Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Oakland 2

Oakland continues the trend set at round one, with chaos and unpredictability. Welcome to The Good, Bad, 'n Ugly presented by Pro Taper.

Welcome to the Good, Bad 'n Ugly from Oakland! It's the second 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 members Grant Dawson and Michael Lindsay have their thoughts, below.

250 Supercross Class

Grant Dawson - The Good: Seth Hammaker | 3rd Place

This is only Seth Hammaker's second year in this class, and although he did win a race last year and land on the podium a few times, I can't say I expected him to emerge as a title contender in his second year. I figured he'd still be looking to find that consistency that takes most young guys a few years to find. However, he has gone two-three in the first two races and is right there in the title hunt with Christian Craig and Hunter Lawrence. His biggest weakness right now is clearly the whoops, but he should only get better as the season goes on. If he can keep up this streak of podiums, he'll be right there to take advantage if Craig or Lawrence make a major mistake. 

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Michael Lindsay - The Good: Hunter Lawrence | 2nd Place

Hunter Lawrence started out last year with a fifth and sixth in Supercross, but still ended up second overall in the standings. Now for 2022, he's starting off with a third and a second, which puts him in a much better place instead of crawling his way up the standings. For me, he looks to be the only one who can challenge Christian Craig if given the opportunity and has somewhat separated himself from everyone else except maybe Seth Hammaker, who's nipping at his feels but just doesn't have Hunter's overall experience. Will Craig slip up in the upcoming rounds or can Hunter take a step forward and run him down? We shall see...

Grant Dawson - The Bad: Jo Shimoda | 7th Place

Jo Shimoda has become known as the guy who is always smooth and consistent, but these first two rounds have been rough for him. He hit the gate last week and had to start from the very back of the field, and despite a good start this week...he threw it all away when he did a front flip in the whoop section. This is the first season of his career where he was considered by many to be a legit title contender, but two seventh place finishes to start the season isn't going to get it done. I get that he has clearly become more confident in his riding ability and is starting to hang it out more, but maybe he should consider dialing it back a little bit and getting some of that consistency back. He's already 20 points down in the standings, and he's going to need some serious help to get back into the title hunt. 

Michael Lindsay - The Bad: Mitchell Harrison | DNQ

Fully agree with Grant on Shimoda and since he snagged that pick, I'm going with Mitchell Harrison. At this point, Harrison is entering his sixth season in Supercross and has raced all over the world. He's a veteran and knows what he needs to do. Last week, he paired an excellent start around the top five with a so-so result...drifting back a bit to finish 13th for the evening. I figured that Mitchell would rebound a bit this week and crack the top ten, but instead it's a DNQ on the board for him. Someone with his experience can't be missing mains, that's all there is to it.

Grant Dawson - The Ugly: Jerry Robin | 22nd Place

I've been a fan of Jerry Robin ever since we all watched him race an '85 CR at Loretta Lynn's. Every year, I hope that he finds some success in this class because I do think that he has the talent to at least be in the Main Event every week. Unfortunately, that has never really been the case. He has made plenty of Main Events, but he has also missed many due to crashes in the heats/LCQs and injuries. He did make the Main Event last night, but he recently had COVID and said he has been dealing with lingering issues from it, so I imagine the finish didn't matter to him as much as qualifying did. Hopefully, he continues to get over those lingering COVID issues and becomes a consistent Main Event guy this year.

Michael Lindsay - The Ugly: Derek Kelly | DNQ

For two weeks in a row, Derek Kelly has been on the deck more than probably anyone in the 250 class. Sadly, Kelly is known a bit as a crasher but has always been fairly quick in Supercross. Thus why myself and many others continue to be crushed after picking him in fantasy...over...and over again. Heading into 2022, Derek is on the best bike he's ever had for Supercross and is honestly the fastest I've ever seen him on the tight and technical circus we call SX. However, he's STILL crashing! At A1, most of this went down in the main event but at Oakland it was the heats and LCQ...leaving him with a DNQ. Derek works hard, just crossing my fingers that he calms down a we bit and get some consistent mains under his belt. 

