Anderson and Sexton go 1st-2nd in final 450 main event of the ’22 season; Monster’s Thrasher wins 250 main event, Craig takes 8th to secure WSX title.
CORONA, CA – May 9, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – The final race of the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season, Round 17 at Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium, had a decided glowing Monster Energy green hue atop the podiums as Jason Anderson (Monster Energy/Kawasaki) and Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) swept the top two positions in the 450cc and 250cc classes, respectively.
And on an overall championship note, Christian Craig (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) overcame a crash and rode to a conservative 8th place finish to secure the 2022 250 Western Supercross (WSX) overall championship – Craig’s first championship and AMA No. 1 plate of his supercross career.
“I don’t even know where to start,” said Craig from the podium. “This feels like a dream right now. The people that surround me have been so important. I wrote down in November, with my wife, a number one plate on a white board – and what it’s going to take to get it. And now it’s real. I got it and I can’t be prouder of my whole team.
“I hope this isn’t a dream.”
Also scoring a podium finish, in the 450 class, was Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton (Honda), who placed 2nd and gave Monster the 1-2 finish yet again this season.
And wrapping up the Supercross Futures World Championships was a Monster Energy 1-2-3 podium sweep with Chance Hymas (Honda) winning, Kawasaki’s Ryder DiFrancesco in 2nd and Gavin Towers (Yamaha) in 3rd.
The final round of 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross puts a wrap on the season. Here’s a look at what went down in SLC for the Monster Energy racers…
450 SLC podium. Left: Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton Center: Monster Energy’s Jason Anderson
450 class qualifying
Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton
- Anderson, the fast qualifier on the day, pulled the holeshot and early race lead in Heat 2, with Sexton quickly bumping up to 3rd
- Having led 124 main event laps heading into SLC, Anderson took full control of Heat 2 in order to get the top gate pick for the 450 main.
- Sexton did his best to keep Anderson in sight, riding smart and fast through all eight laps in Heat 2.
- With Anderson victorious at the checkers, Sexton clocked the fastest lap time in the heat – a blistering 47.347 – to finish in 3rd, just a couple clicks behind 2nd place Justin Barcia (Gas Gas).
- Said Anderson following his Heat 2 win: “The season’s been insane for me already. I feel that I just missed out on that one goal (winning the championship). All-in-all I can’t complain. I’ve been enjoying myself and I just try to get better every race. Another win tonight would be cool for me. Cool for my team.”
- Noteworthy: Having been crowned the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross champion in the premier 450 class, Eli Tomac (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) took the SLC race off to rest his knee for the upcoming Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, presented by Monster Energy. In addition, Tomac signed a contract extension at SLC with Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha at SLC.
- Added Tomac: “I need to get as healthy as I can, as strong as I can before motocross starts in a few weeks.”
450 Main Event
Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson
Off the final 450 gate drop of the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season, Anderson bolted into the 3rd place position off the start, with Sexton close behind. … One lap in, Anderson jets by defending 450 class champion Cooper Webb (KTM) in the whoops, sets his sights on race leader Justin Bogle (Suzuki). … On lap two Anderson moves into the lead, past Bogle through the whoops, with Sexton getting by him (Bogle) as well and in to 2nd place behind Anderson. … At the 15:47 mark Anderson has put nearly a second gap on Sexton, and increases that to 2.3 seconds at the 12:25 mark as the two check out from the rest of the field. … As the fans focus in on some aggressive racing by the back markers in 3rd and 4th place, Anderson and Sexton are long gone, building a lead that will eventually allow them to lap up to 6th place in the world’s fastest supercross field. … Anderson triggers the fire pots with a 2.3-second victory over Sexton, as Barcia’s more than ten seconds back.
Said Anderson: “It’s surreal to be riding this well. To be able to have a year like this after switching teams (Husqvarna to Yamaha). Thank you to Monster Energy/Kawasaki and I hope there’s many more years.”
Added Sexton: “For me it was definitely an up and down year. But eight podiums and a win is definitely progress from last year. Time to get back after it, work my butt off and be ready for next year.”
Noteworthy: The win for Anderson, his 4th in a row and 7th on the season, are all career-bests for the racer out of New Mexico known as “El Hombre.”
