The 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Series visited Indianapolis, Indiana, for round 11 of the 17-round championship, and the racing that unfolded inside Lucas Oil Stadium more than made up for the cold and damp conditions outside. While the race winners were nothing new, there was plenty to get excited about as crashes, fistfights, disqualifications, takeouts, penalties, and more, complimented the amazing action that took place each and every time the gate dropped. Here’s what we saw and learned in the mighty midwest last weekend. Welcome to Monday Kickstart!
Indianapolis, Indiana's Lucas Oil Stadium played host to round 11 of the Monster Energy Supercross Series. Though the stadium has hosted only the last 14 races (the RCA Dome was the original Indy SX venue but it was demolished in 2008) this year's event was the 32nd running of the Indianapolis Supercross.
Though they make a huge difference for the comfort of the team beneath the semi-awnings, the extra opaque "windows" - or solid wall panels in KTM's case - sure make it tough for fans to get a close look at their heroes and their machines.
Though the days preceding the event were sunny with temperatures in the 70s, Friday's press day and Saturday's race day were damp and cold. The inclement weather may have hurt the pre-race pit party participation, but the fans on hand in the paddock were hardcore!
While all of the teams with semis or fifth-wheel transporters opted to pit outside in the rain, several privateers opted to set up shop inside the tunnels beneath Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Dirt Werx crew was busy all night, reshaping jump faces and filling in ruts. In spite of their best efforts, the circuit was downright brutal.
Smartop/Motoconcepts/Bullfrog Spas/Honda rider Justin Brayton had a wild crash in the whoops early in the first practice session that saw him crash into the back of Twisted Tea/HEP/Suzuki's Justin Bogle. In the crash, Brayton suffered a mild concussion and was benched for the evening by the Alpinestars Medical Crew when he could not pass the concussion protocol test after his spill. Brayton hoped to be back in action for next weekend's Seattle round.
Because the crash with the JBs happened early in the practice session and on the inside of the track, Justin and Justin had to wait out the qualifying session before leaving the track.
Shane McElrath was another rider who sat out the Indianapolis round. Like Brayton, McElrath crashed during the first timed practice and "rung his bell" and twisted his knee badly enough to sit the evening out. Get well, Shane-Sama!
Before the second timed qualifying session, the Twisted Tea/HEP/Suzuki pits were busy with activity as Bogle's bent-up Suzuki RM-Z450 was returned. to race-ready condition. The Yoshimura muffler from Adam Enticknap's idle race bike was borrowed for the number-19 machine. Check out the gouges in the fork guard from Brayton's Honda...
While we were watching the Bogle bike fire drill, we noticed a creative use for old Works Connection Pro Launch starting devices. The WC locking mechanism used a strong magnet rather than a spring to activate the return mechanism, and the fail-proof system is patented by the NorCal company. Thanks to the magnets, the old parts were used to help display the day's event schedule on the inside lid of a HEP toolbox.
While we could write a caption about Alex Ray's heat race crash, fight with Deven Raper and eventual disqualification by the AMA, we'll instead point out the vintage O'Neal gloves that the SGB Unlimited rider chooses to wear over any of the modern offerings. Apparently, ARay was a big Mike LaRocco fan...
Perhaps if ARay had a pair of Dean Wilson's trademark custom O'Neal red gloves, he'd abandon the LaRocket specials!
Once inside the stadium tunnels, there was a strict dead-engine policy to and from the track. This made for some exhausting bike pushing for rider/mechanic pairings who had to make quick repairs after a crash.
We found it comical that the Lucas Oil Stadium workers were fanatical about keeping the main entrance tunnel clean throughout the day. Uh, people? It's a dirt bike race...
The sand section in Indianapolis was trickier than most, as racers actually did a step-up jump into the soft stuff. Two distinct lines developed in the section, which featured an arcing 180-degree turn: a tighter, slower inside line that riders jumped gently into, or the faster, longer, wide line that invited a full-throttle attack. Cameron McAdoo demonstrates the latter.
Throughout the afternoon practice sessions, we saw several crashes in the sand section, but the racers all seemed to have it figured out by race time.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/Gas Gas rider Pierce Brown had a big crash in the whoops while leading his 250 heat race, but returned to win the LCQ and get a great start from the far outside gate in the main event. Though it looked as if he was headed to a certain podium finish, he eventually settled into fourth when the bumps and bruises from his crash began to slow him. "I'm gonna be hurting for a couple of days. but it's a good thing we have a couple of days off now before St. Louis," he said.
