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2022 AMA SX SEASON PREVIEW

The 2022 AMA Supercross season gets underway this weekend. RUST takes a look, and a wager, on who's going to do the winning...

Here at RUST we’re a little (a lot) into our AMA Supercross. After a fortnight riding (virtually) the Dakar Rally dunes it just gets the year started in the best no-holds barred, in-your-face kind of a way. It’s a genuine motivator while we’re waiting for the winter’s mud to dry on our trails.

It’s also a great Monday morning banter-starter. We’ve got our favourites and it seems we’ll back our riders to the end of the season, through thick and thin. 

This year’s series looks like it’ll be a classic. The full schedule is back and there’s class riders packing the gate. The only question here is do we stump the $129 for the season video pass or do we troll YouTube for the usual bootleg footage?

Got to say Monster Energy has excelled themselves with a great season preview which we’ve embedded just below here. It’s a cracking, if not essential, watch, that’ll give you all you need to know (or thereabouts) on what’s coming.

Plus, because we couldn’t resist, we’ve played a little crystal ball gazing – and made the RUST office predictions for the seasons’ winners. Do you agree? Let us know in comments who you think will prevail (or even mention if you care / don’t care!). It’s a bit of fun.

RUST’S PREDICTIONS

450SX

WM:

To be upfront about it, I can’t claim the statistics about the last four years’ winners of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship to be my own. Here I take a bow to Jason Weigant for the research, but he makes a good point and if you were a bookie then this is what you’d rely on as a prediction for the upcoming season. 

Here is an abbreviation of his stats:

There have only been a maximum of five winners per season over the past four seasons:
2018: (4) Marvin Musquin, Jason Anderson, Eli Tomac, Justin Brayton
2019: (5) Justin Barcia, Blake Baggett, Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb, Marvin Musquin
2020: (5) Justin Barcia Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb, Zach Osborne
2021: (5) Justin Barcia Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb, Marvin Musquin
Between them Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac and Cooper Webb have won over 84% of the races over last three seasons.

Those are some pretty compelling numbers. 

Add to the mix the SX fantasy leagues pre-season power rankings and it gives a similar prediction on who’s likely to win the 2022 season. 

450 SX Pre-Season rankings:

  1. Copper Webb, KTM 
  2. Ken Roczen, Honda 
  3. Eli Tomac, Yamaha
  4. Dylan Ferrandis, Yamaha
  5. Justin Barcia, GAS GAS
  6. Chase Sexton, Honda
  7. Adam Cianciarulo, Kawasaki
  8. Marvin Musquin, KTM
  9. Aaron Plessinger, KTM 
  10. Malcolm Stewart, Husqvarna

As for me, I’m a long-time admirer of Kenny (Roczen). I think he’s managed to fly under the radar this pre-season and as a result I think it’s taken some of the pressure off him. I really think this could be his season, even if he rides smarter than he once did and is less inclined to risk it all for the win. He’s such a dude that I want him to win an SX title before he retires.  

I think Eli has a point to prove and he’s going to be tough to beat this year. Cooper is always a tough nut to crack and possesses probably the best race craft and mentality to win, but I think with Barcia, Ferrandis and Tomac in fine form and their gritty presence on track he’s in for a tougher season than he’s had until now. Cooper’s not known for his holeshots and first lap sprints – that’s Kenny’s bag. I think Cooper is going to find it harder to pass those guys to get to the front this year. As a rider if you can’t put consistent starts together you’re going to have a tough season of it. 

Warren’s championship predictions are:
  1. Ken Roczen
  2. Justin Barcia
  3. Eli Tomac
  4. Dylan Ferrandis
  5. Cooper Webb

My prediction for wild card race winners are Barcia, Mookie and Chase Sexton with a little French dressing in the way of Marv. He’s healthy and when he’s healthy he’s fast, and a supercross specialist, albeit he can be a bit timid and that’s a problem no matter how smooth you are. As for all the young guns, well I think it’ll be another year before we see the new wave of talent make it to the top step and challenge for the championship. 

