. Not even getting into what has already been mentioned, let’s talk about his back injury in 2009. He displaced two different vertebrae and fractured another in a practice crash in November of that year. Due to that, Craig’s first Supercross Main Event birth didn’t come until 2011 at Anaheim 1. Additionally, Craig only made three starts between 2011 and ’12. His first win didn’t come until 2016, and he had to wait for another five for his second win. After all these years, team switches, injuries, shortcomings, and everything in between, this is an all-around feel-good story.

So You Wanna Be a Rock(Super)Star?

You assumed there wouldn’t be a Cypress Hill reference here, you thought wrong quite frankly. Craig isn’t done with Star Yamaha just yet, as he will run the Motocross campaign with them on a 450. Afterward though, expect to see Craig wearing a lot more white, black, and gold, as he will be with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing. The deal is reportedly for two years and will see him and Malcolm Stewart become one of the more fun tandems in the sport. Additionally, whether or not Craig goes on the Baker Program will be an interesting storyline to follow.

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Main Image via Yamaha

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