Round 3 of the Monster Energy Supercross season delivered a pair of first-time winners Saturday night in San Diego with Chase Sexton (450) and Michael Mosiman (250).
Sexton became the third winner in three 450 main eventsduring the 2022 season, joining Ken Roczen and Jason Anderson on the top step. The second-year Honda rider got off to a good start but still needed several laps to catch Marvin Musquin, who led after getting the holeshot.
As soon as Sexton got around Musquin on Lap 5, however, he set sail and was not seriously challenged for the remainder of the race. Eli Tomac finished second, and Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the podium.
“I still can’t believe it, honestly,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “This is a dream come true. I’ve come so close a number of times. That felt like a dream ride. I felt comfortable; didn’t make any mistakes and I finally got it done.”
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The race wasn’t without drama. Coming from deep in the field, Anderson had charged to second after a brief tussle with Roczen, who went down in the main event for the second consecutive race.
Anderson was starting to close the gap on Sexton until his Kawasaki began to smoke, and he faded to eighth at the finish, wiping out hopes of a second consecutive victory and the championship lead.
Tomac took the points lead with his first podium of the season.
“I feel like I was able to be in the game that time,” Tomac said. “I came right around the outside there. I watched that 250 race and knew I had a good gate pick. I wanted to sweep that outside, and it worked.
“Pushed as hard as I could. Chase was riding a great pace at the front – so was Jason. Obviously, he had a little mishap. But it just felt good to be out front tonight. That was huge for us to improve the start.”
Tomac leads the standings by one point over Sexton and Cooper Webb. Two points behind in third, Justin Barcia is part of an eight-rider scrum within 10 points of the lead.
After his season-best finish, Ferrandis moved up to 10th in points.
“Brings back the confidence,” the reining Outdoors champion said. “Since (Anaheim), I was feeling good, I’ve just been getting bad starts. And when you get bad starts in a 450 main, it’s tough. It’s like hitting a wall. Today I got a better start, but I still had to fight my way to the front.”
Webb finished fourth and remained winless in his title defense this season.
“It was a struggle today, to say the least,” Webb said. “Practice didn’t go that great, but we fought hard that main event. Gave it everything we had, and we’re only one point out. I can’t complain about that, but we will get to work this week.”
In the 250 West main event, Mosiman scored his first 250 West win in front of the home crowd after earning the holeshot and leading flag to flag.
After battling for the lead from the first turn, Hunter Lawrence was on Mosiman’s rear tire for most of the race, closing on the leader in the whoops only to lose ground in the rhythm sections.
“To get the win is just incredible,” Mosiman told NBC Sports’ Daniel Blair. “It’s been a long time coming; a long journey.”
Mosiman delivered GasGas its first victory in the 250 class. Lawerence finished second for the second consecutive week.
“Right here just before the whoops, I chose to go right,” Lawrence said. “Michael was on the left, and there was a lapper on his left who then braked and went around. So I went right, and there was another guy in the whoops. Trying to turn through the whoops is tough, and I got all out of shape. I got kicked out into the back of Michael.
“I’m pretty frustrated. That’s one that got away.”
Lawrence remounted and caught back up to Mosiman before settling for second.
After winning back to back to open the 2022 season, Christian Craig crashed on Lap 1 but rebounded to take third and maintain the points lead.
“There’s nothing worse than laying on the first turn with your head on the ground,” Craig said. “And you’re just, ‘ you know what? I’ve got to dig deep’, and my heart came out tonight. I dug deep from Lap 1 to the checkered flag.
“I heard the crowd all night and to do that in my hometown, is something special.”
Jalek Swoll finished seventh a week after missing the Oakland race with a concussion.
ROUND 1, Anaheim: Ken Roczen renews battle with Cooper Webb by winning the opener
ROUND 2, Oakland: Jason Anderson wins for first time since championship season