After his heat race crash - as did Brayton and Bogle during qualifying - Brown had to wait before he could leave the center of the track to get checked out.
There was some concern from the Alpinestars Medical Crew that Brown had hit his head in the crash, but Dr. Bodnar cleared him for further competition before the LCQ. Tzough guys, those Supercross racers...
And speaking of tough guys, it was amazing to see defending Supercross Champion Cooper Webb racing in Indianapolis after last week's gnarly crash with Chase Sexton in Detroit. After more thorough examinations with his specialists mid-week, it was discovered that Webb had a bone contusion in his shoulder and a fracture of the second metacarpal in his left hand. "I get paid to race, so I'll see you in Indy," he wrote on his Instagram @cooperwebb2 on Friday.
Cooper's race night started out a little rough when a crash in the whoops forced him to race back through the field and up to fourth in the second 450 heat race.
In the main event, Webb ran with the lead pack, albeit at the end of the five-rider freight train. "I'm happy with fifth, but f*ck it was a painful weekend, to say the least," Cooper told us after the race. "I'm proud of myself because I kept fighting and dug deep. I couldn't do some of the jump combinations that I wanted to, but hopefully, I can get better this coming week and be more competitive in Seattle."
We were happy to see our long-time pal Hunter Yoder qualify for his first-ever 250 Supercross main on the eve of his 18th birthday! The TiLube Honda racer admitted that the first few races of his rookie season were taxing, both physically and mentally, but he was all smiles before and after the main!
Yoder qualified straight out of the first 250 heat race with a ninth, and in the main event, he ran as high as 14th before a rear brake issue forced him to slow. A graduate of the GEICO Honda CRF150R program back in the day, Yoder certainly has bright days ahead.
On press day, Eli Tomac told us that the track inside Lucas Oil Stadium was sure to rut up and be even gnarlier than last weekend's Detroit race track. And the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider was right! The corners developed deep, peg-dragging ruts, and the whoops deteriorated at an alarming rate.
During the afternoon qualifying sessions, we've noticed that Jett Lawrence never seems to turn in consecutive, hard-charging laps. Instead, the Honda HRC rider likes to cruise around, check out lines, then throw in a heater or two. "That's just his deal," said his mechanic Christien DuCharme. "He almost never goes out and puts in a hard moto...but you can't fault him; he qualifies fast!"
And qualify fast, he did! Though Cameron McAdoo was quickest in the first timed qualifying session of the day, Jett turned in a blazingly fast lap - the only one in the 43-second range - and earned pole position entering the night's program.
All red everything: Lawrence's entire setup - from the blood-red Honda and red championship-leader red plates, to his red Alpinestars gear and boots - certainly looked fierce,
Yamaha privateer Ryan Breece enjoyed a career-best 10th-place finish in Indy. The Idaho racer has qualified for all but two 450 main events this season and is in a battle for 20th in the series standings with Justin Starling and Cade Clason. We really like his mysterious FirePower Parts boots...
RJ Hampshire finished third in the 250 class at Indianapolis and was pleased to finally have some things go his way. Crashes and bad luck have plagued his season thus far, and he admitted to us on press day that he is really struggling to find a good setting on his new race bike. Hopefully, this marks the turning point in Hampshire's season and he can accomplish a lot during the testing sessions he'll have in the two-week break for the 250 East racers.
Marvin Musquin's mood was quite contrasting between his third-place finish at the Minneapolis Supercross and last weekend's Indy Supercross. "For Marv, it's not about the finish anymore," said his long-time mechanic Frankie Latham. "What matters to him is how he rode. He could win a race, but if he rode poorly, he'll be mad." In Minneapolis, Musquin benefited from a late-race crash by Malcolm Stewart to inherit third and he was not pleased, but after battling his way up into third at Indy and running the pace with the lead pack throughout the race, he was far more satisfied. "I was struggling all day to find. the setting and feeling on the bike, but I was patient and it paid off in the end," he told us. "I can't send it on the first lap and I have to remind myself to settle down. So I was behind Mookie and just took my time. It was fun and it felt good to run with Eli. That guy is super confident right now and to even close in on him during the race felt good.. I am super happy with my ride tonight."
