Bigwave’s Briefs | 2022 Atlanta Supercross
By Billy Rainford
Round 14 of the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past Saturday afternoon. I’m going to try something a little different to get thoughts up in a concise way following events in something I’m going to call “Bigwave’s Briefs.” If anyone can come up with a funny graphic for this column it would be greatly appreciated. I think the name lends itself to something pretty hilarious.
- we’ve now got 2 big, Daytona-style SX races on the calendar and I like it.
- the track was a little too extreme for press day on Friday and they ended up toning down the massive 100+ foot triple they had.
- I haven’t seen the numbers but there’s no way they get as many people at this outdoor venue as they used to get indoors. Atlanta was always the most-packed round of the season. 70K used to cram in!
- this was another round dedicated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the unique graphics were in full effect.
- kudos to the Dirt Werx crew for keeping the track ready to race after all the rain they got.
- it was weird seeing +87 seconds and more on the timing screen.
250 East/West Showdown
- #715 Phil Nicoletti went over the bars and crashed HARD in the 250 East Heat race. A broken left arm was the result. I saw him out for food with Kourtney Lloyd with a smile on his face, so there’s that.
- #18 Jett Lawrence was down in turn 1 in the East heat but clawed his way back to 5th at the flag.
- #33 Austin Forkner was back after his broken collarbone and took the East heat win with a nice late pass on #24 RJ Hampshire.
- did you see #29 Michael Mosiman get by #30 Jo Shimoda TWICE on the inside line through the sand?
- people are bitching about being super-saturated with Lawrence Brothers content on the broadcast. I get it but can you blame them?
- was wondering what happened to #90 Jordon Smith. Turns out he broke his left index finger in practice. He had to go to the LCQ and was in a transfer spot and then disappeared. A bike malfunction took him out.
- they didn’t make the Main but did you see the burnout #330 AJ Catanzaro and #726 Jared Steinke did after the LCQ on their 125’s? Almost worth it…
1. 96 Hunter Lawrence HON – He got out to a good start and rode without incident to take the win. He launched into the sand section to grab the lead. He doesn’t have mental telepathy to keep tabs on where his brother Jett is, in case you were wondering… If he sticks to his program and doesn’t try to keep up with Jett off the track, he will have a very long and successful career and be a huge fan favourite, IMO.
2. 28 Christian Craig YAM – It was cool to see #28 and #18 lined up beside each other on the gate. They both tried to downplay the importance of winning the Showdown. CC knew he had to hug the inside in turn 1 and it worked out well for him. I think he could have and would have run HL down if it were for a C’ship. His average lap time was the best in the field.
3. 18 Jett Lawrence HON – He made the day tough on himself and went down in T1 in the Main and came around to complete lap 1 in 15th. He had the fastest lap time of the race and made it up to 3rd at the flag. Who knows how this thing would have ended up had he and his brother been out front! They didn’t show a “shoey” on the broadcast but I’m sure they did something on the podium.
4. 30 Jo Shimoda KAW – Jo grabbed the holeshot and led for the first 5 minutes. He tried to battle with Jett but ended up in 4th. They had a big lead over 5th place at the flag.
5. 49 Nate Thrasher YAM – Thrasher looked great out there and I thought he should have been up with 3rd and 4th but was 17 seconds off Jo at the flag. I never expect him to be up that far but I should.
6. 29 Michael Mosiman GG – Mosiman had the speed but had that one lap that cost him. MM is frustrating because he has the speed to be up front every week.
7. 33 Austin Forkner KAW – It was just good to see AF back on the track. He was up in 3rd place early in the Main but slid his way back to 7th at the flag. This guy just needs a run of good luck to get back to where he’s supposed to be.
8. 24 RJ Hampshire HSK – RJ was coming off his first-ever win the week before. He was up in 2nd place but slid out early and had a nice battle with Forkner to the end.
9. 54 Mitchell Oldenburg HON – Mitchell led the East heat race for a long time. He sort of ended where he started in the Main.
10. 44 Pierce Brown GG – Pierce qualified 8th, started 9th, and ended 10th. He’s faster than that and will have his day.
- you can always count on #78 Cade Clason to be in 9th or 10th in his heat. I’m starting to think he loves the pressure and drama!
- #14 Dylan Ferrandis will sit out the rest of the SX season to prepare for the MX season.
- that one outside berm had teeth! It bit #25 Marvin Musquin and almost got #3 Eli Tomac.
- watching riders try either lane in the sand for passes was wild. Full send, for sure!
- #63 Jeremy Hand raced his first-ever 450 SX and made it in through the LCQ (4th). He was 19th in the Main.
1. 21 Jason Anderson KAW – It was interesting to hear Jason say the track was “intimidating.” He also said: “I don’t want to be the Karen, but…” when describing what he thought of the high-speed tack. The two riders in front of him off the start ended up screwing up and he took a nice lead for 13 laps, not shown on TV… Just when you don’t know what he’s going to do, he wins another race.
2. 3 Eli Tomac YAM – It was interesting to hear Eli say that he was one of the riders “kicking and screaming” on Friday about the track. He moved his way forward and made a nice outside pass on #1 Cooper Webb for 2nd place but by then Jason was too far gone.
3. 23 Chase Sexton HON – When this guy gets his consistency figured out, look out. He was fastest qualifier. He lost the front end after the sand and fell back to 6th. He came back to 3rd but you know he’s pissed. He even admitted that his confidence took a hit.
4. 1 Cooper Webb KTM – Of course, you know Cooper will come on strong at the end of the season but it’s too late for any real, noteworthy accomplishments this year. It always seems crazy for us at home to hear they can’t get a bike comfortable for a rider, but at that level it’s a little different.
5. 27 Malcolm Stewart HSK – Malcolm qualified 3rd but then actually got passed in the whoops by Sexton! It was weird to see. He ended up alone in 5th place at the end of this one.
6. 51 Justin Barcia GG – Every time I tell myself Justin likely won’t win, he grabs a holeshot and looks great. However, he lost the front end and went down and then got sideways in the whoops and went off the track. He’s in a good points battle with Malcolm to hang on to 3rd.
7. 10 Justin Brayton HON – If there’a “Steady Eddie” in SX it’s Justin Brayton. It will be cool to see him walk away from racing on his own terms but you wonder about retirement with so many future potential good finishes left on the table. The family man will have no regrets.
8. 11 Kyle Chisholm YAM – What was I saying about Brayton??? Chizz just keeps on racking up the finishes too. It’s great to see him still out there and having fun…and beating riders half his age (not really).
9. 41 Brandon Hartranft SUZ – Brandon has been nailing pretty good starts and his results are improving because of it. We joke that he looks a bit like David Thorpe out there but he’s getting the job done, and we all know Thorpe did!
10. 25 Marvin Musquin KTM – Marvin qualified 3rd and should have been in the win conversation again this week. He hit that wonky berm and went down early and was dead last. He clawed his was up to 10th.
It’s on to Foxborough for the Boston round this coming week. We’ve only got 3 rounds left!
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