After claiming the first straight two Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX main event wins to start the season, on January 22 at the third-round 250SX main event start Christian Craig found himself involved in a massive pileup with a handful of other riders. Craig got to his feet and pulled a competitor’s bike off of his and got going as his championship rivals Michael Mosiman and Hunter Lawrence lead the field. Eventually, Craig put in an impressive ride to come back to finish on the podium and retain his points lead, losing a bare minimum two points to second-place Lawrence. Despite everything that happened, he still led the points and this ride showed what happens when the veteran rider is faced with adversity.
Then on Friday’s press day ride back at Angel Stadium, Craig was about to spin in a few laps and talk with the media ahead of the fourth round. But he got wild exiting a rhythm section and accidently launched his Yamaha YZ250F straight into the safety nets behind the 180-degree bowl turn. Our Kellen Brauer was on the floor during the crash and aftermath. Brauer talked to Eli Tomac, Craig's Yamaha teammate who was right behind him when he went down, as ET3 said "he was front end high and landed on the throttle going straight into it."
Craig just got the third base rhythm section wrong and went flying into the nets after it. Took one of the poles completely down.— Kellen Brauer (@kellenbrauer) January 28, 2022
Got back up, seemingly fine, immediately grabbed his mechanic Brent Duffe and rode out of the stadium
Luckily, Craig walked away uninjured, just shook up. Moments later, Craig returned to the track with what appeared to be a new helmet. It did not take long before he was joking about it with members of the media later.
The MX Vice crew happened to be right there to get footage of the crash and they posted it late Friday night.
On Saturday, Craig went on to take his fourth straight fastest 250SX qualifier spot of the season and won his fourth heat race win, too. Once the gate dropped on the main event, he got a top-five start as the field shuffled for positions. Out front, Vince Friese lead Mosiman, but the GasGas rider quickly got around the race leader and tried to check out. Craig shuffled his way behind Friese and then pounced on the opportunity for second. He then ran behind Mosiman for several laps before making a pass in the 180-degree turn before the finish line, although Mosiman was not done just yet. The #29 kept Craig honest throughout the remainder of the race, but Craig held strong as he went on to lead the final seven laps of the race and take his third main event win of the season, extending his points lead over Mosiman and Lawrence (third and second, respectively, in the standings).
After the race, Craig was asked about his press day crash during the post-race press conference with the media.
“I think the crash, my bike ended up being the craziest part,” he said. “I kind of ran right over that Tuff Block and didn’t get a scratch on me. That was a dumb move to do that on press day. Just dumb judgement. I think it did open up a lot of people that I’m racing, like, ‘Is this his time he’s falling apart?’ Or something like that. All I can do is focus on myself. I can’t control what anybody else thinks about me or says about me. I forgot about it. I went back out the next session. Did the rhythm again, and here we are. I’ll try not to do that on press day again.”
“My mechanic got the video,” he continued. “I’m like, Should I post this and just get out in front of it? I had multiple texts when I got back to the truck. Like, ‘[Steve] Matthes saved you.’ I’m like, ‘He saved my bike.’ But the nets are a good idea, first of all. Nowadays, I figured someone had it on video. Last night I had a laugh at it.”
“The day started out pretty good,” Criag said in the post-race team release. “The track was tricky and slippery, but I kept the ball rolling. I qualified well and then went into the heat race, had a good start, and battled with my teammate a little bit. I had a good ride in that one and was able to take the win. In the main event, I just focused on myself and clicked off my laps. I had a good battle with another rider and ended up passing him. I’m stoked to get my third win of the season and extend my points lead. We’re going to try and keep it going and not change anything; just keep doing what I’m doing."
|1||Christian Craig||16 Laps||1:04.092||Temecula, CA||Yamaha YZ250F|
|+02.948||1:03.643||Sebastopol, CA||GasGas MC 250F|
|3||Hunter Lawrence||+16.945||1:04.603||Landsborough, Australia||Honda CRF250R|
|+23.396||1:05.020||Livingston, TN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|5||Jalek Swoll||+45.865||1:05.963||Belleview, FL||Husqvarna FC 250|