Christian Craig Finally Locks Up the 250SX West Supercross Championship

0
569
Rice–Eccles Stadium, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT — May 7, 2022

It is the final event of the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season from Rice–Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Most of the drama has already played out with two champions having already been crowned.

Eli Tomac won the 450SX Class title and became the oldest champion (age 29) in the sport’s history last week in Denver. Tomac is not expected to race this weekend. He tweaked his knee in Atlanta and has been riding through the pain to close out his championship run.

In a podcast with Pulp MX, Tomac commented on the injury. “So, I have a damaged MCL. Nothing else is damaged or torn on the MRI, but my MCL is torn. I guess it’s the only thing in your knee that can heal itself so now I’ve got to take the time and heal it and hopefully, not tweak it again. But for now, it is getting better every day. Actually, the hardest thing to do is squeeze a bike, because that’s the inside of your knee so that’s the point of contact and that’s the part that gets a little irritated.”

“You know, I’m okay like in practice, then like I’m decent for a few laps but where it has been getting me is basically at the halfway mark in the main, and that’s exactly where I have been getting spit out the back. I mean you saw that in Boston and in Denver where I’m just kind of riding around. And it’s kind of affected the way I weight the bike too in the turns. So I’m hoping I can gain that strength back and that’s all I can do at this point. And looking to the future, I think I will be okay for outdoors to go ahead with it.”

Tomac is expected to be back in riding shape for the summer season.

250SX East and West Championships

Jett Lawrence got his first Supercross Championship wrapping up the 250SX East title two weeks ago in Gillette Stadium at Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Lawrence suffered a sprained ankle after a fall during qualifying earlier in the day and will not be competing in the Showdown beside his brother Hunter Lawrence.

The final championship of the season will be decided in the 250SX East/West Showdown with Christian Craig and Hunter Lawrence vying for the Western Regional 250SX Class championship. Craig currently sits atop the standings with an 18-point advantage and will win his first career Supercross title with a 14th-place finish or better.

250SX West Heat

Christian Craig(28) took care of business grabbing the early lead and driving away for the heat win. Nate Thrasher(49) and Chris Blose(66) finished second and third. Hunter Lawrence got off to a slow start and was battling his way into the top five when he lost control, dropped his bike, and gave up two positions. He still qualified for the main event finishing seventh.

Michael Mosiman(29) was not so lucky, he fell twice and did not make the top nine to automatically move into the East/West Showdown. Mosiman will have to work his way through the Last Chance Qualifier(LCQ) to make it into the feature.

250SX East Heat

Without Jett Lawrence, it was anybody’s race in the 250SX East Heat. Mitchell Oldenburg(54) led early, but Austin Forkner(33) rode his way to the front and pulled away for the win. RJ Hampshire almost suffered the same fate as Mosiman when he laid his bike down late in the moto. Fortunately, he recovered and finished eighth.

Pierce Brown(44), another top rider who generally qualifies easily, was forced into the LCQ and must faceoff with the guys desperate to make the main event.

250SX East/West Showdown

Brown and Mosiman ran one-two in the LCQ to qualify for the main event. But all eyes were on Christian Craig and Hunter Lawrence as the gate dropped on the 250SX East/West Showdown. The two riders raced side-by-side for the holeshot. Craig, not wanting to force the issue, rode smart and allowed Lawrence to grab the top spot.

However, it was Nate Thrasher that proved to have the fastest ride as he blew past Lawrence into the lead. Craig sat safely in third until he came out of the whoops and his bike slid out from underneath him on a sharp corner. Recovering quickly, Craig dropped to the seventh position, still safely in a championship position.

As the timed portion of the event wound down, Lawrence closed to challenge Thrasher for the top spot. Craig dropped to eighth place, but with just 14 riders on the lead lap, his title seemed assured if he could just stay out of trouble over the final laps.

Thrasher held off the charge from Lawrence and Christian Craig is finally an AMA Supercross Champion at the age of 30.

250SX East/West Showdown Results

POS. # RIDER HOMETOWN BIKE
 1 49 Nate Thrasher Livingston, TN Yamaha YZ250F
 2 96 Hunter Lawrence Wesley Chapel, FL Honda CRF250R
 3 44 Pierce Brown Sandy, UT GASGAS MC 250F
 4 24 RJ Hampshire Minneola, FL Husqvarna FC 250
 5 30 Jo Shimoda Menifee, CA Kawasaki KX250
 6 33 Austin Forkner Richards, MO Kawasaki KX250
 7 29 Michael Mosiman Minneaola, FL GASGAS MC 250F
 8 28 Christian Craig Temecula, CA Yamaha YZ250F
 9 66 Chris Blose Phoenix, AZ GASGAS MC 250F
 10 31 Jalek Swoll Clermont, FL Husqvarna FC 250
 11 90 Jordon Smith Ochlocknee, GA Honda CRF250R
 12 81 Jace Owen Mattoon, IL Yamaha YZ250F
 13 54 Mitchell Oldenburg Aledo, TX Honda CRF250R
 14 331 Derek Drake Lake Elsinore, CA Suzuki RM-Z250
 15 910 Carson Brown Ravensdale, WA KTM 250 SX-F
 16 140 Cullin Park Clermont, FL Honda CRF250R
 17 62 Vince Friese Menifee, CA Honda CRF250R
 18 98 Dominique Thury Schneeberg, GER Yamaha YZ250F
 19 64 Mitchell Harrison Leesburg, FL GASGAS MC 250F
 20 39 Jarrett Frye Mechanicsville, MD Honda CRF250R
 21 285 Marshal Weltin Ubly, MI Yamaha YZ250F
 22 80 Enzo Lopes Indian Trail, NC Yamaha YZ250F

