2022 Anaheim Three Supercross | Race Report & Results
The Monster Energy Supercross series returned to Angel’s Stadium in Anaheim, California, for the sixth round of the season and the third Anaheim Supercross n the West Coast kickoff. The temperatures hovered in the low 90s and that, paired with the beating the dirt has taken over the past several weeks of Supercross and Monster Jam, and the race track that greeted riders was dry, slick, and extra technical.
Christian Craig | 1st Place 250 class
The Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider started off his perfect day with the fastest qualifying lap time – the only rider in the 56-second range – and he kept the ball rolling with a dominant performance in the second heat race of the night. Craig led championship rival Hunter Lawrence home with nearly four seconds to spare, and the stage was set for the sixth Western Regional 250 main of the season.
Craig chased Lawrence into turn one, but Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/Honda rider Vince Friese dived beneath both lead riders in the first corner and took control of the lead for a few seconds. As the field entered the extra-long whoop section for the first time, Craig swooped past both of his rivals and took control of the lead only a few turns into the first lap. Once out front, Craig began to build a lead over Lawrence. On the fifth lap, Lawrence missed one of the 14 whoops with his front wheel and went over the bars spectacularly at the end of the session and crashed out of the. race, leaving Craig to race to the checkered flag uncontested.
Craig’s third win of the season gives him a commanding lead in the championship point standings, 28 points over Michael Mosiman, who overtook Lawrence when he failed to finish the A3 main.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself today,” said Craig. “I wanted to end the West Coast swing with a win and have some breathing room entering the five-week break. I am bummed that Hunter Lawrence crashed, but it feels good to sweep all three of the Anaheim Supercrosses.”
Vince Friese | 2nd Place 250 class
Vince Friese qualified seventh in the afternoon practice sessions aboard his Nick McCampbell-tuned Honda CRF250R, then transferred to the main event with fourth in the second heat race.
At the start of the main event, Friese lined up just to the right of Craig and all eyes were on the duo who came together in last week’s Glendale Triple Crown. Hunter Lawrence snared the holeshot ahead of Craig, but Friese dove to the inside of turn one and took over the lead in the first rhythm section. Craig and Lawrence blitzed past Friese in the set of whoops that followed, but third is the worst the veteran would run throughout the main event. Six laps into the main, Lawrence went down in the whoops and handed the runner-up position to Frise, but in the closing stages of the race, he was again dropped to third when Michael Mosiman found his way past. The whoops also claimed Mosiman a few laps later, and Friese rode past and on to the best 250 Supercross finish of his career, crossing the finish line in second.
“Oh man I have been hearing the word ‘podium for six months now, ever since we decided I’d race the 250 class,” said Friese. “I rode stiff as a board out there tonight and I was gonna settle for third, but Mosiman kind of handed it to me. I am so happy for the team tonight, this feels great!”
Michael Mosiman | 3rd Place 250 class
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/Gas Gas rider Michael Mosiman started the day off with the third-quickest qualifying time, then came back to finish third in the second heat race behind Craig and Hunter Lawrence. The start of the main event didn’t go well for Mosiman as a crash on the opening lap saw him drop to the rear of the field. The NorCal native went to work quickly, though, and he sliced. through the pack like a hot knife through butter. 13th on lap one, Mosiman passed Friese and took over second on the eighth lap. Just when things looked to be winding down with the podium positions finalized, Mosiman fell victim to the long whoop section and he crashed back to third, where he stayed until the finish.
“You gotta keep going after you hit the deck,” said Mosiman. “I had some silly moments out there tonight, but that has lit a fire under me and given me lots to think about in this break that we have coming up.”
Jason Anderson | 1st Place 450 class
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson was on fire all day long, turning in the fastest qualifying time of the day aboard his Jason Montoya-tuned Kawasaki KX450, in spite of a crash that saw him take down Cooper Webb and Chase Sexton, too. El Hombre spanked the field in the second heat race of the night, leading runner-up Aaron Plessinger and the rest home by over five seconds at the finish.
When the gate dropped at the start of the 450 main, Anderson gated perfectly and led Eli Tomac, Marvin Musquin, and the rest through the first turn. Tomac made a big charge a few minutes into the main event and took control of the lead for a few seconds, but Anderson retaliated quickly and took control of the point position for good. In spite of a few rough trips through the challenging whoop section, Anderson maintained control of the race all the way to the checkered flag and earned his second win of the year and ninth of his career, much to the delight of the crowd.
“Man, this is exactly what the fans wanted but it stresses us out a bit,” said Anderson. “With Eli right behind me at the start I knew it was going to be gnarly, but I was ready to fight!”
Eli Tomac | 2nd Place 450 class
Championship points leader Eli Tomac was second fastest in timed qualifying, and the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider qualified for the main with a third-place finish in the first heat race, behind Justin Barcia and Marvin Musquin. Tomac gated miserably in the heat but worked through the field with precision.
When the gate dropped at the start of the main, Tomac rounded turn one in second behind Anderson and the crowd anticipated a battle royal between the two fastest riders thus far in the series. The first few laps were amazing as Tomac pressured Anderson for the lead and actually made a tricky move to take over at the point a few laps in, but Anderson retaliated with a slick move of his own to retake the lead for good. Tomac stayed close to the leader until he made a mistake in the long whoops section and lost touch with Anderson. At the finish line, Tomac came home second, some three seconds behind. Tomac still controls the championship points lead, 134 to Anderson’s 122.
“I was fighting the whole time,” said Anderson. “I was fast in the whoops early, but I made a mistake and lost a little bit of confidence and that cost me. I did all I could, but Jason rode great.”
Justin Barcia | 3rd Place 450 class
Just Barcia had an average afternoon, qualifying eighth aboard his Gas Gas MC 450F, but he rebounded with a great win in the first 450 heat race of the night over Musquin and Tomac.
In the main event, Barcia completed lap one in fifth and rode a relatively quiet race. He moved into fourth early on with a pass on Malcolm Stewart and looked to be set in fourth, but a crash by Musquin in the sand allowed Barcia to slide into third and notch his second podium of the year.
“It’s good to be back on the podium,” said Barcia. “I fought through the pack pretty good. I had a decent start. I had a lot of fun and the track was awesome.”