MRTI: Tight title battles beckon ahead of Toronto doubleheader

Thompson, Martin, Franzoni. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

The usual six-pack of Mazda Road to Indy races are back in action this weekend at Toronto, and this also starts a run of each of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series beginning their final seven races of the year.

Indy Lights has two races in Toronto, two at Mid-Ohio, one at Watkins Glen and two at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Then for Pro Mazda and USF2000, it’s two in Toronto, with two Pro Mazda and three USF2000 at Mid-Ohio, then three Pro Mazda and two USF2000 at Mazda Raceway.

The beginning of the runs to each title and the respective Mazda Road to Indy advancement scholarships that come with them start this weekend at the series’ lone race outside the United States. Each series has one race Saturday, one race Sunday, a far cry from Road America when both Pro Mazda and USF2000 ran twice on Saturday.

Canadians set to compete this weekend on home soil include: Garett Grist, Dalton Kellett and Zachary Claman De Melo in Indy Lights and Parker Thompson in USF2000.

Serralles and Veach stole show at Iowa. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Serralles and Veach stole show at Iowa. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography


The three-way fight of Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman and Santiago Urrutia took a backseat to Felix Serralles and Zach Veach’s win battle at Iowa, but with Jones, Stoneman and Urrutia finishing in that order in third, fourth and fifth, the points situation didn’t change.

Jones has 236 points to Stoneman’s 213 and Urrutia’s 206. Lurking and not out of it are the Iowa sparring partners, Serralles and Veach at 199 and 194, with Kyle Kaiser hanging on at 189, 47 points back.

This weekend could be a “winnowing” if the top three in points dominate proceedings but if Serralles and Veach – or Kaiser, who drives for Juncos Racing and was arguably strongest on Indy Lights’ only other street course this year of St. Petersburg (third and second) – throw a big result up, then the title battle will remain wide open.

And Kaiser – or De Melo, for that matter – is a decent pick for the weekend because Juncos’ Spencer Pigot swept these races last year. Other potential big results could come from Felix Rosenqvist, back after a two-weekend absence, and Grist, who knows the streets of Toronto well and whose Team Pelfrey outfit bagged its only podium of the year on a street course, second at St. Petersburg, with Scott Hargrove.

O'Ward and Telitz. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
O’Ward and Telitz. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography


In the battle between Team Pelfrey teammates Pato O’Ward and Aaron Telitz, the pressure is now squarely on the 17-year-old Mexican who won six of the first seven races but watched from off the podium as Telitz swept on home soil at Road America.

Telitz has now closed to within 28 points of O’Ward following his domination at Elkhart Lake, and will look to carry the momentum this weekend. The pair split wins on the only other street course this year at St. Petersburg and with no pressure on him and riding the wave of momentum, Telitz will look to close that gap even more this weekend.

Juncos, which not only has a good Indy Lights setup on street courses, banked a Pro Mazda win here last year with Grist. Emerging star Nicolas Dapero, who’s scored two podiums in his last three races, or Will Owen could be in with a shot at their first series wins and ending the thus far Pelfrey sweep of the season. Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing returns to two cars with Jorge Cevallos back alongside Nico Jamin; the young Mexican ran the opening races this year for JDC.


Simply put, whoever emerges ahead of the Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammates this weekend – Anthony Martin or Parker Thompson (pictured top of page) – will be the points leader.

Because the pair enter tied and Martin is the one surging after winning four of the last five races, including the last three in a row.

The Australian and the Canadian have different driving styles and while both are calm, good kids outside the cockpit, the pressure is intensifying between them since only one of them can win the title.

Thompson, who started stronger, will probably feel the weight of racing on home soil this weekend. Yes, Red Deer, Alberta is a fair way from Toronto, but it’ll still be important for Thompson to want to deliver with a win here.

Third place in points is ArmsUp’s Victor Franzoni, who should be better here than at St. Petersburg when he was in his first weekend for the team. Franzoni’s banked five podiums this year but is yet to win.

Pabst Racing could play spoiler, having had the best setup cars at St. Petersburg and having swept the weekend there between Jordan Lloyd and Yufeng Luo. Garth Rickards is due a good result for the team as well, as is fellow series sophomore Ayla Agren of John Cummiskey Racing, who was fourth last time out at Road America.

