Preparation for the opening round of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro motocross
But the rest of the riders entered tomorrow probably don’t like that nostalgia as much as us fans, and #5 and #222 will have their work cut out for them. A lot of guys seemed very quick and ready for the big spaces. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson will be looking for his first outdoor National win. Anderson has seven main event wins in the 22 supercross season, matching the amount he has earned in his previous 450 seasons combined. With 14 SX wins and the 2018 title but zero national wins, his career is starting to look like Steve Lamson’s in reverse. Lammy has 19 AMA 125 National wins and two titles, but none in supercross. Anderson has plenty of time to earn that first motocross victory, but with all the momentum he has after winning the last four consecutive SX rounds, he has to be a favorite tomorrow.
Roczen also looked surprisingly good, considering he hasn’t raced since March. He left clues on his social media that he felt fast, strong and confident, which had always been his calling card before double arm injuries derailed him. His Honda teammate Chase Sexton also looked good on Tuesday, and he is a proven 450 National winner.
And in case you were wondering why Antonio Cairoli’s name wasn’t on the pre-registration lists until this morning, it’s because AMA Pro Racing was waiting for his license to be released by the Italian federation of motorbike. As I explained in the previous case of Evgeny Bobryshev’s attempt to obtain a license, which he was unable to due to the FIM restricting all activity with the Russian Motorcycle Federation, a rider cannot have two pro licenses at the same time. And if you’re wondering about Bobryshev’s status, he’s sadly still in limbo due to MTF’s stance on the war in Ukraine. He will however be present at the race, according to Robby Renner, to support his teammates.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GasGas Factory Racing driver Justin Barcia always seems to be doing well in the openings, but he also crashed on Tuesday and could be a little battered. Christian Craig came back in the 450 class, and he has done well here before. And I was hoping Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy would be able to take advantage of the opportunity he got to join the team, but he’s been out of the first game because he’s still not 100 percent.
The 250 class is much healthier, although some wonder if Jett Lawrence’s ankle is completely healed from his Salt Lake City SX crash. Jett looked good on Tuesday, as did his older brother Hunter. And it was great to see Justin Cooper back on track after missing all of supercross with a broken foot. He misses veteran teammates Jeremy Martin (out for the summer) and Colt Nichols (just back to riding), but he’s backed by a group of young hopefuls in Nate Thrasher, Levi Kitchen, Nick Romano and Matt LeBlanc. . Otherwise, the 250 class is pretty much stacked! It should be a really fun summer of motocross racing, and it starts tomorrow.
As you can imagine, it’s an incredibly busy day here. Later we will have the first preview show of Staging Area which will be hosted by Jason Weigandt and Jason Thomas.
When Jett Lawrence takes to the starting grid tomorrow to begin his 250 Pro Motocross title defense, he will be the first Honda rider to wear #1 at the Outdoor Nationals since who and when?
Huge disappointment to learn that Dylan Ferrandis is suddenly excluded from this championship before even having had the chance to defend it. There were rumors on Tuesday that Dylan injured his hand in an accident during the press day laps, but he showed up for the Zoom press conference 90 minutes after the driving was stopped, so everyone assumed he was fine. Apparently everything seemed to be fine at the time – Dylan wasn’t even in much pain. However, he had some serious grip strength issues: Yamaha’s senior communications specialist, Mike Ulrich, told me that Dylan could barely hold a glass of water. This led to doctor visits and MRI scans, and that’s where the bad news came in. Dylan still wanted to race with the injurybut apparently it’s the type of ligament where if you don’t fix it right away, it might never come back 100%.
“I wanted to try riding on Saturday, but without surgery, within weeks the ligament can die and the damage can be irreversible,” Ferrandis said today. “We have decided with the team to have me operated now to restore my full physical capacity, but that means I will miss the start of the motocross season.
Huge disappointment. Hope we see Dylan at the races again soon.