Supercross

Jason Anderson Makes It Four In A Row While Christian Craig Wraps Title

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Jason Anderson was nearly untouchable on the Utah track. Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc.  

Jason Anderson grabbed the final race win of the year at the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross World Championship at Rice-Eccles Stadium, while Christian Craig took the final title on offer for the season.

The event wrapped up the 17-round series of Monster Energy AMA Supercross racing. Chase Sexton rode a steady ride for second and Justin Barcia took third in a dramatic race that had the fans on their feet. In 250SX Class racing, Nate Thrasher took his first victory of the year, besting the top riders from both regions in the season wrap-up Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Showdown. His Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Christian Craig wrapped up the Western Regional 250SX Class title with an eighth place finish.

When the gate dropped for the final race of the 2022 season, Justin Bogle grabbed the holeshot ahead of 2021 Champion Cooper Webb, Anderson, and Sexton. Anderson charged early, getting past Webb before the first lap was complete then taking over the lead less than two minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap Main Event. Sexton was quickly into second and the two front runners steadily distanced themselves from the pack. But there was plenty of action behind them.

Third place overall for the season was on the line with only eight points separating Malcolm Stewart, Barcia, and Marvin Musquin. Less than four minutes into the race, Barcia moved into third place with Webb in fourth, Stewart in fifth, and Musquin in sixth. Stewart was the rider on the move, battling past Webb then getting around Barcia just before the race’s halfway point. Just a few corners later the stadium erupted when Barcia dove across the inside of a 180-degree bowl turn and made hard contact on Stewart. Stewart popped off his bike as if it had vanished beneath him. The Husqvarna rider was quickly back up and charging to regain positions.

The crowd saw the potential for an incredible battle. As Stewart made his way forward the entire stadium was screaming. Stewart was up to Barcia’s rear fender as the clock ticked past zero. On the final lap, a lapped rider briefly held up Stewart and the last lap clash never took place.

At the checkered flag, Anderson grabbed his fourth win in a row, earning his seventh victory in 2022. Sexton was close but not within striking distance of a win and capped the season with a second place finish. Barcia grabbed the last podium spot of the year to the sounds of a crowd that did not approve of the pass that got him there. On the podium Barcia owned the move and reminded the crowd that a season podium position was on the line in the high-pressure sport that awards handsome bonus money to top finishes. As it was, Stewart’s fourth place finish was enough to earn him that third season-overall spot, and bonus, for the year.

“This has been an amazing season for me,” Anderson said. “Taking home seven wins is the best I’ve ever done in a single season, and I have everyone at Monster Energy Kawasaki to thank for helping me reach such an accomplishment at this point in my career. Yeah, I wish I could’ve taken the title fight to the very last round but to finish second my first year with a new team is still an amazing achievement.” 

The 2022 450SX Class season concluded with Eli Tomac, who was out healing an injury at the final race, taking his second premier class title. Jason Anderson finished second on the season with seven wins, eclipsing his 4-win 2018 Championship year. And in the tightly-contested battle Stewart grabbed third overall in the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.

250 CLass

Photo of Supercross rider Nate Thrasher
Nate Thrasher saved the best for last with a win at the final round. Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc.  

The 250SX Class racing in Utah was equally intense. The class’ final race put both regional divisions on the track together in the second of two Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Showdowns in 2022.

With the title on the line, Craig pulled the holeshot but Australian Hunter Lawrence was quickly past and at the front. Lawrence needed a win and needed Craig to finish fifteenth or worse to take the title. The surprise came when Nate Thrasher began to apply pressure on Craig for second place early in the race. Thrasher took the spot and within about one lap was also past Lawrence and in the lead. The top three held steady until Craig crashed in the corner after the whoops. Craig was quickly back up and rode a conservative ride to eighth to secure the title. Thrasher took the evening with a strong win ahead of Lawrence and Utah racer Pierce Brown.

Christian Craig wrapped up the 2022 Western Regional 250SX Class Championship with eight place.

“Obviously, there was a lot of pressure throughout the day with the championship on the line and being the last round, but I feel like I handled it all pretty well,” Craig said of his title. “I just took it practice by practice and enjoyed every moment. I was treating it like any other race, but at the same time, I also knew what could happen. In the main event, I was riding a little tight, knowing where I was and where I needed to be, and finished eighth to clinch this title. This is something I’ve dreamed of and worked for my whole life. I’m just going to sit here and enjoy it.”

