As the second half of the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season officially was underway, Detroit’s Ford Field played host to the 10th round of the championship. Plenty of stuff was still fresh on the mind from a week prior in Daytona though as Eli Tomac was looking to keep the ball rolling with his championship lead now ballooning out to 18 points ahead of Jason Anderson.
Anderson was involved in the big drama point from Daytona as he and Malcolm Stewart came together again, and both were later penalized for each gaining an advantage while off the racetrack at separate points. Anderson lost 12 points to Tomac in the championship in just a single race and needed a big rebound in Detroit to stop the points situation from getting any worse.
Detroit would end up being the stage of what likely will be the real turning point in this 2022 title fight though. It all started out simple enough throughout the day as the top qualifying time was being tossed around between Eli Tomac, Malcolm Stewart, and Chase Sexton for who could dip their toes lower into the 53’s.
In the end, it was Stewart who would qualify fastest, but everyone seemed to have the track figured out by the end of qualifying. That would prove to be false by the time the main event rolled around.
Justin Bogle grabbed the holeshot but eventually Justin Barcia found his way to the front. Barcia would lead for a few laps before Jason Anderson then worked his way into the lead and looked like he might set sail. Eli Tomac had other plans though as he was flying through all the top guys out front and got onto Anderson for the lead before the halfway point.
Tomac made the pass stick just after the finish line jump coming through halfway, but Anderson did not want to let the championship leader get away. He pushed and perhaps pushed too hard as he tucked the front end after the finish line just four minutes later and was slow to remount. When he did get back up, he stumbled through the next section of the track and crashed at the end of the rhythm.
He would not remount the bike and walked off gingerly under his own power. The DNF was a massive blow for the title fight in the end as Tomac would continue on to convert his fifth win of the 2022 season and 42nd of his career.
“[This track] was one of the tougher surfaces I’ve ever raced on,” said Tomac of the wild night. “It had both conditions which was sticky and hard in the rhythm sections which would pull you left or right and then it had the base in some of the bottoms of the turns where you could lose your traction. I made the move early through the guys and then it was like everything got wild after that. I felt so good on the motorcycle tonight though.”
The Anderson crash was just one of the many chaotic things that happened in a five-minute span. It all really started off when Cooper Webb and Chase Sexton were battling over fourth place and the two came together in the rhythm after the supercross triple. They collided and slammed into the ground effectively ending both of their nights.
Sexton would be carted off the track while Webb remounted but rolled around for three laps with only one hand on the bar before he was pointed off the track by an AMA official. He then grabbed his mechanic and rode up the tunnel ending his night early as well.
Just after that, Dylan Ferrandis pulled into the mechanics area and grabbed his mechanic Alex Campbell as well. They would ride off the track up the tunnel moments later which brought a confusing end to the Frenchman’s night.
Another Frenchman, Marvin Musquin, had slowly reeled in Justin Barcia late in the race for third place a few laps later but he would crash as well! Fortunately, he would remount in fourth and finish there.
Amid all the chaos, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Malcolm Stewart would slide through into second place and even put on a bit of a charge towards Tomac out front late. Eventually, he settled in for P2 on the night and he felt it was the right decision to not push it that little bit more to get to Tomac in the end.
“I felt good all day,” said Stewart. “Detroit has treated me well and I’m excited. You guys are so awesome and I’m beyond thankful to be up here again.”
Third on the night after slipping back to sixth at one point was Justin Barcia. Barcia was dealing with an injury to his hand all day long and admitted it was a bit of a blessing as he was able to test throughout the day and work on settings with the bike instead of focus on pushing the pace.
When he lost the lead to Anderson early in the main event, Barcia got shuffled back through the mid-point of the race and appeared to be struggling. But he was simply riding to his abilities at that point and was not wanting to make those mistakes we ended up seeing from several other riders.
“[I had to dig] beyond deep,” said Barcia of dealing with his hand injury. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to race tonight. My hand’s completely destroyed. I had a practice crash and it’s scary, I look a bit zombie-ish. I’m just happy to be here. My team did a great job today. Today was a test day for us because I wasn’t riding very good, so we did tons of changes on the bike, and I had an awesome bike for the main event. I had an awesome start and there was carnage out there, but I ended up on the podium, so I’m happy with that.”
Updates on some of the injuries include that Ferrandis was okay according to team manager Jeremy Coker. Apparently Ferrandis cased a jump very badly and thought he injured his wrist, but he’ll be fine. Jason Anderson said he’s also fine, but a bit banged up after his two crashes in the main event.
Our own Steve Matthes learned that Chase Sexton also was reported to be okay after his crash with Cooper Webb. But we do not have an update from KTM at this time on the status of the two-time and defending Monster Energy Supercross champion.
