2022 Monster Energy Supercross: Salt Lake City Recap

2022 Monster Energy Supercross: Salt Lake City Recap

by May 8, 2022 0 comments

18 weeks have flown by and this year’s Monster Energy Supercross season is now over. Last night Salt Lake City closed things out for the third consecutive year, and only the first time they have had just one round. Eli Tomac and Jett Lawrence (out with an ankle injury) had already clinched their titles in the previous two weekends, making the 250 West Championship the lone title up for grabs. Christian Craig entered the weekend up 18 points over Hunter Lawrence and needed to finish 14th or better to wrap up his first title. Before we get into the action, there are a ton of pre-gate drop notes to get to.

Be sure to catch up on all of our Supercross coverage.

Early Vacation

It was noted earlier this week on the PulpMX show by the new 450 Supercross Champion Tomac, that he was not lining up for the finale. This is due to the knee injury he suffered at Atlanta Supercross, which we now know is a torn MCL. The good news for ET3 and Star Yamaha is that this will not cost him any time heading into the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season. However, with nothing on the line to race for, Tomac gets an extra week off to get right. He was in Salt Lake City however and inked a new deal with Star, which is Supercross only by the way it sounds.

2022 Silly Season .5

As it relates to team/rider news for the rest of this year, there is a lot to talk about as Supercross ends. Firstly, do not expect to see Cooper Webb on the gate for outdoors. After what is statistically one of the worst premier class title defenses ever, he’ll take the summer off to get right. Additionally, as of now, expect him back at KTM, but that could always change. Meanwhile, his Red Bull KTM teammate Aaron Plessinger is a full go for Motocross. As is Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen, as well as defending Motocross Champion Dylan Ferrandis of Star Yamaha.

Another rider who you won’t see until 2023 is Adam Cianciarulo. Although somewhat old news, he will take the time to get 100-percent healthy after he came into Supercross with an injury. Monster Energy Kawasaki does have a replacement set, an old friend of the program Joey Savatgy, who was with the team in 2019. Max Anstie was also rumored for that spot, but Kawi ultimately went with the familiar commodity. As it relates to 2023 news, the first roundup should be a couple of weeks out. A lot to talk about on that front as well.

PulpMX Privateer Challenge

The real action this weekend went down on Friday afternoon. That is when Steve Matthes’ Privateer Challenge went down, with 22 privateer riders battling it out in a race with a purse of just over 112 thousand dollars. Every rider in was guaranteed a minimum of just over 1100 dollars but the winner received 22.5 thousand dollars. This doesn’t even get into the countless props that awarded money. Some personal favorites were 500 for best dressed, 250 for losing the most positions, 300 to be the first DNF, and 300 to finish right behind Alex Ray. These props should be put into full-time rotation by FELD/AMA at once.

To be eligible for the race, you basically needed to not make Main Events. This excludes the four wild card entries that got in. Those being Kyle Chisholm, John Short, ARay, Marshal Weltin, the ‘Wageman’ Robbie Wageman, and the newly crowned People’s Champion Logan Karnow. Also, on the off chance you see this, hope you maxed out Matthes’ credit card at dinner last week Cade Clason. Wageman ended up hurting his knee in the middle of the race itself, so we’re wishing for the best for him and that Team Solitare program.

Starting this race was TLD/Red Bull GasGas team manager Wil Hahn with the 30-second board duties. Kevin Moranz pulled off the holeshot after ARay sent it in hard into turn one. However, even after starting second-row Arenacross style, Chiz got up to the front and to the win before long. The top five after Chiz went down as Moranz, Ryan Breece, Weltin, and then Karnow. Big props to Matthes, who continues to be big for these privateers year after year. In addition to Dave Prater and FELD for letting this happen when they didn’t have to.

One More for the Road

Saturday was also the final round in the AMA Supercross careers of two veteran riders. Starting off with Chris Blose, who this year was with the AJE GasGas program in the 250 class. His career highlight did not happen in America, but rather in Australia, where he won their national SX2 Championship in 2019. Stateside, Zombie Blose’s best season came a decade prior, finishing fifth in the 250 West Championship.

