In a return to the top step of the podium, Marvin Musquin was brilliant inside The Dome at America’s Center at St. Louis to take the victory at Round 13 of the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series.
The Triple Crown race format, the third of the year, played to Musquin’s consistency over the three Races of the night. Musquin earned one Race win and two second place finishes to easily win the event overall. Chase Sexton also racked up a Race win. Sexton finished in second place overall for the night. The event ended Eli Tomac’s five-race win streak but the points leader left St. Louis with a podium finish. Tomac also stretched his points lead over his nearest title rival from 54 to 56. In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class RJ Hampshire used three holeshots to capture an emotional first-ever Supercross event victory.
Chase Sexton grabbed the holeshot in Race 1 and rode a nearly flawless race to an uncontested win in the first of the three 12-minute plus one lap races the 450 riders faced. After starting up near the front, Marvin Musquin had the pace to remain unchallenged in the second place spot. The excitement came just behind as Malcolm Stewart took over third place two laps into the race, and soon after had Eli Tomac on his rear fender and pushing to get around. On the final lap Tomac made a pass, but Stewart battled immediately back, reclaimed the spot, and held on until the checkered flag.
Race 2 had a similar cadence to the first. This time it was Musquin grabbing the holeshot. He was pressured early by Jason Anderson, but after a few laps Musquin pulled out of attack range and was not challenged again for the top spot. Tomac found himself in ninth place at the start; he made quick early passes, then took until nearly the midpoint to get around Justin Barcia for fourth. Malcolm Stewart took a hard crash, wedging his bike’s handlebar into his knee brace. He remounted and put in a little more track time before finally pulling off and heading back to the pits. Musquin took the win ahead of Anderson, Sexton, and Tomac. The finishing order gave Musquin the advantage going into the final race of the night with an overall score of 3 against Sexton’s 4. Anderson and Tomac sat with 8 points and Barcia held 10.
In Race 3 Tomac was on point from the drop of the gate with Musquin right on his rear wheel and Anderson looking aggressive behind Musquin. Anderson applied the pressure for the first two and a half minutes before Musquin managed some breathing room. Behind them, Sexton was recovering from a poor start but sliced his way quickly up to third place before Race 3’s midpoint. In the closing laps, Musquin closed on Tomac but never got close enough to mount a challenge for the lead before Tomac stretched it back out to win the battle but not the war. Musquin’s victory makes him the fifth race winner of the season with four rounds still remaining.
“It’s tough to win the Triple Crowns but my starts were awesome and the riding was good, I was trying to apply the best technique as possible,” Musquin said. “This track was awesome today, super technical, and I enjoyed it so much. I knew I needed to get a good start to win and that’s what I did. I was just trying to be consistent, as always. It was a fun race!”
Tomac’s podium finish helped extend his Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship points lead to 56 over second place with only four races remaining in the season.
“It was a good day and another good night for the championship points,” Tomac said. “It was hard-fought in the first two motos because I didn’t put myself with the lead group, so I was stuck behind in both of those first two. That was a little bit frustrating, but we never gave up, and then in the third moto, I got a really good holeshot and rode much better and found good lines on the track. It was a very technical track this week. It was a little bit of a slower track and a steeper track, so it was just a different feeling.”
Eastern Regional 250SX Class
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class delivered three intense Races and when the dust settled RJ Hampshire stood tallest on the podium for his first Supercross victory.
Hampshire was perfect on starts, nabbing three holeshots. Hampshire led most of Race 1. But in the second half of the 10-minute plus one lap race he got off-line in the main rhythm section, landed on a Tuffblox, and crashed hard onto the stadium floor concrete. The Race 1 win went to a hard-charging Australian Jett Lawrence.
In Race 2 Hampshire again led for the first half, this time Jett Lawrence caught and passed him, yet Hampshire nearly took back with lead with a last-corner pass attempt that put him on the ground; he remounted for second place. In Race 3, Hampshire battled for the lead with Pierce Brown early and held on for the win. Lawrence started Race 3 in 20th place after a bad start and a crash on the opening lap.
Hampshire easily won the event overall. Lawrence finished second overall, and Mitchell Oldenburg took the final podium spot.
“This is unreal. This has haunted me for so long, I can’t even get words out,” Hampshire said. “I had good times in practice and felt a lot more comfortable on the bike. My starts tonight were unreal and you could tell we made a lot of progress because I holeshot every time I was on the track and led a lot of laps. I’m just so dang stoked for the team to finally get one of these. Big thanks to the guys that have been putting in the work behind the scenes. We put it together tonight, it was our night.”
The championship finishes off the final four races in the 17-round series in rapid-fire style with an event scheduled for the next four consecutive weekends. Round 14 takes place on April 16th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta, Ga. for the season’s first of two Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Showdown events.
450SX Class Results
1 Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
2 Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
3 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha
4 Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki
5 Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
6 Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda
7 Vince Friese, Menifee, Calif., Honda
8 Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Suzuki
9 Malcolm Stewart, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
10 Justin Bogle, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Suzuki
450SX Class Championship Standings
1 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (302)
2 Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (246)
3 Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (240)
4 Malcolm Stewart, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (235)
5 Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (232)
6 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (208)
7 Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (206)
8 Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (152)
9 Dylan Ferrandis, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (141)
10 Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (133)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
1 RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna
2 Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
3 Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda
4 Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha
5 Phillip Nicoletti, Bethel, N.Y., Yamaha
6 Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
7 Jace Owen, Mattoon, Ill., Yamaha
8 Joshua Varize, Perris, Calif., Husqvarna
9 John Short, Pilot Point, Tex., Honda
10 Ramyller Alves, Coconut Creek, Fla., KTM
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1 Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (148)
2 Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (114)
3 RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna (107)
4 Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda (95)
5 Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (94)
6 Enzo Lopes, Indian Trail, N.C., Yamaha (92)
7 Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (89)
8 Phillip Nicoletti, Bethel, N.Y., Yamaha (76)
9 Jace Owen, Mattoon, Ill., Yamaha (71)
10 Stilez Robertson, Bakersfield, Calif., Husqvarna (67)