The wild night in Detroit sees Tomac’s lead launch out to 42 points on Anderson and Stewart who are now tied for second in the championship. It’s certainly Tomac’s to lose at this point moving forward and his next test will come in a week’s time in Indianapolis.
|27 Laps||0:44.537||Cortez, CO||Yamaha YZ450F|
|+03.556||0:45.163||Haines City, FL||Husqvarna FC 450|
|3||Justin Barcia||+05.606||0:45.061||Monroe, NY||GasGas MC 450F|
|4||Marvin Musquin||+24.992||0:45.570||La Reole, France||KTM 450 SX-F|
|5||Justin Brayton||+36.733||0:46.108||Fort Dodge, IA||Honda CRF450R|
In the 250SX class, Jett Lawrence remained the focal point coming off a dominating win at the Daytona Supercross a week prior. Cameron McAdoo, who won the second round in Arlington, was third in Daytona and was looking to fight back against Lawrence to not let the Australian establish early control of the series.
Throughout the day in qualifying, the two would exchange the top spot as they continued to lower their lap times. Lawrence stamped his P1 in qualifying with authority though as he put down the first 43-second lap of the day, including in the 450SX class, to take home the top spot in qualifying.
When the metal pounded the dirt in the main event, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Stilez Robertson once again got the holeshot as he slowly is turning into the starting maestro. Jett Lawrence was hot on his heels though and quickly moved by into the lead before the first lap was over.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GasGas rider Pierce Brown was on it all day long as well and did not want to let Lawrence get away out front as he passed Robertson for second just moments later. As the race progressed, Brown actually caught Lawrence around the halfway mark when Lawrence had been held up by some lapped traffic and slipped off the pace a bit.
After Brown tried a pass on the inside after the supercross triple, it seemed like the move woke Lawrence up and he regrouped out front to pull away again. He slowly opened the gap out to better than five seconds and would easily cruise it home on the last lap to take home his third win of the season.
“The lappers were gnarly,” said Lawrence of his mid-race issues. “You had to be patient with it, and I did not want to be taken out by a lapper. That would be the worst night ever. I was taking my time. I didn’t want to make a silly mistake or rush it with lappers. I got into a flow and was taking my time. I wasn’t trying to just gap everyone because I know if I pushed, it can catch you pretty quickly because there was a few slick spots. But those lappers were pretty gnarly and I’m glad I got through safe and I’m back on top of the box again tonight.”
With Lawrence’s win, he now opens his points lead to eight points ahead of Cameron McAdoo who was resilient in the main event to work up to Brown late and make the pass for second. McAdoo had initially started in fifth behind Phil Nicoletti but quickly got around Nicoletti and eventually Robertson to get right onto Brown for second.
Throughout much of the race, Brown was under attack from McAdoo and only seemed to have a break from the pressure when he closed on Lawrence at that mid-way point. McAdoo got back to Brown though and then capitalized on a mistake from the GasGas rider to move through into that second position.
He had enough time still to try to close on Lawrence for the lead but put two laps together that had one too many little mistakes in them and the gap opened up another few seconds to ultimately put Lawrence out of reach. Still though, McAdoo got his first second place finish of the season after he had gone 3-1-3 to start the season.
“I wouldn’t say [my start] was a deciding factor. Jett’s riding really well,” said McAdoo. “That’s a big part of it though. I need to put myself in a better position at the beginning of the race. I can’t let him get away like that. I think I started in like fifth or sixth and then I got into third behind Pierce and I was honestly unhappy with my riding the first seven or eight minutes of that main. I made too many mistakes and just let Jett have too much clean air. He’s riding phenomenally and I’ve got to start up there with him to make it happen.”
Brown would make a late push on McAdoo again trying to steal that second place away, but he also made a couple of mistakes that ultimately cost him a chance at battling for the position. The podium finish was the first of the year for Brown and just the second of his career.
The big step in the right direction this week for Brown certainly puts him on the radar moving forward as someone who can sneak in there and maybe get his first career main event victory while Lawrence and McAdoo battle out the championship ahead of them.
“I had so much fun tonight,” said Brown. “I really needed that. I’ve shown bits and pieces of speed and I finally showed I could put a whole night together. I love these Detroit fans. This is my first time here and I love it here, it’s so much fun. I’m stoked to put my GasGas up on the podium.”
Behind the podium finishers, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s RJ Hampshire had a wild race passing Robertson, Nicoletti, Mitchell Oldenburg, and finally got around Jordon Smith for fourth with two laps to go. Hampshire has now had two races in a row where he was essentially in a battle the whole time, but this time he was able to finish ahead of all of those battles he was in.
Rounding out the top five as mentioned was Jordon Smith who turned a trip to the LCQ into a top five for the night. He was so close to holding on for that fourth spot but just got pipped by Hampshire late. Still though, another solid main event for Jordon Smith as the former race winner continues to build.
|1||Jett Lawrence||21 Laps||0:45.540||Landsborough, Australia||Honda CRF250R|
|+06.459||0:45.528||Sioux City, IA||Kawasaki KX250|
|3||Pierce Brown||+10.151||0:45.425||Sandy, UT||GasGas MC 250F|
|4||R.J. Hampshire||+20.879||0:46.588||Hudson, FL||Husqvarna FC 250|
|5||Jordon Smith||+24.121||0:46.439||Belmont, NC||Honda CRF250R|