Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: High Point 3

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).

Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: High Point

Welcome to the Good, Bad 'n Ugly from High Pint! It's the fourth round 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 day 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 | Seth Hammaker - 6th Place Overall

Seth Hammaker hasn't necessarily blown us out of the water this year with his results, but he has been very solid so far. He has also made huge strides from last season, where he only appeared in three outdoor nationals and didn't log a single top 15 overall finish. This season, he has finished inside the top 10 overall at all four rounds and has shown some serious speed during timed qualifying. As he continues to gain experience, there's no doubt he'll be able to slowly turn that qualifying speed into race speed and start to make appearances on the podium. He has already proven as such in Supercross with two podium finishes this year before sustaining an injury. He definitely seems like a rider that is building to have a huge breakout year in 2023 and claim wins indoors and outdoors. Monster Energy Kawasaki has had some serious ups and downs these past handful of years, but maybe Hammaker will give them something to smile about these next few seasons. 

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The Bad | Pierce Brown - 9th Place Overall

Pierce Brown hasn't been a pro that long. He turned pro in 2020, although it does feel like he has been around longer. He also wasn't able to complete the full outdoor schedule in either the 2020 or 2021 seasons. So, with that in mind, I'd say the goal this season for Pierce is really just to finish the full season and stay healthy. Avoiding injuries is by far the number one priority, which I definitely understand. I am surprised we haven't seen a little bit more out of him, though. Maybe he has dialed it back a little bit just to ensure that he's able to finish races, but I'd imagine the Troy Lee Designs team sees a lot more potential in him than just hanging around the bottom half of the top 10. He meets the eye test of a top five talent, but he has only finished in the top five overall once in his career up to this point. With that being said, he did have a solid Supercross season, which is what teams care about more. And, to be fair, he wouldn't be the first rider who can podium indoors but is only a top 10 guys outdoors, but I think he can be better than that. This season will be a success for him if he's able to finish it and stay healthy, but hopefully he's able to build on that and start to creep towards the podium more often in 2023. 

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The Ugly | It's a Two Horse Race After Four Rounds

I mean, the reality that this championship has become a two horse race after the first four rounds shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Austin Forkner only lasted one round, Jeremy Martin is out, RJ Hampshire and Michael Mosiman crashed themselves out of contention, and Justin Cooper is still working his way back to his old self. If Hunter isn't able to hang with his brother these next couple of rounds and start to close the gap, though, this 250 championship is going to become far less interesting. With that being said, the saving grace of motocross is that anything can happen in any given moto. So the actual racing will still be exciting, but it is always better when there's an intense points battle to go along with it. 

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450 Motocross Class

The Good | Garrett Marchbanks - 9th Place Overall

Garrett Marchbanks is a rider who I still think deserves a spot on a factory 250 team, but I could also see him opting to go 450 full time sooner rather than later. He has solidified himself as a top 10 rider in the 450 class this season on the ClubMX Yamaha team, and I only see him getting better over the next couple of years. He's a big dude, and he's got that chip on his shoulder from being dropped from a factory team that is going to continue to fuel him until he gets signed by a high profile team again. Also of note, he didn't get great starts at High Point and still worked his way into the top 10 in both motos. I don't believe he has announced his plans for 2023, but I am interested to see if he is ever going to get another shot with a factory team. 

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The Bad | Aaron Plessinger - 13th Place Overall

This pick isn't performance based as I've already touched on that this season. I put Aaron in this spot this week because of the injury scare he had in moto two. He was riding great, and then we saw him pull off the track and start cruising around in obvious pain. I thought maybe he had re-injured his arm or tweaked a knee, but the good news is that he just twisted his ankle really bad. Given that he's still trying to work his way back to 100%, picking up another small injury isn't ideal. However, he gets to rest the ankle for a several days with no race scheduled for this coming weekend, and hopefully it'll be a non-issue when we get the series going again. Aaron could use a little bit of luck during this next leg of the championship. 

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The Ugly | Antonio Cairoli - 40th Place Overall

Man, it sure was a bummer to see Antonio Cairoli's stint in the U.S. end the way it did on Saturday. We already knew that it was supposed to be his final time racing our series this year, but a lot of us were still holding out hope that they would extend his stay as KTM had already done once. There was also some frustration with KTM from many fans when it came out that KTM hadn't given Cairoli any start money to race our series, which is insane to think about considering what he has done for the KTM brand. That aside, our hopes of Cairoli staying for a couple of more rounds quickly evaporated as he exited moto one and then didn't line up for moto two due to a tweaked knee. The knee issue all but confirmed that he wouldn't be continuing on in the U.S. and would instead switch his focus to the Motocross of Nations. I'm sure a lot of people are still going to look for him to make a surprise appearance at RedBud given that is the site of the MXoN this year, but we'll have to wait and see on that one. In any case, it was a treat to see the nine-time champ race a few of our races. I hope he does some more one-off races in the future. 

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