Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Washougal

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).

Welcome to the Good, Bad 'n Ugly from Washougal! It's the eighth 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 | Justin Cooper - 2nd Place Overall

Justin Cooper got the monkey off of his back at Washougal and secured his first moto win of what will be considered a rehab year for the 250 veteran. He has been much better than I expected this season given that he's still looking at potentially six more months until his foot is fully healed. The fact that he's still looking at quite a while until he's 100% might also explain why it has been announced that he will be a 250 motocross-only rider next year, as that puts his timetable of recovery at the beginning stages of Supercross. So it makes sense to me that he'd want to delay his full-time 450 career for one last chance of winning a 250 outdoor title. He has always had more than enough talent to win an outdoor title, but he's always come up just short. A big part of that is how Cooper is affected by starts more than maybe any other top tier rider. If he starts first, he very well could break away and take an impressive win like he did in moto two on Saturday. However, if he starts outside the top five, he isn't someone that is going to put on some insane charge and win the race. One downside of Cooper's first win happening this late in the season is that he has most likely already been eliminated from the selection process for Team USA. They could always change their plans late and decide to select him, but I think at this point we're all expecting for either Christian Craig or Justin Barcia to be selected. That aside, I hope Cooper is able to take this momentum into the break and potentially snag an overall when we resume at Unadilla, which happens to be his hometown race. 

The Bad | Time for a Break Before the Final Stretch

Is a break before the final four races of the season actually a bad thing? Well, no. It is going to feel like an eternity before we're back to watching these guys battle it out on track, but this'll be a great opportunity for riders and team members to recharge a little bit before the final push of the season. Everyone has their own approach to these breaks during the season, but I bet most guys, especially the title contenders, are going to get away from everything dirt bike related for a little bit. Some folks, like us in the media, are going to feel a little weird to wake up on two Saturday mornings in a row without a raceday schedule to look forward to, though.

The Ugly | RJ Hampshire - 7th Place Overall

What an odd season for RJ Hampshire so far. He came out swinging at round one where he finished on the podium in the first moto, and then a crash at Hangtown left him with an injury that put him out for one round. He does have multiple top five finishes since returning from that injury, but he also has zero podium finishes since returning. At this point in his career, Hampshire should be on the podium periodically and really he should be winning on occasion as well. He has the talent to do so, but his entire career he has never been able to fully put it all together on a consistent basis. Maybe I'm being a little too harsh given he did sustain a pretty painful injury at Hangtown, but at some point we have to start wondering how many more chances he'll be given on factory machinery. 

450 Motocross Class

The Good | Chase Sexton - 1st Place Overall

What a fantastic pair of races we were all treated to on Saturday. Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton absolutely duked it out and came away even in the overall, but Sexton won it on the tie-breaker. And while Sexton didn't gain any points on Tomac, this is exactly the response that Sexton needed to give after losing the points lead last week. I was one of the people that expected for Tomac to go on a run after taking the points lead and effectively "break" Sexton. That didn't happen, and now Sexton has a ton of momentum and a surge of confidence leading into the break. He stopped the bleeding and showed that he can match every bit of Tomac's pace when it comes to it. I couldn't be more excited about the remainder fo this 450 championship, as it once again feels like either of these two guys could win the title.

The Bad | Garrett Marchbanks - 19th Place Overall

I mentioned earlier this season that Garrett Marchbanks was really starting to solidify himself as a solid 450 rider, and while I still think that is still true, these past three rounds have not gone according to plan for the young man. His last six moto finishes are 14-39-18-9-35-15 after starting the season with 10 straight moto finishes inside the top 16, and as a result of that he is in danger of losing 11th place in the standings to Benny Bloss. He'd also lose his spot as the top non-factory rider in the standings if Bloss is able to pass him. Hopefully, this break does him some good and he can re-capture that consistency he had at the start of the season.

The Ugly | Ryan Dungey - 12th Place Overall

Would Ryan Dungey have secured his first overall podium of the season had he not suffered from a mechanical DNF in moto one? Well, it's hard for me to say "oh, absolutely" given how well Jason Anderson was riding, but there was definitely a chance, which is why it absolutely sucked to watch his reaction when he realized his bike was giving away. At the very least, I think Dungey would've finished fourth overall, which still would've been his best overall finish of the season. Regardless, the fact that Dungey was retired for five years but has been able to finish around the top five on a consistent basis is absolutely bonkers to me. And, in typical Dungey fashion, there are no signs that he will suffer any sort of late season fade results-wise. If anything, he's just getting stronger. Hell, maybe his first podium finish of the year will occur at the final race of the year at Fox Raceway. I wouldn't be surprised at this point.


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