2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross
Round 17 – Salt Lake City – Rice-Eccles Stadium
Report by Trevor Hedge – Images by Jeff Kardas
The Supercross season finale was without its freshly crowned 250 East Champion! Young Aussie Jett Lawrence sprained his ankle during morning practice and decided it would be smarter to pull out of the event and give his ankle the best chance of making a quick recovery rather than put it at further risk.
Thus the 250 East-West Showdown was staged without the 250 East Champ as with just three weeks before the start of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Jett instead now focuses on being 100 per cent ready for the Pro Motocross season opener in Pala, California, on May 28.
250 West Heat
Christian Craig ran away with the 250 West Heat that kicked off proceedings at Rice-Eccles Stadium in front of a huge Salt Lake City crowd for the 17th and final round of the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.
Nate Thrasher took the flag six-seconds behind Craig while Chris Blose was more than double that distance behind the winner to take third place ahead of Jo Shimoda.
Hunter Lawrence had a difficult start to the day. Hunter was sixth early on before making a mistake on lap five that saw him shuffled as far back as tenth, before the Aussie youngster recovered to a seventh place finish.
Countryman Geran Stapleton just missed out on a transfer spot after crossing the line 11th and this was headed for the LCQ but after sixth in that contest unfortunately failed to make the finishing cut.
250 West Heat Results
|1||Christian Craig||Yamaha YZ250F||8 Laps|
|2||Nate Thrasher||Yamaha YZ250F||+06.340|
|3||Chris Bloss||GASGAS MC 250F||+14.379|
|4||Jo Shimoda||Kawasaki KX250||+16.345|
|5||Dominique Thury||Yamaha YZ250F||+20.297|
|6||Carson Brown||KTM 250 SX-F||+25.941|
|7||Hunter Lawrence||Honda CRF250R||+27.078|
|8||Vince Friese||Honda CRF250R||+34.673|
|9||Jalek Swoll||Husqvarna FC 250||+36,470|
|10||Mitchell Harrison||GASGAS MC 250F||+42.649|
|11||Geran Stapleton||GASGAS MC 250F||+45,308|
|12||Devin Harriman||GASGAS MC 250F||+47,329|
|13||Wyatt Lyonsmith||Kawasaki KX250||+51.290|
|14||Brandon Ray||Kawasaki KX250||+54,657|
|15th||Michael Mosiman||GASGAS MC 250F||+57.306|
|16||Derek Kelly||KTM 250 SX-F||7 Laps|
|17||Maxwell Sanford||Honda CRF250R||+12.240|
|18||Chad Saultz||KTM 250 SX-F||+22.109|
|19||Jerry Robin||GASGAS MC 250F||3 Laps|
|20||Logan Leitzel||Kawasaki KX250||2 Laps|
250 East Heat
Recently crowned 250 East Champion Jett Lawrence did not make the start of the 250 East Heat race after spraining his right ankle in a crash during morning practice.
Mitch Oldenburg escaped to an early lead in the 250 East Heat while Austin Forkner gave chase and eventually closed him down before passing him and pulling away from the Honda man.
Forkner the clear winner from Oldenburg while Enzo Lopes nursed his way to the line to clinch third place after a gearbox failure late in the race.
RJ Hampshire made some mistakes but clawed his way back inside the transfer cut-off late in the race to earn his spot in the East-West Showdown Main. Pierce Brown however didn’t make the cut and was headed for the LCQ but went on to win that contest to earn his spot in the Main.
250 East Heat Results
|1||Austin Forkner||Kawasaki KX250||8 Laps|
|2||Mitchell Oldenburg||Honda CRF250R||+03.485|
|3||Enzo Lopes||Yamaha YZ250F||+10.667|
|4||Jordon Smith||Honda CRF250R||+13.774|
|5||Jace Owen||Yamaha YZ250F||+15.317|
|6||Marshal Weltin||Yamaha YZ250F||+17.216|
|7||Derek Drake||Suzuki RM-Z250||+18.483|
|8||Rj Hampshire||Husqvarna FC 250||+23.514|
|9||Jarrett Frye||Honda CRF250R||+25.023|
|10||Max Miller||KTM 250 SX-F||+26.822|
|11||Pierce Brown||GASGAS MC 250F||+28.150|
|12||Cullin Park||Honda CRF250R||+35.266|
|13||Tj Albright||Kawasaki KX250||7 Laps|
|14||Joshua Cartwright||Kawasaki KX250||+03.883|
|15th||Kyle Grayson||KTM 250 SX-F||+07.273|
|16||Jack Chambers||KTM 250 SX-F||+09.371|
|17||Robert Hailey||KTM 250 SX-F||+39.527|
|18||Luca Marsalisi||Yamaha YZ250F||+58,584|
|19||Hardy Munoz||Kawasaki KX250||5 Laps|
|20||Hunter Yoder||Honda CRF250R||1 Laps|
250 E/W Showdown Main Event
Hunter Lawrence and Christian Craig were side-by-side in turn one but it was Hunter that took the early advantage as Craig played it somewhat safe to protect his box seat in the championship.
