Welcome to the Good, Bad 'n Ugly from Millville! It's the seventh 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 | Max Vohland - 6th Place Overall
Max Vohland's performance at Spring Creek was a huge step in the right direction for the young rider. He mentioned on social media last week that he has made more progress than his recent results have shown, but his 4-6 moto scores at Spring Creek indicate that he might finally be ready to turn the corner and become a consistent top five contender. As I've mentioned before, he had a lot of hype behind him when he turned pro and he is the only rider on the factory KTM 250 program, so there's never been a shortage of expectations for him. I still think he has the potential to eventually contend for wins, but I also think it's safe to stay he's still a ways off from competing at that level. A couple of more performances like this during the second half of this season, though, and he'll set himself up to have a true break out year in 2023.
The Bad | Jalek Swoll, Michael Mosiman, and Stilez Robertson Crash Out
The crash bug bit several riders at Spring Creek, and it knocked Michael Mosiman out of both motos and knocked Jalek Swoll and Stilez Robertson out of the second moto. Michael Mosiman and Jalek Swoll have both had seasons that they'd rather forget, so the last thing they needed was to crash out of another race. I gotta say that I don't think anyone is particularly surprised whenever Mosiman knocks himself out of a race these days, but we all hope that someday he'll be able to get over his tendency to crash as often as he does. Swoll already has a contract secured for next season so there's no worry there, but I imagine at this point he's gotta be a little frustrated with the amount of crashes he has had this year. Stilez Robertson has actually had a pretty solid season so far and this was his first DNF of the season, but I'm sure he's gonna be a little sore for a while. The good news is that as far as we're aware none of these guys sustained serious injuries. They should all be back behind the gate soon.
The Ugly | Levi Kitchen - DNS
The Chef's season has come to an end after he had a practice crash earlier in the week that resulted in a broken wrist. He'll have to get surgery on it, and with that we won't see him again until 2023 Supercross. Obviously, he would have preferred to finish the season healthy, but the good news is that he established himself as a future star in the 250 class before sustaining the injury. He showed that he has the speed and stamina to step in as Star Racing Yamaha's next number one rider as they enter what will be a bit of a transition period for the team in 2023. Originally, I thought that Nathan Thrasher would be that guy, but Kitchen has the upper hand right now. Kitchen was top five in the standings when he exited the series, and he also logged multiple top five moto finishes and a moto win. He should become a podium regular next year and maybe even contend for the title.
450 Motocross Class
The Good | Benny Bloss - 8th Place Overall
That's four straight top 10 moto finishes for Benny Bloss in what has quietly been an impressive season for him. He's back with the BBMX crew (formerly the Rocky Mountain KTM team) for another run and things have been going well so far. I don't know what the state of the team is, or what their plans are for the 2023 season, but at least they're still showing up to the races and logging some decent results with Bloss. The only non-factory guy in front of Bloss right now is Garrett Marchbanks, who sits 21 points ahead of him in the standings, so there's still a chance that Bloss could end up as the top non-factory guy by the end of the season. Crashes and injuries have always held Bloss back from reaching his full potential as a pro, but he's still a serviceable rider who deserves a full-time ride next year, whether it's with BBMX or someone else.
The Bad | Alex Martin's Final Spring Creek National
Now, this was Alex Martin's final Spring Creek National as a full-time racer... I highly doubt it'll be the final time we ever see Alex line up at a Spring Creek National. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if he lines up next year, but he finally decided it was a good time for him to step away from racing full-time. He spent over a decade in the 250 class, which included some fantastic seasons and one of the best privateer to factory rider stories the sport has ever seen. He also got the 450 monkey off of his back by moving up for this year, and while he hasn't set the world on fire he has been solid all year long. He has a lot to be proud of, and the timing does seem pretty perfect considering he wants to start a family with his wife and his online training venture is going well. I'm sure he'll still be involved throughout the industry as well. It sure does seem like we're going to see quite a few retirements over the next year or two, so buckle up.
The Ugly | Ken Roczen - 14th Place Overall
The train went completely off of the tracks for Ken Roczen at Spring Creek as he finished outside of the top 10 overall and fell back to fourth place in the standings. It wasn't like he just faded back to his 16-12 moto scores, though. He had a crash early on in the first moto that sent him all the way to the back of the pack, so he spent the entire race making his way through the pack. Do I think he could've gotten further up than 16th? Yes, but I also didn't see every lap of his race and what difficulties he encountered while working his way through the pack. The second moto did see him fade back some and also suffer from a crash that didn't help things any. I'd imagine his crash issues throughout the day were largely brought on by the less-than-ideal track conditions which many riders mentioned in post race interviews. Anyway, it was just an awful day in general for Roczen, and it sure does seem like his season is starting to come unraveled. He can still work his way back into third place in the standings as he's only four points behind Jason Anderson, but he's gotta have a great day at Washougal this coming weekend. Surprisingly, he has never won at Washougal, but maybe this is the year he gets it done and turns his season around?