450 Supercross Class

Grant Dawson - The Good: Aaron Plessinger | 2nd Place

Last week wasn't a great result, but the Aaron Plessinger we've come to expect showed up this week and snagged his first podium aboard the Red Bull KTM. He looks comfortable, fit, and I'd have to imagine that we're going to see him win a race on the orange machine this year. I don't know if he's ready to make the leap into the conversation for the title hunt, but he's not far off. The biggest question mark surrounding him will be how consistent he'll be able to be. He finished in ninth place last week...and then second place this week. Will he be able to keep his lows under control, or will we see him bounce all over the leaderboard? 

Michael Lindsay - The Good: Jason Anderson | 1st Place

It's been a long time coming for El Hombre, having not won since his championship year. There's been a lot of questions around his move to Kawasaki and his decision has ultimately paid off in dividends so far. Jason leaves the second round with a win and firmly in the title fight, honestly showing maybe a bit more outright speed than he even had in his title year for the early part of the season, at least in my opinion. Jason's next task is to stay up front before the series heads East and stay out of trouble, as the field and points standings should start to spread out over the next four rounds. Go El Hombre, go.

Grant Dawson - The Bad: Cooper Webb | 7th Place

What an odd day for Cooper Webb. He did well in timed qualifying, but he was basically invisible during the night show as he finished in fifth place in his heat race and seventh place in the Main Event. He did finish in second place last week, so it's not like it's time to start worrying about the defending champ. However, it will be something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks. Even if Cooper were to fall into a slump, though, he can also get hot at any given moment. He's a hard one to gauge, especially this early in the season. 

Michael Lindsay - The Bad: Shane McElrath | 14th Place

Shane McElrath is making waves in the 450 class with his excellent starts, coming out top two to three basically every time he's lined up so far on 2022. However, after these amazing starts happen, McElrath is experiencing how staked the 450 class is as he tumbles down the order. This week wasn't as rough as A1 but he still dropped all the way to 14th. Shane has the talent to make it happen, so I'd expect to see his results become a bit closer to his starting position as the weeks go on. He was off for almost all of 2021 and is still basically a rookie of the 450 class. So I'm not sure if it's nerves/riding tight, bike setup, fitness, injury, or some combination of these factors. I just hope he figures it out before those amazing starts become a thing of the past and he can no longer capitalize on them.

Grant Dawson - The Ugly: Ken Roczen | 13th Place

Oof, it was not a good day for Ken Roczen. After starting off the season with a bang, a bad practice crash left us with questions about his condition before he crashed again in the Main Event and never really got going again. Following his crash early in the Main Event, he was in around 15th place, and then he was only able to work his way into 13th place by the time the checkered flag came out. Of course, we don't know if his bike was bent up or if he was a little beat up from those crashes, but one bad night dropped him to fifth in the standings. That's how things go this early in the season, though. He's only six points back, so he has plenty of time to get that red plate back assuming his body is 100%.

Michael Lindsay - The Ugly: Ryan Breece | DNQ

After missing all of 2021 rehabbing injuries, Ryan Breece came out and made a statement by making the main at Anaheim 1. Beating multiple bubble guys and a couple team riders for the opportunity to lineup at the final race of the evening. Breece had another notable night in Oakland but not for the best reasons. After some aggressive defensive moves by Adam Enticknap, Breece took it up a notch in their LCQ, going in for the kill at the end of the first whoop section. The result was an epic take out that left #722 being ripped from his bike. The most odd part? Both riders were in transfer position, holding third and fourth respectfully. After this, it looked as if Breece would sail to the main event no problem, with Justin Starling inheriting the final transfer spot. That didn't last as long as expected though as just a few laps later, Breece would case and cartwheel his way through a rhythm lane, right after passing the now down a lap Enticknap. The crash got quite the up roar from the crowd and Adam got first row seats to the show. Getting up, Breece was now sixth but on the last lap, in the last action of whoops before the finish, he saw an opening to possibly get fifth and fourth in one swoop. That also ended spectacularly, as he endoed into the berm and ultimately didn't make the main. Afterwards, Ryan Breece owned up to his moves via social media but Karma did win at the end of the day. That was an Ugly LCQ.

Words by Grant Dawson and Michael Lindsay

Photos by Ryne Swanberg and Garth Milan / Octopi Media


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