Watch: Anaheim 1 Supercross Highlights
The 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series kicked off on Saturday night in Anaheim, California, as the industry returned for the Anaheim 1 Supercross. In the 250SX West Region, unfortunately several riders suffered big crashes in their heat races that ended their respective nights early, including 2021 250SX East Region Champion Colt Nichols, Jalek Swoll, and Carson Brown.
In the 250SX main event it was none other than Vince Friese grabbing the holeshot (shocking, right?) as Jo Shimoda and Nate Thrasher both got momentarily stuck in the gates. Christian Craig and Seth Hammaker settled in behind Friese, but after three laps, Craig made a pass into the lead. He went on to win his fourth career 250SX main event—his second consecutive season-opening 250SX main event win. Behind him, Hammaker and Garrett Marchbanks both got around Vince Friese to move into second and third, respectively, where they would remain for a majority of the race. Hunter Lawrence recovered from a bad start to charge up to fourth and eventually catch and pass Marchbanks for the final podium spot on the last lap. But the Australian was not satisfied yet, as he continued to catch Hammaker as they approached the finish line. In the final turn, Lawrence gave Hammaker a bump, but the Kawasaki rider held on and just barely edged out the Honda HRC rider at the finish line to claim second place. The second-place finish was Hammaker's fourth career podium finish in his tenth career start. Afterwards, Craig said winning this race was a “bucket list” item after growing up in the Angel Stadium stands as a fan. Michael Mosiman, a championship contender entering the night, went down in the first whoop section on lap one and came through the field to finish sixth. Shimoda and Thrasher later ran into more troubles of their own as Shimoda went down in a whoop section and Thrasher got together with Derek Kelley and went down. Shimoda finished seventh as Thrasher came through the finish line 12th.
Anaheim 1 (A1) - 250SX West Main EventJanuary 8, 2022
|1||Christian Craig||16 Laps||0:59.465||Temecula, CA||Yamaha YZ250F|
|+05.625||0:59.566||Bainbridge, PA||Kawasaki KX250|
|3||Hunter Lawrence||+06.054||0:59.908||Landsborough, Australia||Honda CRF250R|
|4||Garrett Marchbanks||+08.160||0:59.944||Coalville, UT||Yamaha YZ250F|
|+26.635||1:00.110||Cape Girardeau, MO||Honda CRF250R|
In the premier class, it was Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton (heat one) and Ken Roczen (heat two) taking the 450SX heat race wins. When the gate dropped on the main event, it was Roczen and Sexton who picked up right where they left in the heat races as the duo lead the field. Roczen led but his younger teammate was keeping pressure on the #94 for the first handful of laps, and Sexton appeared destined to earn his maiden 450SX win. However, a slight underjump threw off his entry to a turn and he went straight into a Tuff Block at the back of a steep, 180-degree berm. Sexton remounted in third behind Adam Cianciarulo (racing with a shoulder injury) but then had another mistake that cost him a handful of positions in the whoops. Still, Sexton gained several positions back—he passed Dylan Ferrandis, then got two spots from a collision between Marvin Musquin and Malcolm Stewart that took them both to the ground, one after block pass from Justin Barcia that gave Jason Anderson a taste of the Anaheim dirt, and one from an injured Cianciarulo not putting up much of a fight and sliding wide—and suddenly the #23 was fighting for fourth with Musquin. With Sexton's mistakes, Roczen had an 11-second lead over 2021 450SX champion Cooper Webb and three-time A1 winner Justin Barcia. Roczen held on to win his fourth Anaheim 1 Supercross 450SX main event as Webb and Barcia rounded out the podium. Musquin just barely edged out Sexton for fourth place finish by 0.013 seconds! Eli Tomac finished sixth in his debut with Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing as Stewart, who finished seventh in his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna debut, immediately started yelling at Musquin after crossing the finish line. Injured Cianciarulo finished 11th, and Dylan Ferrandis finished 16th after stalling out once in the whoops, losing a handful of positions as his bike hesitated to restart, and then went off the track late in the race to drop out of the top 15.
Anaheim 1 (A1) - 450SX Main EventJanuary 8, 2022
|1||Ken Roczen||22 Laps||0:57.947||Mattstedt, Germany||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Cooper Webb||+07.296||0:58.656||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|+10.381||0:58.275||Monroe, NY||GasGas MC 450F|
|+15.867||0:58.374||La Reole, France||KTM 450 SX-F|
|+15.881||0:57.840||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF450R|