250SX West Final Points Standings

POS. # RIDER TOTAL POINTS
 1 28 Christian Craig 230
 2 96 Hunter Lawrence 220
 3 29 Michael Mosiman 197
 4 30 Jo Shimoda 162
 5 49 Nate Thrasher 152
 6 62 Vince Friese 150
 7 66 Chris Blose 120
 8 35 Garrett Marchbanks 117
 9 69 Robbie Wageman 109
 10 31 Jalek Swoll 106
 11 910 Carson Brown 92
 12 43 Carson Mumford 80
 13 74 Derek Kelley 78
 14 98 Dominique Thury 65
 15 161 Cole Thompson 50
 16 64 Mitchell Harrison 50
 17 58 Ryan Surratt 48
 18 47 Seth Hammaker 44
 19 101 Dylan Walsh 41
 20 67 Logan Karnow 40

450SX Heat One

It has not been a great year for 450SX defending champion Cooper Webb(1). Salt Lake City will be the last time he races with the #1 plate as Eli Tomac will hold that honor through the 2023 season. Webb earned the holeshot and held the lead until finally being passed by his teammate Marvin Musquin(25) with two laps to go. Then Webb had to hold off a challenge from Malcolm Stewart(27) to stay in the second position.

450SX Heat Two

The runner-up to Tomac in the big bike class, Jason Anderson(21), took the holeshot and rode away from the pack to take the Heat win. Justin Barcia(51) finished second, while Chase Sexton(23) captured the third spot.

450SX Main Event

Justin Bogle(19), Cooper Webb, and Jason Anderson ran one-two-three at the start of the 450SX Main Event. But a lap later Anderson was out front and pulling away.

Bogle faded out first, and then Webb dropped out of contention quickly. They were replaced by Chase Sexton, Justin Barcia(51), and Malcolm Stewart(27) fighting for the final two podium spots. And fight they did. Stewart caught and passed Barcia cleanly. Barcia responded by crashing directly into Stewart and knocking Stewart off his bike.

Stewart got back up on his bike, losing just two positions. With five minutes to go, he made up both of those spots but trailed Barcia by five seconds. As they moved through lappers Stewart closed to under a second behind his nemesis.

Justin Barcia(51) and Malcolm Stewart(27) battle at Salt Lake City / Photo Courtesy of Feld Entertainment Inc

Anderson and Sexton finished one-two and Barcia held off Stewart, much to the crowd’s displeasure.

450SX Main Event Results

POS. # RIDER HOMETOWN BIKE
1 21 Jason Anderson Rio Rancho, NM Kawasaki KX450SR
 2 23 Chase Sexton Clermont, FL Honda CRF450R WE
 3 51 Justin Barcia Greenville, FL GASGAS MC 450F
 4 27 Malcolm Stewart Haines City, FL Husqvarna FC 450 RE
 5 25 Marvin Musquin Corona, CA KTM 450 SX-F FE
 6 1 Cooper Webb Newport, NC KTM 450 SX-F FE
 7 10 Justin Brayton Charlotte, NC Honda CRF450R
 8 41 Brandon Hartranft Brick, NJ Suzuki RM-Z450
 9 95 Justin Starling Deland, FL GASGAS MC 450F
 10 200 Ryan Breece Athol, ID Yamaha YZ450F
 11 11 Kyle Chisholm Valrico, FL Yamaha YZ450F
 12 19 Justin Bogle Wesley Chapel, FL Suzuki RM-Z450
 13 981 Austin Politelli Murrieta, CA Honda CRF450R
 14 26 Alex Martin Clermont, FL Yamaha YZ450F
 15 57 Kevin Moranz Topeka, KS KTM 450 SX-F
 16 55 Justin Rodbell Prince Frederick, MD Kawasaki KX450
 17 837 Bryson Gardner Paso Robles, CA Honda CRF450R
 18 58 Ryan Surratt Corona, CA Yamaha YZ250F
 19 67 Logan Karnow Amherst, OH Kawasaki KX450
 20 73 Benny Bloss Oak Grove, MO KTM 450 SX-F
 21 78 Cade Clason Chesterfield, SC Honda CRF450R
 22 63 Jeremy Hand Mantua, OH Honda CRF250R

 

450SX Final Points Standings

POS. # RIDER TOTAL POINTS
1 3 Eli Tomac 359
 2 21 Jason Anderson 350
 3 27 Malcolm Stewart 314
 4 51 Justin Barcia 312
 5 25 Marvin Musquin 305
 6 23 Chase Sexton 292
 7 1 Cooper Webb 278
 8 41 Brandon Hartranft 178
 9 10 Justin Brayton 176
 10 15 Dean Wilson 152
 11 14 Dylan Ferrandis 141
 12 94 Ken Roczen 133
 13 19 Justin Bogle 114
 14 11 Kyle Chisholm 109
 15 26 Alex Martin 106
 16 95 Justin Starling 103
 17 200 Ryan Breece 103
 18 12 Shane McElrath 101
 19 7 Aaron Plessinger 97
 20 62 Vince Friese 96