Another driver to watch is the third Australian, Luke Gabin, who it appears will race after JAY Motorsports has worked to find funding for the talented and likable young driver for this weekend. Gabin scored his first USF2000 podium at Toronto a year ago with Team Pelfrey. Englishman Jordan Cane, formerly of Pelfrey, could be poised for his first podium since St. Pete – both he and Robert Megennis (Pelfrey) banked podiums at the only other street race this year.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Detroit


The focus of the Detroit Monster Energy Supercross round was on the mid-pack battle while Aaron Plessinger pulled away from the field, but when he crashed after hooking his foot in the dirt, the results once more looked like we’ve come to expect, with Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac sharing the podium for the fifth time in 10 rounds.

Supercross Results Detroit
Justin Barcia was part of an exciting, four-rider battle in the middle of Detroit’s A-Main. – Feld Motor Sports

For Sexton, Plessinger’s late-race crash was a vindication of sorts. Several times already this season, Sexton has crashed while battling for the lead and the points that has cost him keeps him sporting the red plate. He lost points in Detroit for a different reason, however.

Sexton was allowed to keep the win, but was penalized seven points for jumping in a red cross section of the course. As a result, he dropped four points to Webb and two to Tomac. Sexton is now 17 points behind Webb in the championship hunt.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

One week after snatching the red plate from Tomac for the first time in 2023, Webb stretched his advantage by two. With his second-place finish, Webb holds a three-point lead over Tomac, which essentially means both riders control their fate in the coming weeks. Webb continues to have a sweep of the top five this season with his sixth consecutive podium.

Coming off his worst finish of the season, Tomac rebounded to finish third. His eighth-place result last week was partially attributed to a stiff neck that hindered him in traffic and he still suffered some of those same effects in Detroit. Before Plessinger’s crash, he was destined to be the only rider in the three-man title scrum to finish off the podium in Detroit.

It is surprising what one position can do for one’s confidence.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Justin Barcia scored his fourth top-five of the season. He was part of the exciting four-man battle that dominated the middle stages of the race before Sexton and Webb gained a little separation. Finishing less than three seconds behind Tomac, he kept that rider honest for the entire race.

Coming off his first win of the season, Ken Roczen finished fifth. It was his seventh top-five of the season and it elevated him to fifth in the standings.

Plessinger’s fall took the wind from his sails. He attempted to right his bike after a hard crash, but as it smoked and pinged, he dropped to 13th in the final rundown.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Hunter Lawrence tied his brother Jett Lawrence with 10 wins each after another dominating ride in the Detroit Supercross race and the results in the points continue to widen. With his fifth win in six rounds and a worst finish of third, Lawrence now has a 35-point advantage over Nate Thrasher with four rounds remaining. Finishes of 14th or better in the final four mains will give him his first 250 championship.

Supercross Results Detroit
Strong starts have been one of the keys to Hunter Lawrence’s success in 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

Jett will have an opportunity to retake his wins’ lead as Supercross heads west for the next two rounds in Seattle and Glendale, Arizona.

Nate Thrasher earned his third second-place finish of the season with a gap of 7.6 seconds to Lawrence. He won the overall in Arlington earlier this season, but a 15th-place finish in the opening round in Houston and 10th in Daytona hurts his championship chances.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Haiden Deegan scored his second podium and fourth top-five in six rounds of his young career. On his way to that finish, he rode aggressively against his teammate Jordon Smith in the heat race. Fans are getting a glimpse of what his on-track personality might be.

Jeremy Martin continues to be the model of consistency. He has not finished worse than sixth or better than fourth in six rounds now and that has allowed him to close to within two points of third in the 250 East championship standings.

Rounding out the top five is Chris Blose, who was pressed into service at the start of the season because of a rash of injuries at Pro Circuit Kawasaki. This is Blose’s first top-five of the season, although he’s steadily improved over the past five rounds.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 East Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

Max Anstie entered the race weekend second in the points, but a hard crash in heavy traffic early in the main forced him to retire after two laps. Earning only one point for the round, he plummeted to fifth in the standings.

The news was worse for Smith, who was dropped out of the top nine in his heat after the altercation with Deegan and failed to advance through the LCQ. In the last chance race, he stalled his engine and had to mount a determined charge. He got only as high as seventh in that race after crashing while attempting to make a pass on fourth-place Jack Chambers.

2023 Results

Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s