Main image is from 2019, by Jeff Kardas
For the first time since 2019, Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads back to the Pacific Northwest. Seattle’s Lumen Field is always one of the most volatile venues on the calendar due to the region’s unpredictable spring weather. We have had more than a few muddy Seattle events and may yet again in 2022. Not only do we have weather to contend with, Seattle’s soil is some of the trickiest of the season. It’s lack of consistency wreaks havoc on traction and ruts abound by main event time. Further, riders coming from the southeast (see: most) must fly across the entirety of the continent, leaving them stiff and jet lagged upon arrival. This race asks more from riders than the typical weekend and the results often bear out who can adapt and who can’t.
Dirty Little Secrets
The start for this year’s Seattle rendition spans the length of Lumen Field. It bends into a long, left 180-degree turn and immediately into a long rhythm section. Riders will want to triple onto a tabletop but that could be dependent on the build of the first single. If it’s too small for a triple, they will double and then could be set up for a 4-3-3 down the rest of the rhythm section. Seattle’s dirt is notorious for deterioration so watch for this section to be dynamic.
After a netted 180, a similar rhythm section fires back the opposite direction. The fastest way to attack this will be to seat-bounce triple onto the tabletop, step off over the next single, and then go 3-3 into the next corner. That option might be too difficult for the 250SX riders on a rutty track but that’s the fastest option available.
A long set of whoops follows another 180. Seattle whoops typically get very uneven and inconsistent. Those that want to blitz will be looking to the very edges of the track, staying out of the main line. Those that prefer to hop, skip, and jump, will be watching and waiting as the whoops break down. Those that excel at jumping whoops will likely find opportunities to jump four at a time in a long section like this.
A 90-degree left sends riders careening across the mechanics area and into another 90-degree left. There is an inside/outside option for the next obstacle but look for the inside line to be the preferred choice. Next up is a standard supercross triple followed immediately by a tight left 180. The finish line jump is on the exit of the previous 180 so watch for aggressive block passes here.
A right-hand 180 sends riders back down the start straight but instead of funneling into the first corner, riders will bend back right and into a small turning double. The landing of the double leads into an immediate left-hand corner and back towards the first corner for lap two.
This track layout will likely lead to short lap times and a very treacherous main event course. Consistent laps will be the key to success on Saturday night.
Eli Tomac. Duh.
Jett Lawrence has won three in a row and four out of five East Coast rounds. It’s scary to think he’s only 18.
RJ Hampshire climbed onto the podium for the first time in 2022 after what felt like hundreds of crashes thus far.
Justin Barcia led the main event and made more friends along the way to another podium finish.
Ryan Breece has gotten back-to-back top ten finishes. And to think he needed to race against a horse to convince him to get back into racing full time.
Hunter Lawrence wins a muddy, rutty Seattle main event.
Kyle Chisholm complains throughout the weekend that his 450 is slower than the Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing YZ250F.
Justin Barcia unluckily sideswipes a police car on his way to the stadium Saturday morning and is mystified as to why simply putting his hand up didn’t suffice as a reason for why.