Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Hangtown 4

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

Welcome to the Good, Bad 'n Ugly from Hangtown! It's the second of 2022 AMA Pro Motocross 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 Motocross Class

The Good | Justin Cooper - 2nd Place Overall

Talk about the perfect turn-around performance for Justin Cooper. His championship hopes were looking rather dreadful following Fox Raceway where he failed to log a top 10 moto finish. I don't think I was alone in thinking that it would take him a few more rounds to really get back to where we expect him to be. In reality, all it took was for him to grab a couple of holeshots and the old Justin Cooper was back as if he'd never left. He was able to lead some laps again, and prove that even though he's still working his way back to 100% from ankle surgery he's still going to be a factor this season. He still wasn't able to beat an under-the-weather Jett Lawrence for the overall win, but this was a good indicator that Hunter Lawrence won't be the only rider to challenge Jett for wins this season. 

The Bad | Nate Thrasher - 13th Place Overall

Even though it seems like Thrasher has been a pro for a hot second, he had actually only raced seven outdoor nationals in his career leading into this season. He rode two races at the end of the 2020 season, and then five races in 2021 before sustaining an injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. We're now two races into this season, though, and he has yet to score a top 10 overall finish in nine career starts. Given the team he is on and the high expectations many had for him when he turned pro, I'd have to say that this is a bit concerning so far. A team like Star Racing Yamaha probably doesn't think much of top 10 finishes for a non-rookie...let alone top 15 finishes. It also doesn't help things that his rookie teammate, Nicholas Romano, is currently ahead of him in the standings. We're only two rounds in, so he has plenty of time to turn it around, but I'm sure he's feeling a little bit of pressure right now.

The Ugly | Michael Mosiman - 8th Place Overall

A coulda-woulda-should performance for Michael Mosiman that saw him leave the track with 1-39 scores. This was a great opportunity for him to snag an overall win given the sickness Jett was dealing with, but in the end he had a crash in the second moto and threw it away. It didn't look like he sustained any serious injuries in the crash, but his bike was pretty bent up and as a result he had to pull it into the pits. I don't think many of us were surprised that Mosiman had a crash that prevented him from contending for the overall win, but it still sucks to see him miss out on what would've been the first win of his career. It'll be interesting to see if he's able to put it all together at one of the remaining rounds, or if he'll look back at this race later on and think of it as the one that got away. 

450 Motocross Class

The Good | Jason Anderson - 1st Place Overall

This was a long time coming for Jason Anderson. This dude has been a pro racer since 2011, but he had never won an outdoor national in the 250 or 450 class until this past Saturday. So if you're wondering why this seemed like an extra special first win, that's why. All of these guys are super confident, but I wouldn't blame Jason if he had started to think that he may never win one of these overalls. He finally did it, though, and this just continues what has been an incredible year for El Hombre. I know I wasn't alone in thinking that his best years were past him when the 2021 season concluded, and that if anything he was nearing retirement. However, he looks to be in the best shape of his career and there's no reason to think he won't be at the same level or even better next year. This sport never ceases to surprise me with some of the stories we get to witness. 

The Bad | Aaron Plessinger - 8th Place Overall

Aaron missed over half of the Supercross season, so he may not deserve to be in this spot quite yet, but I do think he'll be on a bit of a hot seat if he doesn't improve mightily by the end of the season. He is currently getting beat by one teammate who was retired for five years, and another teammate who has been retired from full-time racing since the end of last year. We'll see where he stands by the half way point in the season, but if he's still hanging around this spot by the end of round six, I'll be close to pressing the panic button. 

The Ugly | Justin Barcia - 10th Place Overall

Justin has essentially been a non-factor this season as his moto scores through the first two rounds have been 8-9-10-11, and I'm kind of scratching my head as to why. He has always been a solid outdoor rider, and while I wouldn't say I expect him to fight for wins, I think it's fair to expect for him to be around the top five more often than not. You could say that he suffered from poor starts at round one, but he finished around where he started at round two. So the jury is out on that one for now. It is also early enough in the season where it could legitimately be due to him being unable to find the right bike settings, but time will tell. 


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