The Good: Christian Craig | 1st Place
To realistically stay in the title chase, Christian Craig really needed to take some points away from Colt Nichols at Indy 3, and he did just that. Sure, Colt had a crash on the first lap that allowed for Christian (and the entire pack) to pass by him without any issues, but Christian still had to win the race. He rode an extremely smooth Main Event and finished about seven seconds ahead of Jo Shimoda for the win. There are now only six points separating Colt and Christian, and things are much more interesting now. Colt cannot afford to make any more mistakes; Indy 3 was his throwaway race.
The Good Bonus: Jett Lawrence | 5th Place
I'm sure this race was a disappointment by Jett's standards, but the fact that he even raced is impressive to me. I figured he'd sit out Indy 3 and maybe even Orlando to give his body some time to heal with all of the hits he had taken recently. Nope. He took the few days he had between Indy 2 and Indy 3 to recover and then made the decision to race after all. He's clearly pushing through some pain and probably can't wait until the 250 East series goes on break so he can get back to 100%, but he's such a competitor that he doesn't want to miss any races. He still has one race to push through, but I'm looking forward to watching a much healthier Jett when the 250 East series comes back from break.
The Bad, But Actually Good: Colt Nichols | 3rd Place
You couldn't ask for much more out of Colt Nichols after he went down on the first lap and got up in 22nd place. He was able to charge back to third, and he minimized the damage that Christian Craig could have inflicted on him. I was concerned that he was going to push too hard to get through the field because of the championship implications and have another issue or crash as a result, but that had to be one of the calmest charges to third place I've ever seen. He was patient with every rider he encountered, and every pass was set up a few corners before so that there would be no drama. Jett gave him one heck of a fight when he eventually caught up to him, but he was finally able to get by, and Jett made a mistake on his own that took him out of contention for the spot. I wouldn't be surprised if we look back at this ride as the one that won him the championship.
The Ugly: Michael Mosiman | DNQ
Ugh, another 250 East rider was hit with the injury bug at Indy 3, and, unfortunately, it was Michael Mosiman who was just starting to find his stride. He was set to be a front runner for the rest of the series and potentially snag the first win of his career, but an incident in practice left him with a hand that's broken in three places and will require surgery. Get well soon, Michael.
We need to wrap the rest of the riders in this series in bubble wrap until we crown a champion. We cannot afford to lose another rider.
The Good: Marvin Musquin | 3rd Place
Marvin needed a big bounce-back race after a three-round skid in which he finished 13-10-11, and he did so with a strong third-place finish. He showed that he can still move through the field when he doesn't ride over his head, and I'd imagine that this will inject a much-needed dose of confidence into him as we head towards the halfway point in the season. I still think he could win a race if he can start up front, but we'll have to see. It's wild that this is the first season in a while where Marvin could go the entire season without a win, and I wouldn't be that surprised. I want him to win, and like I said, I think he still has the ability to win, but several things are going to have to go his way for it to happen.
The Bad: Eli Tomac | 7th Place
Eli straight up hasn't been on the same level as Ken Roczen this year, but he was starting to establish himself as the clear number two guy until Indy 3. He just wasn't able to close the gap enough to Cooper Webb to make a run for third place, and then when Cooper got by Justin Barcia, it was clear that Eli was going to finish third at best. But Eli couldn't make the move stick on Justin, either, and he ultimately ended up hitting Justin's bike and going down after Vince Friese collided with Justin before the triple. Eli has been a different rider since he won his first Supercross title last year. He doesn't seem to go balls-out nearly as much, and it appears that he's perfectly satisfied with finishing on the podium each week. That's not a bad thing, but that approach just isn't working out for him this season as he's had two bad finishes (although this one wasn't his fault) that have put him 24 points down in the championship. So unless he decides to turn on beast mode at some point, this championship may slip out of Eli's grasp barring a big mistake by Ken.
The Bad Bonus: Zach Osborne | 10th Place
What a weird season for Zacho so far. If you watch him during qualifying or even during some of his heat races, he clearly has the speed to contend for at least podiums if not wins. However, his scorecard of 10-10-9-5-7-10 finishes tells a different story. His starts haven't been great, and he has also taken a few dirt samples along the way. Like I've already said this year, starts have never mattered more in this class. Some of these dudes are fast, but if they start in 18th they might make it back to 10th if they ride a great race. I think Zacho's current trend of finishes will be how most of his season goes, to be honest. He'll have a lot of finishes that are a result of a bad start or mid-race crash, and then he'll have the occasional race where he is on an absolute charge and finishes in fifth, or maybe even on the podium.
The Ugly: Justin Barcia | 19th Place
Justin rode great for pretty much the entire race. He challenged Ken Roczen early on and tried to hold off Cooper Webb as long as he could before settling down into third place. I think he would have held off Eli Tomac and finished there, too, but a collision with Vince Friese before the triple left Justin on the ground and clearly in some pain. He fell all the way back to 19th place, which is where he'd finish on the scorecard, and he is now 42 points down in the standings after such a strong start to the season. The good news is that it doesn't sound like he sustained any serious injuries and should be behind the gate for Orlando. Let's hope that he bounces back with a great ride.
Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson