AMA Monster Energy Supercross Kicks of Season in Anaheim

Supercross season opener sees Big Names hit the dirt hard

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Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA — January 8, 2022

The 2022 Monster Energy Supercross season began Saturday from Angel Stadium of Anaheim in California. It was telecast live at 10 p.m. ET on CNBC and Peacock.

The race kicks off six consecutive weeks of Supercross races taking place on the West Coast, including the first four in California. Supercross also returns to the state of California for the season-opening race where the series has begun the season 24 of the past 25 years after beginning last season in Texas.

Reigning Supercross champion Cooper Webb looks to defend his title against Ken Roczen, 2020 Supercross champion Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia, and 2018 Supercross champion Jason Anderson in the star-studded 450SX Class. Barcia has won the past three 450SX Class season-opening races.

The 250SX West Class features defending 250SX East champion Colt Nichols, Hunter Lawrence, and Jo Shimoda.

250 SX

The action started early in the first 250SX heat when 2021 250 East Champion Colt Nichols(45) crashed 4 laps in. Nichols was unable to recover in time for the 250 SX Last Chance Qualifier(LCA). Michael Mosiman(29) won the heat followed by Seth Hamaker(47) and Vince Friese(62).

Heat #2 also saw another top rider have difficulty. Jalek Swoll brought out the red flag as he crashed hard just after the start. Christian Craig(28), Jo Shimoda(30), and Garrett Marchbanks(35) were the top 3 finishers, Swoll was unable to make it to the gate for the restart.

In the 250SX Main Event, Craig dominated working his way to the front quickly and then building the interval between himself and 2nd place.

Christian Craig takes the checkered flag at Anaheim in the Spercross 250SX season opener. / Photo Credit Feld Entertainment Inc.

Mosiman and Shimoda both hit the gate at the start and dropped far back in the pack. After getting tangled with backmarkers Mosiman dropped to last place, over 16 seconds behind the leaders.

Hamaker, Lawrence, and Marchbanks fought it out for the final two podium spots with Garrett ending up the odd man out. Friese finished 5th, Mosiman and Shimoda battled back to finish 6th and 7th respectively.

250 SX Main Event Results

Position Number Rider Hometown Bike Interval
 1 28 Christian Craig Temecula, CA Yamaha YZ250F 16 Laps
 2 47 Seth Hammaker Temecula, CA Kawasaki KX250 5.625
 3 96 Hunter Lawrence Wesley Chapel, FL Honda CRF250R 6.054
 4 35 Garrett Marchbanks Coalville, UT Yamaha YZ250F 8.160
 5 62 Vince Friese Menifee, CA Honda CRF250R 26.635
 6 29 Michael Mosiman Minneaola, FL GASGAS MC 250F 36.824
 7 30 Jo Shimoda Menifee, CA Kawasaki KX250 41.598
 8 69 Robbie Wageman Newhall, CA Yamaha YZ250F 44.917
 9 98 Dominique Thury Schneeberg, GER Yamaha YZ250F 52.585
 10 43 Carson Mumford Simi Valley, CA Suzuki RM-Z250 56.276
 11 66 Chris Blose Phoenix, AZ GASGAS MC 250F 59.196
 12 49 Nate Thrasher Livingston, TN Yamaha YZ250F 01:01.9
 13 64 Mitchell Harrison Leesburg, FL GASGAS MC 250F 01:04.4
 14 161 Cole Thompson Brigden, ON Yamaha YZ250F 15 Laps
 15 40 Dilan Schwartz Alpine, CA Suzuki RM-Z250 15.728
 16 58 Ryan Surratt Corona, CA Yamaha YZ250F 17.738
 17 101 Dylan Walsh Southam, GB Kawasaki KX250 22.447
 18 67 Logan Karnow Amherst, OH Kawasaki KX250 41.774
 19 79 Hunter Schlosser El Paso, TX Yamaha YZ250F 47.024
 20 432 Kaeden Amerine Great Bend, KS KTM 250 SX-F 59.962
 21 74 Derek Kelley Riverside, CA KTM 250 SX-F 14 Laps
 22 216 Devin Harriman Longview, WA KTM 250 SX-F 12.333

450 SX Storylines

Cooper Webb will be one of three returning champions in 2022. Webb certainly has the advantage, winning two of the last three championships and a career-best eight races last season. Webb changed his training program this offseason and has been working with former pro Michael Byrne, so it will be interesting to see the results of this shift.

