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2022 Fox Raceway One Motocross | Kickstart Recap & Gallery

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CHECK OUT OUR COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE 2022 FOX RACEWAY ONE MOTOCROSS

JETT LAWRENCE | 1-1

It’s rare for a rider’s dominant day to be exciting. Think about it: a perfect day, though impressive, typically has one name at the top of the board from start to finish, and often with little competition. Fortunately for us, Jett Lawrence kept everyone’s attention with his fourth-place qualifying rank, second place starts in both motos, decisive passes for the lead, 26 total laps led, effortless riding, and 1-1 results for the overall win.

Lawrence was the well-deserved center of attention from Tuesday’s test to Saturday’s post-race podium. The House of Lawrence activation area, complete with Jettson Donuts and cues from the dedicated grandstands of MotoGP and F1, is a nice addition to the Nationals, but we’re most impressed by the turnout of young fans who hope to see the number 18. They’re easy to spot: 12–21-year-olds in Jett merch mixed with Gen Z fashion, often in packs.

HUNTER LAWRENCE | 2-2

Hunter Lawrence is going to be a front-runner all summer. The Team Honda HRC rider told us that he’s got a handle on the health issues that hindered him through the past few years, which has allowed him to put in the proper training and to push all the way to the end of race. That was evident in the final lap of 250 Moto Two, when Lawrence used slower riders and an outside line to make a move on Jo Shimoda for second place.

Lawrence earned his runner-up result at the opening round. Fast laps in both sessions put him second overall in the morning’s Timed Qualifying results and he passed his way forward, from fourth in Moto One and seventh in Moto Two, for a haul of 44 championship points. What could a title fight between the two brothers look like?

JO SHIMODA | 4-3

Do you ever look at the lap charts from the races? It’s interesting to follow along through the table, as it shows which riders battled at different points in the long ace, or how far some made it through the pack. Jo Shimoda’s number 30 was inside the top-ten on the opening lap of both motos, but the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider still had to make eight passes during the day to earn his 4-3 results and third overall. He also put in the single fastest lap of the moto, a 2:17.455 on lap eight, when he was in ninth place.

Shimoda lives in Southern California full-time, so while most are ready to go east after Thunder Valley, he’ll stay in the routine of Fox Raceway-Glen Helen-Perris-Lake Elsinore. That’ll keep him close to the PC team, especially the group’s podium hopes depend on he and Hammaker now that McAdoo and Forkner are out with injuries.

RJ HAMPSHIRE | 3-9

RJ Hampshire really was going to ride a 450 for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing this summer. The plan was in motion until the team asked him to ride the 250 one more time and he put in an equally fast lap on the small-bore bike. That speed, paired with the team’s hopes of race wins, was enough for them to keep him down.

As always, RJ showed that speed on Saturday. He was third-fastest in the first practice session, got caught up with another rider in a wild (even avoidable) incident in the second session, and passed twenty-eight people to get 3-9 scores for fourth overall. Yes, he’ll get a win at some point in the next eleven weeks.

MICHAEL MOSIMAN | 9-4

Michael Mosiman made his expectations clear in Tuesday’s preseason press conference: he wants to win five races and battle for the championship. The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing rider is always one to share what’s on his mind, and although he hesitated for a moment, he eventually laid out the ways he plans to make it happen. The MC 250 has a very similar setting to last year, with a slight suspension tweak said to be the only difference.

Mosiman had his share of ups and downs at the opening round. A clip of his hard slam in the rollers from the morning practice made the rounds on social media and seeing it for the first time at the end of the day made his 9-4 finishes even more impressive.

Nick Romano kept the tradition of a rookie leading laps alive when the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider grabbed the holeshot and held off Lawrence for two laps in 250 Moto Two.

Ty Masterpool went into the weekend with a broken wrist. A crash in 250 Moto One didn’t help matters and the AEO Powersports rider sat out the second gate drop.

Speaking of young fans, it’ll be interesting to see if they latch on to the current crop of pros in the 250 Class. Guys like Kitchen, Romano, LeBlanc, Mumford, Hammaker, Shimoda, Brown, and Swoll are about the same age, know the same trends, are on social media, and can be very relatable.

CHASE SEXTON | 1-1

If Chase Sexton finishes all twenty-four motos, he’ll be in the mix for the championship. Yeah, that’s an obvious statement, since scoring points all summer is the only way to win, but that sort of consistency, through a weekend and through a season, is what’s been missing from the Team Honda HRC rider’s skillset.

He was on it all week. Tuesday’s test session was complete with fast laps and another back and forth with Jason Anderson, the latest in an ongoing practice beef, while Saturday morning saw him put in the only 2:12 time and take the spot at the top of the board. The afternoon motos were arguably some of Sexton’s best; his eagerness to get around Roczen in the early laps of 450 Moto One caused the two to come together, but Sexton eventually settled down, learned what he could while running behind his teammate, and made passes when the opportunities were right.

