250 West Supercross is Craig's to lose ahead of its return in Seattle

The West Coast returns this weekend, so… where did we leave it?

Christian Craig, 2022 Glendale Supercross. - Yamaha Racing.

Most obviously, we left it with Christian Craig.

While Hunter Lawrence crashed himself out of contention in Anaheim 3’s brutal whoops section, and Michael Mosiman crashed in it twice, Craig kept his cool out front and won his fourth 250SX West Main Event of the season in the last round before the break. 

On its return, 250SX West sees a few guys return, such as Jo Shimoda, whose season and mood presumably cannot get any worse than it was in the closing stages of the first part of the season. The aforementioned Lawrence and Mosiman will also be looking to return in good form.

Ultimately, this is Craig’s championship to lose. Not only does he have a 28-point lead and probably the fastest bike out of the gate (bar Vince Friese’s MotoConcepts Honda), but Craig has been riding a level above the competition all year. 

The only way Craig’s last-by-a-distance-to-fourth in the second Main Event in Glendale is possible is by a gulf in class. Sure, the 250SX West class is not the deepest in the history of Supercross, but combined with his other dominant performances in the three Anaheim races, as well as Oakland, Craig has shown himself to be a level above the rest this year.

The interesting thing will be to see how Craig rides with this 28-point lead. He will not want to get into trouble, as Eli Tomac did not want to get into trouble with his 42-point lead at Indianapolis last weekend. But Tomac ended up winning anyway, because of others’ mistakes. 

Additionally, if Craig starts riding with the championship in mind, and tightens up, that could be something his rivals can take advantage of. This year’s #28 has been on the floor twice this year through the actions of others (the start of the Main in San Diego when Mosiman won; and in the sand turn with Vince Friese in Glendale), so while he needs to make sure he does not crash all on his own, he also needs to ensure he does not allow himself to be put on the floor by someone else. 

The other thing to consider is how much other riders have improved over the six-week break. Hunter Lawrence, in particular, could have benefited from the time off. The Australian was never supposed to race on the West anyway, but a crash for Team Honda HRC teammate Jett Lawrence forced him to race earlier than planned. 

It’s certainly possible that Lawrence could come out in Seattle with improved speed, but it is also true that, if anyone is going to challenge Christian Craig for the 2022 250SX West crown, they are going to have to take a mighty step forward.