Twisted Tea/HEP/Suzuki's Adam Enticknap remains sidelined with injuries for a couple of more weeks, but the team hopes to have him return at the April 9 St. Louis round. Last weekend, while his flo-yellow Daytona special was on display in the pits, the 722 was teaching a riding school with his brother Tyler, in Nevada.
Have you noticed that the Twisted Tea/HEP/Suzuk racers have two different painted helmet schemes to choose from, depending on their riding gear? In Indy, Juston Bogle wore the flo-yellow AP Designs paint job...
...while Brandon Hartraft sported the traditional Suzuki-yellow version. Which do you like better?
Speaking of Big Sexy, Brandon Hartranft was invited to be part of the opening ceremony in Lucas Oil Stadium, something he has been dreaming of since he started racing professionally. "I only rode in one tunnel and out the one across the stadium, but it was worth it!" Hartranft was introduced to "Open Your Eyes" by Guano Apes. "I waved to the crowd and threw my goggles out," he added. "So I think I did it right!"
As a photographer, you can always count on two things from Justin Barcia: being able to tell when is approaching by the sound of his bike, and the opportunity to get some shots that look like he's on the edge. Of course, Barcia would most likely not even recall some of the wide-open, feet-off-the-pegs moments he survives out there...
See what we mean?
Earlier, we mentioned the lighter Pit Party turnout due to the Indianapolis weather. The fans on hand, though, were treated to some extra face time with several of the racers, Chase Sexton being one of them.
Cliub MX Yamaha's Phil Nicoletti was a surprise DNQ in Indy. The surly veteran had a night he'd rather forget as crashes and bad starts kept him from making the big show.
Well, that's one way to dry your sweaty gloves out after practice...
Sweaty helmets and goggle foam, however, require a little airflow. Dean Wilson uses a portable fan...
...while Malcolm Stewart benefits from a non-obtainable Shock Doctor Helmet Dryer. The helmet dryers were discontinued several years ago by the brand that specializes in ice hockey protection, but many can still be found in the pro pits. (Pssst...we've got one that's in perfect condition that we'd trade for a nicely loaded Starbucks card...haha)
Bar-X Suzuki's Derek Drake has been finding his stride aboard his Twisted Development Suzuki RM-Z250. The Californian was 11th in Indy, matching his series-best from last weekend in Detroit.
During the afternoon break, we chatted with Malcolm Stewart's mechanic Chris "C-Low" Loredo at the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rig, and asked him if he ever felt stuck in the middle when Malc and his long-time former rider, Jason Anderson, were having their on-track rivalry. "I try to leave that between them," he said. "But as a mechanic, you have so many hours and so much invested in your racer that it's hard not to get emotionally involved." Like the. rest of us, C-Lo is glad that the two shook hands and agreed to put all behind them.
Ever wonder what bend handlebar Malcolm Stewart likes as a taller rider? The super flat and low Team Suzuki Pro Taper Fuzion...
Christien DuCharme puts some elbow grease into the frame shine on Jett Lawrence's Honda HRC machine in between qualifying sessions. While we've always used a SOS pad while washing our test bikes, he said that a good old steel wool pad works better when the frame is dry. Good to know.
Who needs nail clippers? In between bike maintenance sessions, we caught DuCharme giving himself a manicure with a pair of Snap-On wire cutters. No word on if he added a beautiful flower or not.
The coolest part on Jett Lawrence's race bike? DuCharme says it's the HRC hydraulic clutch on the bike, which replaces the standard cable-actuated system. In the past, Honda racers like Trey Canard have strayed from the hydraulic unit, opting for the more-positive feel of the cable system. Eli Tomac, for example, raves about the cable clutch on his Yamaha YZ450F. Either way, neither Tomac - or Lawrence, for that matter - have struggled with starts lately!
How cold was it in Indy? Propane tanks were frozen solid and needed to be defrosted! Hmmm...seemed sketchy to us.