250 class qualifying
Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Christian Craig
- Craig left no doubt in the opening WSX Heat race that the title was going to be his, pulling the holeshot in dominant fashion and charging to the race lead early – despite greasy conditions on the freshly-watered SLC track.
- Out behind Craig in the WSX Heat were Thrasher in 3rd and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda in 7th.
- The fastest qualifier, Craig was up three seconds on 2nd place, and more importantly, up seven seconds on the only racer with a chance to catch Craig for the WSX title – Honda’s Hunter Lawrence.
- Midway through the 8-lap contest Thrasher would catch and catch 2nd place Chris Blose (Gas Gas), with Shimoda moving ahead of Lawrence and into 5th when Lawrence crashed.
- With two laps remaining in the WSX Heat Craig and Thrasher were running 1st and 2nd, comfortably, and kept those positions through the checkers. Shimoda would place 4th.
- In the ESX Heat race Austin Forkner (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki), the previous week’s 250 main event winner in Denver, pulled the holeshot – then gave up the lead after the first turn to Mitchell Oldenburg (Honda).
- Soon thereafter Forkner would make a run on Oldenburg in the whoops, close the line in the corner to make the pass, only to have Oldenburg slam the door shut and force Forkner to roll the finish line jump.
- As Forkner put on a furious charge he’d eventually catch Oldenburg in the whoops, riding on top of the uniform obstacles while Oldenburg tried to jump through them. Forkner’s method was faster as the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racer took the lead, and held it for the eventual ESX Heat race win.
- Said Forkner: “I’m definitely ready for the main (event). I missed a lot of races this year, and, obviously, the (ESX) championship is not for me. I’m just here to win the race.”
- Noteworthy: The heat race win for Craig was his ninth of the season, making him a perfect 9-for-9 in heat race wins.
250 East/West Showdown Main Event
Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Nate Thrasher
Craig pulled a good start and looked to have the holeshot from his No. 1 inside gate pic, but wisely yields the top spot to Lawrence. … With Craig in 2nd, Thrasher moved into 3rd – himself the beneficiary of a solid start up front. … With the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racers, Forkner and Shimoda in 7th and 8th places, Thrasher quickly moved into 2nd place past his conservative-riding teammate, Craig. … Thrasher then moved up on Lawrence, and passed the Honda racer for the lead. … With Thrasher up two seconds on Lawrence, Craig would over-jump the final hit in the whoop second and leaned over in the corner, hitting the dirt and bringing the SLC crowd to its feet. … Fortunately, with Thrasher’s lead on 2nd place overall WSX Lawrence, Craig was able to give up a couple spots as he quickly remounted, composed himself, and took off after the race leaders. … Opening the second half of the East/West 250 Showdown, Shimoda got past Forkner and into 5th – with Monster Energy racers now running 1st (Thrasher), 5th (Shimoda), 6th (Forkner) and 7th (Craig). … With a last-ditch effort Lawrence would charge all the way up to 2nd, and within striking distance of Thrasher, making for a thrilling finish to the contest. … At the checkers it was Thrasher, who held on for dear life on three separate runs through the whoops, by .432 seconds over 2nd place Lawrence. Added announcer Ricky Carmichael: “He (Thrasher) was hanging on by a thread!”… Shimoda held on for a top five finish (5th) ahead of Forkner (6th) and newly-crowned WSX champion Craig in 8th.
Said Thrasher: “I haven’t had the best season so far, but we finally put it together tonight. Christian (Craig) won the championship, which was great for our team. So, yeah, let’s get ready for outdoors (Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, presented by Monster Energy).”
FINAL Overall 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Points (through 17 rounds)
1st – Tomac
2nd – Anderson
6th – Sexton
250 class (SX West)
1st – Christian Craig
4th – Jo Shimoda
5th – Nate Thrasher
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, presented by Monster Energy, kicks off on Saturday, May 28th at Fox Raceway 1 in Pala, Calif. For more information visit www.promotocross.com
About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers and fans. See more about Monster Energy including all of its drinks at www.monsterenergy.com
Source: Monster Energy Company