Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Minneapolis 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, presented by Pro Taper, from Minneapolis! It's the seventh round of 2022 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 Michael Lindsay is sharing his thoughts this weekend, while Grant Dawson will be back next week for his opinion as well.

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

Michael Lindsay | The Good: Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki - 2nd & 3rd

Mitch Payton's Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki squad has had a few rough years now and 2022 was seeming to trend in that same direction. However, Minneapolis had a glimmer of hope! After starting off the weekend with losing Jett Reynolds to a press day crash, would it be more of the same? Look, with the past couple seasons that Austin Forkner and Cameron McAdoo have had...anything could've happened. Both guys proved us wrong though, putting in sold, smart and seasoned rides. Don't get me wrong, Forkner had a couple moments here-and-there but for the most part both guys were well in control and did exactly what they needed to do. Finish the first round with big points on the board and get in all the laps! While yes the title favorite known as Jett Lawrence did take the win, McAdoo and Forkner were close to him on a very technical and demanding track. Who knows where we're going from here but this had to have been one of the most positive nights the Pro Circuit team has experienced in a while. 

Michael Lindsay | The Bad: Motoconcepts, SGB Unlimited, and Ti-Lube Honda

This is a very broad net I'm casting but it's interesting to see how the evening played out for Honda as a brand. On the good side, Jett Lawrence wins! The ultimate goal, the big W, the notoriety, all the press, etc...etc...etc... Basically, the factory team did its job and went to the top. Weekend was a success.

Other than the factory effort, Honda also had a total of twelve support racers between the Phoenix, MCR, SGB, Firepower, and Ti-Lube teams. All these teams receive different levels of support, with Phoenix and MCR being at the top of that list, drifting down through Firepower, to Ti-Lube and lastly SGB. Of these twelve riders, only six of them made the main event and most had crashes and other issues, leaving the best finisher being Jordon Smith in thirteenth. Four of those twelve riders didn't qualify for the main event and the final two riders didn't even make the night show.

Phoenix had the biggest odds against them with a total of four riders trying to make it in and they managed to get three of the four in. The main wasn't fantastic for Kyle Peters or Coty Schock, but a decent place to start for SX rookie Cullin Park who made the main in his first ever Supercross (congrats Cullin!). The fourth man on the squad, Josh Osby, pulled a holeshot in his heat race and shuffled his way out of the top nine before the heat was over, then failed to repeat his start in the LCQ and ultimately didn't go to the main. Any team trying to put four guys in a main is a tall ask, so three of four is pretty darn respectable.

Firepower Honda, previously known as Muc-Off Honda, previously known as Penrite Honda, came into the season with a heavily revamped program and after two years of West coast racing has based itself out of MTF for the East region. Jordon Smith headlines the team and did what Jordon Smith does, ripped his heat race and almost took the victory, then went out and crashed at least twice in the main event...ending up 13th for the night. The team's second rider is Star Racing castaway Jarrett Frye, who came into the season after a quiet off-season at MTF doing his thing. His race in Minneapolis would could also be considered quiet as he qualified 39th in timed practice, just barely making the night show, then squeaking into thee main event and ending out 21st. Not great but again, both guys made the main!

Now for the bad part of this long-winded chat. The Ti-Lube Racing has been around the block a few times now and lined up with Supercross rookie and ex-Geico Honda amateur, Hunter Yoder, alongside the experienced Grant Harlan. Neither rider would make the main event. Timed qualifying was okay for Yoder in 25th and a bit rough for Harlan in 33rd. Heat race wasn't great for either rider and in the LCQ, Harlan had a qualifying spot early before an incident and Yoder wasn't in contention during the LCQ. With next weekend being a Triple Crown, it's not looking good for Ti-Lube to be in the night show.

After some great results on the West and a tick of controversy, the Smartop | Bullfrog Spas | MotoConcepts Honda team had a night to forget as a bike issue took Mitchell Oldenburg off the gate before the heat race even started, followed by a bad start and a ride that just wasn't good enough to get through the LCQ. Meaning the lone 250 rider from MCR didn't make the main. Oldenburg is capable of being top five and even on the podium on this bike. Not making the main however shouldn't even be a conversation. With next week's Triple Crown, Oldenburg will be in with no problems. So redemption is just a few days away.

Lastly is SGB Unlimited, which is new to Honda this year and is running a three man 250 squad on East coast. Of their three 250 riders, they had results on the opposite end of the spectrum from each other. Jeremy Hand was great in qualifying and went straight to the main, finishing sixteenth by the time the checkered flag came out. Jace Kessler and Luke Neese however didn't just not make the main, they didn't make the night show. Ouch, again. That's a lot of support and investment to not even line up for a heat race.