Jett Lawrence and his brother Hunter have been training under the watchful eye of former Supercross and Motocross Champion Johny O'Mara. This isn't the first time a pair of fast brothers has relied on the wealth of knowledge the O'Show has to offer, as years ago he was the trainer for Jeremy and Alex Martin.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Stilez Robertson was in Indianapolis, but his FC 250 sat idle as he cased a triple during the week and injured his right wrist. Robertson is scheduled to have further examination this week and hopes. to return when the East Coast 250 Championship resumes in St. Louis. Robertson dropped to eighth in the standings after missing Indy.
We spotted what might be the trickest and best-built sag scale in the world in the Red Bull KTM pits. Hand made by the man himself, Roger DeCoster, we suspected that it might be made of titanium by its looks, but alas, it wasn't.
No math needed; just set the height on the stand using the in-molded sag-measuring mark on the KTM's rear fender and measure free- or rider sag with ease!
Marvin Musquin busted up his Airoh helmet last weekend in Detroit but no worries - he had a new one ready to go in Indy!
We liked the extra details and Slim Shady theme of Marv's latest lid... There's only so much you can do with a regulation Red Bull helmet design, but you can always count on Musquin's to have some added flair.
Red Bull KTM's Aaron Plessinger was on hand to interact with the fans and take in some racing in Indianapolis. Recovering from a broken arm, we asked Pless how he was doing. "I miss my dirt bike, man," was his reply.
We spotted Brandon Scharer cleaning up his own bike in the Club MX/Muc-Off/Yamaha pits. A familiar face around SoCal tracks, Scharer missed the 450 main by only two spots. After getting a taste of 450 main action at Daytona, we're sure he wants and expects more.
Earlier we spotted RJ Hampshire drying his sweaty gloves on his muffler. Jace Owen uses a more stealth technique.
Alex Martin's transition to the 450 class has been exciting to watch, as the diminutive rider does a fine job of taming the big Yamaha YZ450F. Martin was 20th in Indy, and his best finish thus far has been 13th in Detroit. Check out his riser footpegs!
We suspect that Dylan Ferrandis has been nursing a tweaked wrist for a while now, but he jammed it badly enough in Detroit two weekends ago to sit out the Indy Supercross. It's odd to see the Frenchman struggle in 450 Supercross as a former 250 SX champ and the reigning 450 Motocross champion, isn't it?
SoCal-based Toyota of Escondido continues to be one of the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha team's major supporters and provides Tundras and Tacomas to the team and its riders. Eli Tomac's Tacoma was parked inside the Indianapolis pits, but we seriously doubt that ET3 drove it there from Colorado!
Kyle Chisholm's fill-in ride with the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha team has been exciting. The rock-steady veteran finished seventh in Indy, improving upon his 12th-place debut in Detroit. He already sits 18th in Eastern Regional 250 SX points! The temperatures were low in Indianapolis, so the team kept Chiz's Dunlops warm and grippy with tire heaters.
Nick McCampbell is one of the friendliest mechanics in the pits. A longtime Smartop/Motoconcepts/Bullfrog Spas/Honda team member, McCampbell is handling the bike builds for Vince Friese this season. "He got back on the 250 last week to tune-up for the Seattle Supercross," he said. "I think the time racing the 450 is gonna serve him well....he was flying!"
We noticed grip tape plastered all over Friese's CRF250R at Indianapolis. "The more grip for Vince, the better," said McCampbell. "Especially on the 450. He says that he needs all the grip he can get to hold onto the big bike!"
It's nice to have Shawn Ulokjowski back in the pits again. The veteran mechanic took several years away from the sport but returned to work for his good friend Justin Brayton in his final Supercross tour. Ulokowski can be remembered best as Travis Preston's West Coast 125 Supercross Championship mechanic. When we asked Ulo who is easier to work for between JB and Presto, he replied, "JB is definitely more work, because he really knows what he wants and what works for him. Travis would have raced anything as long as it had two wheels.:" When we asked him what he'd be doing after Brayton retired following this year's Salt Lake SX series finale, Shawn replied that he had not yet decided and that some World Supercross may be on the agenda. Hmmm...
SGB Unlimited's Alex Ray had both his mom and dad on hand in Indianapolis, as well as his girlfriend, Samantha. While Ronnie Ray has been a semi-regular sight at the races over the years, this is the first time in some time that mom Maria has attended a race. And what a good one to see!
