Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Denver 1

We're here to give you our thoughts on who did good, who did...well, Bad and who had a night to forget forever (the Ugly).

Welcome to the Good, Bad 'n Ugly from Denver! It's the sixteenth and penultimate round of the 2022 Supercross season and we're here to give you our thoughts on who did good, who did...well, Bad and who had a night to forget forever (the Ugly). Staff member Grant Dawson is sharing his thoughts this weekend.

Do you agree with our picks and opinions, or do you have thoughts that differ? Let us know in the comment section below.

250 Supercross Class

Grant Dawson | The Good: Vince Friese - 6th Place

Say what you will about Vince Friese's reputation when it comes to his race craft, but he has turned in an impressive overall performance this season that includes four top fives and a podium. He also currently sits tied for fourth place in the standings. He has been consistent all season long, and I see no reason why MotoConcepts Racing doesn't sign him up to race the 250 class again next year. It's great visibility for the team, and they still get some visibility in the 450 class with Friese and Mitchell Oldenburg racing the big bike whenever their respective regional series is on break. I think they've found a great formula, which provides them with a high chance of logging meaningful results in both classes. Good stuff from the MotoConcepts Racing crew this year. 

Grant Dawson | The Bad: Christian Craig - 3rd Place

It was a great recovery from Christian Craig to pick himself up from his crash, not freak out, and work his way back into a podium finish. It wasn't ideal that he crashed in the first place, but I don't think it surprised a lot of us. He seemed to be a little more aggressive than I anticipated early on in the race, which at the end of the day is understandable since he wanted to wrap up the title early, but Craig is definitely a guy who runs high on emotions and sometimes it bites him in the butt. The good news is that his comeback salvaged some serious points and he heads into the final round of the season with an 18 point lead. It is the East/West Showdown which is always stress inducing for a red plate holder, but he'll essentially have to completely self destruct to lose this title to Hunter Lawrence. He just needs to get a somewhat decent start, stay away from Lawrence, and cruise to the finish to collect the first Supercross title of his career. The renaissance of Craig's career over the past handful of years has been fun to watch, and I'm looking forward seeing him finally get that number one plate next week. 

Grant Dawson | The Ugly: The Track

I wouldn't say we witnessed the most exciting racing of the year on Saturday. The track ended up being dry and slippery, and overall just didn't end up being a great track for racing. This happens a few times every year, but not every track can be a winner, whether it is because of the actual track conditions or the layout. The track designers and the track crew have a tough job, and the idea that everything will work out perfectly for 17 out of 17 races is just not realistic. Let's hope the final Supercross race of the year provides a bit more entertainment, though. 

450 Supercross Class

Grant Dawson | The Good: Eli Tomac - 5th Place

Two-time champion! It wasn't quite the performance Eli Tomac was hoping to have in his home state, but he did what he needed to do to wrap up his second 450 Supercross title a round early. Tomac also confirmed that he has been riding with a messed up knee since Atlanta, which many had been speculating about due to his conservative performances lately. Luckily, he was able to power through and not let the points lead slip out of his fingers at the very end of the series due to a freak knee injury. With three 450 outdoor titles and two 450 Supercross titles under his belt now, Tomac has absolutely locked himself in as one of the greats of the sport. It honestly seemed like he enjoyed this title win more than his others, and I don't think anyone can blame him considering the gamble he took moving to Yamaha and then the adversity he faced the last few weeks with the injury. Of course, now the question is whether or not he'll be able to race outdoors. We don't know how severe the knee injury actually is, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he opts out of the outdoor season. The good news is that he did mention in the press conference that they're working on getting his deal done for the 2023 season. So even if he does end up sidelined for outdoors, we'll at least see him back to defend his Supercross title.

Grant Dawson | The Bad: Justin Barcia - 7th Place

It never really clicked for Justin Barcia in Denver. He finished ninth place overall in timed qualifying, fourth place in his heat race, and then he capped it off with a seventh place finish in the Main Event. He actually looked pretty good early on in the Main Event with some solid lap times, and he was in fourth place with his eyes on third place when he had a tip over that relegated him back to seventh place, but at the end of the day he crossed the finish line in seventh place. Malcolm Stewart took advantage of Barcia's misfortune and has now passed him for third place in the standings. It has still been a very solid season so far for Barcia, but I imagine it will sting a little bit if he loses out on third place in the standings at the very end of the season. 

Grant Dawson | The Ugly: Justin Bogle - 21st Place

I've been a huge fan of Justin Bogle for a long time, and I'm genuinely happy that he still has a spot on the grid. This season, though, has been a weird one for him. He has actually logged finishes in more rounds this year than he did in 2021 and 2020, but it still feels like it has been a rough season for him in some ways. He does have three top 10 finishes, but he has also dealt with numerous crashes and his last three finishes are 21st, 22nd, and 21st. It has just been very up and down and has never had a true sense of stability. He will still finish top 15 in the standings, though, which is solid, and I do think he'll land a ride with one of the satellite teams for 2023. Regardless of his results, the sport is better off when Justin Bogle is at the races. 


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