Michael Lindsay | The Ugly: Two Digits Not Qualifying - A LOT

East coast is stacked, period. The bad with the Honda support teams I already spoke of is a good indication of that but it gets a bit worse for some individuals. There was a total of 65 riders who attempted to qualify on Saturday morning to make the fast 40 field for the night show. As qualifying unfolded, there was some pretty decent names down the order and even crazier was six riders carrying two digit national numbers who didn't make the top forty! Add into that was a rider who finished second in the Arenacross title just a week prior!

Of these riders, I spoke of two already just above. Jace Kessler (#92) and Luke Neese (#75) both ride for SGB Honda, have had plenty of time on their bikes at ClubMX, have decent support and both carrying a national number. They also didn't make the show. This is Kessler's first season of Supercross, so he gets a bit of mulligan here but Neese has plenty of Supercross experience and should be in the show no matter what.

Preston Kilroy (#68), Lane Shaw (#89), Scott Meshey (#84), and Ramyller Alves (#70) all also fall into this category. Riders carrying national numbers that didn't even line up for a heat race. Look, Supercross is hard, period. There is no doubting that, there is no denying that. But all four of these guys here clearly want to make a career of racing and to not make the show isn't boding well for that goal. Simple, this group is going to have to be better and next week is a Triple Crown...meaning only the top eighteen in timed qualifying go straight to the night program and everyone else will be left to duke it out for four spots in the LCQ. Well, I say everyone else, only 19th-40th will have that opportunity so there's a good chance that not all of the six riders listed here will rebound well enough next weekend to even get to that point. Things are about to get very, very tough.

450 Supercross Class

Michael Lindsay | The Good: Cooper Webb - 2nd

Should we lift our finger off the panic button? Has Cooper Webb turned things around? Well, sort of. Yes, there was some late race incidents that pushed Webb into the podium spot but that's the thing with racing, you have to be in it to win it. Or at least in it enough to finish. It's still not the Webb we saw last year but it's a step in the right direction. We're back on dirt that Webb prefers, the bike is getting a bit better, he's making changes in his program...but he's fifth in the standings and almost a race out of the title as he sits 25 points behind Eli Tomac. Not an impossible gap but with the consistency of Jason Anderson mixed in there, it's hard to see how Webb can really mount a championship comeback. Add in the fact we're going off one good race to judge that rebound. The next few rounds will be crucial if Webb has any shot of defending but you'd have to think if any racer in the field has the mental strength to do it, it's got to be Cooper Webb, right? There's only one round between now and Daytona, where the championship really Ricky Carmichael used to say.

Michael Lindsay | The Bad: Ken Roczen - 8th

While Cooper Webb clenched onto a small bit of championship hopes, Ken Roczen did the opposite and continues to slip down the order. Roczen ran as high as fifth at the end of the opening laps but drifted back to ninth late in the race, only taking back eighth position due to his teammate Chase Sexton's late race crash. While Sexton is a tough example to use as he did crash out of the race, up until that point he was leading and at least his bike program seems to be coming around a bit. While Roczen's is still in a bit of tail spin. Is it the bike? Is it his health? Is it mental? Only Ken probably really knows what it is but this isn't looking good. One really starts to wonder, will we see him race outdoors? Will we see him at Honda next year (his contract is up)? Does he need a fresh start or will this be the last Supercross season we see from the #94? It's a lot of questions with little-to-no answers. There just doesn't seem to be much fight and one wonders how long can this really continue. After winning the opening round in commanding fashion, Ken Roczen now sits eighth in the championship and 44 points out of the lead.


Michael Lindsay | The Ugly: Chase Sexton - 16th (DNF)

It was going oh-so-good for Chase Sexton right up until the moment it wasn't. So far this year Sexton has been fast...really fast. And seemed to have lessened the major mistakes we've seen from him the past couple years. However, it all came flashing back with a very odd late race incident. This could be debated a few different ways but from my perspective; Chase pushed the front end a bit exiting out of the rut onto a slick spot, front end knifes into the jump face and ultimately twists the entire rim and then poof...high-side to complete ejecto-seato-cuz! It was a big hit but little moments like this is what will keep Sexton from challenging for a title at the premier level. He knows that of course, we all do, I'm just being captain obvious here. Hopefully the hard learned lessons sink in and Sexton builds from it. Chase was third in the standings coming into this race, only eighteen points down on Eli Tomac. If he had finished where he was running, with the lead, he would've ended the evening still third in the championship but only eight points down on Tomac and just three points behind Anderson. Instead, he leaves Minneapolis sixth in the hunt and 28 points down on the red plate holder. He's not out of it but this may have been the moment that took him out of the title fight.


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