Mitchell Oldenburg has steadily been turning in solid finishes aboard his Smartop/Motoconcepts/Bullfrog Spas/Honda CRF250R and in Indianapolis, he was fifth at the checkered flag and he sits seventh in the series points in spite of missing the first main event of the series with a part malfunction. Freckle will return to the CRF450R and the premier division next weekend in Seattle.
Our buddy Joshua Varize had a scary moment in one of the afternoon practice sessions when he crashed in a rhythm lane. While his body went to the inside of the track, his Husqvarna went to the outside and he had to wait for quite a few riders to jump past before he could get back to his steed. The SoCal native was 12th in the main and sits 12th in points, as well.
The wall obstacle before the track crossed in front of the starting gate provided some great photo opportunities. Who knew ET3 had such a mean scrub?
Sorry, Cap'n...we see a @motomemes opportunity here...
Another top 10 for Vince Friese in Indianapolis! The Smartop/Motoconcepts/Bullfrog Spas/Honda rider was ninth at the finish line aboard his CRF450R. We asked him if he was looking forward to returning to the small bike for the next couple of weekends and he replied, "Yeah, I actually am because that is what the main goal of this season is. I got back on it last week and actually adapted to it quickly. I was a little worried because initially, it took me quite some time to feel comfortable on a smaller bike again."
Cold weather and closed stadiums sometimes trigger Malcolm Stewart's exercise-induced asthma, so the Rockstar Husqvarna racer takes a preventative puff of his inhaler before each practice session or race.
Cullen Park was the only rider beneath the Phoenix Honda semi awning last weekend, as Arenacross Champion Kyle Peters is out with a broken hand and ribs, and Josh Osby and the team parted ways earlier this month. TYhe rookie pulled through under pressure, though, earning the first top-10 finish of his young career!
If you watched the Checking in With Eli Tomac video that we posted from Friday's press day function, you heard us chatting about his new ET3 replica Bell Moto 10 Spherical helmet that is due. to drop this summer. We also spoke about the holographic helmet he's been wearing lately (pictured) and that, too, will become available in August!
Just because Supercross no longer has dirt starts and has transitioned to the steel grate launch pads, doesn't mean that a mechanic's prep jobs are no longer! We saw Vince Friese's mechanic Nick McCampbell scrubbing the dirt out of the grate with a stiff-bristled brush.
Throughout the day, the roost accumulates beneath the grids, and eventually, can poke out above it in the openings. Stomping the line like a regular dirt start can compress the soil below the metal surface, so traction remains ideal.
Lots of mechanics clear the dirt beneath the gate so that it falls flush with the grate and provides a smooth, consistent launch surface.
Of course, wiping the dirt off the plastic Monster Energy panels is a must. Even the crevice between the plastic and the metal frame is carefully cleaned out.
Of course, some riders get into the act and take matters into their own hands. Henry Miller made sure the job was done to his liking. before the main event, where he raced his KTM to 15th.
Though Rockstar Energy helmets are for the most part pretty standard with an all-black scheme, you may have noticed Malcolm Stewart's flashy gold chrome lid a couple of rounds ago. That helmet, as are all of his black ones, was painted by our test rider Kordel Caro, who can be found on Instagram @korsace
Malcolm Stewart had a scary crash late in the 450 main while running fourth. Mookie went over the bars in a tricky rhythm section and was chased down by his bike. The Husqvarna muffler hit him in the butt and left him with a large hematoma on one of his glutes. Fortunately, the top five had lapped so far into the field on the 43-second track that even after taking what seemed like minutes to regroup, Stewart was able to salvage eighth at the finish.
Stewart has been enjoying the best starts of his career lately and one of the keys to his new technique is getting his pants pulled up and fastened nice and tight so that there is no extra rearward movement when he drops the clutch to rocket out of the gate.
There's a reason you can find SKETCHY mech on alexray.co
The soft dirt inside Lucas Oil Stadium deteriorated quickly and left dozens of peg-grabbing ruts in all of the jump faces.
What's a mini loader to do while the races are going on?
Gared Steinke, keeping the two-stroke dream alive! In Indy, Stankdog finished ninth in the LCQ aboard his KTM 250 SX. We're looking forward to seeing him back on his KTM 125 SX next weekend at his "home" race in Seattle.
