The 2022 U.S. offroad racing schedule officially kicked off on the west coast over the weekend with Round 1 of the AMA National Grand Prix Championship taking place at American MX in Delano, California. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Austin Walton got off to a positive start, claiming a strong second-place finish in the Pro class.
Walton came out swinging as he captured the holeshot aboard his FX 450 and he led the first three laps of the race. Joined by Cole Martinez halfway in, Walton engaged in a back-and-forth battle that led him into the final laps in a close second-place position. He gave it one last charge on the final lap of racing but it wasn’t enough to go for the pass and he ultimately finished three seconds back for second overall.
“I felt really good today,” Walton said. “I got a holeshot and rode really hard the first part of the race. I was feeling good but having a hard time finding the real lines on the track because it was so beat up. Cole passed me and then I passed him back and we had a pretty good battle going on there. Toward the end, he ended up getting me before the pit and I rode as hard as I possibly could to try and get him on that last lap but I just didn’t have enough time. All-in-all, I felt like it was a great day and the bike worked awesome, so it was a good start to the season!”
Next Round (2): Taft, California – February 13, 2022
1. Cole Martinez (Honda)
2. Austin Walton – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
3. Dante Oliveira (KTM)
Pro Championship Standings
1. Cole Martinez – 30 points
2. Austin Walton – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 25 points
3. Dante Oliveira – 21 points