Oddly enough, the rider who finished nine points ahead of Blose that year also had his swan song performance this weekend, Justin Brayton. One of the sport’s most well-respected veterans ever is officially done full time after a 20-year career. Easily the biggest notch in his cap, outside of being the king of Australian Supercross, came in the year 2018. That was when he won Daytona Supercross at 33 years old. Dating back to 2016, he is the only rider to straight-up beat Tomac in the infield of one of motorsports’ biggest venues. Congratulations on the retirement, and by retirement, we mean getting one last bag in World Supercross, then retiring.

Heat Racing Recap

250 Class

Once again with the showdown format, the coasts get split up in the heat races, putting the West class up first. Not much of a surprise, but Craig pulled out to a big lead early and cruised to a win. The bigger story here was the run of Lawernce, who did not get a great start at all, then fell just a big after halfway. Michael Mosiman also had a pair of dates with the ground, the second of which sent him to the LCQ.

Mitchell Oldenburg took the holeshot in the East Heat Race but had to slam the door shut on Austin Forkner to secure an early lead. TLD/GasGas’ problems weren’t over either, as Pierce Brown went down early here and was hanging around 15th near the midway point. R.J. Hampshire also went down as well aboard his Rockstar Husqvarna with just around a minute to go. Just as that happened, Forkner got by Oldenburg in the whoops, mainly due to the MCR Honda rider jumping them.

450 Class

Webb led Marvin Musquin and Malcolm Stewart into turn one, with the big man Benny Bloss right behind in fourth. Musquin spent multiple laps working out a set of sections to get by Webb as things came to a close. After he got close a second time, the two teammates swapped their preferred lines on the singe-double/double-single and Musquin was able to get him for the win. Webb however just held off Mookie to secure second.

In Heat 2, Jason Anderson led Justin Barcia and Chase Sexton to turn one, with Justin Startling just behind in fourth. That top group completely left the field in short order, with the gap from Sexton to Startling reaching 10 seconds with a minute remaining. That would of course be the podium in this one, as Anderson continues to be light outs down the home stretch.

2022 Davey Coombs Sr. East/West Showdown Roundup

Be sure to check out our thoughts on Christian Craig’s 250 West Supercross Championship win.

No. 49 Nate Thrasher – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (1st Place)

Congratulations to anyone who had Thrasher dominating the season finale on the bingo card headed into Saturday. We had not seen this kind of run all season long, but better late than never. Once he got by his teammate Craig, he then bully-balled Lawrence out of the lead and proceeded to check out. Granted, some late struggles in the whoops almost cost Thrasher this one, but he held on just enough to get career win No. 3. Great way to end the season for the rider who is likely to become the de facto captain of the Star 250 program in 2023.

No. 96 Hunter Lawrence – Honda HRC (2nd Place)

If nothing else, Lawrence proved he is a bonified title-contending rider in Supercross this year. If not for Anaheim 2, he would be the Champion today instead of Craig. Additionally, had this Showdown gone an extra lap, Lawrence probably wins last night as well. His four wins tie him with Craig, along with his brother Jett, for the most in the 250 class this season.

No. 44 Pierce Brown – Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing (3rd Place)

Not a bad way to end things for one of the hometown boys last night. Brown had to make his way into the Main Event from the LCQ, which he won. Then the pride of Sandy, Utah went on to pick up his second straight podium and third total in 2022. Furthermore, Brown wrapped up third place in the 250 East Championship, easily his career-best.

No. 29 Michael Mosiman – Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing (7th Place)

Keeping up with the TLD GasGas team, Mosiman had a similar evening to Brown but made up a slew of spots in the Main Event. To be precise, he went from 12th at the start, then made it up to seventh to end his season. Just like Brown as well, Mosiman finished third in his Championship, just on the opposite coast as his teammate.

No. 66 Chris Blose – AJE Motorsport Motul GasGas (9th Place)

Zombie Blose closes out his career with back-to-back Main Event appearances and back-to-back top 10s. He actually was starting just inside the top five here but slid as the race progressed. Despite that, that is not a bad way to close out a career at all. Best of luck in what comes next, Chris.