Nate Thrasher capped off a stellar season for the team with his first win of the year and credited finally getting his starts under control.

“I felt pretty good all day. I’ve been working on my starts quite a bit and finally came out in the top five in the heat race and got into second,” Thrasher explainded. “Christian was a little too far ahead to go and make a run for the heat win, but I matched his times, so I felt like I had the speed coming into the night. Then in the main event, I had the speed early and was way faster than anybody else. I moved through and just tried to get to the front as quickly as I could. It was tough with Christian having a championship to win and I didn’t want to get in between that, so I tried to get around him as quickly as possible. After I got around him, I then tried to chase down Hunter (Lawrence) and knew that the best thing for me to do was go and beat him, and that’s what I did.”

Aussie Hunter Lawrence finished second at the final round and second in the championship. Photo: AMA Supercross

For race and championship runner Hunter Lawrence up he credited just being on the podium each round as seeing him finish with the runner-up place.

“On the first few laps, I was jumping through the whoops, which I lost a lot of time on. I didn’t have that extra bit of energy and strength tonight, so I was watching the clock, trying to time gassing myself out. It was tough, a good race. [Nate Thrasher] was really close in a few spots, and I thought if I went a little more it may have crossed the line and put both of us on the ground. I just kept it clean, and it was a good race. Every year you see what’s kind of trending with the champions that win the class; the first thing that comes to mind is you obviously have to win, but also be on the box every round, so that was one of my big goals this year. I did that at every race I finished, bar A3 where I crashed out. That’s huge to tick that box in my book, so a lot of positives. We fell short a little bit, but I’m still not mad on the season. I proved a lot to myself and to other people. I left it all out there and tried my best every race.”

Pierce Brown. Photo: Align Media

Pierce Brown dug his way back from the Last Chance Qualifier straight onto the Main Event podium with a stellar third-place finish

“It was a good day. I had a tough heat race, I made a couple of mistakes and got together with a couple of riders but we pulled it together for the LCQ. In the Main Event, I trusted myself and committed from the outside gate and ended up top-five in the first couple of laps. I passed a few guys and ended up third on the night. I was the first east coast guy and that felt good also. All-in-all, I’m stoked on the season, we clinched third in the series, which is my best supercross season yet, and I’m really excited with how we grew all season with the team and I’m just stoked for more!”

450SX Class Results
1 Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki
2 Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
3 Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
4 Malcolm Stewart, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
5 Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
6 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM
7 Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda
8 Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Suzuki
9 Justin Starling, Deland, Fla., GASGAS
10 Ryan Breece, Athol, Idaho, Yamaha

450SX Class Championship Final Standings
1 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (359 points)
2 Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (350 points)
3 Malcolm Stewart, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (314 points)
4 Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (305 points)
5 Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (302 points)
6 Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (292 points)
7 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (278 points)
8 Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Suzuki (178 points)
9 Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (176 points)
10 Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (152 points)

Dave Coombs Sr East/West Showdown Results
1 Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha
2 Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
3 Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS
4 RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna
5 Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
6 Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki
7 Michael Mosiman, Minneaola, Fla., GASGAS
8 Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha
9 Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS
10 Jalek Swoll, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna

Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Final Standings
1 Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (230 points)
2 Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (220 points)
3 Michael Mosiman, Minneaola, Fla., GASGAS (197 points)
4 Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (162 points)
5 Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (152 points)
6 Vince Friese, Menifee, Calif., Honda (150 points)
7 Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS (120 points)
8 Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (117 points)
9 Robbie Wageman, Newhall, Calif., Yamaha (109 points)
10 Jalek Swoll, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (106 points)

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Final Standings
1 Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (192 points)
2 RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna (158 points)
3 Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (149 points)
4 Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (132 points)
5 Enzo Lopes, Indian Trail, N.C., Yamaha (117 points)
6 Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda (116 points)
7 Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (114 points)
8 Jace Owen, Mattoon, Ill., Yamaha (101 points)
9 Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (98 points)
10 Derek Drake, Lake Elsinore, Caif., Suzuki (88 points)

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