One of the new faces in the 450 class last weekend was Club MX/Muc-Off/Yamaha's Dominique Thury, who decided last minute to take one of the team's YZ450Fs and throw his hat into the ring. The likable German was seventh in the LCQ.
Before the evening's race program started, we spotted Malcolm and Big James Stewart enjoying a long chat with an old friend...
...NHRA Top Fuel Dragster racer Antron Brown! "I've actually known Antron for a long time," said Malcolm. "He rides dirt bikes, too. I remember for the longest time I used to think it was his dad who was the drag racer, because he always looked so young!"
We spotted a couple of different takes on an ArMA Energy helmet paint job in Indy. The sports nutrition brand that's co-owned by racers Jeremy McGrath, Chad Reed, Nick Wey, and Adam Cianciarulo, has been making waves in our sport since its debut a couple of years ago. Luca Marsalisi put his Rock River Yamaha into the main event at Indy and although he was credited with 22nd, even making it into the main event is an accomplishment to be proud of.
Cullin Park's helmet, meanwhile, only sported the trademark black and yellow ARMA scheme on the top half of his 6D ATR-2.
Chase Sexton brought back the Slim Shady look that he originally went for in the off-season. What's the Honda HRC rider listen to on the starting line? "I listen to literally everything," he said. "But at Indy it was 311."
Sexton described his fourth-place finish in Indianapolis as "sub par." "All day I was just a little bit off," he said. "Fourth is okay but not great. I am just looking forward to this next week and getting my feet back under me after last weekend in Detroit. Seattle should be a little bit wet so it should be fun."
Logan Karnow warms up before the main event, in which he finished 16th and tied his best-ever finish. "This one is a little more legit, because last weekend in Detroit a lot of guys crashed out of the main," he said. "Getting some points is the biggest thing for me; I want to get a good National number nest year!"
Speaking of privateer Kevin Moranz, he funds his racing effort with a crowd fund-raising program he dubs the Moranz Mafia. At INdy, his helmet wrap featured the names of all those who contributed to helping fund his program. Very cool!
It's good to see racers like Dean Wilson still using the Intake breathing system while racing. Utilizing two small stick-on steel discs on the sides of your nose and a magnetic bridge, the system opens your nostrils and makes nose breathing far easier and more efficient while racing. Visit intakebreathing.com for more information! Trust us: it works!
We know it gets said every year, but the racing in 2022 is the best it's ever been! Whata. great time to be a race fan.
Earlier we pointed out Vince Friese's ninth-place finish, his second top-10 in a row. Friese, however, wasn't overly pleased with his riding in Indy, as he visibly struggled with the whoop section. We're looking forward to seeing his return to the 250 class in Seattle!
Justin Barcia's starts were on point all day in Indianapolis; from the final timed qualifier to the heat, to the main, he certainly had the feel on his Olly Stone-tuned Gas Gas MC 450F.
Isn't it great when all of the big dogs start up front? The short track in Indianapolis, however, had the leaders lapping some riders twice!
Okay, on to the good stuff. Our buddy Alex Ray - fresh off his first main event of the year last weekend in Detroit - showed up at Indy full of confidence. He qualified 17th fastest and definitely had the speed to put it into the main event again...
...but he got cross-rutted on the face of a double and cased the landing, leaving Deven Raper with nowhere to go. The duo crashed into a heap on the track, and Ray was further pummeled when Bubba Pauli landed on his downed bike and torpedoed his body just as he stood up. In the mad scramble to get back to their bikes, Raper told us that he screamed, "Why are you so SKETCHY?!?! Like your merch?" Triggered, Ray threw an elbow and a wrestling match ensued in the middle of. the track, much to the delight of the crowd. Both Ray and Raper were disqualified for the night by the AMA. Tune in to today's Kickstart Podcast elsewhere on the website, as we got the two to talk it out and put the issue to rest!
Even if ARay had remounted without fighting, there was no way he could have continued to race as his bike and bars especially, were badly mangled.
Logan Karnow put it into his third 450 main event of the season in Indy, but he got there by earning his first-ever LCQ win. The Ohio native was super stoked on his win and here, is congratulated by Spanish rider Joan Cros, who finished third and made his third main of the year.
On the podium, Karnow was visibly elated and closed out his interview on the big screen with "Let's f-cking goooo!" Comedy!
