2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross
Round 17 – Salt Lake City – Rice-Eccles Stadium
Report by Trevor Hedge – Images by Jeff Kardas
Newly crowned champion Eli Tomac decided to sit out the final round in order to focus on returning to full fitness for the upcoming outdoor season. Despite injuring his knee at the 14th round of the championship in Atlanta, Tomac rode on to secure his second premier-class title a round early in front of an adoring hometown crowd in Denver just two weeks later. It amounted to a storybook ending for his historic debut season aboard the Yamaha YZ450F.
With just three weeks before the start of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the three-time 450MX Champion will focus on rehabilitation to get back to 100 per cent for the Pro Motocross season opener in Pala, California, on May 28.
450 Heat One
Cooper Webb scored the holeshot and Marvin Musquin made it a KTM 1-2 up front early on ahead of Malcolm Stewaert, Benny Bloss and Justin Bogle while Justin Brayton was sixth as he worked towards what would be his 190th Main Event to sign off his somewhat testimonial year that has been 2022.
Musquin challenged his team-mate for the lead with a minute left on the shot clock but pulled out to save a clash and then regrouped while looking for another opportunity. Musquin made a successful pass on his third attempt to go on and take the Heat victory.
Malcolm Stewart then mounted a challenge to steal that second place off Webb on the final lap but Webb managed to hold him off.
Brayton finished strongly to work his way up to fourth place ahead of Bloss and Bogle.
450 Heat One Results
KTM 450 SX-F FE
KTM 450 SX-F FE
Husqvarna FC 450 RE
KTM 450 SX-F
KTM 450 SX-F
KTM 450 SX-F
450 Heat Two
Newly crowned champ Eli Tomac was missing from the gates as he rests an injured knee and resets ahead of the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Championship opener late this month.
Jason Anderson scored the holeshot ahead of Justin Barcia and Chase Sexton and went on to pull an escape act.
Anderson enjoyed a decent buffer throughout the race and took a clear victory over Barcia with Sexton third ahead of Justin Starling and Kyle Chisholm.
Justin Bogle got another holeshot on the Suzuki ahead of Cooper Webb and Jason Anderson as Chase Sexton and Justin Barcia gave chase.
Anderson blasted past Bogle in the whoops on lap two and Sexon then swiftly demoted Bogle further back to third where he then fell into the clutches of Webb, Barcia and Stewart.
Anderson continued to lead from Webb but five-minutes in the battle for third was being hotly contested by Barcia, Webb, Stewart and Musquin. 38-year-old Justin Brayton was seventh at this early juncture in what was his 190th Main Event start.
Stewart eventually got the better of Webb for fourth and then reeled in Barcia with ease but catching the GASGAS man was one thing, passing him was another… It took Stewart a few minutes to do it and he looked to have the speed to clear out but Barcia rammed straight into the side of him at the next tight left-hander which left Stewart on the deck.Webb and Musquin also had a minor spat at this halfway point of the race. (Check out the video highlights further down this page)
At half race distance Anderson led Sexton by four-seconds, who in turn had six-seconds on Barcia. Musquin was fourth and Stewart had regrouped and pushed his way back past Webb.
Stewart’s next target was Musquin and he made short work of the KTM man to get back up to fourth. Next target, Justin Barcia for some payback time, and the fans were cheering him on towards that goal… Stewart though had five-seconds to make up in order to get back on terms with Bam Bam, and only a little over seven-minutes to do it. In the bigger picture this pair were also tussling over third place in the championship…
With three-minutes to run Stewart had halved that gap to third placed Barcia, the gap under three-seconds and that big target on the back of Barcia’s back was now within the view of Stewart, and the crowd loved it…
Lapped traffic did Barcia no favours and a minute later the gap was 1.5-seconds…The two revving their engines hard as they closed on lappers to let them know they were coming…
Up front it was Anderson the clear leader, and Sexton a safe second, but the interest was all on the Barcia versus Stewart battle about to recommence…
With two laps to run the gap was now down to a second then as Stewart closed on Barcia the Salt Lake City crowd were going bananas…
On the final lap Stewart almost managed to jump into a challenging position but was not quite close enough, he was then baulked by a lapper which saw him run out of time to make another challenge. Barcia was booed loudly as he crossed the line.
Jason Anderson had stopped to celebrate his victory and acknowledge the crowd, but they were not in a celebratory mood as they continued to mock Barcia in protest of that earlier t-bone he made on Stewart.
With that victory Anderson closed to within nine-points of champion Tomac and finished his season with an incredible four Main wins in a row. Anderson won seven Mains across the season, the same number as champion Tomac.
While Barcia had finished ahead of Stewart on the track, it was the Husqvarna rider that claimed third place in the championship by a slender two-points over Barcia.
The crowd cheered very loudly when Stewart was handed his third place medal for the championship as he was clearly the fan favourite tonight on the back of his comeback after Barcia’s t-bone. Conversely, every time the circuit screens showed Barcia, the crowd jeered and heckled loudly.
Barcia docked ten points for move on Stewart
Later on in the night, after the press conferences, organisers docked Barcia ten-points for the incident as he was already under probation for incidents earlier in the season. For his third place he was only awarded 11-points instead of the normal 21-points, so that actually demoted him in the championship points standings behind Marvin Musquin.
Marvin Musquin fifth in the final race and fifth in the championship ahead of Chase Sexton. The Honda rider a strong second place in that final round to finish the season on a high note ahead of Pro Motocross getting underway.
2021 champ Cooper Webb finished his title defence with a somewhat disappointing seventh place in the championship.
Justin Brayton finished the Main in seventh to sign off a great and long career in Supercross with ninth place in the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. 170 top ten finishes from those 190 starts for Brayton in what is a long and distinguished record.
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.
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