Eli Tomac switching teams was certainly the biggest off-season storyline as it was announced in October that he was leaving Monster Energy Kawasaki and joining the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha team. Just seeing Tomac line up at the Anaheim Opener aboard something other than green will be a sight to behold. Tomac begins a new chapter in his storied career and brings the most experience to the line with 37 career wins, the most of any active rider.

Justin Brayton is the oldest active rider still competing in Supercross. Brayton now cherishes the role of elder statesman and currently holds the record for the oldest rider to win a premier class race (Daytona ’18). Brayton will turn 38 in March and would like to become the first athlete in history to win at the age of 37 or 38. Lining up in Anaheim will be Brayton’s 177th start, the most of any active racer and second only to Chad Reed on the All-Time list.

Justin Barcia likes to come out swinging and has won three consecutive opening rounds – Anaheim ’19, Anaheim ’20, and Houston ’21. Last year’s opening round win was a first for the GASGAS brand and Barcia is looking to add additional milestones to his career and the brand that just extended his contract through the 2023 season.

450 SX

Heat #1 for the 450SX riders saw familiar names at the top of the leaderboard. But, maybe not in the finishing order most fans expected. Chase Sexton(23) won the heat followed by Shane McElrath(12), Eli Tomac(3), Justin Barcia(51), and defending champion Cooper Webb(1).

In Heat #2 Ken Roczen(94) took the checkered flag ahead of Justin Brayton(10) and Malcolm Stewart(27). The two 450 SX heats were relatively calm compared to the chaos of the 250 SX riders.

In the 450 SX Main Event, Honda teammates Roczen and Sexton took off quickly and built a significant lead on the rest of the field. The two raced hard but showed the respect from teammates that you would expect.

Roczen and Sexton battle it out at Anaheim / Photo Credit Feld Entertaiment Inc.

With just over 11 minutes to go, Sexton missed a jump heading into a corner and dropped his bike. A 2nd mistake two minutes later dropped Chase to the 9th position.

A late-race battle for 2nd place saw Barcia and Jason Anderson(21) go at each other. After Anderson passed for the position, Barcia passed him back and took out the Kawasaki rider in the process. The tussle allowed Webb to close on Barcia and he took over the 2nd spot.

Roczen held on for the win with the other two podium spots going to Webb and Barcia. Marvin Musquin finished 4th, with Sexton fighting back to end up in 5th. Fan-favorite Eli Tomac had a quiet night finishing in 6th.

450 SX Main Event Results

Position Number Rider Hometown Bike Interval
 1 94 Ken Roczen Clermont, FL Honda CRF450R WE 22 Laps
 2 1 Cooper Webb Newport, NC KTM 450 SX-F FE 7.296
 3 51 Justin Barcia Greenville, FL GASGAS MC 450F 10.381
 4 25 Marvin Musquin Corona, CA KTM 450 SX-F FE 15.867
 5 23 Chase Sexton Clermont, FL Honda CRF450R WE 15.881
 6 3 Eli Tomac Cortez, CO Yamaha YZ450F 20.320
 7 27 Malcolm Stewart Murrieta, CA Husqvarna FC 450 RE 21.531
 8 17 Joey Savatgy Clermont, FL KTM 450 SX-F FE 26.982
 9 7 Aaron Plessinger Leesburg, FL KTM 450 SX-F FE 29.726
 10 21 Jason Anderson Rio Rancho, NM Kawasaki KX450SR 34.851
 11 9 Adam Cianciarulo New Smyrna Beach, FL Kawasaki KX450SR 35.510
 12 15 Dean Wilson Murrieta, CA Husqvarna FC 450 RE 38.946
 13 10 Justin Brayton Charlotte, NC Honda CRF450R 41.311
 14 34 Max Anstie Murrieta, CA KTM 450 SX-F 49.446
 15 54 Mitchell Oldenburg Aledo, TX Honda CRF450R 01:03.8
 16 14 Dylan Ferrandis Tallahassee, FL Yamaha YZ450F 21 Laps
 17 41 Brandon Hartranft Brick, NJ Suzuki RM-Z450 7.746
 18 12 Shane McElrath Oakland, FL KTM 450 SX-F FE 25.212
 19 78 Cade Clason Chesterfield, SC Honda CRF450R 30.169
 20 61 Fredrik Noren Indian Trail, NC KTM 450 SX-F 34.887
 21 95 Justin Starling Deland, FL GASGAS MC 450F 01:03.4
 22 200 Ryan Breece Athol, ID Yamaha YZ450F 19 Laps