This is the first time in Sexton’s 450 career that he’s led a championship, so it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here. Does he stack up wins and become a serious contender, or is his ascent to the top still one summer away?

KEN ROCZEN | 2-2

If you can’t tell, aggro Ken Roczen is back. The midseason hiatus, which Team Honda HRC seems to be in full support of, was enough to get over the health and personal issues that had exhausted him and he’s determined to prove anyone that expressed a doubt about him wrong. No one knew where he’d be at round one, his first race since March, but almost everyone put him between first and eleventh.

Roczen’s ability to go all-out in the early laps of a race was on display in both motos, as he rocketed out of the gate, led the pack through the sweeping first turns, and immediately put distance between himself and them. Creative lines kept teammate Sexton at bay, with teammates each leading sixteen laps, and they finished within five seconds of each other at the finish line in Moto Two.

Can the two-time champion keep this up? The same concerns have circled him before, but he was the only person to keep Dylan Ferrandis honest last summer and says that he’s never felt better on the current CRF450R platform.

CHRISTIAN CRAIG | 3-3

Christian Craig’s dream year continues. The Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider told us in HWYW that he wrote down “Podium Finish” on his summer to-do list, a goal he was able to accomplish at the first race of the year and on a track he knows well. What else did CC write down? We’re pretty sure he said something about a moto win.

Craig had to get by two of the toughest riders in the sport’s modern era to get his 3-3 scores. His duel with Ryan Dungey was two picture-perfect riders going at it on a rough track, a back and forth that came down to stamina and limited mistakes, while the race against Eli Tomac was practically a rolling advert for the YZ450F.

The move to the 450 Class allowed Craig to ink personal sponsorship deals with Bell Helmets and Gaerne Boots, companies we expect to follow in his move to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing next year. What sort of gear and goggle contract could/has CC put together? That’s some of the many details still to be sorted and announced this silly season.

ELI TOMAC | 7-4

Eli Tomac’s knee was the big worry of the weekend. It started when the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider skipped Tuesday’s test session, a decision that the team approved of given the track conditions, the allotment of bikes and parts loaded into their rigs, and the rider’s recovery from an MCL injury. Even though he said his knee was ninety percent healed in the preseason press conference, some still figured he’d withdraw at some point before or during the opening round.

Admittedly, we were worried after we saw his left foot drag and leg twist when he entered the first turn in 450 Moto One and labored to a ninth-place finish. This performance turned out to be because of bike settings, not the knee, and he looked considerably better on his way to a fourth place run in 450 Moto Two.

Tomac’s recent contract signing, SX-only with Star Racing for 2023, means this might be the only time we see the multi-time champion hammer the YZ450F around tracks like Thunder Valley, High Point, Southwick, and Spring Creek. Enjoy it while you can.

RYAN DUNGEY | 5-5

A lot of people are surprised by Ryan Dungey’s run at the opening round. We get it, five years away is a long time and he was put aboard a wildly different 450 SX-F, but it’s Dungey. The guy’s one of the best to ever throw a leg over a motorcycle and his idea of retirement was pouring concrete in Minnesota. If anything, he looks just as shredded now as he did in his prime.

Dungey’s willingness to go to the limit will be the biggest uncertainty in chapter two of his hall of fame career. The chop, hills, ruts, and long lanes at Fox Raceway rewarded steadiness over pure speed, which played into the number five’s favor and he went 5-5 for fifth overall.

Ryan’s HWYW interview made his plans for the summer clear. He thinks this is the best Red Bull KTM ever, but the team will continue to test. He knows he’ll have to push to win, but he’ll do it when the time comes.

Expect Tony Cairoli to get better. The nine-time world champion had a lot to get used to at round one, including the US-spec frame, the pace of the pack in Timed Qualifying, the line choices, and the sprint pace that everyone can run at the start of the moto, but the biggest hinderance might have been the hit his leg took in a 450 Moto One crash. TC222 will be good to go for Hangtown. Is he really going to bail after two races? We’ve heard conflicting reports from people in his camp; some say he’s out after this weekend, others say he’s here for the whole thing.

Jason Anderson was moving. A bad start in 450 Moto One put the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider in twenty-eighth at the exit of the second turn, while a run-in with Justin Barcia put both on the ground in 450 Moto Two. If he gets a start at Hangtown or Thunder Valley, we could end up with the first overall win of his career.

Speaking of Justin Barcia, the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing rider faced it all at Fox Raceway. He was one of the first to bust out the step-down double by the hillside section on the Tuesday, but had a hard crash on the final lap of the test session and suffered road rash on his body. He was around Anderson in both motos, due to a bad start of his own in 450 Moto One and the contact in 450 Moto Two, but still finished in the top-ten. Finally, the TLD team is now sponsored by shoe company Puma.


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Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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1 Comment

  1. CJ Crandall June 13, 2022

    I might be livign in the past but the old kickstarts with a photo and caption were the best learned alot on monday mornings.

    Reply

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