With a heat and feature win, Ken Roczen made a statement in the opening race of the Monster Energy Supercross championship and sits atop the Power Rankings after Round 1 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.
The Supercross Power Rankings will be a season-long look at the riders with the most current momentum. Rider and manufacturer points tell only part of the story, so these rankings will try to fill in the gaps.
As we get deeper into the season, the rankings will look back to the previous 45 days to include riders’ results in the main, heats and last chance qualifier when necessary. By winning both his heat and main, Roczen scored a perfect “1”. The lower the number, the stronger the rider.
Joan Cros was the highest finishing rider in the last chance qualifier and was assigned a 23rd-place finishing position. Coupled with 13th in his heat, he has an “18” for Anaheim 1, which ranks him outside the top 20.
Throughout the year, there will be a lot of debate, but it’s not difficult to make a case for Roczen as the No. 1 rider after Round 1. When teammate Chase Sexton crashed in the middle of the race, Roczen was unchallenged. There was little incentive to keep riding on the edge. Roczen allowed eventual second-place rider Cooper Webb to close up on him in the final laps on a track that saw rapid deterioration in the whoops, but that shows both physical and mental strength.
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Sexton ranks second this week. He finished only fifth in the Main, but his heat win helped his average. Even without that number to boost him, Sexton’s fifth-place finish was impressive because he rallied from being on the ground twice during the race. If Sexton stays healthy in his sophomore season, he will be one of the contenders.
Third goes to Webb. He finished second in the main after struggling a little in the heat where the competition was not quite as high. Still, considering that he finished ninth in last year’s opener and spent the next couple of rounds catching up, this was a strong result for the defending champion.
After winning the opener last year, Justin Barcia said he wanted to have a more consistent season than he had in previous years. He missed out on the record for the most consecutive opening night wins, but when pressed by the media, he refused to take a negative stance. With a third in the main and fourth in his heat, Barcia achieved some of that consistency and is tied for third this week.
Eli Tomac had an uncharacteristic week at Anaheim. He finished strong in his heat, but after getting mired deep in the pack at the start of the main, he was unable to climb as high as he typically does. His sixth-place finish in the feature drug him down a little, but he nevertheless rounded out the top five in the Supercross Power Rankings after Round 1.
1. Ken Roczen (1 feature, 1 heat win)
2. Chase Sexton (1 heat win)
3. Cooper Webb
3. Justin Barcia
5. Eli Tomac
6. Malcolm Stewart
7. Marvin Musquin
8. Aaron Plessinger
9. Joey Savatgy
10. Justin Brayton
11. Jason Anderson
11. Adam Cianciarulo
13. Max Anstie
13. Shane McElrath
15. Dean Wilson
15. Dylan Ferrandis
17. Mitchell Oldenburg
18. Brandon Hartranft
19. Cade Clason
19. Fredrik Noren
In the 250 class, Christian Craig sits at the top for the same reason as Roczen: he was perfect in Anaheim 1 with a feature and heat win.
Craig did not have the same commanding lead when the checkers waved, but actually looked a little more dominant because he was able to ride away from the field without the benefit of a major incident. The 2022 season may be his last chance to make a big splash in the 250 class and nothing short of a championship will do.
Will we see back to back Main Event wins for your 250SX West championship points leader, @_ChristianCraig? 🤔#SupercrossLIVE pic.twitter.com/dNMPtsVBJw
— Supercross LIVE! (@SupercrossLIVE) January 12, 2022
Seth Hammaker quietly finished second in both the feature and heat. Quietly, that is, until the final lap when he bobbled in the final turn and almost allowed Hunter Lawrence to get around him. With momentum stalled after overjumping the last set of obstacles, Hammaker limped across the line as the checkers waved.
Lawrence, Garrett Marchbanks and Michael Mosiman are locked in a three-way tie for third.
Lawrence wasn’t even supposed to be in the 250 West series. Originally designated as an East rider, he was pressed into service when his brother Jett Lawrence sustained a minor injury in preseason testing. Before the race, Jett predicted Hunter would finish on the podium – and that is precisely what happened after a dramatic last-lap pass on Marchbanks.
Marchbanks thought he had a shot at second on the final lap. As he set his sights on Hammaker, Lawrence pounced. Marchbanks ended up just one spot shy of the podium in the main, but stood on the box in his heat.
Mosiman won his heat. He was unable to back it up with a podium in the main and that sixth-place finish cost him a shot at sole possession of third.
Vince Friese landed just outside the top five in sixth. He had a solid showing during the week, however, by leading the first three laps of his heat before getting passed by the rider who eventually swept the weekend.
1. Christian Craig (1 feature, 1 heat win)
2. Seth Hammaker
3. Hunter Lawrence
3. Garrett Marchbanks
3. Michael Mosiman (1 heat win)
6. Vince Friese
7. Jo Shimoda
8. Robbie Wageman
9. Chris Blose
10. Dominique Thury
10. Carson Mumford
12. Nate Thrasher
13. Mitchell Harrison
14. Cole Thompson
15. Ryan Surratt
16. Logan Karnow
16. Derek Kelley
18. Dylan Walsh
19. Kaeden Amerine
20. Devin Hariman