Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA — January 29, 2022
Round 3 brought the early season of Monster Energy AMA Supercross clearly into focus. In the 250SX class, Christian Craig lost his first race of the year and allowed Hunter Lawrence and Michael Mosiman to cut into his season-long points lead.
Chase Sexton earned his first 450SX main event win, 688 recorded riders have qualified for a 450SX Class Main Event with countless others having made attempts. Only 65 have ridden their way to the podium’s top step including the latest victor Sexton. Sitting only one point away from the red plate, Sexton is currently Honda’s best chance at securing their first 450SX Class title in 19 years.
450SX Top 10
Eli Tomac battled through the field to nab his 74th career podium and took the points lead away from Justin Barcia. Unfortunately for Tomac, he is leading the closest points battle through three races in the history of Supercross with only 14 points separating himself and 10th-place Dylan Ferrandis.
Before 2019, the closest the top-10 were through three rounds was in 1997 when Doug Henry led 10th-place Mike Craig by 27 points. From 2019 to 2022 every season has been under that previous record (19 in 2019, 24 in 2020, 20 in 2021, and 14 in 2022) proving the racing has never been more competitive in Supercross history than in the last four seasons.
Malcolm Stewart is the least accomplished rider of the Top 10 with no 450 titles, wins, or top-5 point-standing finishes. He has one podium in his 71 career 450SX Class starts and didn’t score a top-five finish through his first 46 starts. He sits seven points off the red plate and combines with Tomac as the only two riders with top-five finishes in each of the last two rounds.
Aaron Plessinger was not viewed as a title contender pre-season with his one podium through 44 starts but has emerged on his new KTM with a career-best second-place finish and two other top-10 finishes placing him only five points away from the red plate.
After having his first 19 450SX Class starts scrutinized and analyzed, Dylan Ferrandis proved his Supercross naysayers wrong with a gutsy come-from-behind podium finish, just the second of his career and first since Round 2 of last season. As mentioned above, his surprising ride places him right in the thick of the points chase behind new teammate Eli Tomac.
Vince Friese(62) took the early lead in Heat #1 of the 250SX class. The track layout, this time at Anaheim, has a short sprint from the starting gate into a sharp left-hand turn. Last week’s main event winner, Michael Mosiman(29) got squeezed into that corner and lost a bit of momentum at the start.
Mosiman recovered quickly and was challenging Friese for the lead. Vince held him off until hitting a tuff block and going down as the clock was winding down to the final lap. Mosiman took over the lead and held it to the finish, Friese recovered to finish 2nd, Jalek Swoll(31) took the 3rd spot.
Yamaha rider Nate Thrasher(49) grabbed the top spot out of the first turn in Heat #2, with Hunter Lawrence(96), and Thrasher’s teammate, Christian Craig (28) hot on his trail. Craig quickly dispatched Lawrence and respectfully battled past his teammate for the lead. The trio easily moved away from the rest of the field to finish 1-2-3. Craig kept his Heat race winning streak alive through the first four events of the year.
Craig had a scary moment earlier in the weekend with a wicked-looking crash during press day. Fortunately, the accident was not as serious as it looked, the safety net doing its job to protect the rider.
250SX Main Event
The start of the 250SX Main Event was a replay of Heat #1 as Vince Friese led Michael Mosiman out of the first turn. However, Mosiman passed quickly this time in an effort to separate himself from Christian Craig who dropped to 4th after being passed by Joe Shimoda(30) on Lap 1.
By the halfway point of the race, Craig had moved to 2nd position and was tracking down Mosiman who led by less than one second. Friese held 3rd, but after a slow start, Hunter Lawrence was closing the gap back in 4th.
With just under five minutes to go, Craig made the pass for the lead. Mosiman had a couple of shots at the points leader but could not recapture the top spot. Craig pulled away for his 3rd win of the season.
The battle for 3rd heated up as the race entered the final two laps. Friese became unseated through the whoops and went down allowing Lawrence to take the position. Unfortunately, as Friese attempted to get up and retrieve his bike he stumbled directly in front of Shimoda whose front tire hit the side of Friese’s helmet. The ugly collision sent Vince crawling off the track seeking a safe spot outside of the tuff blocks.
The post-race report on Vince Friese was good news. Despite biting his tongue to the point of needing stitches, he escaped serious injury.
