In Photos and Words - Oakland Supercross 3

Check out some our favorite storylines from the second of the 2022 Supercross Season - held in Oakland, California

Every season, we're blessed with great visuals from the races to create stories. This year we're working with Garth Milan and Ryne Swanberg from Octopi Media and wanted to highlight some of their work, along with share a few storylines from the second round of racing in Oakland. Enjoy.

46 Races and 1,413 Days

March 3rd, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia...46 Supercross races ago and 1,413 days since the last time that Jason Anderson tasted victory. After that date, Anderson has added a pile of seconds and thirds to his credit but that elusive first place hasn't been his since his championship season. Since that year, it's been a growing question if El Hombre could run for a premier title again or if 2018 would be his one and only. We believe that question has been answered. Jason is renewed, refreshed and ready to make a title run with his new team. His team change was arguably a bigger question mark than Eli Tomac's this off-season and left us all wondering if it would really change anything for the New Mexico native. Clearly, the #21 knew exactly what he needed as he looks the best we've seen him in a long while. Congrats to Jason Anderson and we look forward to watching how his storyline plays out during the remaining 15 rounds.

The Next Generation

Oakland Supercross was our first opportunity to see the next generation lineup for the Futures race. There's a handful of these going on during the day show at upcoming races and is the way for the up and coming group to get their Supercross license points, along with getting some experience on a real SX tack that's built to spec. Due to injuries, we didn't see the likes of Nick Ramano from Star Yamaha or Chance Hymas of HRC Honda...but Ryder Difrancesco from the Team Green group was on hand to show what he's learned. 

Getting the next flock of kids onto a real SX track and in front of the industry is a great idea but sadly, the overall group that showed up wasn't what we envisioned. Difrancesco was in a class of his own, lapping upwards of five to seven seconds better than second place. However, it did show that Ryder is on the right path as his skill level already was at a level where he could jump right into the main event of the 250 class. Hopefully this format of Futures grows and the talent soon follows.

Nine within Ten Points

As we leave the second round of the series, we still have nine riders within ten points of each other overall in the 450 Supercross class. Over the next couple rounds, that will of course begin to spread out. But with the overall chaos and inconsistencies brought about by the first two races, it has lead to a question of who will really run for this championship? At the moment, Justin Barcia hasn't won a main event but his three-three performances have given him the red plate heading into round three with 42 points on the board. Jason Anderson is three points back with 39 points on the board and Cooper Webb shares a similar points haul for third in the standings. Aaron Plessinger inserted himself into the conversation with his second place this weekend and has 37 points to his name.

Even after a a rough weekend, the Ken Roczen fan base can't hit the panic button, as he's still fifth in the standings but just six points out of the lead with 36 total on this list. Eli Tomac shares this total points number as well, but is technically sixth in the championship hunt at the moment.

After their replay worthy moment at A1, Marvin Musquin and Malcolm Stewart also share the same points total with 34 for each rider. With the former taking seventh on the standings and the later holding down eight, respectfully. Last up on this list is Chase Sexton, who has the speed to run for the championship but already sits at the bottom of the conversation with 32 points, keeping him within ten points of the leader. The first two rounds have been rough for Chase but if he can turn it around at San Deigo, he can jump right into the top five or three overall when the night is over.

We currently have two winners over two rounds and with this list of talent, you'd think that number is going to rise dramatically before all 17 rounds have been finished. However, over the past ten years, the average amount of winners per season is four-to-five...meaning nearly half this list could go without a first place to their credit in 2022.

The 125 Made It

Gared Steinke made headlines this weekend. Maybe not for the best reasons, as it was mostly due to some social media drama...but he did get his trusty 125 into the main! It didn't make the full pull in the 250 class main but he's now the most recent man in history to make the final race of the night on that 125. We believe the last time this was done was Ricky Renner almost ten years ago at Daytona in 2012. However, he did admit later the bike was actually a 150cc two stroke. As of the moment, nothing points us to believe that Gared's bike isn't a 125 as he claims and we're pretty sure he's truly on one. Making it just a bit more impressive than the run Renner made almost a decade back.

Who Will Be Next?

While a few privateers and team staff members tested positive for COVID-19 and were exempt from attending Anaheim 1, the news that Justin Brayton joined this list at Oakland hit the paddock a bit harder. We noticed most of the top racers were a bit more reserved at the race, staying inside their team transporters or private RVs to lower their chances of contact. At this point there's only one concern in their minds, "Will I test positive and miss a race?". JB's positive case along with a couple others at the latest round raises a major point, how are we going to make it through the next few weeks without a top five rider in either class having to miss a round? It's becoming less of an "if" but more of a "when" as each weekend passes. We'll be curious to see how the industry and fan-base reacts when it's a rider that hits more to home.

Words by Michael Lindsay
Photos by Garth Milan and Ryne Swanberg | Octopi Media


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