Chase Sexton will use outdoor season to gain strength for title bid

Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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The 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season will be run in two parts, and that may well be the added advantage Chase Sexton needs to run away with his second championship.

Instead of 11 rounds of motocross draining energy, Sexton expects to gain strength and sharpen his reflexes during a full season against faster and sharper competitors.

Sexton entered last season’s 250 East Supercross finale with a lead. It was a comfortable lead, but certainly not insurmountable.

Insurmountable leads are hard to achieve in a nine-race season. But all Sexton needed to do in 2019 was ride a clean race and finish ahead of Justin Cooper.

Sexton was fourth at Las Vegas. Cooper was eighth.

Chase Sexton has been close to perfect, but he would like to have won all four of the opening 250 East races. Feld Entertainment, Inc.

This year, Sexton not only wants to win the championship in his final season on a 250 bike, if his results from the first four races are an indication, he wants to make a statement.

Sexton has been almost perfect this year. He was second in the opener at Tampa, won at Arlington and Atlanta in the next two races, and finished second at Daytona.

Typical of a racer, those two second-place finishes are the ones that stick out.

“We would like to have gotten all four wins,” Sexton told NBCSports.com. “We left six points on the table. But it’s been really good. We put a lot of work and focus on this year because this will be my final year on a 250 and my last chance to get a Supercross championship (in that division), so it was now or never.

“It’s pretty stressful, going to the race and knowing that if you’re off the podium it’s not a very good weekend. So I put a lot of focus into having consistent races and trying to put myself in a good position each race. It’s been tough. I think my worst finish was in a heat race when I got third when I crashed the first lap.

“It’s been pretty good.”

Pretty Good? Almost Perfect? Success is in the eye of the beholder.

“I’m happy with it,” Sexton said. “It’s a little bit of a bummer that the season got put on hold. But I feel like I can do the same thing when we get back racing, so I’m just enjoying the off time. But I wish I was at the races still. We had two races before our break. I’m just trying to refocus and put the work in to be better for the last remaining rounds.”

MORE: Dylan Ferrandis will have to wait to defend his 2019 Supercross title

MORE: Eli Tomac has the long game in mind for title

With the season on pause because of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Supercross racing will not resume until after the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season is complete. That will create some issues for other riders because of the toll the longer, rougher outdoor tracks take on a body.

But Sexton sees it as his ace in the hole.

If things had gone to plan, he would have wrapped up his 250 career with back-to-back championships and then climbed aboard a 450 to start the new chapter of his life. Now, the 450 season is inserted in the middle of his title bid.

“This year I’ll be on a 450 (in Motocross) and it will be good racing the 450 guys compared to the 250,” Sexton said. “Racing the best guys all day with that pace. Racing those guys and then coming back to a 250 in the Supercross series will honestly make me better and close out this championship. … My fitness will be better, hanging onto a 450. And it’ll just make me a bit stronger.”

Last year’s outdoor season wasn’t the best for Sexton. He stood on the podium only twice, at High Point in June and Unadilla in August with third-place finishes each time. Statistically, this season will probably look worse since he will be racing against Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen, Jason Anderson and a field of veterans with far more laps in that circuit. But that’s not how success is gauged for a rookie contender.

Instead of being an opening act of his 450 play, it will be an intermission for his 250 championship bid.

The 250 East/West Shootouts give riders at this level to compete against the nation’s best. Feld Entertainment, Inc.

And Sexton will enter the finale with a different mindset.

Last year he just needed a safe ride to score his first championship. This year, no matter where he stands in the points, he will have only one more opportunity to add to his 250 record.

While the revised Supercross schedule has not been released, rest assured they will do everything in their power to finish with an East/West Shootout. The lure of crowning three champions in one night is irresistible.

Specifically for the 250 riders, the Shootouts give them a taste of the breadth of competition they will eventually face at the next level since the best in each division qualify for the Main.

“The East class is really stacked having Shane (McElrath) and (Jeremy Martin) and a couple of other guys who have been really competitive,” Sexton said. “But I want race everybody and the East/West shootout is the only chance we get at it. I was looking forward to those and still am looking forward to racing with those guys and put myself to the test against the best guys. I definitely means a lot. I wanted to try and win at least one of those. Kind of put a stamp on it and move on. I want to race Austin (Forkner) and Dylan (Ferrandis) and give it my best shot.”

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Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

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Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

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

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

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

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s