5 Things We Learned, Atlanta 1: Thrasher Thrashes, Roczen Slips

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I Totally Called Thrasher Winning…Said Nobody

I don’t know what’s happening this year, but I like it. We’re almost up to more winners in a single season than hot dogs in a pack of fresh Nathan’s. And none have been more surprising than Tennessee’s Nate Thrasher. In what world does this happen?

Let’s break down all the reasons he shouldn’t have won:

  1. He’s a rookie
  2. He’s barely finished inside the top 10, and he’s only done it twice this season
  3. The track was slicker than a Las Vegas used car salesman
  4. He qualified out of the LCQ… how the hell did he get the holeshot?

To be honest, when he got out front off the gate, we were pumped to watch him lead for half the race then fade to third or fourth and put in his best finish of the year. But that didn’t happen. Instead, he built a 12 second lead over the field on his way to what we’re calling the most surprising win of the season BY FAR!

And Then There Were Two

Having six points separate the top three of Justin Cooper, Cameron McAdoo and Hunter Lawrence heading into Atlanta was fun. But eventually the fun has to end, and unfortunately it ended for Hunter Lawrence. We actually thought all his GP experience was going to pay off after watching him absolutely slay the slick red clay in his heat, but he never even had a chance in the main after tucking the front wheel off the gate.

While not completely out of the hunt, he’s now 13 pts. back from series leader Justin Cooper and nine pts. back from McAdoo. With three rounds to go, we don’t see him making up that kind of ground.

Chase Sexton WILL Win the 2022 Title

Yep, screenshot this, tweet it, put in on your tictok dance video or snap chat it to your bestie. The Bird Dog is calling this, and considering I called Nate Thrasher winning Claytona in the mud, you shouldn’t doubt my intellect. I’m surprised he’s still riding this year. He’s taken more hits than a prize fighter this year, but he’s shown his toughness.

We all knew Tomac was going to win. He could have started backwards and still won. He’ll probably win the next two in Atlanta, as well. But Sexton impressed me more. He’s slowly taking the reins from Roczen under the Honda tent, he’s got James Stewart as his personal riding coach, he’s big, strong and once he smooths out a bit (which he’ll do next season) he’s going to win his first of many 450 SX titles.

Crown Him

Cooper Webb just won the title. Well, not actually, but sure as my name is Bird Dog, he’s going to. Roczen is one of my favorite dogs. He loves Slipknot, has one of the sickest riding styles and is an all-around great dude. But he’s out. I don’t think it’s a secret that his body has experienced too much trauma over the years for him to endure an entire season. He’s doing more than most other humans could ever endure, but it ain’t gonna be enough.

It wasn’t the bad start that worries me about Roczen. It was his inability to work his way higher than ninth. The track was more beat than a 1999 YZ 125, but that shouldn’t matter. Roczen is the man, he’ll always be the man, but this is Webb’s title.

Poor, AP

Aaron Plessinger is probably the most likable rider in the pits. After a couple down years to begin his 450 career, AP has really turned it on this year and was well on his way to winning his first career 450 main on Saturday. DUDE was flying! Then he made a mistake, crashed and lost his chance. Don’t be surprised if he makes it happen on Tuesday!

Main image: Yamaha

Written by Bird Dog

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