2022 Supercross Power Rankings after Round 1: Ken Roczen, Christian Craig have perfect Anaheim 1 results


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.

MORE: Dylan Ferrandis, Jett Lawrence end atop the 2021 Motocross Power Rankings

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.

450 Rankings

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.

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.

250 Rankings

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

IndyCar Power Rankings: Alex Palou still first as Newgarden, Ferrucci make Indy 500 jumps

NBC IndyCar power rankings
Kristin Enzor/For IndyStar/USA TODAY Sports Images Network

The biggest race of the NTT IndyCar Series season (and in the world) is over, and NBC Sports’ power rankings look very similar to the finishing results in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Pole-sitter Alex Palou entered the Indy 500 at the top and remains there after his impressive rebound to a fourth after a midway crash in the pits. Top two Indianapolis 500 finishers Josef Newgarden and Marcus Ericsson also improved multiple spots in the power rankings just as they gained ground during the course of the 500-mile race on the 2.5-mile oval. Though Alexander Rossi dropped a position, he still shined at the Brickyard with a fifth place finish.

Santino Ferrucci, the other driver in the top five at Indy, made his first appearance in the 2023 power rankings this year and now will be tasked with keeping his A.J. Foyt Racing team toward the front as the IndyCar circuit makes its debut on a new layout..

Heading into the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on the streets of downtown, here’s NBC Sports’ assessment of the current top 10 drivers through six of 17 races this year (with previous ranking in parenthesis):

  1. Alex Palou (1): Three consecutive top 10 finishes at the Indy 500, and yet the 2021 IndyCar champion still seems slightly snake-bitten at the Brickyard. A few different circumstances and a dash of experience, and Palou could have three Indy 500 wins. But he at least has the points lead.
  2. Marcus Ericsson (4): Some want to say the Indy 500 runner-up’s unhappiness with IndyCar race control was sour grapes, but the Swede had a legitimate gripe about the consistency of red flag protocols. Still a magnificent May for Ericsson, especially while the questions swirl about his future.
  3. Josef Newgarden (7): Strategist Tim Cindric and team did a fantastic job catapulting Newgarden from 17th into contention, and the two-time series champion did the rest. Particularly on a late three-wide pass for the lead, it can’t be overstated how brilliant the Team Penske driver was in his finest hour.
  4. Alexander Rossi (3): He winds up being the best Arrow McLaren finisher in a mostly disappointing Indy 500 for a team that seemed poised to become dominant. With a third in the GMR GP and a fifth in the Indy 500, this easily was Rossi’s best May since his second place in 2019.
  5. Pato O’Ward (2): Unlike last year, the Arrow McLaren star sent it this time against Ericsson and came out on the wrong side (and with lingering bitterness toward his Chip Ganassi Racing rival). The lead mostly was the wrong place to be at Indy, but O’Ward managed to be in first for a race-high 39 laps.
  6. Scott Dixon (5): He overcame brutal handling issues from a wicked set of tires during his first stint, and then the team struggled with a clutch problem while posting a typical Dixon-esque finish on “a very tough day.” The six-time champion hopes things are cleaner the rest of the season after the first three months.
  7. Santino Ferrucci (NR): Pound for pound, he and A.J. Foyt Racing had the best two weeks at Indianapolis. Ferrucci said Wednesday he still believes he had “by far the best car at the end” and if not for the timing of the final yellow and red, he would have won the Indy 500. Now the goal is maintaining into Detroit.
  8. Colton Herta (NR): He was the best in a mostly forgettable month for Andretti Autosport and now is facing a pivotal weekend. Andretti has reigned on street courses so far this season, and few have been better on new circuits than Herta. A major chance for his first victory since last year’s big-money extension.
  9. Scott McLaughlin (6): Ran in the top 10 at Indy after a strong opening stint but then lost positions while getting caught out on several restarts. A penalty for unintentionally rear-ending Simon Pagenaud in O’Ward’s crash then sent him to the rear, but McLaughlin still rallied for 14th. Detroit will be a fresh start.
  10. Rinus VeeKay (10): Crashing into Palou in the pits was less than ideal. But a front row start and 10th-place finish in the Indy 500 still were 2023 highlights for VeeKay in what’s been the toughest season of his career. The Ed Carpenter Racing cars have been slow on road and street courses, so Detroit is another test.

Falling out: Will Power (8), Felix Rosenqvist (9), Romain Grosjean (10)


PRESEASON: Josef Newgarden is a favorite to win third championship

RACE 1: Pato O’Ward to first; Newgarden drops out after St. Pete

RACE 2: O’Ward stays firmly on top of standings after Texas

RACE 3: Marcus Ericsson leads powerhouses at the top

RACE 4: Grosjean, Palou flex in bids for first victory

RACE 5: Alex Palou carrying all the momentum into Indy 500