2022 Davey Coombs Sr. East/West Showdown Top 10

1st No. 49 Nate Thrasher

2nd No. 96 Hunter Lawrence

3rd No. 44 Pierce Brown

4th No. 24 R.J. Hampshire

5th No. 30 Jo Shimoda

6th No. 33 Austin Forkner

7th No. 29 Michael Mosiman

8th No. 1W Christian Craig

9th No. 66 Chris Blose

10th No. 31 Jalek Swoll

450 Class Roundup

No. 21 Jason Anderson – Monster Energy Kawasaki (1st Place)

Not often does a guy getting his seventh win of the season and fourth straight feel like an afterthought. Based on how Saturday went, that was not completely unwarranted. Regardless, Anderson caps off what was undoubtedly the best Supercross season of his career despite coming up short in the Championship hunt. Seven wins usually gets you championships 8.5 times out of 10, but this just was not meant to be. Have to wonder where Anderson would be had Detroit not gone how it did.

No. 51 Justin Barcia – Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing (3rd Place)

First things first, congratulations to Barcia’s former teammate Ferrandis, who may not be the most loathed 450 rider after last night. BamBam capped off his season with one more podium but did so to a chorus of bloodthirsty boos deep in the heart of Mormon country. That was due to a T-bone pass he made on Mookie earlier on in the Main Event. Once Mookie got by, Barcia went straight for the jugular just a few corners later.

By all accounts, it was a dirty pass, especially considering Barcia has been on probation for months. On the flip side, it wasn’t like he didn’t own up to how he rides in his podium interview either. Now we wait to see if the AMA does anything on the discipline front.

No. 27 Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing (4th Place)

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 1000 times; The kids, love, Mookie. As he was making his charge back up through the field to attempt to get back to Barcia, you would think Stewart was prime Stone Cold Steve Austin. The atmosphere and clear in-race story made for some compelling television, but Stewart couldn’t get back to BamBam despite his best efforts.

There is some good news for Mookie, he officially finished top three in points in 2022. A massive accomplishment, as he becomes the first African American to do so in the 450 Class since his brother James Stewart (who was so good btw) won the title in 2009. Now, can Mookie take this momentum into his first outdoor campaign in nearly a decade?

No. 25 Marvin Musquin – Red Bull KTM (5th Place)

Here is a very telling statistic for you. Musquin’s fifth-place finish in the points marks the worst points finish of his career, only taking his fully healthy seasons into account. Furthermore, he only missed out on his fourth top-three points finish in 450 Supercross by 10 points. Not for the lack of effort on Musquin’s end either, as he capped off a monster second-half run this season. From Daytona to Salt Lake City, he had just two non-top five finishes, five podiums, and a win. If Red Bull KTM lets him walk, every team manager stateside should be blowing up his phone.

No. 10 Justin Brayton – Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda (7th Place)

Last but certainly not least, we have arrived to the fighting pride of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Not a season-best run for Brayton, but there is no shame in closing out a great career with a seventh. It is going to feel very weird with Brayton not out there next season since he’s been just a super consistent presence over the last decade-plus. Keep Jason Weigandt in your thoughts as well, by the way, this is a soul-crushing retirement for him.

450 Class Top 10

1st No. 21 Jason Anderson

2nd No. 23 Chase Sexton

3rd No. 51 Justin Barcia

4th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart

5th No. 25 Marvin Musquin

6th No. 2 Cooper Webb

7th No. 10 Justin Brayton

8th No. 41 Brandon Hartranft

9th No. 95 Justin Starling (!!!)

10th No. 200 Ryan Breece

And that is officially it on the 2022 Supercross season. Those 18 weeks fly by uncannily fast, too fast you could also say. The good news is that Pro Motocross is just weeks away, and this 450 class may be the most stacked Motocross field in decades on either side of the globe. To close things out, here is a look at the PulpMX Fantasy team that brought me home to a brutal end of the season. However, we put the entire Moto media in our back pocket save Jason Thomas (Travis Marx is a thief of joy).

Week 17 PulpMX Fantasy Supercross Lineup

250 Class: Mitchell Oldenburg (All-Star, +7), Jo Shimoda (-2), Austin Forkner (-3), Enzo Lopes (+5)

450 Class: Chase Sexton (All-Star +2), Justin Brayton (-1), Justin Starling (+6), Alex Ray (Pain) 


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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