In third place was Craig’s team-mate Nate Thrasher and he was not going to force the issue but a door opened two-minutes into the race and Thrasher rode through it to that second place and started to challenge Hunter Lawrence for the lead. Thrasher’s pass on Lawrence not quite as careful as it was on his team-mate but it was still clean enough and once through he left Lawrence in his dust.
Christian Craig went down five-minutes into the race and lost a couple of positions from that mistake, slipping to sixth place just behind Austin Forkner. The Kawasaki man then made a small mistake which allowed Craig to go back up to fifth.
At the halfway point of the contest Thrasher led Lawrence by 2.5-seconds with Pierce Brown a similar distance further back in third place. RJ Hampshire was a few bike lengths behind Brown and running in fourth place, while Craig was a couple of second further back in fifth.
Jo Shimoda then worked his way past Austin Forkner before then proceeding to push Christian Craig back to sixth.
With four-minutes to run Lawrence stepped up to take the challenge for victory to Thrasher as they negotiated lapped traffic. Two-minutes later Hunter was all over the back of Thrasher and looking for a way past. Hunter’s first attempt cost him a little time and the clock was running down fast. Further back Craig had been relegated to eighth by Forkner and Mosiman…
Hunter made another attempt on Thrasher with 30-seconds left on the clock which again cost him plenty of time but they still had a lot of lapped traffic to negotiate over the final two laps.
It was a tense and exciting final lap but Lawrence could not find a way past Thrasher and had to settle for the second place a bike length behind the Yamaha man who ended his sometimes difficult season on a high note.
Pierce Brown rounded out the podium ahead of RJ Hampshire and Jo Shimoda but with an eighth place finish that was enough for Christian Craig to win his first ever AMA Supercross Championship.
30-year-old Christian Craig the 2022 250 West Championship winner by ten-points over 23-year-old Hunter Lawrence.
23-points further back Michael Mosiman finishes with third place in the West championship, 35-points ahead of 19-year-old Jo Shimoda.
Jett Lawrence might not have contested the final round but still finishes season 2022 with a 34-point advantage over RJ Hampshire as the young Aussie added the 250 Supercross East Championship ahead of getting his AMA Pro Motocross Title defense underway late this month.
250 Rookie of the Year was Cullin Park.
Atop the final manufacturer points standings, which are calculated on a combined basis of 250 and 450 results, is Honda by five-points over Yamaha.
250 E/W Showdown Main Event Results
|1||Nate Thrasher||Yamaha YZ250F||19 Laps|
|2||Hunter Lawrence||Honda CRF250R||+00,432|
|3||Pierce Brown||GASGAS MC 250F||+04.011|
|4||Rj Hampshire||Husqvarna FC 250||+13.212|
|5||Jo Shimoda||Kawasaki KX250||+16.426|
|6||Austin Forkner||Kawasaki KX250||+17.256|
|7||Michael Mosiman||GASGAS MC 250F||+27.400|
|8||Christian Craig||Yamaha YZ250F||+32.435|
|9||Chris Bloss||GASGAS MC 250F||+36,471|
|10||Jalek Swoll||Husqvarna FC 250||+38,078|
|11||Jordon Smith||Honda CRF250R||+46.068|
|12||Jace Owen||Yamaha YZ250F||+47.273|
|13||Mitchell Oldenburg||Honda CRF250R||18 Laps|
|14||Derek Drake||Suzuki RM-Z250||+02.407|
|15th||Carson Brown||KTM 250 SX-F||+02,426|
|16||Cullin Park||Honda CRF250R||+09,597|
|17||Vince Friese||Honda CRF250R||+27.979|
|18||Dominique Thury||Yamaha YZ250F||+31.117|
|19||Mitchell Harrison||GASGAS MC 250F||+32.406|
|20||Jarrett Frye||Honda CRF250R||+37,639|
|21||Marshal Weltin||Yamaha YZ250F||+52.864|
|22||Enzo Lopes||Yamaha YZ250F||11 Laps|
250 E/W Showdown Main Video Highlights
250 Post Race Press Conference
250 East Final Championship Standings
250 West Final Championship Standings
2022 Manufacturer Points Standing – Points Earned (450SX/250SX Combined)