Do you follow Cameron McAdoo on Instagram? If you do, you should already know about #maddogsnacking, the hashtag he's created for his fiancee Maddie Salute, and her love of snacks.
Get the shot...anything for the 'Gram.
Jett Lawrence had a scary crash at the start of his heat race in which he avoided big injury not once, but several times as he cartwheeled across the track and has his forearm run over. He proceeded to put in a heroic ride all the way back to first. The best way to avoid a repeat of that madness? Holeshot the main, of course.
After taking control of the lead from the get-go, Lawrence opened up a gap on his competition and self admittedly, "put it into cruise mode way too soon.:" Lawrence jumped the whoops for several laps, and when championship rival Cameron McAdoo caught up and began to pressure him, it seemed like it took him a while to regain his composure and go.
Lawrence's race savvy is exceptional, however, as evidenced by this thwarted pass attempt by McAdoo in this six-photo sequence. Enjoy!
McAdoo did, however, take control of the lead for a short time, giving the crown and fans at home the battle they have been asking for all series long between the two.
Pierce Brown looked to be en route to another podium finish as he raced through the field in the 250 class, but the aches and pains from the injuries he sustained in his big heat race crash slowed him towards the end of the race and he settled into a safe fourth.
"It felt great to battle with Jett," McAdoo told us. "Even though we were on the losing side of that battle, it was fun and I learned some things. Looking forward to these next two weekends off and looking forward to matching up again."
As he began to slow, Brown could not fend off the charges and advances of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's RJ Hampshire, who was happy to earn his first podium finish of the series.
How do you think the East/West Showdowns will turn out? Can Jett Lawrence stop the Christian Craig West Coast Freight Train? "He really, really wants to," said Jett's mechanic Christien DuCharme. "It's all he's been talking about!" Time will tell. Who is your money on?
Earlier we mentioned that Lawrence was jumping the whoops early in the main, and McAdoo's quicker runs through the section allowed him to close the gap. Mid-way through the race, Jett's whoop speed improved considerably, and he actually began to navigate them quicker than McAdoo.
Brazilian Enzo Lopes earned sixth at Indy, his best finish of the season thus far for the Club MX/Muc-0ff/Yamaha team.
Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha fill-in rider Kyle Chisholm showed up at Indy with a fresh pair of Alpinestars that he broke in the week prior. At Detroit, he showed up in an old pair from several years prior, as he is extra picky about breaking in his boots before a race and had no time to do so before his fill-in debut.
At the finish, Lawrence and McAdoo had lapped up to sixth place in the main event. This was Jett's fourth win of the series and third in a row, and he enjoys an 11-point lead over McAdoo.
Whatever happened to holeshot bonuses?
In the main, Jordon Smith gated well but settled into eighth at the finish aboard his Firepower Honda. "Really disappointed in the way I rode last night," he wrote on his Instagram. "Finally got a good start and just didn't take advantage of it and rode the worst I have all season. No excuses, we will get back to work and come back swinging!"
Justin Rodbell qualified for his second 450 main event in Indy aboard his PRMX Kawasaki. The Marylander finished 21st in the main in spite of throwing up inside his helmet, mid race!
The crowd in Indy went nuts as Justin Barcia led the 450 main aboard his Gas Gas, but things really got loud when Jason Anderson successfully closed the gap and took over the lead...
...Anderson only chalked one lap up as the race leader, though, as Barcia retaliated in a tight left-hander and blew Anderson off his bike. Anderson remounted to finish sixth, but the damage was done. Barcia was fined $3000 and docked three championship points from his eventual second-place finish by the AMA.
What would a Monday Kickstart post be without the mention of Justin Bogle? The former Eastern Regional 250 SX Champion finished 13th aboard his Twisted Tea/HEP/Suzuki RM-Z450
Eli Tomac is a different man in 2022. Loose, happy, and candid, it is obvious that the Colorado rider is really enjoying his new home with the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha squad. We made mention earlier in this post of his Checking In With interview video posted elsewhere on the website: it really is worth a watch.
Win number six of the season and the fourth in a row for Tomac...can he win every remaining round? It's not out of the question when you look at his performances as of late. "It's always fun when you're winning, right?" he told us. "I'm having an enjoyable time right now,."
Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.