250SX Main Event Results
|1||28||Christian Craig||Temecula, CA||Yamaha YZ250F||26|
|2||29||Michael Mosiman||Minneaola, FL||GASGAS MC 250F||23|
|3||96||Hunter Lawrence||Wesley Chapel, FL||Honda CRF250R||21|
|4||49||Nate Thrasher||Livingston, TN||Yamaha YZ250F||19|
|5||31||Jalek Swoll||Clermont, FL||Husqvarna FC 250||18|
|6||910||Carson Brown||Ravensdale, WA||KTM 250 SX-F||17|
|7||30||Jo Shimoda||Menifee, CA||Kawasaki KX250||16|
|8||43||Carson Mumford||Simi Valley, CA||Suzuki RM-Z250||15|
|9||69||Robbie Wageman||Newhall, CA||Yamaha YZ250F||14|
|10||74||Derek Kelley||Riverside, CA||KTM 250 SX-F||13|
|11||101||Dylan Walsh||Southam, GB||Kawasaki KX250||12|
|12||161||Cole Thompson||Brigden, ON||Yamaha YZ250F||11|
|13||64||Mitchell Harrison||Leesburg, FL||GASGAS MC 250F||10|
|14||67||Logan Karnow||Amherst, OH||Kawasaki KX250||9|
|15||98||Dominique Thury||Schneeberg, GER||Yamaha YZ250F||8|
|16||79||Hunter Schlosser||El Paso, TX||Yamaha YZ250F||7|
|17||55||Justin Rodbell||Prince Frederick, MD||Kawasaki KX250||6|
|18||503||Mcclellan Hile||Atascadero, CA||Honda CRF250R||5|
|19||62||Vince Friese||Menifee, CA||Honda CRF250R||4|
|20||432||Kaeden Amerine||Great Bend, KS||KTM 250 SX-F||3|
|21||141||Richard Taylor||Woodland Hills, CA||Yamaha YZ250F||2|
|22||66||Chris Blose||Phoenix, AZ||GASGAS MC 250F||1|
250SX West Point Standings
Aaron Plessinger(7), Eli Tomac(3), and Dylan Ferrandis(14) were in a dead heat out of the first turn of Heat #1 in the 450SX class. Ferrandis could not keep up with the other two who staged a great battle for the Heat win. Tomac stalked Plessinger all race long until he made the pass for the win in the last minute of the moto.
Chase Sexton(23), Shane McElrath(12), Ken Roczen(94), and Jason Anderson(21) cruised through the first turn in Heat #2 and set themselves up for a shot at the checkered flag. Sexton dashed their hopes as he continued his dominance from last week’s main event win into this week’s action. Roczen moved into second as McElrath faded and Anderson made a mistake veering off track to avoid a tuff block allowing Justin Barcia(51) to take the 3rd spot.
450SX Main Event
Ken Roczen, who won the series opener here at Anaheim, got a great start and surged to the lead. The surprise was Malcolm Stewart(27) in 2nd with points leader Jason Anderson 4th, Eli Tomac in 5th, Chase Sexton in 7th, and defending champion Cooper Webb in 9th.
Anderson was the man on the move early as he passed Stewart for 2nd and set his sights on Roczen. At the 15 minute mark, the two exited the sand section side by side and collided with Roczen going down.
Tomac then moved into position to challenge for the lead and took the top spot when Anderson overjumped a triple heading into a corner forcing his bike high and almost off the track.
Tomac easily moved away to a three-second lead, Anderson recovered to hold onto 2nd and last week’s winner Chase Sexton securely positioned himself into 3rd. Each held their positions to the checkered flag with Tomac taking his first win of 2022 and increasing his points lead.
Roczen could only manage a 13th place finish after his incident with Anderson and dropped from 7th to 9th in the series standings.
Aaron Plessinger, off to a great start in 2022, went down early and walked off the track holding his arm. He was credited with a last-place finish and hopefully did not suffer a serious injury.
450SX Main Event Results
|1||3||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO||Yamaha YZ450F||26|
|2||21||Jason Anderson||Rio Rancho, NM||Kawasaki KX450SR||23|
|3||23||Chase Sexton||Clermont, FL||Honda CRF450R WE||21|
|4||14||Dylan Ferrandis||Tallahassee, FL||Yamaha YZ450F||19|
|5||27||Malcolm Stewart||Murrieta, CA||Husqvarna FC 450 RE||18|
|6||25||Marvin Musquin||Corona, CA||KTM 450 SX-F FE||17|
|7||51||Justin Barcia||Greenville, FL||GASGAS MC 450F||16|
|8||1||Cooper Webb||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F FE||15|
|9||15||Dean Wilson||Murrieta, CA||Husqvarna FC 450 RE||14|
|10||12||Shane McElrath||Oakland, FL||KTM 450 SX-F FE||13|
|11||34||Max Anstie||Wesley Chapel, FL||KTM 450 SX-F||12|
|12||41||Brandon Hartranft||Brick, NJ||Suzuki RM-Z450||11|
|13||94||Ken Roczen||Clermont, FL||Honda CRF450R WE||10|
|14||19||Justin Bogle||Wesley Chapel, FL||Suzuki RM-Z450||9|
|15||54||Mitchell Oldenburg||Aledo, TX||Honda CRF450R||8|
|16||11||Kyle Chisholm||Valrico, FL||Yamaha YZ450F||7|
|17||26||Alex Martin||Clermont, FL||Yamaha YZ450F||6|
|18||751||Josh Hill||Huntersville, NC||KTM 450 SX-F||5|
|19||200||Ryan Breece||Athol, ID||Yamaha YZ450F||4|
|20||61||Fredrik Noren||Indian Trail, NC||KTM 450 SX-F||3|
|21||10||Justin Brayton||Charlotte, NC||Honda CRF450R||2|
|22||7||Aaron Plessinger||Hamilton, OH||KTM 450 SX-F FE||1|
450SX Points Standings