Cooper Webb
Despite strengthening opposition Cooper Webb remains favourite for the 450 title in 2022
Ken Roczen
No Risks Roczen – which is fair given his injury history – is Warren's pick for the title
Eli Tomac
Eli Tomac has swapped from Kawasaki to Yamaha for 2022 – the big blue beast hasn't been a regular race winner in SX
Dylan Ferrandis
The Coming Man – Dylan Ferrandis, the ferocious Frenchman, was threatening in 450SX last year, then he won the 450MX title – he's got the momentum and he's a hard man on track
JB:

You know, supercross hasn’t always been my bag, I’m not a lifelong fan. But these last few years I have given in to the quality of the media that surrounds this series. Between the official media and the glut of podcasts and YouTube videos you really get to know the riders, and once you start knowing – and caring – you’re in, kind of much like how Netflix’s F1 drive to survive has opened up F1 in a whole new way.

JB’s predictions for the 450s:
  1. Cooper Webb
  2. Ken Roczen
  3. Dylan Ferrandis
  4. Eli Tomac
  5. Chase Sexton

Those are my predictions based on form, it’s not who I’m backing. Like most Brits I instinctively connect with underdogs. So I want to see AC (Adam Cianciarulo) and Joey Savatgy have the seasons they desperately need in the 450 class, Malcolm Stewart too, although actually I think he’s doing just fine. But AC and Savatgy need to nail top-5 if not podiums if they are going to secure the top works rides before the next round of 250 graduates arrive and potentially upstage them – in which case it’s career over. I’d like to see Marv get some podiums, too – there’s this sense this is his farewell season, although I might be ‘previous’ on that.  

250 SX 

WM:

As for the 250 season I’ll keep it simple. My personal prediction is that we will see the first ever East /West championships won by brothers – the Lawrence boys. I think outside of some pretty bad luck they are both going to be hard to beat this year. They are both tough competitors, Jett is insanely fast, Hunter just signed with Red Bull and had a solid season last year even when not on his game with nutritional issues – he has a point to prove.

I predict that their biggest challenge is going to come from the Team Green riders Cameron McAdoo and Austin Forkner and if anyone is going to wrestle the top step from the Lawrences it’s going to be these guys. However, I have a solid wild card for the West Coast in the form of Jeremy Martin who is ‘as tough as’ and a proven champion so he’s my dark horse pick for Yamaha.

250 Pre-Season rankings
250SX (East / West combined)
  1. Jett Lawrence, Honda
  2. Colt Nichols, Yamaha
  3. Justin Cooper, Yamaha
  4. Christian Craig, Yamaha
  5. Austin Forkner, Kawasaki
  6. RJ Hampshire, Husqvarna
  7. Cameron McAdoo, Kawasaki
  8. Hunter Lawrence, Honda
  9. Jeremy Martin, Yamaha
  10. Jo Shimoda, Kawasaki 
Warren’s championship predictions are:
250 East
  1. Jett Lawrence
  2. Cameron McAdoo
  3. Jo Shimoda
  4. RJ Hampshire
  5. Colt Nicholls
250 West
  1. Hunter Lawrence
  2. Austin Forkner
  3. Jeremy Martin 
  4. Justin Cooper
  5. Michael Mosiman
Jett & Hunter Lawrence
Warren has Jett and Hunter Lawrence pegged to do the double in 250SX
Austin Forkner
But between Kawasaki and Yamaha there's a a stack of talent and existing champions – like Austin Forkner here – so the Lawrence Bros have their work cut out

JB:

The 250s I follow out of curiosity, but it’s really all about the big league for me, so I’ll keep this short. Warren’s pretty much nailed it there but I think he’s under-estimated the firepower in the Yamaha camp – you have to expect Colt Nichols and Justin Cooper to be right at the front. Who will I follow, though? RJ Hampshire – as I have for a while, only because he was racing a CRF250R when I was on the CRF250RX back a few years. So he’s kind of a brother!

JB’s championship predictions:
250 East
  1. Jett Lawrence
  2. Colt Nicholls
  3. RJ Hampshire
250 West
  1. Justin Cooper
  2. Austin Forkner
  3. Hunter Lawrence 
As we said at the top of the story, if you want to share your predictions – go ahead, there’s the comments section below. We love hearing from you!

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3 Responses

  1. If you’ve read this far down the article – don’t be a pussy – take a flutter and give us your race or season predictions. A1 – can Bam Bam do a quad win?

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